I never thought I would live long enough to have to tell you about the passing of my young friend, and one of my favorite people on the planet, Travis Tollett. I sincerely felt he had paid whatever dues were necessary nearly a decade ago when an ATV accident at a CHCA hill climb event in Victor, CO left him with a broken neck and robbed him of the ability to walk. Of course that didn’t stop him. If anything it seemed to fuel his competitive fire even more. Not even two years after his accident he was back on Pikes Peak as my co-driver in the Time Attack Division. We both knew that being a passenger was not long on Travis. He’d be back behind the wheel of his own race vehicle soon enough. We both knew it. Everyone who knows him knew it. Maybe that’s why nobody ever thought it was such an extraordinary thing when just a handful of years after his accident, and after spending a few years as a Co-Driver, he did show up at Pikes Peak to drive his UTV to the summit. And this wasn’t some charity entry into the race. He was FAST. First time up the hill in the Ute, and he lands at a mid 12!? I don’t care what you’re driving or riding up there, that’s fast.
This morning, just a day after his birthday, Travis was doing exactly what he was meant to do in life – he was competing. Racing his three wheeled hand cycle at a race in Wichita Falls. Unfortunately the cold was too much for a body that could no longer regulate it’s own temperature.
Look at his facebook page and you see in his profile the mantra he obviously lived by: “Press On and Be Unbreakable”. That single sentence describes him perfectly. Constantly and consistently pressing on. Every single day. This guy has no idea the meaning of the word quit. I could go on and on about Travis. And when I get over the absolute shock of losing him, I’ll return here to tell you more.
For now, though, if you’re looking for someone to admire, to emulate in character or strength, I can tell you with everything that I am that you couldn’t find a more suitable candidate than my friend, Travis Tollett.
I will miss you immeasurably, my friend.
Here’s some in car from 2010 when Travis and I got 2nd place in Time Attack.