Daily Archives: April 25, 2011

The incredible story of Dick Hoyt and his son. And the greatest school project on pregnancy, ever

What do you say we start the week with some inspiration?

Dick Hoyt and his son Rick have gone on an incredible journey for the past three decades. Rick has been confined to a wheelchair virtually since birth, struck down with cerebral palsy.
Wanting to show his son that he could still lead an active lifestyle, and refusing to allow Rick’s handicap to define the family, Dick started running road races.
While pushing Rick the whole time. They started with 5Ks, and moved on to half-marathons, and then marathons.
And because that wasn’t challenging enough (Dick and Rick actually ran several sub-3 hour marathon times in the 1980s; remember this is a man running while pushing another person in a chair) they started doing triathlons. Yes, Dick actually swam and biked with Rick strapped to his side, or in a boat nearby.

Through heart attacks and illness, through financial problems and divorce, Dick and Rick Hoyt, bonded together through their love and through running, have just kept on going. They have each other and little else, except for the love and admiration of millions who are so glad that from the start of the Hoyts’ crazy odyssey to now, the plight of disabled people has stopped being shoved in a dark closet and has been brought out into the brilliant sunlight.

There is so much we can accomplish with hope, and love, and a good pair of running shoes.
I can’t express how impressive these two are.

Next time you want to complain or worry about your problems, think of a father pushing his son in a chair, showing love the greatest way he can.

Here’s the Sports Illustrated story from last week’s issue by the great Gary Smith about the Hoyt’s, and below is the HBO Real Sports piece in which I first heard of them. If you’re not crying by the end, well, maybe your tear ducts are empty.

**I’ve heard about going above and beyond for a school project before, but this girl takes the cake.
Gaby Rodriguez is a 17-year-old student at Toppenish High School in Washington state.  She was a straight A student, and decided during her senior year that for her senior project, it’d be fun to pretend to be pregnant, to see how her school and the community would react.
And so she did it, for 6 1/2 months she pulled it off. Until last week, when she shocked her school by pulling her “baby bump” out from under her shirt.

All throughout, she wrote down what people were saying about her, and most of it wasn’t positive, as you’ll read.

I think this is beyond fantastic. That a kid would take on such a project to show how stereotypes foster terrible treatment of pregnant teens is WAY more interesting than any crap they show about it on MTV.

Good for you, Gaby.