Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they're not in a marathon they are in a triathlon. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.
It's a remarkable record of exertion -- all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.
For the past twenty five years or more Dick, who is 65, has pushed and pulled his son across the country and over hundreds of finish lines. When Dick runs, Rick is in a wheelchair that Dick is pushing. When Dick cycles, Rick is in the seat-pod from his wheelchair, attached to the front of the bike. When Dick swims, Rick is in a small but heavy, firmly stabilized boat being pulled by Dick.
At Rick's birth in 1962 the umbilical cord coiled around his neck and cut off oxygen to his brain. Dick and his wife, Judy, were told that there would be no hope for their child's development.
"It’s been a story of exclusion ever since he was born. When he was eight months old the doctors told us we should just put him away — he’d be a vegetable all his life, that sort of thing. Well those doctors are not alive any more, but I would like them to be able to see Rick now."
What are some lessons here for teams and those who lead teams?
- When things look tough you still get to choose how you will respond.
- 100% dedication to your teammates can be an inspiration to others.
- Listening to the well-meaning advice of "experts" will not necessarily give you the life you desire.
Here's a heart warming video of Team Hoyt that's been viewed on YouTube over 8 million times.