Archive for August 15, 2011

Dear Dom:

I have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that you passed away a year ago today.  It seems like just yesterday we were sitting in your Mom’s kitchen enjoying the Seven Fish’s Christmas Eve Dinner and I was going back for my third serving of cavatelli and smelts.

I gave my first ever baby bottle to little Nico – who sucked that thing dry in just a minute or two, showing me for the first time that it really doesn’t matter how much experience you have at some things when it comes to being a parent. 

Between you and the baby, the two of you just figure it out.  All you have to do is love each other.  The rest takes care of itself.

Landry is now just two weeks shy of her first birthday, just a little younger than Nico was last summer when cancer took you away from us.  Every day I am amazed at how much she has learned and how much she looks like her Mom.  When I married Dawn I thought that I would never be in love with another girl for the rest of my life ….. 11 1/2 years later and I’m head over heels in love with our little girl.

You were right about everything you told me about having a daughter Dom.  She is the greatest.  Sure she does some crazy things every now and then, and loves to chew on the shoe laces on my running shoes – but she’s ours and we adore her.  I can only imagine how much Sierra and Nico miss their Daddy.

A day still doesn’t go by that I don’t think about you Dom.  I can’t pull on a pair of running shoes, look at an approaching race day on my calendar, hop in the pool or on the Tri-bike without thoughts of you and the strength that I am able to channel directly from you to put into my training.  We had one hell of a last year Dom – lots of amazing races, filled with PR’s and a lot of hardware.  First place this, first place that, Age group win here, Masters win there – but all that stuff is just nonsense.  You know it as well as I do.

It’s not about winning ribbons and trophies Dom, it’s about taking advantage of the gift of that day.

I want to know that I left absolutely every ounce that I had out there on that given day.  A lot of runners and athletes are younger, stronger, faster and simply better than I am.  I know that.  But I’d like to think that I come closer than any of them of running to my potential on that day.  That nobody pushes harder and gets the most out of their ability on that course, on that day, over that final mile than I do.

You’ve given so many people so many things over the years Dom.  That is just who you were.  One of the most kind-hearted, generous and loyal people any of us have ever met.  Your outlook and enthusiasm for life was truly contagious.  One of the all-time great story-tellers, you packed more “living” into 39 years than most people will experience in 99.

I miss you terribly.

You “left it all out there” Dom in everything you did, that’s a lesson that no matter how much longer I’m training, running and racing, I promise I will never forget.  All I have to do is look down and see your initials on my race flats and I can feel you right there with me, ready to do it one more time.

Pre-Race Thoughts - Ragnar Del Sol

5K, 10K, 1/2 marathon, marathon – they’re all different, but in a way they’re all the same.

Go as hard as you can as long as you can and leave no regrets.

I learned that one from you Dom.  Thanks for everything.