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Postby tammie77 on August 16th, 2006, 5:26 pm

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! Read this story and watch the video at the end!!

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 *beep* 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.

*beep*'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." *beep* says doctors told him
and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an

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," *beep* says he was told.
"There's nothing going on in his brain."

"Tell him a joke," *beep* 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 *beep*, 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," *beep* 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 *beep*'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," *beep* 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 *beep* 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, *beep*, 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, *beep*

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

Hey, *beep*, why not see how you'd do on your own?
"No way," he says.
*beep* 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, *beep* 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

"No question about it," Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the

And *beep* 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, *beep* and Rick saved each other's life.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston,
and *beep*, 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

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."
Selfless giver of time
Selfless giver of time
Posts: 158
Joined: May 26th, 2006, 8:24 am

Postby Jennhaz on August 16th, 2006, 6:10 pm

I don't even know what to say...actually I cant I am crying to hard. THis really should make us all think about alot......WOW!!!!

My favorite song...this song always lifts me up when I listen to it...

God Bless All...Jenn
Jesus bore my sickness and carried my pain. Therefore I give no place to sickness or pain. For God sent His Word and healed me. (Ps.107:20)

"Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans!!"
Posts: 1530
Joined: July 14th, 2006, 6:28 am

Postby missyJ on August 17th, 2006, 4:37 pm

What an amazing report.

Makes me feel humble thinking about what people go through.

Thanks for sharing that incredible story

Julia XX
Posts: 281
Joined: October 31st, 2005, 1:55 pm
Location: UK



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