Touching Story, crying heart

(Can ) Father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt

> > > A passionate human being is unstoppable. Read on, and make sure to
> > view
> > > the video at the top.
> > >
> > > Strongest Dad in the World
> > >
> > > [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.
> > >
> > > But compared with Dick Hoyt, I suck.
> > >
> > > 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 for "the awesome feeling" he gets seeing Rick
> > with a
> > > cantaloupe-sized 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."

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