Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Strongest Dad in the World

[From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly]
I try to be a good father. Give my kids mulligans.Work nights to pay for their text messaging.
But compared with Dick Hoyt, I stink.
Eighty-five times he's pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he's not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars--all in the same day.
Dick's also pulled him cross-country skiing, taken him on his back Mountain climbing and once hauled him across the U.S. on a bike. Makes taking your son bowling look a little lame, right?
And what has Rick done for his father? Not much--except save his life.
This love story began in Winchester , Mass. , 43 years ago, when Rick was strangled by the umbilical cord during birth, leaving him brain-damaged and unable to control his limbs.
"He'll be a vegetable the rest of his life;'' Dick says doctors told him and his wife, Judy, when Rick was nine months old. "Put him in an institution.''
But the Hoyts weren't buying it. They noticed the way Rick's eyes followed them around the room. When Rick was 11 they took him to the engineering department at Tufts University and asked if there was anything to help the boy communicate. "No way,'' Dick says he was told. "There's nothing going on in his brain.''
"Tell him a joke,'' Dick countered. They did. Rick laughed. Turns out a lot was going on in his brain.
Rigged up with a computer that allowed him to control the cursor by touching a switch with the side of his head, Rick was finally able to communicate.
First words? "Go Bruins!'' And after a high school classmate was paralyzed in an accident and the school organized a charity run for him, Rick pecked out, "Dad, I want to do that.''Yeah, right. How was Dick, a self-described "porker'' who never ran more than a mile at a time, going to push his son five miles? Still, he tried.
"Then it was me who was handicapped,'' Dick says. "I was sore for two weeks.''
That day changed Rick's life. "Dad,'' he typed, "when we were running, it felt like I wasn't disabled anymore!''
And that sentence changed Dick's life. He became obsessed with giving Rick that feeling as often as he could. He got into such hard-belly shape that he and Rick were ready to try the 1979 Boston Marathon.
"No way,'' Dick was told by a race official. The Hoyts weren't quite a single runner, and they weren't quite a wheelchair competitor. For a few years Dick and Rick just joined the massive field and ran anyway, then they found a way to get into the race officially: In 1983 they ran another marathon so fast they made the qualifying time for Boston the following year.
Then somebody said, "Hey, Dick, why not a triathlon?''
How's a guy who never learned to swim and hadn't ridden a bike since he was six going to haul his 110-pound kid through a triathlon? Still, Dick tried.
Now they've done 212 triathlons, including four grueling 15-hour Ironmans in Hawaii . It must be a buzzkill to be a 25-year-old stud getting passed by an old guy towing a grown man in a dinghy, don't you think?
Hey, Dick, why not see how you'd do on your own? "No way,'' he says. Dick does it purely for "the awesome feeling'' he gets seeing Rick with a cantaloupe smile as they run, swim and ride together.
This year, at ages 65 and 43, Dick and Rick finished their 24th Boston Marathon , in 5,083rd place out of more than 20,000 starters. Their best time'? Two hours, 40 minutes in 1992--only 35 minutes off the world record, which, in case you don't keep track of these things, happens to be held by a guy who was not pushing another man in a wheelchair at the time."No question about it,'' Rick types. "My dad is the Father of the Century.''
And Dick got something else out of all this too. Two years ago he had a mild heart attack during a race. Doctors found that one of his arteries was 95% clogged. "If you hadn't been in such great shape,'' one doctor told him, "you probably would've died 15 years ago.''
So, in a way, Dick and Rick saved each other's life.
Rick, who has his own apartment (he gets home care) and works in Boston, and Dick, retired from the military and living in Holland , Mass., always find ways to be together. They give speeches around the country and compete in some backbreaking race every weekend, including this Father's Day.
That night, Rick will buy his dad dinner, but the thing he really wants to give him is a gift he can never buy.The thing I'd most like,'' Rick types, "is that my dad sit in the chair and I push him once."

Here's the video, get your tissues ready... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjPrL3n63yg

Monday, August 21, 2006


"Hello....Hello... Hello...Hello..." with each hello getting quieter she heard her voice resonate down into the blackness. "Can anyone hear me... hear me... hear me... hear me..." she yelled again hoping that this time she might get a response. Frustrated, she grabbed a pebble from the gravel path near by and she held it over the large hole. Slowly she released her fingers from around the rock and it fell... down, down, down... she could hear it running along the sides of the wall as if the opening was getting smaller and smaller. She waited to hear a thud, or a splash as the rock hit whatever it was that was at the bottom of this... but she never heard anything... only silence. She wanted to know what this hole was for, and why it was right here for her to pass by. She wanted to know what was at the bottom and she wanted to hear the voice that should be answering her call. When she yelled into the darkness, she didn't get an answer, all she heard was herself... her own voice? Maybe this was what God needed her to hear instead of hearing His voice... maybe the silence had a purpose, or maybe it wasn't really silence at all. It was then that she realized that it is through these dark, silent unknowns in life that God can show us so much wisdom in the comfort of our own voice and heart... for He resides not in a noise or sound, but in our heart.


Sorry I have been so MIA lately... I was busy working on a special project all last week *wink*

Monday, August 07, 2006


Sitting in the middle of the concrete slab of a large playground, she pulled a bag from her pocket. With legs crossed Indian style she held the small blue bag in her lap. She grabbed the bag with both hands and began to untie the rope that held it closed. Once untied, she used her fingers to peak inside. With the bag in the palm of one hand, she reached into it with the other hand and pulled a small red bouncy ball from inside. She smirked as she then flipped her wrist down to allow for the contents of the bag to pour out. Tiny silver jacks flooded out from the bag’s opening and onto the flat ground, as if stars falling from the heavens. The metal pieces had six points to it, four that had round tips and two that were pointed. Some of the jacks seemed as if to point their sharp fingers at her, while others were softer and round. As they settled in their places the metal pieces seemed to lean on their sides against the concrete. Some of the jacks were close to her and there were others that were so far away that they almost seemed set apart, unreachable, unattainable. She took the red bouncy ball in her right hand and dropped it. The ball hit the ground and then shot back up into the air. As the ball flew, she reached down to the ground and picked up one of the silver jacks and then caught the red ball with the same hand as it came back down. "Onesies" she said to herself. She threw the ball up in the air again and before it hit the ground the second time, she had picked up two small silver jacks. “Twosies,” she said. Then, “Threesies”. She kept going and kept going, but her hand wasn’t big enough… she couldn’t get them all. She tried and tried, over and over again, never to give up. She wanted it all… but she couldn’t have it.

Then He sat down. She didn’t have to play alone any longer. She handed Him the ball and swiftly in one toss He threw the small red ball up and picked up all of the tiny jacks, all at once. He caught the ball, looked down at His hand, and then extended His arm out with open palm to her. She couldn’t help but smile as she accepted the gift… “Thank you Jesus” she said.

It was only with Him that she could have it all… that she could get it all… that she could win it all.

Friday, August 04, 2006

What Is This Pain?

What is this pain, my precious Dad,
That twists deep down inside,
The hurt that causes me to weep,
In you I will confide.

What is this pain, Father of mine,
That won't let go of me,
The one that takes my every thought,
Why won't it let me be.

What is this pain, my one Savior,
I want to be so strong,
A smiling face, it's not for real,
I fill up with all that's wrong.

What is this pain, King of kings,
That dulls when I'm with you,
I refuge in your shelter, Lord,
I kneel down at your pew.

What is this pain, Lord of my life,
Please take it all away,
And leave me with your perfect peace,
Real joy inside to stay.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:11

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In Bulk

I don't know about you, but every time I go to Sam's or Costco, I am overwhelmed the minute I step in the door by the massive bulk amts of stuff. I pay the yearly fee to have a "membership" to such a place and then I merely walk around, never purchasing anything. Why not? you wonder. Well, I guess I just don't have room. I especially get excited when visiting the frozen foods isle or the gum isle, but then I am quickly shot back into reality, realizing that 24 cordon blues would be enough for me to eat cordon blue for almost an entire month straight. Case and point... I hate buying in bulk! I don't have room to keep the stuff around, and I sure don't use it fast enough to justify buying so much. As a result, I have a membership to Sam's that is pretty much worthless, and I make a trip to the grocery store about every other week, just to pick up the necessities.

I find that sometimes I don't want God in bulk either. I will stroll around, looking at what I should take home, and then I walk out so as to not be overwhelmed. Instead I take small pieces of Him, only enough to stay satisfied... never really filling myself up. Its like I know that I can always get God, so I fill my life up with other things instead of filling up the excess room that I have with Him. I am sick of taking advantage of the fact that God is accessible... I want God in bulk...I want to fill up...I want leave no space for things of this world... for with His eternal love I will never need more.