Would you consider running a marathon if you had a heart condition?
How about if you had to push someone in a wheelchair throughout the entire race?
If this sounds impossible for you, then the word ‘impossible' does not exist in the vocabulary for this amazing father and son team – Dick and Rick Hoyt.
Dick – the father has a heart condition. Rick – the son is a quadriplegic who can't walk or talk. Yet that doesn't stop them from competing in over 1,000 races, including the Ironman triathlon which is a grueling challenge of swimming, cycling and running for many miles.
Attempting it alone is already extremely difficult, but what more if you had to pull your son on boat tied by a bungee chord to your waist, carry him on a special bike and push him all the way to the finish line? Thats determination!
By Dick Hoyt's determination didn't begin in these marathons – it started since the day Rick was born.
When Rick's umbilical chord suffocated him disallowing oxygen to flow into his brain, he was encouraged to be placed in an institution because he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life.
Dick wouldn't have it and brought his son home to raise him like a normal child. Dick and his wife were right – he was quite intelligent and was even interested in sports!
One day, a lacrosse player has just been paralyzed in an accident and he wanted to participate in a marathon for the benefit of that person. He told his dad about it and that was when team Hoyt was born.
Rick had never ran a marathon before at the age of 36 but said yes to the request and he finished the race without being last!
His son said the most amazing words to him, “Dad, when I'm running, it feels like I'm not handicapped.”
Those words resonated with Dick so much that they went on to compete in over 1,000 races, including running and biking across the U.S. completing a full 3,735 miles in 45 days.
The duo are very proud to have never finished last in any of their races!
Naysayers in life will always be there, and there were people who sees them and expect them to turn around halfway to get back to their cars, or people calling up and writing letters to Dick telling him, “What are you doing pushing your son across all those races? Are you just looking for glory for yourself?” That's when Dick compassionately replies, “What they didn’t realize was that he was dragging me to all these races!”
Rick was asked one question, “If you could give your father one thing, what would it be?” He did not ask for the ability to play any sports… he simply said, “For my dad to sit in that chair and I would push him for once.”