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harry strasil
10-10-2006, 4:34 PM
This is awesome beyond words. You have to read this & watch the video.

When you click the link to watch the video you get connected to the internet
site. The video screen is small but there's an icon in the bottom right corner
of the screen that will make the picture as big as your screen.Strongest Dad
in the World [From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]

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 Hoyt's 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 Hoyt's 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 Ironman's 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 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 push him once.''

Here's the video YouTube - (Can ) Father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryCTIigaloQ)

Don Baer
10-10-2006, 5:44 PM
Thanks for sharing jr, that was awsome.

Matt Newton
10-11-2006, 12:33 PM
This is my first post to this site, I just want to say how enjoyable it is. On the subject of the Hoyts, my wife ran the Boston Marathon this past year and I had the opportunity to see the Hoyts go by. It is like a celebrity siting in the running world. The buzz before they get where you are is increadible. You know they are comming by hearing the crowd shouting "there are the Hoyts." When you realize what they are doing, it gives you chills. I hope everyone takes a little inspiration from their accomplishments.

Andy Hoyt
10-11-2006, 1:58 PM
I wish I could say that I'm related to these two fine men, but can't - at least as far as I know.

They are however a true inspiration to all four generations of my extended family.

We've been following and quietly supporting them for quite some time.

Jerry Olexa
10-11-2006, 2:06 PM
That is a great sory and I read it in SI a few months back...Thanks

Brett Baldwin
10-11-2006, 2:56 PM
Wow...that really puts some perspective on what you consider obstacles. It takes the "Can Do" spirit to a whole other level. Thanks for sharing that Harry.

Gary Herrmann
10-12-2006, 11:42 PM
I still have that issue. I remember thinking that is what all fathers aspire to be. That man's heart is as big as a planet.

I think I'll go watch my son sleep for awhile.

rick fulton
10-13-2006, 9:26 AM
Very moving story. Really appreciate your bring that to my attention. Thanks Harry!

jeremy levine
10-13-2006, 9:53 AM
That was unreal, thanks.

Dennis Peacock
10-13-2006, 11:53 AM
You know Harry.
I really needed to see that today as today was the perfect day for me to actually take the time to read your post and click on the link.

I was blown away by the story and the video brought tears of joy but also tears of how I have fallen short of being a dad such as that with my kids. I strive to be all I know how to be to my kids, but for some reason, I feel that I never make it to be what I "think" I should be for my kids. My hope and prayer is that I would be half the father Mr. Hoyt is.

Thanks for posting and sharing this Harry. This has touched my life very deeply. :)

Brian Stezowski
10-13-2006, 1:56 PM
Well said Dennis. Wow...