Wednesday, July 26, 2006

LOVE CAN . . .

I have a friend who is into triathlons, not one of the saner pastimes that come to mind. In any event, he recently sent me a link to a You Tube video about some fixtures on the triathlon scene, and I thought I would pass it on.

I had heard of Team Hoyt before, and saw at least one television report about them. When Rick Hoyt was born, the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, depriving him of oxygen. His parents didn’t accept that their son would be a “vegatable” or better off in an institution. Through their persistence, Rick progressed, and learned to communicate through mechanical means.

While in high school, Rick told his father, Dick, that he wanted to participate in a five-mile run to benefit a local athlete who had been paralyzed in an accident. Dick ran the race, pushing his son in a wheelchair, and Team Hoyt was born.

Eventually, Dick and Rick began to run marathons, and later turned to the grueling triathlon. Doing so required that Dick learn to swim. They compete using a special wheelchair that Dick can push for the running leg, an inflatable boat that Dick pulls for the swim, and a modified bike with a seat for Rick in front of the handle bars.

I recall being moved when I first saw a news report about Team Hoyt. But this new video, appropriately entitled “Can,” had me in tears of joy for this father and son. There’s no narration, just film of them set to the music of a popular Christian song. The viewer can’t help but see the love between Rick and Dick, and the inspiration they draw from each other.

Dick Hoyt wanted what every parent wants: to help a child live a full life. The lengths to which he has gone should inspire us all. Go see the video, and then go learn more about Team Hoyt at their site.


Blogger not my blg said...

I have encountered Team Hoyt a couple of times while running the Boston Marathon. What is amazing is that not everyone can simply decide to run Boston. You have to qualify with a prior time of 3.2 hours and under in order to run Boston. The fact that Dick qualified at all is remarkable, but to qualify pushing Rick is simply incredible. Dick probably could have been a competitive runner, but instead chose to devote his life to his son which is a much bigger accomplishment.

7/27/06, 7:41 AM  
Blogger Wade Rankin said...

Thanks for the comment, AD. Although Dick probably could have run on a higher competitive level, the impression I get is that it would never have occurred to him to try any of this without the inspiration he drew from his son. As it is, I would still consider them (the "team") to be very competitive. You are so right, though, that his greatest accomplishment, and what inspires me the most, is his devotion to his son.

7/27/06, 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living close to Boston, I have followed the Hoyt's for a while now. They have competed in the Boston Marathon for many years. I can say one thing, they get the loudest and most sincere applause when they pass by. Forget about the leaders of the race... the Hoyt's are where it's at :) .

7/27/06, 11:34 AM  
Blogger not my blg said...

Clarification: By competitive, I mean professional. I believe Dick must have an extremely high vO2 max, based on his times in the races, his own personal weight and so forth. High v02's are genetic, which is kind of a sad irony to this situation because Rick most certainly has inherited this gift but because of the his unfortunate birth, he isn't able to take advantage of it. However, the inspiration and accomplishments they (Team Hoyt) acheive is far greater than anything I was able to accomplish as a professional distance runner.

7/27/06, 12:44 PM  
Blogger kristina said...

Charlie has the biking and the swimming-----we've been thinking of having him start running (as in around a track).

Love can do a lot more than we think.

7/27/06, 3:33 PM  
Blogger mommyguilt said...


That Rick wanted to help someone ELSE, that Rick's family never gave up on HIM...

Really, I'm stuck for words. I'm at "WOW!" And a weepy-eyed wow at that!

7/27/06, 3:47 PM  

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