T Nation

If This Isn't Inspiration

… I dont know what is. I am not sure where is best to post this, but I recieved it in an email and figured it was more than worth sharing.

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]

I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans. Work nights to pay
for their text messaging. Take them to swimsuit shoots.
Compared with Dick Hoyt, I fail.

Eighty-five times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in
marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a
wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and
pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars–all in the same day.
Dick’s also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back
mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes
taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?

And what has Rick done for his father? Not much–except save his life.

This love story began in Winchester, Mass., 43 years ago, when Rick
was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him
brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old.Put him in an
institution’

But the Hoyts weren’t buying it. They noticed the way Rick’s eyes
followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the
engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was
anything to help the boy communicate. No way,'' Dick says he was told.There’s nothing going on in his brain’

"Tell him a joke,’’ Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out
a lot was going on in his brain.

Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by
touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to
communicate. First words? Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out,Dad, I want to do that.’’
Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried.Then it was me who was handicapped,’’ Dick says. ``I was
sore for two weeks.’’

That day changed Rick’s life. Dad,'' he typed,when we were
running, it felt like I wasn’t disabled anymore!’’

And that sentence changed Dick’s life. He became obsessed with giving
Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
``No way,’’ Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren’t quite
a single runner, and they weren’t quite a wheelchair competitor. For a
few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway,
then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they
ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston
the following year.

Then somebody said, ``Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?’’

How’s a guy who never learned to swim and hadn’t ridden a bike since
he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still,
Dick tried.

Now they’ve done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour
Ironmans in Hawaii. It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud
getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don’t you
think?

Hey, Dick, why not see how you’d do on your own? No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely forthe awesome feeling’’ he gets seeing Rick
with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.

This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston
Marathon, in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their
best time’? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992–only 35 minutes off the
world record, which, in case you don’t keep track of these things,
happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a
wheelchair at the time.

No question about it,'' Rick types.My dad is the Father of the
Century.’’

And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had
a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his
arteries was 95% clogged. If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him,you probably would’ve died 15 years ago.’’

So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other’s life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in
Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland,
Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the
country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend,
including this Father’s Day.

That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really
wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.

The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types,is that my dad sit in the
chair and I push him once.’’

Here’s the video…

That gave me goose bumps. I love reading things like this.

Holy crap thats awesome.

I don’t mind admitting that I teared up a bit.

That was an amazing story

People should be reading and watching what this guy is doing, not celebrity magazines.

There’s a book about them called “It’s Only a Mountain”.

There was also a special on HBO’s Real Sports last year.

My girlfriend met them a few years ago and said they were incredible.

Truely one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. I had a piece of dust in my eye too.

the real sports special was amazing, i almost had to stop chopping onions to focus on it

Wow. Puts a whole new twist on the question, “Why do you train?”

A hero in my books, thanks for the post an inspirational read.

[quote]E-man wrote:
Truely one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. I had a piece of dust in my eye too.[/quote]

If anyone who has kids can watch this without bringing up some tears, I’d like to know.

I’ve got five of my own, but I also had a sister with severe cerebal palsy. My parents cared for her for thirty five years at home before she died. We always knew she understood more of what was going on than other people realized.

This story however, is beyond impressive.

im going to be honest…tears came to my eyes twice while reading…should i quit being a T-man ;p

This story is too good to only have a few people read it.

Bump.

There is a video about this on filecabi.net, if you thought u teared up reading the story, then watch that video.

haha whoops there’s a video already there, didnt see that.

Phew…

An awesome story.

I feel like a pussy with my eyes welled up as people are walking by my office…but that is truly inspirational.

Bump again.

Goddamn these onions…

Everyone should hear this story.

I’m going to forward this to everyone I know.

darn dirt in the eyes…

[quote]Maximillian wrote:
People should be reading and watching what this guy is doing, not celebrity magazines.[/quote]

So true!