If you have lived in Boston as long as I have, then you have heard of Team Hoyt, the father son team who has competed in the Boston Marathon 27 times and countless other athletic events across the country. They are no different than any other tight father and son except for the part where Rick Hoyt has cerebral palsy and is in a wheel chair.
Yes, Dick Hoyt pushes his 49-year-old son hundreds of miles every year. And the reason is simple: Because he does not want him feel different.
Here is their story and I challenge you to get through it with dry eyes. But you won't cry because you are sad. You will cry because it is so inspiring. The parental love is palpable and as a result, they can do almost anything. Here is their story:
"He lives a happier life than probably 95 percent of the population," says Rick Hoyt and it's true. He has gone to high school and college, competed in hundreds of races and made a full and happy life for himself with a lot of help from his father.
It all started when Dick decided to run a race pushing his son and after they finished Rick told his dad he did not feel disabled when they were running. It become a mission and now Team Hoyt has completed 92 half marathons, 68 full marathons, and 240 triathlons among countless other races and events.
Dick pulls Rick in a special boat as they swim, carries him in a special seat in the front of a bicycle, and pushes him in a special wheelchair as they run. Team Hoyt was inducted to the Ironman Hall of Fame in 2008.
When you first get a diagnosis like the Hoyts received -- they were told Rick would be a "vegetable" and they should institutionalize him -- you probably want to give up the fight. But Dick and his wife decided to treat Rick like their other two children and the results have been miraculous.
It is inspiring to see them running by and even more inspiring to hear their story. A special needs child needs not sit on the sidelines and watch all the action. With a little creativity and a lot of parental love, any child can achieve their dreams.
Look no further than Team Hoyt for the proof.
Does this inspire you?
Image via YouTube