“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ~ Randy Pausch
Whenever you start reading books about running or triathlons, you will inevitably run into stories about Team Hoyt. There is no way out but to be humbled by what these two dudes, a father and son duo, competing as one, have been able to accomplish.
Quick Version of Their Story (See what they have to say, it’s worth it)
Rick was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt. He was born and diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. Unable to walk, talk and, on the surface, seemingly unable to interact much with the world around him. His parents fought tirelessly to integrate Rick into regular life. They soon realized that he is aware, intelligent, funny and a dreamer. They invested in, and worked with Tuft’s University on developing, equipment that allows him to speak his voice. And as the parents were waiting for his first words of “I love you Mom” or “Hi Dad”, he surprised them by saying “Go Bruins!”
Let’s Go Running!
Team Hoyt was born in 1977. One day, Rick told his father that he wanted to compete in a 5 mile race to benefit a paralyzed high school lacrosse player. Dick put his son in a wheelchair. They raced. They came in next to last. The first of brick walls was broken. After the race, Rick spoke a few magical words, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” Since that race, Team Hoyt has competed in thousands of races including marathons and iron man distance triathlons. They blow by most of the stunned competition. They run for the challenge, they run with joy.
Here are just a few of their top accomplishments (yes these stats are correct, not typos):
- 2:40: 47 Marathon
- 13: 43:37 Ironman
- 17:40 5K
- Biked and ran across the USA in 1992: 3,735 miles in 45 consecutive days.
Team Hoyt breaks through brick barriers as if they are made out of straw. They inspire all of us to think beyond the barriers that hold us back.