A Father’s Love


I cried this morning, a lot.  If you have a spare 10-15 minutes, take the time to read the following and watch the video.



Dick Hoyt is an inspiration.  The following is from a Snopes entry, so you know the story is true.

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 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,” 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 Hoyts 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 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 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.

Here’s the video that brought me to tears this morning.

And here is another video by IgniterMedia you will also like.

Please make sure to have you sound turned on as well.

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5 Responses to A Father’s Love

  1. Trinity13 says:

    I love their story…what a tear jerker!

  2. Shawn Wilson says:

    Man….what can you say to that? Maybe Lord forgive me for being so cold and selfish. Great Video and story man. That’s two stories in two days that I have wept at.

    Much love,

  3. LittlePastor says:

    Didn’t I read this in Sports Illustrated, Rick Reilly article?

  4. MToots says:

    Until you are a parent it is hard to imagine what can be done because of the love of a child. Very much like the love of our heavenly Father for each of us!

  5. John Paul says:

    I am a Boston University graduate which is Rick’s alma-mater as well (you see Rick going through BU’s commencement in the video); I never ran into Rick while on campus, but I actually had the pleasure of watching this father / son team cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon back in 97 or 98?? What an amazing thing to see.

    The image of his father carrying him from the water to the bike.. what an Awsome picture of Christ this father is portraying to the world…

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