Adam Havrilak

2007_Winter_Break 232 On January 13th Adam Havrilak, a great friend, passed away in a hospital after suffering serious injuries in a motor scooter accident. He would be 23 next month.

Adam was one of the most inspiring people I have known in my lifetime. From the first time I met him (back in 2006) it was apparent that he was the type to make the most out of every moment of his life. At the time, I had a job that started at 6am, so I would start my running intervals at 4:30am. I sent out an email to the Volcano Triathlon Team asking for people to join me, but not really believing anyone would show up.

Adam was there the very next morning with no sleep in his eyes and no signs of grogginess. He showed up at the base of this massive 18% grade hill near Diamond Head Crater and said, “So how many times we running up it?” We were instantly friends. Hanging out with Adam was like acting with an improv group, you never knew what was coming next, but you could expect it to make you smile. He had an infectious personality that just made everyone around him want to join in on the fun. It could be 10pm trips to a driving range, sneaking into Hanauma Bay to take pictures of ourselves snorkeling, or unplanned social outings to meet David Hasselhoff on Christmas Eve. In the two weeks I stayed with Adam and his father last winter I remember several sudden U-turns in the mini-van so we could follow one of Adam’s whims.

clip_image003Adam’s biography would be much better written by someone who knew him longer, but from our short time together I knew Adam made the most out of life. He moved to Honolulu right after High School and was charged with the task of figuring out his own life. He worked as a caddie at the Waialae Country Club, sold vacation rentals around Oahu, went to school and managed to spread laughter to everyone that shared in his presence. Last year he started school in China after spending most of 2007 working in Shanghai and learning Chinese. It seemed to me that no matter what happened, I could count on Adam to land on his feet, turn water into wine, make a sow’s ears into a silk purse, find the silver lining, and turn my frown upside down.

[Above: Adam Havrilak, Ben Collins, and Bob Havrilak]

There was not an ounce of shyness in Adam’s blood. He could make a conversation in a room of strangers, or make a silent crowd clutch their stomachs from laughter. There was a twinkle of adventure in his eyes and it made life more fun for everyone around him.

Adam, we will miss you dearly. As our friend, our brother, our son; thank you for the memories.

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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  1. Well written…life is only what you make of it, no matter how long or short your able to be here….sounds like he and you were able to live a fruitfull one…..peace

  2. Ben, Adam was my classmate at Hainan U in Haikou. Haikou was the host city for the inaugural Ironman China, which I successfully completed with Adam’s help and motivation. He mentioned you to me several times. I just wanted you to know I’m mourning with you.

  3. Thank you for letting others know about Adam. I live in Michigan, and have worked with Adams Dad through the company I work for. From speaking with Bob over the phone on many occasions, Bob is so very proud of Adam and the path he was choosing in life. I feel so very sad for his and your loss.

    Carol in Michigan

  4. What a wonderful tribute to Adam. Adam was one of my son’s friends during high school. I truly enjoyed his visits to our house. I cannot imagine what it is like to lose a son. May the memories comfort you and know that he touch many peoples lives.

    I have been unsuccessful to find an address to send to Adams mom, Bev and Adam’s dad, Bob. I found 3 Bob Havrilak’s in Would you mind sending the correct addresses to: Thank you

  5. We loved Adam here in Haikou, he was a part of our lives, a part of this family we had built here, we’ll miss him forever, loosing him is tragic although I know that with time we’ll learn to use all the great things he brought us. He’ll remain forever my D ban classmate with fox, luck and jim. When I realize how much he meant to me, I can’t even imagine what it is for you, his family and his longtime friends, I wish you a lot of things and hope that you’re aware that all around the world people are mourning him.

  6. My mom & Adam’s mom, Bev grew up together. I was 7 when Adam was born & I can still remember when Bev was pregnant with Adam and when he was born. I babysat Adam & his sisters so much as we all grew up & the Havrilak kids were like family to me, somewhere between siblings & cousins.
    In my memories, Adam is always smiling, laughing & having so much fun. The memories that you shared of Adam are great & illustrate the man he became – a great one – and give us a glimpse at what he would have been.
    Thank you for a nice post.

  7. Ben,
    Thank you for sharing about my brother. We had his memorial service earlier this week with almost 400 people in attendance and everyone left feeling touched and inspired by Adam’s life. An even greater tribute to Adam is in the outpouring of love and stories like yours from around the world.
    Thank you,

  8. Adam is truely like no one else who ever lived. A day in his life was like a million years for someone else. I only knew Adam for about half a year when he first arrived in Honolulu in 2004, and he was instantly one of my best friends out there. I remember the first day out front of the old hotel, ohana reef towers. We were basically inseperable after that. Adam had a thing about him that always made others feel like they were kings. I knew I could always count on him for anything. So many times when I was depressed, or feeling down, time and time again he would always cheer me up and make me feel like a hundred bucks or he would constantly unselfishly lend to friends in need. He always put others in front of himself and always wanted the best for everyone around him. With him I had some of the best and most memorable experiences of my life. My time in Hawaii would never had been so awesome if it wasn’t for him. He was the most positively spontaneous person I have ever met, and I will never forget my dear friend Adam.

  9. Just heard the news this evening, and this piece was very fulfilling to read. What an amazing person! 🙂 Thanks.

  10. I sat beside Adam’s mom on a plane, from San Diego to Mpls. She shared about Adam’s life and told me to check him out online. She told me she felt he was always with her and that he was helping people on the other side. Now, I have read about both Adam and Bob, and feel like two incredible human beings are together again, and honestly, I don’t know why I am still on this earth! If I lived on this planet a thousand years, I would never get it right!

    Her son looks so much like her! I am so sorry that Adam was taken so quickly. It’s so difficult to comprehend why. The impact they had is so apparent. Their loss so huge.

    Please forward my comfort to Bev for me. And to his sisters. I hope Adam and Bob are together and helping hundreds of people on the other side. Perhaps, someday, I will get the chance to meet them too, and feel their enormous love and hear their laughter.

    Thank you.

  11. I miss Bob. We hung out together for a couple of years, golfing and playing tennis, and, of course, eating. Even though we were just friends, Bob never let me pay–said a gentleman always paid.

    Every time Bob spoke about Adam he had tears in his eyes. I hope the two of you are having a great time together, Bear!

    Bob also spoke lovingly about Emily and Barbara, never failing to talk about how much they meant to him. He loved being their Dad.


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