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[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 Dick 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.

Dick'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;'' 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.

Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, 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 Day.

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.''

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Submitted by monkey on Thu, 10/19/2006 - 12:21pm.
141431 views | -8 points

that is so awsume i could nevr do those things you do you go dad!

Posted on Sat, 02/02/2008 - 6:41pm by Anonymous

Very loving dad, but a very selfish son asking a lot from is aging father.

He just have to sit on is ass went is father whas douing all the jod. I think it's very sad for the father. I am sure the daddy put all is heart in to it.

Posted on Thu, 11/05/2009 - 10:19pm by Anonymous (not verified)

How is the son being selfish? He didn't ask his father to do these events; he simply mentioned he wished he could and the father did something about it. I'm sure he'd return the favor if he could.

Besides, it's not like it hasn't had any positive affects on the father; according to him he never would've gotten in such good shape had he not started the marathons. In a weird way it's mutually beneficial.

Posted on Fri, 12/11/2009 - 1:23pm by Anonymous (not verified)

Comments from someone who's never had a child. They just cannot understand.

Posted on Sun, 03/14/2010 - 1:49pm by RegThorston (not verified)

You are very right. Because when you are a parent, you will do anything to help your child, to be there for them, and help them have the best life, especially when they cannot do for themselves...

Posted on Sun, 01/02/2011 - 7:48pm by Anonymous (not verified)

Are you serious? How are you going to say that his son is selfish? His son has a physical problems, his dad wanted to make his son happy and make him feel alive, at the same time Dicks life was saved because of his health being in good tact because of all the triathlon, read the story before you go making rediculous comments!

Posted on Sun, 01/02/2011 - 7:46pm by Anonymous (not verified)

That's not selfishness that is PURE LOVE for each other. and I am sure that if some unfore seen event happens, that Rick will under stand that his dad can't carrier on! But for the mean time let them enjoy each an every day they have together. I lost my dad three years ago an I wish that we could have done more together! So Dick and Rick enjoy every day to the fullness, an make every one count cause in the long run that's all we got. sincerley m.b.Cogar Okla.

Posted on Tue, 01/04/2011 - 2:34pm by Michael Brushwood

now thats real love

Posted on Wed, 02/20/2008 - 9:09am by Anonymous

that is so awsome a dad like that i would have to say is the best dad in the world!!!!

Posted on Sun, 10/22/2006 - 6:30pm by Anonymous

What a wonderful Dad. This video touched my heart, I can't even explain it.

Posted on Wed, 09/30/2009 - 2:15am by Anonymous

Wow....It motivates me to do better for waste the great potential the lord gave you with this wonderful body if you don't make the most of it...I can imagine and I will...

Posted on Sat, 11/04/2006 - 7:30am by Anonymous

How gut-wrenchingly beautiful! Such an awesome and inspiring story.

Posted on Mon, 11/06/2006 - 11:13am by Anonymous

Unbelievable, awesome! This is true Love.

Posted on Mon, 11/06/2006 - 6:10pm by Anonymous

This Touched my Heart!!! This was awesome!!

Posted on Wed, 11/08/2006 - 10:42am by Anonymous


Posted on Wed, 11/08/2006 - 11:41am by Anonymous

Words fail me. Awesome human beings...both of them. It will certainly make me think twice the next time I think I canNOT do something. The little train that went up a hill...NOT! These two are TRUE heroes and should motivate everyone to do their best. CAN...words to live by!!

Posted on Wed, 11/08/2006 - 1:15pm by Anonymous

What an awesome Father and individual!

Posted on Wed, 11/08/2006 - 5:50pm by Anonymous

Well you were right about the Kleenex. I had never heard this inspirational story. Until reading this story, I had been proud of the fact that I completed a mini triathlon at the age of 38 after smoking two packs a day for 20 years. The worlds best father and son combo for sure.

Posted on Thu, 11/09/2006 - 7:07pm by Anonymous

yep tissues are needed after watching that. what an amazing story.

Posted on Thu, 11/16/2006 - 8:24pm by Anonymous

Awesome exhibit of love and dedication. Tears are flowing.

Posted on Mon, 11/27/2006 - 7:53pm by Anonymous

This makes me feel like such a loser. I am healthy, my children are healthy and I still don't do those things. We could all use some of their ambition and love.

Posted on Wed, 11/29/2006 - 3:38pm by Anonymous

Worlds best Dad, I don't think so, how about worlds best human being.

Posted on Fri, 12/01/2006 - 4:59pm by Anonymous

I was filled with joy as they came across the finish line.

Posted on Fri, 12/01/2006 - 10:37pm by Anonymous

Without comparison, this is the most inspirational story I have heard. Too many times during our lives, we provide excuses, usually diguised as reasons, as to why we can't possibly accomplish something because of what we don't have available to us. This is a wondferful illustration of what can be achieved by maximizing the talents God had provided for each of us. I only wish I could say that I have maximized my potential as the Hoyts have chosen to do. They are role models for us all.

Posted on Sun, 12/03/2006 - 10:41am by Anonymous

we all need to take time and think of others for a change. that was a wonderful story, god bell them

Posted on Wed, 12/06/2006 - 3:03pm by Anonymous

You have succinctly described the Love our Father has for us. I was inspired by the video and by your comment. You truly have an understanding of His purpose for us.

Thank you for renewing my spirit.

Posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:53pm by Anonymous

I have heard of and been amazed by the Hoyts earlier this year. The tissues were still need to watch the video. But all I can think of was if this had happen to a family during this day and age, the doctors may have found the problem sooner and then insisted on terminating the pregancy. This just shows that God creates every single human being for a purpose. You may not have seen what your purpose is, but God knows it. God knows everything about you and the kicker is that He still Loves you anyway. Every child is a gift, every life is a gift no matter if that life is perfect or not. To God you are perfect. Live your life in His perfect grace and you will feel that wonderful feeling that you felt watching the Hoyt's cross the finish line.
What an inspiring story for all ages.

Posted on Thu, 12/07/2006 - 1:22am by Anonymous


Posted on Thu, 12/07/2006 - 5:04am by Anonymous

What a bond between these two. The life he gave his child. The love and the devotion. I'm a parent of two children myself and if there was a "Best Dad Award" i'd vote for him.

Posted on Thu, 12/07/2006 - 9:56pm by Anonymous

This was a gorgeously beutiful story. The story of a devotion and love that we should all seek to strive for. When you read something like this, you think it's loving and all but no real life person would really go through all that. BUT, when you see the video that goes with the story, there's a whole new feeling inside of you. Your heart is touched and you feel the hand of God on your shoulder and whispering in your ear that selfless humility is what we should strive to be. He truly loves his son and his son has as kind and big a heart as his father. He says he wishes his dad could sit in the chair just once so he could push him. You feel disgusting and disgraceful to God for being lazy and ungrateful for all the blessings that you don't acknowledge from day to day. God bless them both!

Posted on Fri, 12/08/2006 - 9:07pm by Anonymous

Thank you for such a beautiful story of love and sacrifice.

Posted on Sat, 12/09/2006 - 12:46am by Anonymous

This man is my new Hero! What an unselfish display of love and caring. To endure the rigors of such physicall pain and mental strain. Only proves that the Heart and Soul are the strenght of the human life. For no man is an Island and stands alone. We all touch those around us. I hope I can only remember that each and every day.

Posted on Sun, 12/10/2006 - 2:55pm by Anonymous


GOD BLESS this wonderful father.

Posted on Sun, 12/10/2006 - 7:07pm by Anonymous

A great story about the precious gift call life which is sometimes taken for granted.An awesome story.

Posted on Mon, 12/11/2006 - 1:54pm by Anonymous

Moved me to tears. I am inspired to do better.

Thank You.

Posted on Thu, 05/10/2007 - 7:16pm by Anonymous

A very touching great story. I could not stop crying. As soon as I start reading this great true story my eyes were on tears. Great father and great son. I love them.

Posted on Wed, 12/13/2006 - 10:20pm by Anonymous

While reading this incredible true love story of father and son; I cried the whole time. I praise you GOD for making people that don't give up. I praise you GOD for "I'll get another opinion." type person.

Posted on Thu, 12/14/2006 - 2:05pm by Anonymous

Please sweet God; bless us all. Give us hearts of gold and feelings of unselfish love. Sharpsburg, GA

Posted on Thu, 12/14/2006 - 2:08pm by Anonymous

Wow, that is truly amazing.He is a wonderful person and his son too. It is a sad story but only brought happy tears to my eyes.We always under estimate ourselves and what we or others can do, but it is time we don't say I can not we say I will try and succeed.

Posted on Wed, 12/20/2006 - 9:48pm by Anonymous

WOW!! I had seen this video before, but it impacted me the same. We are equipped to do much more than we can comfortable allow us to. When we think we are at the end of the rope, we have 50% more. God has truly created us for GREATNESS, and this is a perfect example.
It is not about age or gender but about determination to accomplish the task.
God Bless you!
Odessa, Texas

Posted on Fri, 12/22/2006 - 4:41pm by Anonymous

that made my cry man so tuching. you c i have a bro with specail needs. he bypolar he get made throws out of control fits. well that guys dad is totaly fricken awesome!

Posted on Wed, 12/27/2006 - 1:51pm by Anonymous

This is so inspiring; thank you for making it available for everyone to see it, I saw it on a TV news show last week and as a retired professional athlete can only ask God's blessings on these two courageous men, like father like son. My heaft goes out to them! Jeanne Hill, Catalina Island.

Posted on Sat, 01/06/2007 - 3:54am by Anonymous

An amazing tribute of love, honour and accomplishment for both father and son...simply beautiful and what the world needs to see on all levels...unconditional love...thankyou both for this very insightful video...we are all blessed to watch such love. THANKYOU... MARIAN JEFFERYS AUSTRALIA

Posted on Mon, 02/05/2007 - 10:30pm by Anonymous

Well said, Rich.
I don't know you, don't live in the US, but have the same heart, which is still weak with emotion after that moving story and video. I didn't even need to see the video to feel the tears welling, but the look of joy on the boy's face as he felt the wind in his hair and saw the accolades he and his dad received was itself a stark reminder of how beautiful handicapped people are and as for the father, well, I take my hat off to you, sir. How great and selfless your love is, is a testament to your fine character and (I hope) your faith in the ultimate father. I will share your story with others, including my school classes, to show them what real love and sacrifice are. I am reminded of this at Easter. God bless, you, Hoys, and thank you for sharing this sentiment with us.
Andrew Smith, Sydney

Posted on Tue, 04/10/2007 - 4:35am by Anonymous

i WISH i WERE HALF THE MAN AND FATHER HE IS............I'M STILL WEEPING.......................

Posted on Tue, 05/22/2007 - 2:41pm by Anonymous

True love.

Posted on Tue, 05/22/2007 - 10:40pm by Anonymous


Posted on Fri, 06/29/2007 - 2:46pm by Anonymous


Posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 12:54am by Anonymous


Posted on Tue, 07/10/2007 - 6:51pm by Anonymous

I don't cry easily but, I've got a lump in my throat and a damp eye as I type this. I can only pray they come to know Jesus to make the entire relationship complete.

Posted on Thu, 11/15/2007 - 6:48pm by Anonymous

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