Rick Hoyt

MyGoal #010 illustration - marathonIn 1977, Rick Hoyt, who was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic told his dad he wanted to participate in a 5 mile charity run to honor a schoolmate who had been paralyzed in an accident.  Rick really wanted to do something for him, and what he wanted to do was run.  Obviously, he couldn’t run, but his dad could – and he could do it pushing Rick along the way.  Rick wanted his schoolmate to know, life goes on, even if you’re paralyzed.  Rick and his dad have gone on to participate in 1,108 endurance events, as of April 2014.

Rick’s schoolmate inspired Rick to action, and Rick inspired his dad to action.  At age 36, Rick’s dad, Dick took up running and hasn’t looked back.  This is the small, yet enormous effect we can all have on each other.  One story – One person – Can change your whole life.

Did Rick know that participating in this one charity event would lead to countless others?  That it would become the glue that bound his dad and him together?  That it would become the one thing in his life that made him feel alive?  You just never know how the events and people you meet in your life can influence you.

Rick says, “When I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”

Sound familiar?  If you read the last post about Kayla Montgomery, the distance runner with MS, she also cited running as the activity that makes her feel whole and safe, even though she has a disease.

I mention these stories, not only because they’re inspiring to overcome roadblocks and obstacles, but because of the tremendous power you can glean from feeling connected to a deeper reason for losing weight.

Trips to the gym and time on the treadmill can take on new meaning if you dig deep enough.  Who are you losing weight for?  I hope you’re doing it for you, and it might also help to connect to something greater.  Is there a cause you care about?  A person you want to honor?  What can inspire you to get moving?  What can motivate you to lose weight?  Ultimately the weight loss results are for you, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it alone.

Dick received criticism over the years for looking for glory, but he adamantly states it was Rick that brought him to the racecourse – not the other way around.

Rick says the one thing he’d like to do for his dad is to be able to push him out on the course.  I would offer he has already ‘pushed’ his dad in many ways.

Watch this video below to see what I mean:


Dick’s an athlete in his own right, and he also acknowledges he doesn’t have the desire to run the races himself.

One thing is clear from Rick and his dad’s story: Without each other, there is no Team Hoyt.

Who motivates you to lose weight?  Do you have a ‘Rick Hoyt’ in your own life who inspires you?