Father and Son. Heart and Soul. Step by Step.

02-05-2013_Strongest Dad

Dick and Rick Hoyt

Will-power, determination, love and devotion. Sheer, 100%, unfiltered, sweating out of every pore in his body devotion. No fear of the road ahead. No regret of what has been handed to him, to them. Only focus on the next step in this race and in life. Confidence that he’ll make the next step together with his son. His son, his livelihood and pride, in his arms as close as a father and son could ever be. However, this close connection went beyond physical means. It had to. Rick Hoyt was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy since his birth in 1962. He is not able to walk, stand or even communicate easily. But that doesn’t stop him or his dad from covering every bit of the 2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run to complete the Ironman triathlon. At every point in the race, Dick Hoyt is but a few feet from his beloved son, together pushing each other to explore their physical limits and, along the way, reach their dreams as team. As Team Hoyt. And 247 triathlons (including 6 Ironmans), 22 duathlons, 26 marathons and several hundred other races encounting, Team Hoyt is still pounding out the miles along life’s path together. Carrying each other, literally and figuratively, whenever needed so that they could be happy together. Father and Son, together.

This picture, this story always seems to bring warmth to my heart, passion to my veins, a smile to my face and some faint tears to my eyes. For me and for you, it should make you take a second look at your life, your “hard-ships,” your set-backs, your challenges and really, truly evaluate whether they are insurmountable or just tough to overcome. It should make you question what you’re passionate about and motivate you to wholly pursue those passions as Dick and Rick followed theirs. It should remind you that physical or mental limitations cannot constrain a person’s will nor can it confine a person’s dreams. It should reinvigorate you to chase your unconstrained, but possibly forgotten dreams. It should prompt you to maybe think about the dreams of others. It might even inspire you to take someone else along for the ride (or run, or swim) to your dreams together. Just like Team Hoyt. Different in physical gifts and mental abilities, but united in their goals, their dreams and their love.

After their first race Rick said, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”

Other great reads with more on Team Hoyt: Rick Reilly’s SI Article, Team Hoyt Motivation Video

Previous Daily Driver Series (2/5/2013)

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