I originally posted this on October 17, 2006 but I couldn’t think of a better salute to fathers on Father’s Day than the story of Dick Hoyt and his son, Rick. So I took the post out, dusted it off, and updated content where necessary to keep the story accurate.
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads who give everything they’ve got every day for the love of their kids. Enjoy.
This is off the topic of politics, government and world events, but it’s so inspiring I wanted as many people as possible to see it.
Over forty years ago, Judy Hoyt gave birth to a baby boy whose umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck. Judy and her husband were told that their son, Rick, was a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and would be a vegetable for the rest of his life. Doctors advised them to place him in an institution because he would never improve. Rick’s parents said absolutely not.
Even after years of being told that their son would not accomplish anything with his life, Judy and Dick refused to give up. Eventually they had Rick hooked up to a computer, which allowed him to communicate.
Inspired by a 5K fundraiser for another local disabled man, Rick told his dad he wanted to participate in a race, too. Even though Dick was out of shape and couldn’t run a mile, let alone five, he decided to give it a try anyway for the benefit of his son. Dick pushed Rick in his wheelchair as he ran all five kilometers. Afterward at home, Rick typed out on his computer that when they were running, it felt like his disability disappeared. It was a turning point in both their lives.
Since then, Dick and Rick competed in over 1000 races, including 67 marathons – 27 of which were Boston Marathons, 234 triathlons – 15 of which were Ironman competitions.
Now that you know the story, watch the video of Dick and Rick participating in an Ironman competition in Hawaii. Be sure to have tissues nearby. This story goes right to the heart of what it means to love unconditionally.