I met a colleague today who happens to be a counsellor.
We had a brief conversation between the coffee shop and our next meetings. He said something that has stuck with me long after this afternoon’s hallway chat.
We were talking about making big life decisions and he said, (paraphrased) if something makes you feel a bit scared, but good scared, go for it…if it makes you feel bad scared, stay away. In other words, high chance behaviour like speeding in your car and texting is not good. Taking a chance where the outcome is simply the flip of a coin…not good.
BUT…taking a calculated risk that still makes you feel a little nervous, that’s good. In fact that can act as fuel to push you forward.
Too many people, he said, had told him over the years that as they hit 50, 60 and beyond, had wished they took a risk.
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.’
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.
No, we are not adopting a child or adding a pet…that I’m aware of.
We (meaning my Better Half) put out the four stockings at home but this is the first Christmas we have a memorial location for Chris at The Wall or Chris’ Wall as we call it, nestled below the massive cedars that protect the group of memorial walls.
There’s a little stocking on our tree that we’ve had for years. It’s a decoration. Chris would have surely helped with putting this on the tree with his Mom as he and Max did each year.
That little stocking now adorns Chris’ marker at his Wall.
That might sound sad and it is sad but not ‘just sad’ as we know Chris is always with us. It is amazing to see a place like the cemetery so colourful on these grey late fall days. People are remembering their loved ones with flowers, Christmas ornaments and angel figurines.
And on one special marker (yes, read mantel), there’s a little red cloth stocking.
We luv ya kid, every minute of every day.
That’s what your stocking is full of on Christmas and every day of the year.
Last week a few of Chris’ highschool buds called (ok, texted) and said they wanted to drop by.
The fact that we have the lacrosse gang and friends gang wanting to stay in touch with us is very cool.
I suggested a little hike and through a series of texts, the plan was approved.
So here we are on this little hike…about a one hour up and down walk in some beautiful forests near Ft. Langley, BC.
I’m not sure what other people on the trail were thinking as we made an unusual hiking squad. The lovely Ingrid leading the pack with 5 big young men at her side and some old guy trying to keep up and shoot videos at the same time.
Cooper, Dylan, Jesse and Alan all predicted that Tanner (Newport Vacuums) would arrive in dress shoes.
Nice jeans and dress shoes…perfect for hiking of course.
What followed was the obligatory, ‘you didn’t tell me this was a hike, you said a walk’…and of course the word ‘tell’ and ‘said’ are just another way to say ‘text’….cause no one really talks to each other any more right? 😉
So, we had a great walk/hike.
The sun streamed through the trees and it reminded us that Chris was with us too.
As we walked we actually didn’t text, but talked, and learned about the latest updates from the Gang.
It’s a privilege to stay connected.
For a little fun, I’ve put together a video of the event.
My personal lexicon was increased by a new phrase just a few weeks ago.
I think that’s basically an oxymoron to start with.
Ok young readers. This is probably the highest number of big words used in the opening of this blog ever…but in celebration of back to school just 4 weeks away, we’ll continue.
A sprint triathlon is a swim, bike and running race…except the distances are shorter than a full length event.
These are perfect events for those wanting a triathlon experience and are trying something new or simply want a shorter distance.
Don’t be fooled. This is still an extreme sport! 750m in the pool. That is a lot of lengths. 18k on the bike. I get tired driving that far and usually would require 2 Starbucks stops. 5k running after all that? Yah right.
Cool. Except he didn’t really have a bike, didn’t have any specific training and didn’t know a soul who was going in this event.
I’m super proud of the kid. He approached this like he was trying something new and what he didn’t know wasn’t going to stop him from trying. For example, he knew he didn’t have all the specialized gear but that didn’t get in his way. He finished in 90 minutes exactly and was right in the middle of the pack. That is an incredible result for trying an event for the first time without coaching or training with a team or the superior clothing and equipment of most racers.
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!
Nice job Max. We are very proud of ya!!
Here’s a little video proof. Note: (Time clock on picture is not official for each racer because of a graduated start in the pool for the swim portion of the race. Max’s official time was 1:30:00 on the nose)
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.
I have a book in my collection that I’ve lent out and replaced probably 5 times and referred to hundreds of people since I first read it years back.
The core message is that with some concentration on the small things, the big things will take shape. In other words, small habits make a big difference in long term performance.
From the Amazon book review: At the outset, the book identifies the three most important fundamentals for consistent success: developing unusual clarity; understanding that habits determine your future; and using a “no exceptions policy” approach to focus on what you want.
That book rests beside one of Chris’ provincial lacrosse medals.
The kid was relentless in his positive habits in pursuit of his goal. Eating right. Push-ups. Cardio. Shooting practice.
It was all part of Being the Best.
I asked him once why at the age of 14 he stopped eating all junk food. He said that he simply thought about the consequences of eating the food and decided that the payback wasn’t worth it.
That developed into long term positive eating habits that shaped his physique and mental attitude going into competition.
Power of Focus. If you haven’t read it, put it on your summer reading list!
Maybe a strong GO CANUCKS GO doesn’t fit in a blog about loss, grief and the new normal…but I beg to differ.
I’ve written before about sitting down with Max and Chris watching the Nux getting eliminated from the playoffs by Chicago. I told them that sick feeling we all had was what it was like being a lifelong Canucks fan.
Sure that was an emotional statement at the time, but ultimately, I still had hope.
So, this season we cheered, watched, joined hockey pools and generally had a great time living the experience with the Canucks.
That brings us to this week. Due to a friend’s ridiculous schedule and fantastic generosity Max and I ended up with tickets to Game 7 on Tuesday.
I was ecstatic to take Max to that experience. This pic (lousy blackberry camera) shows the hype and excitement…and that was just the pre-game!
I wanted to wear something from Chris as well. I chose his shoes.
When Burrows scores a goal he sometimes shoots an arrow into the sky to remember his friend and fellow Canuck, Luc Bourdon, who had died in a motorcycle crash in 2008.
When Burrows scored in overtime on Tuesday night, Rogers Arena erupted like a volcano.
I don’t think Burrows had a chance to shoot his arrow as he was mobbed and crushed in a happy dog pile.
The emotion I felt was incredible.
I remember high-fiving with Max and others fans around, but mostly just holding my arms in the air and screaming like a moron.
In that moment time stopped and I thought of Chris.
I thought about how much he would have loved to see the Canucks slay this dragon and move forward with the playoffs. I thought about how much I missed sharing that experience with him while at the same time so pumped to be able to share the experience with Max.
I loved standing in Chris’ shoes and drinking in the excitement of the crowd.
Although they couldn’t be there in person, I believe Chris and Luc Bourdon and many other hockey fans were cheering loudly up in their lofty box seats.