Categories
Be The Best.

What’s the future?

December 2009.

I had been contacted by a writer to answer some questions for a profile on a blog/website.

I hadn’t reread this until last week when circumstances caused me to find it in my sent file.

This was only 3 months before we lost Chris.

Obviously there is some irony in the answers…looking forward to the future, kids in college etc.

However…and it’s a BIG HOWEVER, the core of these answers remains as true today as the 2009 December evening on which they were written

The questions are not mine.  The answers are…and I stand by each one even today as we journey forward.

We don’t know our exact futures, but I do believe we can know why we do what we do.

We can know what’s important to us.

Here’s an exact word for word excerpt with professional/education/work related questions and answers removed for the sake of brevity.

—————————-

What is your proudest accomplishment?
My family. Through the ups and downs of babies, young kids and now young men (18 and 16), my wife and I are seeing our boys begin their adult journeys that we believe will help change the world positively through their actions and relationships.  My family is truly my greatest accomplishment and everything else to me is icing on the cake!

What is your foremost passion?
Creating art with music, watercolour and people.  I used to think my passions and hobbies were very diverse and perhaps they are, but the core is very similar.  I find myself again and again playing the role of a conductor, arranger, or producer.  With music and art, I mix music tracks or colours…each on their own telling only part of the story, but absolutely integral to the story.  The same is true for my management style, I believe.  Each person and relationship is integral to the overall success of the department, division or organization.  When you have the different components working together, that is when you have achieved a song, painting or highly functional working environment.

What are three random things no one knows about you?
That I have a music album on jamendo.com
I used to clean carpets for a living
I will squash you at ping pong

What do you want people to know about you that they don’t already?
My masters thesis centered on the topic of the interplay between change management and knowledge management. What? Yah, I didn’t understand it much either.  I’ve worked a lot in the area of change in my career.  I’ve found that we (managers, business owners) often underestimate the human element and the human power when change is present.  Relationships are the key to everything.  You can systemize, model, and even lead, but ultimately if the people are not ready and willing to come with you, change will be short lived or non-existent.  I believe we all have a HUGE impact on people’s lives.  Simple words and actions followed with consistent behaviour over time are the real ingredients to successful change.

Where do you see yourself in 5, 10, 20 years?
5 years – BCIT classrooms overflowing with students, my clients prospering, my kids solidly in college.
10 years – Readying for early ‘retirement’ from day job to concentrate on writing, teaching, speaking and the arts….oh and wife says we have to go to Europe for 6 months
20 years – 4 months in Hawaii, 8 months in Canada – changing the world, one relationship at a time.

Categories
Be The Best.

On my mind

AC, my sister Cathy, aka Auntie Cathy to Chris and many others wrote a very cool post on her blog today.

She has experienced the loss of a young teen-aged nephew on both sides of her family.  You can read the full post, but here’s an excerpt.

The question has come to me – how will you then live?  How will we all live?
There is a quote by St. Irenaeus that has come to reside deep within me –

‘The glory of God is a human being fully alive’

To be fully alive is perhaps the best answer I can give….to choose to be present, to choose life, to choose gratefulness, to choose to take risks in following dreams and passions…to fully live….is how I can say to these two boys I love…….Trevor & Chris…..you are on my mind

I love that concept of being fully alive.

People ask us how we carry on.  How can you deal with this kind of tragedy?

I tell them that first you choose to live and live with purpose.

We’ve said that Chris’ passion will fuel us.

I’m still discovering what that means, but living with purpose and being fully alive is certainly part of that equation.

I can’t believe it’s 11 months.

I simply can’t tell you what an aching heart feels like, but I know many of you also have known the pain of loss.

The thought that is continually in our minds and hearts is the knowledge that a pain so deep only exists because of a love so deep.  And because of that love, we will live our lives with purpose using Chris’ passion and others to fuel our journeys.

Have a Be The Best weekend…oh and Go Canucks Go against Boston tomorrow.

I’m allowed to say that right?  Oh yah, it’s my blog.

Categories
Be The Best.

Be The Best – Andrew Bromley

When you turn on the TV and watch the news, you usually don’t get a great story about a young adult doing great stuff.

But that doesn’t mean those stories don’t exist!

The Burnaby Mountain Selects gang have started putting together profiles of local athletes who are going on to college…and then on to changing their worlds!

I LOVE to think about the impact of hundreds of these lacrosse players over time getting their educations, finding rewarding careers and then helping to change the world around them in a positive way.

The story that I’ll link you to specifically is about Andrew Bromley, a local player off to college and doing great things.  Chris and Andrew would have been together in the BMS system in 2008.

Excerpt:

What role did your family have in helping you get to where you are now?

The only reason I am where I am really. From immediate family, my mom making the paper work happen (important), my dad for pushing me, my little brothers (trying to show them the way), and the endless support from extended family from my irreplaceable grandmother to my aunts and uncles who would always pump my tires up a bit when I was feeling stressed or down.

What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?

Man that’s a really tough question, I have been a part of many, many big speeches with meanings too long for this piece. I am going to have to say a piece of advice from Gord Lawton, “Its going to be the hardest thing you’ve ever done kid, go to the net like no ones going to stop you, play within the team, but don’t lose your individuality” or a line said by many of the great enforcers of the previous NHL era’s, “Be for the boys, there all you’ve got in here, no one ever questioned the integrity of a guy who would drop ‘em for a team mate”

LOVE IT!

That’s Be The Best.

And for all of us parents and coaches and relatives and friends out there…we can never underestimate the positive power of our words and actions with the future generation.

Congrats Andrew.  Great stuff!

Here’s the link to the full article and other stories.

Categories
Be The Best.

Valentine’s Day

This is as simple as it gets!

Our love to all and a great big bear hug and kiss on the head to Chris!  We luv ya kid.

And yes, I know Chris is saying right now, Dad, REALLY??  A freakin valentine’s heart?  REALLY?

Yup.  Really.

😉

Categories
Be The Best.

The one minute video recap.

I had forgotten about some quick vid shots that Max and I had taken during the Maple Leaf Award dinner.

The one minute video recap is below.

As mentioned, Scott Rintoul from Team 1040 radio did a great job emceeing the event and it was great to meet him in person.

As a shameless BCIT plug, he’s a fantastic ambassador for the broadcasting programs (radio, journalism, tv) and we’re sure proud to have him as one of our Alumni.  For those readers of this blog who are making education and career decisions in the next few years (or parents), BCIT has an excellent Big Info night coming up on March 2.  I just double checked the weblink and my staff have put a very freaky looking picture of yours truly up on a vid that gives you a run-through of the event.  Ok…why am I telling you all this?  Of course, I love BCIT and what it does for people’s lives, but education of ALL FORMS is so critical to provide choice, options and opportunities for the future.  These sessions simply open up eyes and brains to a bigger understanding of what kind of possibilities exist in the world of education.  On a personal level, that’s a BIG DEAL for us as parents and I believe for us as a province and country as well.  Ok, enough already, I’m stepping down from the soapbox…!

The last frame of the Maple Leaf video is a picture of the quilt that was made for us by one of my BCIT staff colleagues in Marketing, Kim.  That became an instant family heirloom and something that we treasure at a very deep level.  It seemed fitting for Chris’ 32 to show at the end of this clip surrounded by his BMS teammates. The side of the quilt shown in the vid is made entirely of Burnaby Mountain Select jersies that were brought to Chris’ funeral as a sign of respect, honour and friendship at Chris’ funeral.

To see more about the quilt, you can read/view: 7 days to write about a quilt and then link to other quilt blogs.  For a while there I thought this was going to become a full-time quilting blog but thankfully I left that to quilting professionals.

As we move forward from the Maple Leaf Awards 2011 and the initial Chris Friesen Memorial Award, we are excited think about the thousands of dollars to be awarded in the future and more importantly the opportunity to inspire and challenge young men and women each year to BE THE BEST.

Here’s the vid:

Categories
Be The Best.

A few final thoughts about the CFMA 2011.

What…we’ve awarded it once and already formed an acronym?  Lame.

That’s the Chris Friesen Memorial Award.  There, that feels better.

A few closing thoughts about the awards.

Jeff Cathrea and Brent Hoskins are the head coaches for the SFU men’s lacrosse team.  Their accomplishments are pretty impressive, but they probably won’t tell you that.  You’ll have to read it here.

The biggest accomplishment however, doesn’t really show-up on stats sheets.

It shows up in stories about young men and how they have focused on their education.

Focused on their fitness.

Focused on lacrosse.

Focused on their future.

Read this story about one of their players, Chris Tessarolo.

If you’re a young person reading this, some fatherly advice.  Work hard at school, do your homework…and listen to your coaches!  They know what they’re talking about!!

Brent and Jeff won Coach of the Year honours in their conference and that’s a testament to the dedication to the team, SFU and development of younger players in the Selects program and camps.  Congrats guys!

Here’s a few more pics from the evening.

Oh, and the Best Dressed?  The very lovely Ingrid Friesen of course.

Brent, Marilyn (Brent's Mom and Team Manager for 11 seasons) Jeff
Max and Kiera
write your own caption...
Categories
Be The Best.

And the award goes to…

The cool thing about the Chris Friesen Memorial Award is that you don’t ‘win’ it by necessarily scoring the most goals.  It’s about what happens on the field for sure…but it’s also about what happens off the field.  It’s about someone who is making a difference, changing lives and living with Chris’ passion to BE THE BEST.

Here are some details from the official terms of reference that Simon Fraser University has on this fund.  This is significant because these words will stay forever linked to this award.  We think that’s very cool.

——————

The Christian Friesen Memorial Endowment Fund was established in 2010 in memory of Christian Friesen. Funds for the endowment fund were donated by friends and family. The endowment fund supports the Christian Friesen Memorial Award.

Christian (Chris) Douglas Friesen was born on January 14, 1993.  He passed away on March 25, 2010.

Chris’ passion was lacrosse.  He represented his hometown of Langley on many occasions and represented his Province of British Columbia on the national stage in both box lacrosse and field lacrosse.  One of his crowning achievements was to be named to the All-star Team at the National Field Championship in Winnipeg, September 2009.

Letters of interest from multiple universities in the United States had been received, but Simon Fraser was still very much at the top of Chris’ list for consideration.

Chris had a strong affiliation with the Burnaby Mountain Selects program run by the SFU lacrosse coaches.  The involvement in this program pushed him academically and athletically. Chris was determined to Be The Best.

Chris’ passion for life and his incredible smile, personality, kindness and compassion was echoed by over 2,800 people who joined his Facebook remembrance page within days of his passing.

The recipients of this award are encouraged to Be The Best and to change the world.

———————–

When Brent (one of SFU’s head coaches) whispered the name of the recepient to me just before the dinner on Saturday, I loved the choice the Coaches had made.

The inaugural winner of the Chris Friesen Memorial award is Luke Genereux.  Luke was one of a number of assistant coaches who were usually college players themselves and were like older brothers to the boys in the BMS program.  Luke played with Chris.  Taught Chris.  Chris really looked up to Luke as a role model, superb lacrosse player and as a person.  You can see Luke’s profile here.

As parents and for Max too, we couldn’t think of a better way to kick this award train off!  Congratulations Luke.  You are hereby challenged to BE THE BEST as you explore the future and build your career and life experiences.  As we told you personally on Saturday night, we are very proud of you.  Great stuff!!

Here’s a pic of Ingrid and I with Luke.

This night had been circled on our calendar for many months.

It has come and it has gone…and it’s sort of cool to think that in another 363 days or so, another young man will be challenged to BE THE BEST and continue to live with focus, kindness, desire, passion, drive and intensity.

Chris…your passion will fuel us all.

Congrats Luke!!

Categories
Be The Best.

Everyone wins in Sin City

What?

Everyone wins in Las Vegas right?

Of course not.

You’ve heard the other name for the town…Lost Wages.

What better place to take a bunch of underage kids for a lacrosse tournament!  Joking aside, the supervision for Burnaby Mountain Selects is always awesome and last time I checked, the fields weren’t right on the strip.

Guess what.  One of the squads…the U12 (so these are young men 12 years of age and under) won their entire division securing the victory with a come from behind win just hours ago.

That is fantastic and for all the teams, win or lose on the scoreboard, these tournaments just make you better.  The competition makes you stronger.  It’s all good.  Everyone wins.

And now for the completely unexpected.

The winners of this tournie get a cheque for $250.  I can think of a lot of things a team could buy.  All deserved.  Dinner, snacks, souvenirs, lacrosse gear, odor-be-gone for lacrosse bags, etc 🙂

Guess what they just did?

Donated the whole thing to Chris’ fund.

Here’s the pic to prove it just an hour or so ago. (see link below)

I’ve talked a lot about giving and grieving and how those go together.  This gift to us is so amazing beyond any dollar amount.  What an amazing gift.

THANK YOU boys.  THANK YOU Joyce, Brent and Jeff and the entire BMS gang.

Be The Best!

We are humbled, proud and grateful.

I think Chris might just bodycheck someone up in heaven tonight in your honour…if that’s allowed…wait, I’ll check with Rev. Jake (Chris’ Grandpa) cause I’m pretty sure there’s a lacrosse section up there!  In fact I know there is…I just wasn’t sure on the bodychecking rule…

Here’s the link to the pic: http://yfrog.com/h23kqupj

Categories
Be The Best.

Coat Cheque.

Chris, in red, takes on fellow BMSer in practice session.

Late yesterday afternoon we left BCIT and headed up the hill to Simon Fraser University.

We’ve done that drive many times.  Most of those times were to drop Chris and his fellow Burnaby Mountain Selects lax dudes off for a practice.  Then they would beat each other with sticks and run like crazy people and throw a hard rubber ball as intensely as they could at even crazier dudes who were the goalies!  Chris loved it.

Look at these pics from Aug 2009.  This was actually a practice down in New West, but these are all BMS players in a scrimmage.  Chris is red #32.  I love the picture where you can see him smiling through his mouth guard.  He loved playing defense.  I spoke to some of his teammates who said Chris would hurt you in practice and it was excellent, cause it made you better.  You knew he was giving 100% all the time…practice, scrimmage or championship game.

I just LOVE that smile.

Anyways, yesterday wasn’t a practice.

We were heading up to SFU to deliver the cheque that will be presented to the first receipient of the Chris Friesen Memorial Award in January 2011.  Wanda from the foundation at SFU met us and she has become a wonderful part of all the good that is happening and will continue to happen in Chris’ name.  With the fund over $30,000 and the first gift in place, the fund is now fully operational and will provide the first official payout based on interest earned from the fund in January 2012.  We cannot think about the fund or the legacy from the fund without thinking about everyone who contributed directly and indirectly to the fund and our family with love and care over the past 8 months.

That’s the cheque…the coat was today.

Our entrepreneurial marketing students at BCIT were having a fund raiser today with a silent auction and also having a coat drive.  Ingrid had a used coat and we also had one from Chris.  The thought of his coat keeping someone warm this winter makes us feel good, even though the very simple act of giving away his coat this afternoon was not the easiest thing that I’ve ever done.

Coat…Check.

Cheque…Check.

A good couple of days….hard….but good.

Categories
Be The Best.

29,978 reasons to say thank you…wait, make that 30,000.

We had a few amazing emails this week.

The first was from Joyce, part of our Burnaby Mountain Selects lacrosse family.

She had the official total raised for Chris’ fund from the Chris Friesen Memorial Lacrosse shafts.

Ready? $8,261.54.  Are you kidding me?  What an incredible donation from all of those who purchased the sticks, the folks at Harrow and our amazing friends Joyce, Brent and Jeff at BMS.

The good news didn’t stop there.

Just today we received a note from Wanda at Simon Fraser with a new grand total, $29,978.45!!

Our goal was 20k.  When that was smashed, Ingrid boldly told Wanda the new goal was 30k.

When I saw that number this afternoon, the first thing I thought about was hoofing it up to SFU to put in another $25 to get us over the 30k mark.

I didn’t quite get there and then I read another email.

It was from Brent from BMS to Wanda at SFU, personally committing funds to break through the $30,000 mark.

Cool eh?

In the darkest of times we have seen such warmth, light and brightness.

We are humbled and grateful and proud and sad and happy and scared and excited.

I could add more, but you get the picture.

With a fund established at $30,000, we will be helping to change lives for a long long time..forever actually, as this fund will never stop giving money away each year and will continue to grow over time.

The first $1,000 award to a lacrosse playing SFU student will be proudly given in Chris’ name in January 2011 at the Maple Leaf Awards dinner.

What a night that will be.