More often than not, our daily life is consumed with the menial tasks of paying bills, taking kids to school, getting to work on time, wondering what to order for lunch, and so on. However, every once in a while something happens out of the ordinary, something that reaches our hearts, something that rocks us to our core. At times, these moments can make us pause, remove our blinders, and reevaluate life as we know it. Our family at The Tribe has been rocked, our hearts are heavy and our eyes are wide open.
David Molak was one of the founding members here at The Tribe Strength & Conditioning. He and his father, Matt, would be seen on a regular basis bringing out the competitive edge in each other. David relished the moments he could claim a victory over his dad. In just a few short months, David was not only giving his dad a run for his money, he was pushing, keeping up, and beating other athletes in class. One of David’s favorite things about coming into the gym was “being able to keep up with the adults.” His progress as an athlete was directly making a positive impact on his confidence and mood; David was coming into “his own.”
In October, it was a unanimous decision that David was to be named our “Athlete of the Month.” His brothers, Cliff and Chris, said “that was the happiest we had seen David in a very long time.” Each athlete that receives this recognition is asked to tell a bit about themselves, so that others can get to know them better: David loved the clean & jerk, absolutely hated thrusters, and could destroy a Whataburger Patty Melt.
It wasn’t just the coaches who took notice of David’s efforts. Other members were starting to comment on how impressed they were in his commitment, hard work and even his quick-witted humor. David was no longer known as the quiet kid. David was recognized as a regular in class who was going to beat you in a workout if you didn’t give it your all and probably make you laugh at one of his one-liners while doing it.
As the 2015 holiday season approached, David started to encounter difficulties at school and we began to see less and less of him at the gym. Through his father, Matt, we were informed that David was the target of cyber-bullying, right here in our own neighborhood. This form of torment is linked to severe depression and a number of other destructive health and social outcomes – especially in teenagers.
Over the following weeks, David’s family, both at home as well as here at The Tribe, reached out to offer outlets of safety, comfort and love. Unfortunately, our efforts were not enough to prevent the tragedy that ensued.
The Molak family, The Tribe, basketball teammates, and friends lost David this past Monday January 4, 2016. In the wake of David’s death, we are left stunned. Our day-to-day tasks seem exponentially trivial, our hearts ache, and we are paralyzed…unable to find what we feel to be an appropriate way to respond. However, his brother Cliff did allow us some insight into how we can make a difference. So in taking heed of Cliff’s words, we will strive to make David’s legacy be the healing of the hurt, the accountability to the aggressor, and education to the future generations.
We love you, David! You will forever be missed.