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Be The Best.

Ski lessons from an 81 year-old

Now technically, my Dad is not 81 until Thursday…and ski lessons from an 80 year-old has a nice ring to it as well, but in honour of the upcoming day we’ll go with 81!

I wrote a Valentines Day/Birthday post last year at this time about Dad and Mom and Dad’s 80th.

Then the world got very interesting for them.

Both Mom and Dad were very ill and ended up in different parts of the hospital at the same time.

Their recovery was equally amazing and although my Dad had a few more surgeries than expected and now lives with an ileostomy and Mom continues her chemo fight…you’d probably have a hard time figuring that out.

Why?

Well, Mom is walking around town to her appointments, hiking and volunteering at a local thrift store and Dad is speaking to groups of seniors and others about his experiences and oh yah, going skiing!

I didn’t hear this week’s report, but last Friday night after a layoff of over a year, the boards were slapped on as this soon to be 81 years young Great Grandfather hit the slopes.

Now that’s a ski lesson for all of us, whether we ski or not.

Mom and Dad, we wish you a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

And Dad…a very happy 81st on Thursday!!

Dec 29, 2010 at Blackie Spit. Video link above.
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Be The Best.

Slow Down to Speed Up

On our recent vacation we saw turtles.

A whole lot of turtles.

I’ve got one picture with six of them sleeping on the warm sand.

I’ve also got a picture of a turtle in the water.  Completely different.  They are fast, fluid and graceful.

Out of the water they are…well…slow.

They sleep a lot.

Observing them I couldn’t help but think again of the story in the Power of Focus book about a successful businessman, who when asked about the secret of his success stated, ‘I spend a day a week locked in my den and no one can disturb me.’

What?

Yah, I think being slow, sometimes, is the key to being fast.

Thinking, taking time, getting recharged, soaking the rays, prepares the mind and body for the swim ahead.

Been slow lately?

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Be The Best.

Sun and stars.

In the first year after losing Chris, I spent many evenings watching the sun set and to this day I can’t watch a sunset or look at a moon lit sky without thinking of him.

On a recent vacation I thought about where we were and where Max was separated by a huge ocean and hours of flying.

As I looked up at the night sky with stars as bright as I’ve ever seen, I thought of Chris being high enough to connect to Max and at the same time keep an eye on Ingrid and myself.

So, whatever you think of when you think of sunsets, here are a few images for you from Hawaii’s Big Island.

(and yes, that’s a lava rock formation in the water, and yes, you can download pictures or link to them!)

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Be The Best.

CFMA Y2 2012

Acronyms are so warm aren’t they?

Chris hoists BMS teammate Jamie Spagnuolo at Florida tournie.

Tonight is the 2nd annual Christian Friesen Memorial Award presentation.

As a family we are so proud to be associated with the BMS (Burnaby Mountain Selects) program and SFU (Simon Fraser University).

If you’ve read this blog over time you’ve seen many references to both of these organizations.

It’s worth mentioning again the MEGA MAJOR (MM) impact that the BMS camp had on Chris as a young teen.

He saw these university athletes and how hard they worked and it shaped his entire focus on eating habits, studying habits and work-out habits.

In so many ways, the Be The Best thinking started right there…and it didn’t stop.

SFU and the SFU Foundation office have been simply wonderful (understatement) to Ingrid, Max and I.

We are proud to have Chris’ memorial fund help push the dreams of a lacrosse athlete attending SFU.

So if you’ve just joined us, what is BTB (Be The Best)?

Be The Best is a way to live our lives.

It’s using Chris’ passion to fuel us.

It’s making positive decisions about fitness, education and life.

It’s not settling for second best.

To this year’s award winner (still a secret at the time of writing), this award goes way beyond the financial implications.  It’s about carrying the Be The Best banner.  It’s about being associated with a kid who would pound out 200 push-ups a day at 16.  It’s about setting goals, breaking them down into measurable tasks and then working hard.  It’s all of that and more.

We were so proud when Luke Genereaux won the award last year.  He had coached Chris and was one of these young college-age guys that had helped shape Chris’ world.

btw, this is not a commercial for the BMS program, but I guess it might as well be!  If your kid places lacrosse in British Columbia, it’s an amazing program that help takes kids and form them into young men.  To see a number of these players now enter university at SFU and beyond, is super cool.  Jamie, (in picture above) is a great example as he’s in his first of McGill University in Montreal.

You see, at that point it becomes way more than just lacrosse.  This is really about changing lives in a positive way and continuing to make the world a better place…but I think you sort of got that already.

TWITA (That’s what I’m talking about)

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Be The Best.

Dan Cloutier, Chris and Be The Best

Goaltender Dan Cloutier with the Vancouver Can...
Image via Wikipedia

I was doing some filing today.

Yah, I know.  Great times.

In any event, I stumbled across a file that had some drawings from Max and Chris.

I just had to share this one.  Dan Cloutier and Be The Best maybe don’t sound like they fit anymore, but he had his very best years as a Canuck goalie and the kids loved him.

Max and Chris spent hours drawing these guys.  I think Chris was 9 or 10 when he drew this one.

Notice Pronger taking a slapshot and Cloutier flashing the leather for a great save…(even if it looks like the puck is going wide…)

But then I saw the title, ‘The Best in The Business’.  This wasn’t something we talked about.

He was already relating the success of Cloutier as an NHL goalie to being the Best in the Business.

Not quite, Be The Best…but some early signs of what was to come as he strove to realize his own goals.

Notice the artist’s signature in the lower right corner.

The Best in the Business.

Be The Best.

Love it.

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Be The Best.

Another lesson in perspective.

I got another lesson in perspective from a very reliable source.

Scrabble
Image via Wikipedia

My iPad Scrabble game.

Yah, that’s right.  I said it, Scrabble.

I was involved in an intense fight with my arch nemesis, the iPad computer.

We were locked in a tough duel and I was determined.

I stared at my tiles for 2 minutes, then 4 minutes, then my screen went grey.

I refreshed and stared again.

I couldn’t see an option.

Then I hit the reshuffle button.

Same letters.  Exact same, just different order.

There in front of my eyes was the obvious solution.

This has happened again and again.  Just changing the perspective was the key to getting the solution.

There’s been a lot on perspective lately and one thing I’m learning is to hit the reshuffle button and then look at the letters again.

Same letters, different approach, solution.

Interesting.

 
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Be The Best.

Walk a mile in his socks.

I started this blog in July, but was one of those that got abandoned along the way.

Maybe a good thing, because I got a few more months out of several pairs of socks.

Chris played lacrosse as you know and the ‘adrenaline’ brand of socks were quite the rage in 2009/2010 and I believe are still very popular today.

They are thick, comfortable and designed for athletes. (yes, you can insert your own joke here about why I would be wearing them…)

For the past 21 months I’ve used them as a default slipper and ‘sock with jeans post work’.

We had found one pair, then 2, then 3 and eventually the 4th.

As you can see from the pic (taken this morning), I’m still stretching out the 4th pair, but we’re on the last threads…literally.

I’m not sure the pictures show it clearly, but each sock is worn right through at the heel or toe and they are done.

Anyone got a creative idea for used clean and washed but worn out socks other than sock puppets?

Many of Chris’ items have been donated or are with friends, but there was something about those socks.

I’ve walked a mile or two in them and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Be The Best.

Old school meets new school.

English: Apple iPad Event

Every Christmas I look forward to a few days of non work time that I can use to work.

Let me explain.

With a very busy schedule there are many times when I don’t get the chance to just think or explore or let an idea lead to another idea or just experiment.  One thing that I’ve found helpful for me is to use technology to push my own boundaries and that learning can lead to further creativity, new ideas and…wait for it…additional perspective.

So, this year’s Christmas ‘project’ was iPad exploration.  I’m in love with this thing.

However, technology can come with a cost.  There’s a learning curve and so when I got an iTunes gift card I dutifully loaded it into my laptop account and the next day proceeded to download some other apps and music on my iPad and realized a credit card had been billed although a credit should have remained from the iTunes card.

Old school thinking: I probably loaded the card up wrong, so I better find the card now in the kitchen garbage from 2 days ago mixing nicely with the other garbage outside.  Yah, that was fun, but after a little CSI rubber glove investigation, I found it. When I reloaded the card info, I was told the card had already been used.

What?

Newer school thinking: Actually think through the scenario and begin to dig deeper.  Could there be a technology problem and solution?  As it turned out, I had created a second Apple ID and although the devices were syncing together, they were accessing iTunes with different ID’s one of which had the gift card credit still on it and one that had a credit card number on it.

After 30 minutes of invoking the humbling ‘wife can you help me clause’ in our marriage agreement and some interesting searching through online tech chat sites (not), we discovered and fixed the issue.

Why am I telling you this?

Years ago, before iPads and iPods, I told myself that if I could learn ONE new technology item every year and really try to master it, I could continue to learn and grow and push both my efficiency AND effectiveness levels upwards.

For example, one year spending a couple of hours trying to figure out my OLD cell phone and actually program in speed dial numbers was an incredible help.

Today it’s the iPad and the investment of a few hours of initial frustration (some of it self-created!) is part of the learning process that I look forward to every Christmas…just a couple of days where you can relax a little, dig through some garbage and learn some new tricks!

I wish all of you a very meaningful, productive, and inspiring 2012 with many BE THE BEST moments!

Looking forward to sharing those as we go.

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Be The Best.

The picture and the painting.

I wrote about Christmas Day and my trips to the cemetery.

At 9am, a gentle fog floated on the open field.

With so many places closed on Christmas (and rightfully so), I was so thankful for the Township staff and contracted staff who faithfully open the gates and keep the grounds so immaculate for families of loved ones.

In the afternoon a giant ray of sun pushed past a blanket of cloud and lit the late day winter sky with the brush strokes of a master painter.

At just over 21 months, I still can’t say I understand the picture.  I’m not sure if I’m holding the painting upside down or if I’m looking at a portrait or a landscape.

I’m gaining some understanding however that this painting we call life is a combination of brush strokes, paint colour and the elements all combining to form an image we see here and I believe one that will only be fully understood when we see it from the Painter’s perspective.

I’ve written many times about perspective and still am learning.  Remember the TV show featuring painter extraordinaire, Bob Ross.  Love that guy.  Here’s a video of him doing a painting with time-lapse.  Whenever I would watch Bob paint, I would get squeamish at about the 75% complete mark when he would plop down a big blob of paint on the canvas.  No….!!  This will never work.  Moments letter, the ‘blob’ becomes a beautiful tree or something providing depth to the entire scene.

I had never watched Bob Ross in time-lapse before tonight, but that was very interesting.

You saw the potential ‘issues’, but they vanished in seconds as the master painter directed the creation.

Then more quickly than humanly possible, you saw the transformation of a bit of paint on canvas turn into a masterpiece.

I can’t say I understand the painting we’re a part of.

But…I do think I’m gaining some perspective that we’re actually in one and a Master Painter must be continuing the work.

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Be The Best.

Emily in prime time.

If you haven’t picked up on it, I’m trying to use the word prime or prime rib in every Holiday post this year…

So….you may have seen the video of the prime rib from Christmas Eve and my little niece Emily munching away.

She taught me a few more things.  Just before we sat down you can hear her saying, ‘I want to see, I want to see’, as her Mom was filming on the iPad with the big visible screen.  You can see as the height of the camera drops, revealing a different perspective…a different viewpoint.

Emily’s Mom Selena, told me a very cool story about just that; perspective and the ‘view’ of a child.

The name Chris (not our Chris) had come up in a conversation and Emily had piped up quite matter-of-factly stating, ‘My Chris is in heaven’.

Yes he is Emily…yes he is.

And then she went on playing.

I love the eyes of a child both literally and how they ‘see’ what many of us miss.

It’s a different perspective on many levels.