A Father's Day Story

Father holding his son on a dockThinking about Father’s Day, I was touched by the story of Dick Hoyt and his endearing love for his son. It’s a story that will move everyone. If you haven’t heard of Dick, take a minute to read about his selfless devotion.

Dick and his wife Judy were blessed with the birth of their son Rick but during Rick’s delivery the umbilical cord became wrapped around his neck, depriving him of oxygen. The prognosis was grim for any normal life and it was suggested to Dick and Judy that they ought to institutionalize Rick. Rather than do what many thought was easiest for them, they committed to raise their son as normally as possible, despite his severe limitations, not the least of which was his inability to walk.

Dick was no athlete. But when Rick was in high school he heard of a 5 mile fundraiser for the family of a student who had died. Rick encouraged his Dad to enter and push him along in his wheelchair. Of course, Dick, who was not in any kind of running shape, began to train for what became a life changing event. After the race, Rick told his father that as he was being pushed along he no longer felt handicapped. That was all it took!

Dick began serious training and entered the Boston Marathon in 1979 which he completed pushing Rick in a special cart. Not only were they changing their lives but countless others who they inspired. Along the way, Dick was drawn to competing in triathlons, as well. In completing 210 of these grueling events, he has pulled Rick in a raft during the 2.4 mile swim, pushed him in a cart during the 26.2 mile run and pulled him in a cart behind his bike during the 112 mile cycling portion. It’s extraordinary to compete at this level but to do it as he has, is unbelievable! The 2009 Boston Marathon marked their 1000th event. To read more of their amazing story, go to TeamHoyt.com.

Dads are often called on to perform selfless acts for their children, although not all as publicly and energetically as Dick Hoyt.  Many of these acts are remembered and appreciated, others may go unnoticed by the world or barely acknowledged. Father’s Day is a reminder for us to remember all that our fathers have done for us and, if you are still fortunate to have your father, don't miss the opportunity to tell him something you might later wish that you had.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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