Be The Best.

Who makes us what we are?

Now there’s a heavy question for your weekend.

If you haven’t read the latest few comments on this blog, take a look.  They are both from teachers of Dylan and Chris.

Our families have a huge influence on who we are.  How we’re raised, the home culture, values etc.

When I think of Chris, I can’t help but think of all the amazing influence outside the home that helped to shape him.  Teachers, coaches, trainers.

I was reading Dylan’s obituary today…(hard to even type that).  There are a few lines that so accurately describe him.

Dylan was charismatic, genuine, optimistic and never shy or awkward. He enjoyed life and excelled at anything he set his hand to. He was quick with a grin and a smart remark and was loved by everyone he met.

Yes.  That is exactly Dylan.

Dylan comes from a great family and has been shaped by them of course, with the continual positive influence of teachers, coaches and mentors over time.

For all teachers and coaches…please know that your legacy reaches far beyond the achievement of a grade or success at a sport.  It shapes young men and women who in turn provide positive influence in their circles and beyond.  We continue to see that in Chris’ legacy as people all over are aiming to Be The Best.  We love it.

As we grieve for Dylan and his family, we know that the legacy of laughter, caring, acceptance, kindness and excellence will live forever.

Here is Dylan’s obituary in full with a link to the memorial site.

REICHELT, Dylan James February 4, 1993 – November 12, 2011

It is with great sadness that we announce the loss of our son Dylan James Reichelt, who died in a car accident on Saturday, November 12th, 2011. Dylan is survived by his parents, Bill and Cathy, sisters, Keri and Keira, twin brother, Jesse, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Born and raised in Langley, Dylan had a passion for golf, hockey, Iron Maiden, Manchester City FC, working out, refereeing, fishing, boating, video games, wakeboarding, wake surfing, steak, and Caesar salad.

He attended Murrayville Elementary, graduated from Brookswood Secondary in June 2011 and was in his first year of a business degree at Kwantlen University. Dylan enjoyed all forms of athletics, playing baseball, golf, soccer, ice hockey, street hockey with the boys, tennis in the park and he was always game to go to the gym. He enjoyed being a referee for Langley Minor Hockey and “”Gatorade”” boy for the BC Lions Home Games.

He was ranked #1 in points with the Maple leaf golf tour in BC and had been invited to the MJT National Tour Championships in Orlando, Florida, along with his best friend and brother, Jesse. Dylan was charismatic, genuine, optimistic and never shy or awkward. He enjoyed life and excelled at anything he set his hand to. He was quick with a grin and a smart remark and was loved by everyone he met.

A celebration of Dylan’s life will be held on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 11:00 am at the Christian Life Assembly, 21277 – 56th Avenue, Langley. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to RBC, account #00608-003-5018650 in support of the Dylan Reichelt Memorial Fund.

Condolences may be offered at

Arrangements under the direction of Henderson’s Langley Funeral Home, Langley, BC.

Be The Best.

Father’s Day – the lighter side

Watch as I totally dominate Max in both cycling and then basketball.

(and if you believe that…)

Finally pieced a few bits of vid together from a great afternoon with the kid.

Of course we reminisced and laughed about the times Chris would join us on the bball court at home.  Chris played basketball like he was playing lacrosse, complete with full-on body checks and intense (if not mostly illegal) defence.

After that I showed Max a thing or two about shooting and took him to the hoop a few more times before we biked home.  (cough)

Although not on the vid, I had the chance to play ping pong with my Dad just a few days after Father’s Day itself.

We had a great time.  I’m trying to remember the score, but I just can’t right now….

(When you’re 80 year old Dad beats you in ping pong after recovering from a 2 month hospital stay and 4 surgeries…you’d try to forget the score too…!)

Hey, this sports blog post ain’t going too well for me today.

Be The Best.

When the wind kicks up, you’re bound to get a few Whitecaps

Image via Wikipedia

Sports has been a big part of our family.

Whether coaching the boys soccer teams, Max playing basketball and Chris lacrosse.

Then there was the fan part of sports.

Tonight Ingrid and I ventured out to our first Whitecaps soccer game.

It was a fantastic experience…aside from the referee who felt he should be the center of attention, but alas before this becomes a sports rant, I’ll stop.  (cause if I don’t I’ll probably get a red card seeing as they were being handed out like candy tonight) ((ok, I’ll really stop now))

The crowd was great.  The game was great.  The atmosphere was great.  The company was great.

One of the first things Ingrid said to me as we sat down was what do you think Chris would think of the soccer team, MLS in Vancouver etc.  I said I knew he would love it and given the open air atmosphere of Empire Field, he probably had the best seats in the house tonight.

I will never forget the Canucks playoff run and disappointment last year and the anticipation of a BIG run this year.

It was riveting and was a great distraction in very tough times.  I think though, it was more than just a distraction.  It reminded me of the passion that only comes from sports.  The kind of passion that Chris lived with.  I think that’s the true attraction.

When the winds kick up and the storm is blowin, there are bound to be a few whitecaps on the water.  We’ve seen a few of those in our family this past year!

However, it was the Whitecaps tonight, that offered that wonderful first-hand look into the purity and passion of sport and remind us both of another amazing athlete and son we know, love and remember with every heartbeat.

yfrog Photo : Shared by randy_friesen.

Be The Best.

From tats to floor mats.

In honour of Chris’ b-day there was a lot of yogurt consumed and push-ups completed amoung other things like steak eating and ice cream cake devouring.

In this video evidence you can see my nephew Steve rockin out his push-up tribute from Charleston, South Carolina, USA!


Although as parents we’re not advocating tattoos, we know that they are a very powerful form of remembrance.

When I saw Devon’s tattoo, I loved it.  Devon is a friend of Chris’ from Brookswood Secondary and you saw him in the yogurt toast picture from yesterday’s blog.

Look closely.  Not only does his tattoo say ‘forever young’, but it has Chris’ signature.

I asked Devon if it hurt.

He said yup…but I’m sure he didn’t care.

My eyes were wet when I looked closely and took in the full impact of the moment and thought about the future and how Chris will be with Devon forever.

That was an amazing show of friendship, respect and I’m hoping a driving force for Devon through life’s journey ahead!

Whether we wear our tattoos on our arms or on our hearts, we are RIGHT WITH YOU DEVON!

Chris Friesen has affected us forever.  And I mean that in the most positive way.

His attention to fitness.

His attention to healthy eating.

His attention to following your dreams.

His attention to goals to attain those dreams.

His attention to Being The Best.

As the day ended on Friday, January 14, 2011 we felt a strong peace that Chris was happy…and so were we.

Rock your week and Be The Best.

Be The Best.

Happy Birthday Chris!

So many people have told us or emailed us about how they thought of us over Christmas.

I know so many more think of us often and are thinking of us now as we mark what would have been Chris’ 18th birthday tomorrow even if they don’t or can’t tell us.

We are exactly the same way.

We’ve been following the story of the Berg family in Mission and Gillian Berg’s amazing strength and very real highs and lows as she takes care of her family and slowly moves forward with each day.

You can follow and support with your thoughts and prayers through:

The reason I say we are the same is that our hearts go out to Gillian and her family, but we don’t know them personally.  Our thoughts and prayers are with them, but we haven’t verbalized that to them.  For now we will support by reading, caring and praying.  Just as we’ve done, she can see by the blog views how so many people are supporting them.

We know that’s what people do for us all the time.

As we approach Chris’ birthday tomorrow, we don’t have any big public events happening.  A few of his school buds will drop by.  As a family, we’ll head to our favourite steakhouse for a big steak dinner and piece of ice cream cake.  Chris was a fitness and health food fanatic, but he would eat steak and ice cream cake…and we’ll have some in his honour tomorrow night.

So the question is always, what can I do?  What should I do?  I don’t know them very well, or even if I do, I’m not sure what to do.

Here’s the solution.

We’d ask everyone who reads this blog to do some little thing in honour of Chris tomorrow.

Here’s a few ideas.

1. push-ups – even doing one or two in his name would be cool

2. make a toast when you have dinner

3. hug your kids

4. hug your parents

5. eat some yogurt (he would eat probably 4-6 per day)

6. wish him a happy birthday verbally

7. cook some eggs (yep…he ate a LOT of eggs)

There’s a few ways.

I’m sure you can think of more.

Drop us a comment if you want to share.

If you don’t, we totally get it and we want to say thank you for the continued support.

Randy, Ingrid and Max.



Jan 09 - Chris turns 16.


Be The Best.

Calgary or bust.

Over Christmas I had a bit more time to look at some history and came across this article featuring a quote from Chris.  I love the comments about team.

Funny story leading up to this tournie.  The team was raising funds to go to Calgary and had received the ‘ok’ to stand in front of certain liquor stores with jerseys on and request donations via a donation bucket.  (don’t ask why…it was easier than a car wash I guess…!)

Anyways, Chris and his buddy Brett Dobray were at a store and I noticed that they would get some people stopping and donating, but many would pass on by.  That is to be expected.  Lacrosse is a growing sport and people didn’t have an emotional connection as they might with hockey.

I had a marketing thought.

I made up some signs that said, ‘help us beat Calgary’ and ‘we’ll bodycheck an Albertan for $10’.  You should have seen the difference!  People were stopping….and donating and donating some more.  It was incredible.

What was the difference?

All of a sudden there was an emotional connection.  In BC, people love (usually in good nature) to bash Albertans!  Hey, when we’re out of the country we’re all brothers and sisters!  It’s like a brotherly competition…just watch the Canucks and Calgary or Edmonton and you get the rivalry.  It was just amazing to see people engage emotionally and then with their wallets as they connected with the BC vs Alberta challenge.  All of a sudden they felt like THEY were going to be playing simply by donating $10 or $20 bucks.

The boys loved that story and that experience…seeing how words and approach could make such a difference.

Secondly, those boys DID play for everyone of those donors and played their hearts out, winning gold, with 6 members of that team representing BC nationally later that summer.

Here’s the full story:

July 2007

The Langley Thunder Bantam A1’s traveled to Calgary over the Canada Day weekend. Forget bull riding at the Stampede, they were there for some hard hitting, fast paced box lacrosse action. Perhaps the actual thunder storm on Saturday night was a good omen for the Thunder, as the young men (just completed grade seven and eight) took on competition from all over Western Canada.

Saturday match-ups had the squad take on the Sabrecats from Calgary beating them 11-3 with Adam Gallen earning game MVP for a strong offensive performance. The Thunder continued by defeating Saskatchewan’s provincial team in the afternoon game by a score of 9-2 led by game MVP goaltender Ryley Brown who’s saves propelled the offensive charge and final decisive score.
Sunday’s games featured a strong Red Deer team with Langley prevailing by a score of 7-5. Game MVP Chris Friesen had a strong defensive showing against a physical opponent. In the afternoon game, Langley fell behind a skilled Calgary Axeman team, but rallied from a 3 goal deficit to chop the tournament defending champion Axeman 10-7. A brilliant goal and full game hustle earned Will Vandenhooven the game MVP. Having gone 4-0 in tournament play, the Thunder headed into the gold medal game against an all-star team from Calgary called the Hornets.
The game lived up to the hype with the first period ending tied at zero. The Hornets came out stinging in the 2nd period and opened up a 2-1 lead with two Langley players in the sin bin with the period ending. The Hornets capitalized on the 2-man advantage at the beginning of the 3rd by netting a goal and opening a two-goal lead. If it were not for the heroics of Ryley Brown, the Thunder goalie, the score may have been much higher. Instead of folding their tents however, the Thunder rallied led by team wide explosive defensive performance leading to goals by Brett Dobray and Michael Messenger. With the game tied Adam Gallen scored a timely goal with 1 second left on the shot clock. Langley then iced the cake with a massive defensive effort during pure pandemonium breaking in the Thunder zone. With the Hornet goalie pulled for an extra attacker Brett Dobray flew down the floor with two Hornets all over him and scored a diving empty netter for a final score of 5-3 for the Thunder.
Chris Friesen, the team captain stated, “We have been working hard at team play. Working for each other and working together. I think we did that throughout this tournament and the results we achieved were excellent”.
“I’m proud of each member of this squad. Everyone played hard and played together”, added Coach Sean Beasley.
Next up for the team is the Provincial Championships hosted in Langley this year which will be held July 18-22.
Six members of the Langley Thunder Bantam A1 team will also be representing BC in the National Tournament in August in Ontario.
Full story from lacrosse association website with picture.
Be The Best.

Roller Derby?

Take a look at this pic.

It’s from the very early 70’s.

My Dad…preacher by day…roller derby by night.

Ok, maybe not roller derby, but he and Mom found roller skates for the whole family and turned the basement into a roller zone…complete with a ramp!

It was great fun.

We were at some friends recently and their two daughters put on several skits, songs and dance routines throughout the evening.  We loved it.

As the rush of Christmas week comes surging on us, I love to think of these simple, fun family times and the memories they create.

I’ve heard of families heading for ski hills and others heading to warm beaches over the next week.

Whatever you do, I wish you a lifetime of great memories.

For us, we will be creating new ones and also dipping into our bank of memories.

We are thankful every day for the deposits we’ve made through trips, adventures, and just crazy stuff around the house…just like my Dad did with roller skates in the basement!

Dad (Rev. Jake), Grace, Val, Randy and Cathy (AC).

Be The Best.

Concerted effort.

AC is at it again…and that’s a good thing…a very good thing!

Saturday, Nov 13 marks the 3rd of 3 consecutive weekend concerts.

The world style music blended with ancient melodies and true passion…it’s a great thing and it’s catching on!

Check out this link for a review and info on Saturday’s concert.


We may sometimes think the Valley somewhat lacking in good live music – after all it’s not Commercial Drive, Vancouver. Indeed places to find good music  – original expressions of the varied kind are few and far between. Where are the musicians?

Be The Best.

Happy Thanksgiving?

Just a quick note to wish each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving.

People have asked me what we’re doing, how we are ‘celebrating’ etc.

It would be easy to think that there is not much to be thankful for this year, but strangely enough I feel mostly the opposite.

Please don’t misunderstand.  If we could, we would have Chris back in a millisecond.  That is a given.  That will not change.  Our love for Chris only grows day by day and we miss him so terribly much.

That being said, we know he physically can no longer be with us so we must choose to continue our journey on earth with Chris with us in spirit…and that’s what we’re doing.

So with that as the consistent backdrop, do we have things to be thankful for?

Yes.  Here’s 5 of them.

  1. Family – My wife and son Max are amazing to me.  I couldn’t be more proud. (extended family too!!)
  2. Friends – Continue to be friends in the deepest sense of the word.
  3. Work Colleagues – Quietly supportive by allowing work to be a place of alternate focus.
  4. Sports – Love watching competition. Love competing.
  5. Coffee – It’s those small things in life that can be so great…especially when you’re sharing.




And although not on an official list, I am so incredibly thankful for every event, photo, moment, laugh, discussion, drive, walk, ping-pong game or meal we had with Chris.  So incredibly thankful.

Chris…know that we love you so very much and we LOVED every moment we had with you.

For that we are thankful, not just this weekend, but forever.

Be The Best.

Good Grief…6 months later

One of the more read blog posts over time has been the ‘good grief’ one featuring Charlie Brown and Charles Dickens.  Of course…a perfect match!

If you haven’t read that blog post or want a refresher, here’s the link.

What’s good about grief?

On one hand, not much…not much at all.

On the other hand, grief can only be caused when there has been a love so deep that it evokes such deep emotion.  That’s pretty powerful.

I saw/heard a Be The Best story today that you’ve just gotta hear.

There was a very sad story from last summer where a family lost their 19-year-old son in a drowning accident at Harrison Hot Springs.  The family had put up a memorial cross at the site, but the Harrison community removed it, fearing vandalism or theft.  They encouraged the family to buy a $2000 commemorative bench so their tribute for their son could be permanent.

When that story first aired, the conclusion was that the family simply could not afford that expense.

Fast forward a number of months to today.  A young woman viewing that story was struck by the family’s situation and was so moved she mobilized what she felt and fundraised the $2000!

In today’s Newshour story, she delivered the cheque to the still grieving family.

They were grateful, ecstatic and emotional as they could now pay tribute to their son in the way they needed to in order to have a permanent recognition.

I thought that young woman was quite incredible.  Without knowing the family, she put her thoughts into action and made what will be a life changing gift for this family.

Is grief good?

Not really.  But the things that come out of these situations can be incredible.

As human beings we have the most amazing power to influence and change lives.

Be The Best!