Erik Petroni bio
Erik, the oldest of 4 children, has been the director of the NEVER QUIT message his father left him. His tireless efforts constantly kept all that know him, captivated and energized, and his vision is always focused on helping others and educating them as to how to avoid what happened to his amazing father.
After his father, Gerard, suffered a stroke and brain bleed, many doubted that he would be capable of making any positive progress. Fastforward 2 ½ years and due to Gerard’s go get-um attitude and the eternal optimism and drive of Erik and his family, the remarkable progress just kept coming.
The two words, NEVER QUIT, perfectly describe the every day life and attitude of Gerard, his wife Reidunn, and children, Karina, Sonya, Paul and Erik.
Erik was born in the beach town of Pacifica, California where he lived an outdoor and beach filled life with his parents.
He moved with his family to the Canal Zone at the Isthmus of Panama when he was just 7 years old, where his father would become a Panama Canal ships pilot.
Erik’s world revolved around his father, his mother Reidunn, the ever loving home maker, his brother and sister and his new surroundings.
Erik lived in the most beautiful place on earth, a jungle town called Gatun, as well as the surrounding American Canal Zone and country of Panama. His life was one of exciting travel and adventure. He was constantly in the jungle, exploring caves, enjoying ship adventures with his father as well as surfing, fishing and diving.
At 17, Erik took off on his own journey around the world, spending time in the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Europe where he went hiking, surfing and adventuring. Each year Erik would spend roughly 8 months in Panama and 4 months traveling around the world seeking new adventures. At 18, Erik was introduced to the newest family addition, Karina. From the beginning, Karina was introduced to the same exciting adventures the family was so fortunate to experience every day. While in the Canal Zone, Erik and his business partner created and managed the largest and a highly desired clothing company supplying apparel to the US Military exchanges, Panama Canal employees and the Cruise Lines. In the year 2000, just after Jimmy Carter and the U.S. Senate illegally gave away the U.S. Panama Canal and Canal Zone, Erik and his family moved from the American Canal Zone and split their time between both Atlantic Beach, Florida, Australia and in countries around the world. During these years, Erik and his family has treasured coaching his sister Karina in surfing and taking her on wild outdoor adventures. Also, from 2000 onwards Erik created media campaigns for the action sports and mainstream companies and has played an active role in promoting and educating Americans about our Constitution and Liberty. Of all the amazing roles that Erik has enjoyed, he has treasured most spending time with his parents and traveling around the world. He thrived being around his driven and dynamic father prior to his stroke, and also how driven and loving his father was once he came out of his coma. Erik was able to have 3 years and 3 months by his fathers side in his recovery after his brain bleed in May 2006, until his father moved Home December 31, 2009 after his final brain bleed December 31, 2009. It was during this time that Erik learned the most in life, learning so much from his father, even when it was difficult for his father to communicate to Erik. This is when the Never Quit message was brought to a large audience, so that all could learn to avoid hypertension, get active and take on their own Never Quit message.
Erik has traveled to 28 countries, speaks fluent Norwegian, English, and some Spanish. He is 6’ 4”, blond and tan, fitting the profile of the typical surfer and free spirited traveler. Erik would be the one to guide you around the planet in search of that next adventure as he himself is an accomplished surfer & traveler that has circled the world many times in search of his own explorations…in search of his own escapes.
Speaking to high school students on the principles to love others, care and respect your parents and how we as sons and daughters can help our parents avoid hypertension, strokes and get them healthy. In addition we talk about the importance to take on a positive Never Quit attitude in all that we do, with a cheerful attitude and smile.
Here were are singing the Frank Sinatra song, “That’s Life” This was Dad’s favorite song as the entire message talks of that no matter how great you can become, you will be brought down. But, we must always pick ourself up and get back in the race. We end each school presentation where all the students sing this song and as entire group we also rehears the poem, “IF” By Rudyard Kipling.
At the 1st NEVER QUIT Beach Fest, June 2009. Due to Dad’s first stroke and brain bleed, Dad was unable to walk on his own, so he held the stroller and we would push for sections of his run so he would not fall over. He was always smiling. He passed away from his final stroke and brain bleed 6 1/2 months later, after this picture was taken.