CAVE Man of the Week: Dick Hoyt and Rick Hoyt

If you are reading this without watching the video posted above you need to stop immediately and click play. With the internet, we have information at our finger tips 24/7, most of it being crap. This story is far from that, it is one that moves people of any race, gender or age. It has captivated me and truly inspired me to become a better man. I expect it to have a similar effect on you as you watch the video and progress through this article.

This story is about the bond between father and son. The power that can be transcended through the simple act of love. Rick Hoyt was born in 1962, through child birth there were complications that caused Rick to be diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. His parents were advised to institutionalize Rick as the medical staff at the hospital told them that Rick would simply be a ‘vegetable’ for the rest of his life. His parents went against the recommendation and began to raise their son. This is admirable in itself, but this is only the beginning of a truly remarkable story.

In 1972 with only 5,000 dollars engineers were able to construct a computer that allowed Rick to communicate with other people. He surprised everyone with his first words, “Go, Bruins!” The Boston Bruins were in the middle of the  1972 Stanley Cup finals. Rick then went on to complete high school and to receive a degree from Boston University.

In 1977, at the age of 15, Rick told his father that he wanted to participate in a 5-mile benefit run. Months removed from a heart attack, his father Dick Hoyt agreed to push his son throughout the race. They finished the race in second to last, but after the race Rick said to his father, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”  Since that day the two have competed in over 1000 races, including the 2009 Boston Marathon, charity races, and multiple triathlons. During the triathlons Dick would pull Rick in a boat attached to him by a bungee cord, then proceed to ride a two-seater bike and then finish with pushing his son in a wheelchair for the running portion.

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