Thursday, July 29, 2010
So I've been a longtime fan of Dick and Rick Hoyt - also known as Team Hoyt. For those unfamiliar, Dick and Rick are a father and son team who run marathons and triathlons together. Rick suffers from cerebral palsy and together Team Hoyt has touched thousands across the country, inspiring both the disabled and non-disabled to do anything they set their mind to
I mean really...watch this video and try not to shed a tear:
I picked up Dick Hoyt's book, Devoted, because I wanted to learn more about these amazing people and what it takes to not only push yourself but to push another human being 26.2 miles, or through a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run.
The book starts off with Dick's surprise that Team Hoyt had become such an Internet sensation. It's not every day you see people like Team Hoyt at a race. It did a really great job of telling the story of when Rick was born - he somehow got his mother's umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, cutting off oxygen and causing brain damage. Devoted goes through Dick's emotions when he and his then-wife learn their perfect baby was born with cerebral palsy. Doctors told the couple to put Rick away in an institution; that he would never be anything more than a vegetable. A lot of times I think about what that must be like, to have a disabled child. Really think about it. What goes through your mind...and what would you do?
Dick accepts his son's condition with grace and realizes that you can't change a tough situation but you can make the best of it. After Rick and Dick did their first road race ever - a 5-miler - Team Hoyt knew that was it, that is what they were meant to do. After running more than 1,000 road races, not to mention 25 Boston Marathons - I just can't even describe the love this father must have for his son.
I don't want to give the whole book away, but I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a good memoir.