Often when I sit at my desk at Virginia Tech, I glance up to see Dominik looking back at me from that iconic picture of him pointing at the camera while wearing his hockey helmet.
That sudden glance then floods my mind with memories of Dom and how he had such a positive outlook on life. It’s very rare to find people like Dom nowadays. People who live life to fullest with no regrets. People who encourage and support their friends no matter what. People that make you want to become a better person.
I wish I could say I am one of those people but I simply fall short of the standard that Dom set for life. However, Dom and I did share a couple characteristics and I think the most important one was our crave to challenge ourselves. Our need to accomplish difficult feats. Our desire to be the best.
And so this stubborn mentality of mine lead me to want to complete an IronMan. To most people an IronMan seems impossible. But not to me. And not to Dom. Dom probably would have called me crazy for doing an IronMan but he would have understood that desire to challenge myself and overcome this massive obstacle. So I know that during that 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run that Dom was smiling down at me the whole time.
And whenever I got tired or discouraged, I just looked up to the the sky, smiled and thought, “Dom, what have I gotten myself into here?” Then I quickly laughed off the fatigue and continued on.
See Dom made us all want to become better people, and if by swimming a little, going for a bike ride, and running around a bit while raising some money for the greatest school on Earth, inspires just one person, well then mission accomplished.
I just hope to inspire more people about Dom and spread that love he showed to all of us.
Patrick finished his IronMan in Spring 2018 in Santa Rosa, California, raising over $5,000 through a GoFundMe campaign for the Dominik Pettey Scholarship Fund. Some of his friends from Gonzaga flew out to be with him and cheer him on in this remarkable feat.