SAN ANTONIO — Dominick Tremillo is not the child who needs ordering off of a video game to get him to go outside to play. The 6-year-old boy prefers being out on his BMX bike, which he can't ride in the house.
"I just like to ride my bike a lot," he said.
Dominick's father Tre' said his son took to bikes as a toddler. The lure was organic, he said.
"One day, I see my kid in our home pick up a balance bike," Tremillo said. "He taught himself how to ride it."
According to Tremillo, Dominick was on a real bicycle peddling without training wheels a year later.
Realizing that boy meets bike is not exactly a groundbreaking relationship, his parents watched Dominick's love for BMX bikes take him into the world of YouTube where he marveled at two-wheeled stunts.
"I saw people doing tricks on YouTube," he said. "And, it made me want to do the tricks too."
His father, 38, stepped up to coach his youngest son on some fundamentals.
"I taught him some very basic stuff," he said. "The first trick when I researched just BMX as a sport was how to do a bunny hop."
Dominick hopped right into that trick and more. He was soon jumping over lines, water bottles and cones.
"I would go on 10 to 12 mile rides. Dominick was three to four at the time," Tremillo said. "He would go--do ten miles with me."
The BMX tricks put Dominick on the path to BMX racing. According to the bike enthusiast, he focused on training hard to race.
"Almost like a hundred days," he said.
In September 2020, Dominick won his first race at Lone Star BMX on Eisenhauer Road. But, the young racer realized his nerves started to rev up before his race.
"I get scared," he said. "But I have to let my fear go."
Dominick said he takes a series of deep breaths until he comes back to his center. Then, it's on.
The first-grader is such a competitor on the track, they call him "Dominick the Dominator."
"I like winning," Dominick said.
He likes victory so much, he's got 30 first-place wins in his column. The Tremillos are Christians. So, the "victory" gets taught more spiritually.
"I always tell him, 'You know, these trophies are temporary. God's glory is forever,'" Tremillo said. "And that's really where a lot of his fearlessness comes from; it's not necessarily to go and destroy competition."
Tremillo, a husband and father of three, said he teaches his son to pray for his competitors at the gate. They lift a prayer for Dominick's race too.
Those prayers would intensify last November when Dominick's sudden chest pains started to worsen.
"The only thing I knew was that every time he kept going on his bike, he was having severe chest pain," Tremillo said.
A series of tests revealed "The Dominator" had a medical issue. The doctor said the young racer's heart murmur meant coming off the racing track and his bike.
"I've never seen him sad and just kind of demoralized," Tremillo said. "It's like he lost the race."
But the Dominator found a way to seek healing. He prayed.
"I prayed to God a lot to help me," he said. "Please help me to be better with my chest pain."
Dominick got cleared to race again in April. But his father said he didn't see the same racer.
"He goes back to racing, and he's not winning," Tremillo said. "He's not doing well."
He placed last in a race, which was rock bottom for "The Dominator." He prayed more with his father.
Then, Dominick won the state championship for his age group. He also became the top-ranked BMX rider in the seven-state south-central region.
He's still had a close call or two during his races, but prevailed.
"I didn't give up. I kept going. I didn't get scared," he said.
Tremillo said the rise is outstanding. They are finding more victory in his son's understanding of spiritual principles that will keep him on the right path.
"I want him to always remember where he is now, because of praying. Because of faith," he said. Because he gave God the glory."
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