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Be The Best.

The best time to plant a tree is…

You may have heard the proverb/truism, ‘the best time to plant a tree was yesterday, the second best time to plant a tree is today’.  Probably the best time would have been 20 years ago, but the point remains.

I like this saying.

Why?

One of the things that I’ve done since Chris passed away was get more serious on a consistent level  about doing push-ups every day.  (I know there are a number of people that have taken up this same challenge.  Fantastic!)

Slowly, I’ve worked up to 50 per day still way off Chris’ 200, but that’s ok…I’m the ‘old man’!  There’s been a few days where because of schedule or whatever, I haven’t got those push-ups done.  You know what’s easy?  Making that first ‘miss day’ a second and the second a third.

That’s when the tree quote thing becomes very important.

The best time to do push-ups was yesterday.

The second best time is today…like right now.

Be The Best.

I love this business quote by the owners of Kin’s Farm Market, one of my business clients.  They said, ‘our business is simple, but not easy’.  Love it.  Many things are relatively simple.  Do some push-ups every day…relatively simple.  But not so easy in practice.

Change itself isn’t that easy, but the small steps along the way are relatively simple.

Interesting.  I continue to learn along this journey and Chris himself was an amazing example of a kid who heard from coaches and college players that a good diet was key to success and so he made small, simple decisions to eliminate fast foods, pop and junk food from his diet, one day, two days, three weeks, four months and then years.

He told me that his ‘trick’ was asking himself every time he looked at a food that was tempting and asking himself if it would be worth the work to burn that off or would it be easier just to avoid it in the first place.  Pretty amazing will power for a young man.

Simple…not easy.

Better to plant yesterday, but yesterday is gone so let’s deal with today.

These simple thoughts have put me down on the ground many times in the past 6 months, pounding out a few more push-ups when I didn’t really ‘have the time’ or some other excuse.

Chris…I will continue to use your passion to inspire me…and I know you continue to inspire many.

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Be The Best.

It’s dark, but love shines.

The days of Spring and Summer are now behind us.

For those of us who live in the Vancouver area of the Great White North, we experience those breathtaking summer nights with sunlight reaching to 9:45pm and beyond.

As the days grow shorter and wetter, many of those sunsets that were so powerful to me are now packaged up and waiting to surprise again next Spring.  It had been over a month since I last listened to Love Shines, that powerful and moving song that AC (Auntie Cathy) sang at Chris’ service.

I just listened now and as I did I looked out the window at the total pitch blackness.  The words are Love Shines and Darkness Flees.  Only thing was, it’s still dark outside.  The meaning of the song became even more powerful to me tonight.

Of course.  We can’t escape the physical darkness.  So too in our journey, there will continue to be dark times.  We cannot escape those.  BUT love is shining through that darkness and allowing our lives to continue to be pulsated with light through the love of family, friends, colleagues, lacrosse connections etc etc.  I think our own actions and choices to be involved in changing lives through Chris’ fund and other opportunities (giving is in grieving), also helps to chase the virtual darkness.

This weekend, AC gave me an update on her upcoming album.  She’s going out on a limb.  As an artist, I think it’s the most difficult thing to do to put yourself out there not only as an artist, but also as a business person.  She is self funding her new album driven by the passion of Love Shines and other songs that will help bring hope to many.

You can get involved all the way from pre-ordering the CD to a larger investment that includes a House Concert at your place for friends and family!!  Cool.

What I love about this is the passion, goal setting and desire for change to help propel a dream.

If you haven’t listened in a while, have a listen now online (yes, that’s free!).

If you get excited about the project, check out AC’s website with all the details.

Love Shines and Darkness Flees.

Love it.

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Be The Best.

Love Shines Live

Some blog posts write themselves.

This is one of them.

You’ve got to see this little vid AC shot on the weekend.

It’s a live rendition of Love Shines on the back porch of her home.

LOVE IT.  Enjoy.

The last line of her intro on YouTube states, ‘this is a song about love shining no matter what’.  See what I mean about a blog post writing itself?

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Be The Best.

Thinking Time

Last week when it was really hot (for a couple of days) I sat outside in the evenings and fine tuned some music I had been working on.  As you might know by now I love music and the arts and am in a multi-year ‘instrumental electronica’ phase.  Whenever I play something for Ingrid that is more purely piano based she says THAT is the music she likes and we have a friendly ‘discussion’ about music and how I am going to (or not) dominate the European club scene in my 50’s…(I’m giving myself another 6 years to break out at some German or Dutch club) (No, Mom, I’m not being serious).

Joking aside, I’ve put this track called ’30 degrees’ together with some pictures I used a couple of weeks back as background to Love Shines for AC’s Mission concert.

In any event, with a few changes, here are a whole pile of sunset pics with some of my more mellow music which I’ll dedicate to my long-suffering wife who has heard every rendition of drum machine and syncopated beat layered with 14 synthesizers for years!

For me this little movie is 3 minutes of thinking time and trying not to do anything else.

Am I promising no more sunset blogs this year?  Probably not.  I’m as addicted to those things as much as instrumental electronica music right now!  Don’t worry Ingrid, I usually evolve music styles every 10 or 15 years…

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Be The Best.

Ping Pong and $20,000.

It was quite a day.  Firstly, Ingrid played ping pong tonight after some pizza and watching a little NBA action.  That doesn’t usually happen, but Beau and Cooper (more of Chris’ gang from Brookswood) were over and she was right in there.  Max captured the action on camera.  Good games by all.

Earlier this afternoon we got some amazing news from Simon Fraser University.  The CHRIS FRIESEN MEMORIAL AWARD FUND has reached and surpassed the $20,000 goal!!!  This is amazing news as it means Chris’ fund is now set for life and will continue to provide opportunity for lacrosse playing SFU students for decades to come.  THANK YOU ALL!  What an amazing accomplishment.  This is WITHOUT, the dollars raised from the lacrosse sticks and AC’s incredible donation of proceeds from Love Shines which are still to be added and will continue to help the fund grow.  Wow.  We are humbled, excited and are looking forward to making the first presentation of the Chris Friesen Memorial Award in January 2011. From wristbands to cheques to thoughts and prayers you have all contributed to making this award a legacy fund.  We are incredibly amazed at the support and generosity.  THANK YOU!!!

Now, let’s get back to some ping pong!

Beau powers a serve while Randy does something...
Cooper pounds a return while Max thinks about how Lost ended.
Look at that concentration.

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Be The Best.

Taize, singing bowls and AC at the Abbey.

You remember AC right? Ya, that’s Auntie Cathy to some and just ‘sis’ to me!

Those songs from Chris’ funeral were amazing and I love listening to Love Shines.  If you didn’t hear it, you can now, with all the cards we received as a backdrop. (video below)

Anyhoo…Cathy plays about once per year at the Westminster Abbey in Mission.  If you’ve never been to the Abbey, it’s worth a visit.  This ‘service’ is different than anything you’ve ever experienced.  The acoustics are unbelievable and the setting is amazing.  For full details on the what, where, when, how, check out her blog post. Brent, Cathy’s husband, recently returned from India on business and brought Cath a 100 year old ‘singing bowl’.  She’ll be using it that night.

For me personally, that service is very intense with the silence and music, but Ingrid and I have snuck in for a song or two along with a walk on the beautiful grounds.  If you want to do something completely different from the usual, the Abbey is the place to be this coming Saturday, May 29th from 8-9pm.

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Be The Best.

Love is Shining on iTunes

AC and Indie

I sort of feel famous now.  My sister has a song on iTunes.  That qualifies right?

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE that song, Love Shines – (listen to it now, without downloading).

To those of you who already downloaded, THANK YOU.

For those of you who’ve waited, the iTunes connection is now active as of about 8pm tonight. You may see a message about the song not being available in the Canadian iTunes store, but it will still download, we (as in Ingrid) just downloaded!

If you haven’t heard, Cathy AJ Hardy (aka Auntie Cathy) is donating net proceeds of this song to the Chris Friesen Memorial Award.

So just as soon as I figure out how to load a song from iTunes onto my Sony Walkman WM-F202 I am going to download it too.

I’m also looking for the 8 track link.  (If you’re under 30, go ask some ‘old’ person around you what I’m talking about…)

Have a great weekend.  Remember: 10% what we did…90% what we’re gonna do!!