Be The Best.

The Beginning’s the End

Well – this is it.

The last blog post for now.

What does ‘now’ mean? 1 month, 1 year or another decade?

Not sure. That’s the thing about the future.

My favourite quote this year – Plans are worthless. Planning is everything. (President Eisenhower) Having lived through 2020 with all of you and the entire planet, I think we can all relate. Pandemics and lockdowns weren’t part of anyone’s plans. I hope.

The big ‘take away’ however, is by having had a plan, the very act of planning puts you in the right mindset to review, PIVOT (2020 mega word) and then move forward.

As I’ve put in probably 100 blog posts over the years, DECISIONS propel us forward. If a decision I make doesn’t get me closer to my goal, I am fully empowered to make another one. And again and again.

Chris passed away March 25, 2010. We think of him and miss him every single day. Holidays like Christmas only emphasize that. We’ve thought about the thousands across the world who have experienced their first Christmas without parents, grandparents and yes even children this week because of COVID. If you are reading this blog and that is your situation, we empathize and know how tough all those ‘firsts’ are. (continued below pics)

I will not try to candy coat things and say that ‘time heals all’ which is a phrase I disagree with having lived without my son for over 10 years. Time doesn’t heal. Time allows you perspective and gives you the amazingly wonderful opportunity to make choices. In the next 24 hours of my life, I will be able to make dozens of choices that can propel me forward or send me backward. Be The Best was what Chris was aiming to achieve. Aiming to be. His vision. His body of work showed us that the mix of vision and hard work paved that road. Although his journey was cut way too short, we’ll aim to live with that same thinking. That won’t bring Chris back. That won’t make us miss him less or wonder every day where life would have taken him. It will, however, propel us forward with purpose and encouragement to make choices that propel us forward and hopefully those around us as well.

All the very best to you until the next post – whenever that may be. 😉 This end is simply another beginning. And so it goes! Decision made.

Chris’ is remembered forever with a memorial fund at Simon Fraser University that provides lacrosse playing student athletes a monetary award each year. The fund itself will live in perpetuity. Donations are tax deductible and can be made direct through SFU. The family has also pre-purchased Be The Best merch that allows all moneys raised to go directly to the SFU fund (minus handling expenses)

Be The Best.

11 days left and then everything will be perfect.

If you have read a blog or two over the years you’ll know I have a penchant for tongue-in-cheek titles. Today is no different. Yes, 11 days left in 2020. That is true if you read this today. If tomorrow, 10. I think we’re on the same page there. The ‘everything will be perfect’ part is another story. If you haven’t updated yourself on the Stockdale Parardox in a while, now is your chance.

This rusted metal ‘ornament’ says it all. Made by Mike and Amelia. Check out their shop.

Face the brutal facts. Move forward. We will win. It may not be January 1, 2021, but we WILL move beyond the pandemic. For now, we have some brutal facts to face including cancelled trips, separation from family and not being allowed to go to the mall. Ok that last one is really a solid gift from covid – from my male perspective. 😉

“You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end
—which you can never afford to lose —with the discipline
to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality,
whatever they might be.” 
~ James Stockdale

We’ve all had some brutal facts to face in 2020. You face them and then make the next decision. When you lose a loved one you have to go through the same process. One of the decisions we made was to honour Chris’ memory with a memorial fund at Simon Fraser University. To date the fund has awarded over $21,000 and we’re just starting as this fund will never end paying out only the interest on investments each year. Congrats to each recipient and I encourage you all to continue to make decision after decision to ‘Be The Best’ as that is an amazing way to remember Chris’ body of work over his 17 years and push you forward toward your individual goals.

All the best for the Christmas week ahead.

Christian Friesen Memorial Award Endowment Recipients

Genereux, Luke2012-01-26ScholarshipSpring 2012
Weselowski, Kevin2012-03-14ScholarshipSpring 2012
Clare, Samuel2013-02-14ScholarshipSpring 2013
Bosquet, Bayne2014-03-27ScholarshipSpring 2014
Vickars, Iain2015-02-19ScholarshipSpring 2015
Lashar, Jordan2016-02-17ScholarshipSpring 2016
Stroup, Jordan S.2017-02-16ScholarshipSpring 2017
Lashar, Jeremy A.2017-02-16ScholarshipSpring 2017
Lunde, Gregory2018-02-15ScholarshipSpring 2018
Terrio, Mackenzie B.2018-02-15ScholarshipSpring 2018
Turnbull, Tim2019-02-15ScholarshipSpring 2019
Hicks, Mason R.2019-02-15ScholarshipSpring 2019
Hicks, Mason R.2020-02-25ScholarshipSpring 2020
Way, Cameron A.2020-02-25ScholarshipSpring 2020
Total Disbursed$21,605.00  
Stats via SFU
Be The Best.

Shake it up – 10 years later

Part of this 10 year retrospective is looking at posts from 10 years ago. Kinda makes sense seeing that this is a retrospective. Anyhoo – I read this post this morning:

I’ve pasted in the bulk of it below as I can save you a click. Dec 2010 was a tough time. No doubt. Months removed from Chris’ loss in March 2010 but entering the first Christmas without him. Nothing I would wish on anyone.

As I reflect back on this post, I remember the gratitude of that day and remembering the generosity of hundreds of people who provided cards, food and words of encouragement and the several thousand who attended his funeral. That show of force, if you will, was so powerful for me and our family. Tangible support without a word spoken. So – if you are thinking of someone who has suffered loss because of COVID, an accident or health issue – any token of connection, concern – and yes, even a quick email – are all felt by the families even if they are not able to properly let you know that. I still feel the support 10 years later. By the way, as we assembled the products in Chris’ honor this year, we included a shaker bottle under the advice of Brent Hoskins, one of Chris’ lacrosse mentors and life guides. Good choice. Shake it up. I’ll include the link with the reminder that anything purchased from the store has already been paid for by our family so the proceeds of your purchase roll into Chris’ fund at SFU which will live forever in support of student athletes who are aiming to Be The Best.

Have a good week.

From December 2010:

I made a shake today for breakfast.

I hadn’t made one in a while…a long while…months, actually.

Chris loved these morning protein shakes.  He wrote the recipe down one time.

Dad’s Jacked Shakes he called it.

The recipe is very simple….a little orange juice, frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, yogurt and a little protein mix.

I’m not sure how long frozen strawberries last, but guess what we still had in the freezer.  Yup, those strawberries all cut up from the funeral on April 1 and frozen.  They were even sweeter today.

It reminded me again of the generosity of so many and I re-read the More Soup for You blog post that was so early in this journey.

You never know the impact of your actions.  We appreciate every bouquet, card, cleaning service, thought, prayer, food item and word of encouragement that has come our way.

I’m looking forward to a few more of those shakes…maybe again tomorrow.

Be The Best.

Numbers that Count.

There’s a lot of numbers out there these days.

COVID infections. COVID hospitalizations. COVID deaths.

We don’t know the future. We can minimize risk by choices we make, but still – things can just happen.

The only thing we ultimately control is our next decision. With that in mind, we can choose to make a difference each day and do something positive each day. Of course we have jobs and school and other stuff. That’s called the ‘whirlwind’. The key is to do just ONE thing beyond the whirlwind each day or week. How many days do we have? That’s interesting.

My Dad, Rev Jake, (Chris’ Grandpa) will be 90 in February 2021. He had calculated how many days he had been alive. Quick – what do you think that number is? 100,000? 50,000? 1 million? Could be.

Wait – let’s do the math – Even at 89 years young – that is only 32,485 days. A mere 4,640 weeks. And yes, you can calculate interesting numbers for yourself at this linked website. (Rev Jake says he’s good for 110 btw – so a good sign!) I’m encouraging 120. Why not? Tennis, ping pong, biking, driving, walking, reading, studying, connecting with multiple people per day – perfect.

We used to do this calculation for time management training. Take your current age. Ok, I’m 55. Calculate a comfortable end of days number. I know – a bit morose – but, let’s say 100 even. That’s 45 years. That is 16,425 days. A paltry 2,346 weeks!! Yikes. I better get moving!! Ten years is only 3,650 days. We all know a year is 365 days – but many times don’t think beyond that.

Tree Hunting in 2005 (Chris, Ingrid and Max)

Time can crawl and time can fly. It can’t come back however. Chris had 6,279 days on this earth. Not nearly enough but enough to be remembered forever and to make a massive impact on those of us around him that strive to Be The Best in his memory.

Chris’ brother Max had some sage insight on this topic. When you lose someone close, it’s never a count down – it’s a count up – until you see that person again on the other side.

I wish you all 100 years or more and trust that every day can produce a step forward towards the realization of goals, development of relationships and contribution to making this little earth we call home a better place for now and the future.

Have a good week.