How to Turn Defeat Into Victory

When Rick was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck, no one thought he had a chance. The doctors told his parents that he should be institutionalized because he would be a vegetable for his entire life.

Rick’s parents would not accept that and chose to take him home to raise him as normally as possible. That simple courageous decision in the face of all the experts has led to one of the most compelling stories in long distance running….Dick & Rick Hoyt.

Together with Dick pushing Rick’s wheelchair they have completed 224 Triathlons (including 5 Iron Mans), 65 Marathons (including 25 Bostons) with a personal best marathon time of 2:40:47!!! (For any non-runners reading this that’s like Kenyan fast — think 6 minute miles).

They are an inspiration to millions of runners and parents. Anytime I struggle with a run, I think of their story and that if Dick can do it while pushing his son in a wheelchair than I can darn-well do it on my own.

The message on their website is “Yes, you can!“, but if I had to summarize how they turned defeat into victory, I would offer the following:

  • Never Give Up: It would have been so easy for Dick to give up on his son, but he wouldn’t let the doctors or the world get him down.
  • Dream Big: Dick could’ve settled for a simple life for his son or just running one race. Instead he went for the toughest races (Boston and the IronMan).
  • Prove the Experts Wrong: So many times in life, experts will tell you that something can’t be done. Dick & Rick’s story shows that given enough willpower anything is possible.

They’ve overcome every other hurdle, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Rick is able to make his biggest dream come true someday:

The thing I’d most like, is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once.

Check out the moving video below to see them in action: