Thanks to his parents, who ignored the advice of doctors that he would live life in a persistent vegetative state, and Tufts University engineers, who recognized that his sense of humor indicated intelligence, at the age of 12, Rick was able to learn how to use a special computer to communicate, using movements from his head. The first words he typed were, "Go Bruins!", and the family learned he was a sports fan. They entered their first race in 1977, a 5 mile benefit run for an injured lacrosse player who was a schoolmate of Rick's.
Dick is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. Rick earned a college degree from Boston University in special education, and now works at Boston College. They continue to compete in races, and are also motivational speakers.
As of January 31, 2008, Team Hoyt had participated in a total of 958 events, including 224 Triathlons (6 of which were Ironman competitions), 20 Duathlons, and 65 Marathons, including 25 Boston Marathons. They have also biked and run across the USA, in 1992 — a 3,735 mile journey that took them 45 days.
When asked what one thing Rick wished he could give his father, his reply was "The thing I'd most like is that my dad would sit in the chair and I would push him once."
The past few days have been hectic to say the least. There are times I'd wish that the clock would magically last 26 instead of 24 hours. Or that I'd have 2-3 clones of myself to accomplish all that is in my checklist. But no matter how much I wish for these to happen with all my might, they haven't happened. They never will. Despite that, I still tried to do things with just my best, relying too much on my own energy, swimming against the current, racing uphill alone. Things seem pointless. Defeat is imminent.
Then my father sends me this via email.
a a a a a a a a a a a a a I am broken into a million, million pieces... *sniff sniff*
Thanks, Pop, for this very timely reminder: that on this earth I can rest undoubtedly assured of two things: your love and God's.
I know that at times, a kid with physical disabilities would be far easier to deal with than me. But thanks for putting up with my... quirks. Then again, who would have I inherited them from? =] Thank you for being a pillar of strength, ardent fan, most welcome critic.
I always, always thank the Lord for you, you and mom =]
And to my Father in heaven, I am at your disposal =]