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Be The Best.

The Devil Wears Chipmunk

You may have seen the movie or read the book (sorry, neither for me – or at least I won’t admit it), The Devil Wears Prada. From Wikipedia:

The Devil Wears Prada is a 2003 novel by Lauren Weisberger about a young woman who is hired as a personal assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor, a job that becomes nightmarish as she struggles to keep up with her boss’s grueling schedule and demeaning demands.

Ok – so Prada is a high end Italian clothing brand worn by the ‘devil boss’ – basically akin to a wolf in sheep’s clothing. So in essence, regardless of what things look like on the surface, the true nature of the person or situation or chipmunk lies beneath. This little guy looks very cute. However, as he’s ripped up the yard, dug holes through the flowerbeds and eaten the bird food on a continual basis despite mutliple attempts at behaviour adjustment, this Devil wears Chipmunk. Cute but a bad dude.

You built these planters for me to dig right?
Who me? Bad? What?

The point is, things aren’t always what they seem. Yah, I know even right now, you’re empathizing with this creature but if you saw his/her (who knows?) evil ways you would come to my defense very quickly.

We live in a world where opinions and judgments are being made so quickly I get nervous we’re not really getting to know people. I know when folks didn’t understand who Chris was and his ‘body of work’, they could easily make judgments. In most situations if we truly find out more about a situation we will find common ground or understanding. In the odd case, we’ll also see the devil in a chipmunk – but that’s much more rare than usual. (Editor’s note: Yes, I’ve named it Lucy Fur)

See, this is what happens when I have to many observational/thinking moments drinking coffee (or whatever) in the backyard. 😉

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2020 - 10 years later Be The Best.

Life’s a Sprint Marathon

Life goes by in a blink.

Sometimes in the middle of a situation (like a pandemic let’s say…) it may feel a bit more like a marathon.

With just a little distance and time, many things in life seem to go (and have gone) faster and faster.

Check out this post from August 2011. Max personifies the Be The Best attitude as he tackles a Sprint Triathlon.

Excerpt:

It’s really Be The Best principle personified.

What I mean by that is Be The Best is about so much more than winning.  It’s about competing.  It’s about trying something new.  It’s about not letting the fear of the unknown get in your way.

IT’S ABOUT NOT KNOWING EXACTLY HOW YOU’RE GOING TO REACH A GOAL, BUT SETTING THE GOAL AND THEN STARTING FORWARD ANYWAYS!

Here’s the full post.

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Be The Best.

Let’s face it.

Part of this ’10 years later’ thing is that I read a few posts from the past. One I was thinking about this week came to mind as I was watching a little Premier League action last weekend. With no crowds and manufactured crowd noise it was an interesting watch but great to see live sports in any event. The way you face – is an expression I learned from Davie B (you know who you are) on the soccer pitch. The main point is that you may be turned around and facing away from your goal. That’s ok. That’s the direction you should play at the moment. Going backwards is a powerful method to move forward. Kinda sounds like pandemic recovery to me. Many times since 2010, we’ve had to play the way we faced. We needed to make a defensive move so we didn’t lose control. Ten years later, I see the wisdom from those words more than ever. Here’s the original post from 2011.

Football (Soccer ball)
Image via Wikipedia

One of the things I love about Saturday mornings is watching a little Premier League Soccer as the schedule permits.  With games as early as 5 and 7am, the timing works well with the newspaper and a good cup of coffee.

I love the skill, the speed, the set-up and I love those British announcers use of the English language.  Their phrasing and commentary adds a poetic quality to the experience.

We’ve played a lot of noon hour soccer with my work gang over the years.

It’s not quite at Premier League level…but you wouldn’t know it from the locker room stories told just after the match.

When you play sports and you are in the heat of the moment field-of-play one thing you’ll hear is players shouting to other players.  Usually instructions come in bursts of 2 or 3 repeats.  Move the ball, move the ball, MOVE THE BALL…all increasing in urgency.

Ok, that last one is what gets yelled at me a lot, so maybe I’m just sensitive.  Joking aside, I’ve wondered about this form of communication and liken it to military instruction in the heat of the battle.  You want to be clear about your communication and there’s no time to waste with niceties.

One of the most interesting lines I’ve heard a million times on the soccer pitch is, ‘the way you face’.

When you are playing soccer the objective is pretty clear.  You need to score on the opponent’s goal.  In order to do this you should be moving the ball forward toward the enemy’s net.

However, many times you don’t receive the ball in a position where going forward makes the most sense.

In other words, if you receive the ball and you happen to be turned towards your own goal, your natural instinct may be to make an immediate turn and try to push the ball forward.

That could be the worst move.

When you hear, ‘the way you face’, ‘the way you face’, ‘the way you face’, it’s a reminder from your teammate to gain control of the ball and move the ball in the direction you are facing at the time which may appear counterproductive but ultimately allows your team to go forward.

I’ve thought about that phrase a lot in the game of life.

Sometimes turning too quickly and trying to push forward to the opponent’s goal is not the right move.

Playing the way you face, ie passing the ball ‘backwards’ before your team moves the play forward again protects possession and ultimately provides a greater opportunity to score.

Too heavy on the soccer analogies?

I think I may get another Americano and watch game 2 of the Premier League.

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2020 - 10 years later Be The Best.

Fort Langley Forest

What you are about to watch is a fake movie trailer.

Yes, fake news – but not really.

The actors are very real. Chris had lacrosse buds, family, family friends and then a tight knit group of school and Langley friends. These guys were so awesome to our family in the months and years after Chris passed and I still remember this day from 9 years ago. A bunch of teen aged guys willing to spend their afternoon on a walk (we called it a hike!) with a couple of parents.

As a Dad, Chris’ memory and thoughts of him are part of every single day. I know for many of his friends, teammates and coaches, they feel the same. He was a great kid, an amazing human. The sentiment from that hike and many other interactions with these young people have stayed with us all these years later and still bring feelings of warmth, love and support that we hope are echoed back to others as they go through their own various journeys through life.

All the best as you Be The Best this week.

Without further ado, I present the fake movie trailer from 2011 that never made it to the theaters (US spelling on US soil in Detroit…).

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Be The Best.

Father’s Day 2020

First a Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, who many know as Rev. Jake.

A sprightly 89 years young, this guy plays tennis, ping-pong, rides his bike, drives, plays the guitar and reads like a librarian on pandemic lockdown. He could have a conversation with you about world politics, current events or history. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Chris also loved his Grandpa. He LOVED the beard Rev Jake grew for a Christmas event. He LOVED the trucker hats. So Chris got one too. This vid below is a walk I took with Dad just a few months after Chris passed. I’m wearing Chris’ shoes and Dad is wearing Chris’ hat. This is what guys do and how they show respect.

Rev Jake poses with Chris’ hat.
From Sept 2010

To see more on trucker hats – have a read here.

A Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads. Of course, this is a poignant day on the calendar as it’s easy to think of what could have been and what things would have been like with Chris still with us. I still feel that in 2020 of course. That said, we look back at the memories, share the stories and laugh more than cry as we continue to aim for living BeTheBest values. Which reminds me, I have some push-ups to do. Have a good week.

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Be The Best.

Rough Patch – yes it happens.

Ten years ago I wrote a blog with ‘rough patch’ in the title. It was a rough day. Everything was pretty raw. It was also a day that provided a reminder of the thinking that has propelled us through the rough patches of life – business or personal. The power of decisions. Making decisions creates energy and gets things moving. If the direction isn’t exactly right, make another decision. Keep going. Whether it’s COVID, a business issue or a life moment – make a decision and keep going.

Original patch and sticker design – yup, still carry in my luggage!

The amazing thing about that day, looking back, is that it was the birth of the ‘Be The Best’ patch which I still have in suitcases and tucked in various spots. A massive thank-you to all those involved, with my nephew Steve L playing a big role. It’s a symbol of how we decide to live. Be The Best.

The blog is alive all year in 2020 as a remembrance of Chris and a chance to reconnect and share memories. I’m happy to connect with anyone who has a story or picture that hasn’t been seen in a while. Email me at randy@randinsystems.com or connect via the blog or LinkedIn.

Also – while supplies last, you can pick up an outdoor speaker, travel mug and of course Be The Best stickers and other stuff at Chris’ store. Our family has funded the store in cooperation with Brent Hoskins and Martket Branding. What that means is that every dollar, aside from a handling/shipping fee is donated direct to Chris’ fund at SFU. If you want to donate direct to SFU you can get a tax receipt. Only do that if you are looking to make a charitable donation in 2020 and have some room. As I said in the first 2020 post, this is not a fund raiser as much as it’s a celebration of Chris’ life and the legacy he has left. Plus, I needed some new Be The Best gear and wanted you to get some too!

These are very cool in black and white.
Nice gear. All paid for meaning when you buy the money goes to Chris’ fund. 😉
The Bluetooth speaker is on the left and the power charger on the right. We were pumping tunes outside this weekend. Wait, that just makes me sound old.

Here’s the ‘Rough Patch’ post from April 10, 2010.

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Be The Best.

Plans don’t work.

For those of you who know me you may be immediately question my mental state. What? This guy is all about planning. Has he had a mid life crisis and reversed his position? Ok, I did look at a massive gold chain and convertible mustang full of Detroit muscle, but I didn’t do either. 😉

And spoiler alert – I haven’t changed my position about planning – but I’m growing more interested in paradoxes and this is a great one.

The more you plan, the more pigs you may see flying. Just sayin. It’s that powerful.

A business colleague passed on a fantastic article about Dwight Eisenhower. A statement he used to use a lot was:

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything.”

How many times have you set a plan and then things change? If I’m honest, a lot or maybe always! However, having the plan in the first place has already forced us to think about WHY we are doing something. The HOW can change, the WHY should remain the same.

If you want more on the WHY – Simon Sinek is a great author and resource on that topic.

So – do plans change? YES

Should we stop planning? NO

Planning is an action word. It produces momentum. You can adjust along the way. We know about that as a family. We ALL know about that through this COVID19 crisis.

Stay safe and keep planning – even though things may not work out exactly as you imagined.

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Be The Best.

Oh Mama.

I confess. I still watch Family Guy from time to time. Totally inappropriate and outrageous, it was a show that us three boys (Chris, Max and me) would utilize to work on our father/sons bonding while containing our misguided laughter. I hope that passes as enough of an excuse…

There was a scene that became hilarious in our home because it became real life. Remember that bit where Stewie couldn’t get his Mom, Lois’ attention? Here’s the quick clip to remind you. Ok, Ingrid (Max and Chris’ Mom and my long suffering wife!) had developed a unique skill living in a house with just guys. She could tune us out. I mean TOTALLY tune us out. She would be quietly reading a book while the three of us would be watching hockey, munching snacks, exuding bodily noises, laughing and even talking to her – she totally blocked it out. Big skill for sure.

So…Chris started doing the routine. Mom, Mum, ingrid, mommy, mamma, louder and louder – then INGRID! That usually got her attention. That ‘bit’ became comedy gold in the Friesen household multiple times per month. Author’s note: I never encouraged or endorsed this behavior. (mostly)

Just watching the clip again makes me smile as I think of Chris’ routine. The love that Chris and Max and Ingrid have is one that only exists with Moms and sons. Totally special and unique. To Ingrid and all the Moms out there – a very Happy Mother’s Day. May your memories bring you smiles and warmth as only a deep love can create.

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Be The Best.

A tattoo…for your car.

I know many of us remember Chris is so many different ways.  I still see many of those wrist band things when we’re out and about. Awesome.  We’ve worn ours every day for 10 1/2 months and I’m not sure when we’re ever going to stop.

I’ve seen more than one tattoo.  Cool. (again, from a parent’s perspective, we’re not pushing tattoos, but we understand the DEEP meaning of getting one and we are incredibly humbled and honoured when someone makes that personal decision to honour Chris in that way!!)

I’ve seen email accounts, twitter accounts and facebook stuff all acknowledging and remembering Chris.  Love it.

But one thing I had not seen…until now.

What would a tattoo for your car look like?

Well, I think Will VH, a good friend and lacrosse bud of Chris’, figured that out.

He just received the one and only set of CF 2 license plates in the entire province of British Columbia.

Cool.

Take a look at the pic below.  I think it says it all.

Love it Will.  Drive safe and Be The Best!

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Be The Best.

Chris Friesen Memorial Award….DELIVERED.

I think I have a week’s worth of stuff to blog about.

Just like CoJo (I’m disturbed I know his name) at the Golden Globes, I’ll have my complete list of best dressed and worst dressed and other red carpet secrets later this week….or not.  (before I get in trouble…everyone looked fantastic…even most of those lacrosse players clean up pretty good or at least had their mom’s or girlfriends iron a shirt for them which is a big step forward. (I have license to state these facts having lived with a lacrosse player for years…!))

What an evening.

I had not been at the Westwood Plateau facility since the Maple Leaf Award dinner last year.  That was of course a different kind of evening.  Chris won the BMS U-18 Defensive MVP award and we had a great evening hosted by Steve Darling from Global and Brian Price the keynote speaker, a gold medal Olympic rower.

This year, Scott Rintoul from TEAM1040 did a great job of hosting the sold-out event and Max Ritz, lacrosse player, entrepreneur and actor (The Hills on MTV- Season 6) provided interesting insight into the sport and the amazing future this game of lacrosse has.

And although there was to be a Chris Friesen award in 2011 as well, it was very very different that is for sure.

It was really fantastic to have Max with us along with his girlfriend Kiera.  To be together as a family was huge for us.  To have Langley families there was amazing.  There was a family who flew their son in from his lacrosse school in VIRGINIA (yes, I mean east coast USA) to be there at the dinner last night as he played with Chris on the BMS program and wanted to honour his friend.

Are you kidding me?

These lacrosse families are simply awesome.

The BMS/SFU leadership gang asked if I’d put together a video intro to Chris’ award.  I was honoured to do so, but it did not come easily.  I had not seen Chris speaking for months and months and there are days where I can stare into those beautiful eyes and days where I just can’t.  That’s all part of this thing.  It’s all simply part of the deep love that provokes emotion far to bottomless for words or comprehension.

Here it is.  Enjoy.  Much more on this tomorrow…including pictures and who was awarded the Chris Friesen Memorial Award.

(ps…in case you’re wondering about the music about 30 seconds in…Thunderstruck by AC/DC is a tribute to the Langley Thunder lacrosse players and families as this was in essence the theme song for Langley Thunder lacrosse)