Fathers and Sons

I can only imagine what it will be like
When I walk by your side
I can only imagine what my eyes will see
When your face is before me
I can only imagine
     — Mercy Me

A big tip o’ the cap to Heather for sharing this link and story with me. I had not seen nor heard of the Hoyt’s before today.

A son asked his father, ‘Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?’ The father who, despite having a heart condition, says ‘Yes’. They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always saying ‘Yes’ to his son’s request of going through the race together. One day, the son asked his father, ‘Dad, let’s join the Ironman together.’ To which, his father said ‘Yes’ to.
 
For those who didn’t know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever. The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island.

Father and son went on to complete the race together.

Team Hoyt has a website with a lot of information including their book and DVD. You can also view a video of them competing here. And this picture on their website along with the accompanying text is beautiful. It’s small text and harder to read so I’ve retyped it for you here.

Father: How do you define a father? It’s simple. You take Dick Hoyt’s picture and put it in the dictionary and let the rest of the world follow his lead. When he was told by doctors to put his son Rick in an institution, he refused. Instead Dick and Rick have spent their lifetimes together traveling the world and inspiring everyone they meet. Father of the century? No question about it.

The Hoyt’s brought to mind another amazing father and son story, the Henry’s of Louisville, Kentucky. I was first introduced to their story during a halftime report on ABC during a U of L college football game. ESPN replayed it again last year and then this winter the Henry’s were featured on the ABC show Extreme Makeover. I rarely watch that program but I was riveted during this episode. Patrick Henry’s quote at the end during a voiceover while he performed at the piano was powerful:

“God made me blind and unable to walk,” Patrick Henry says. “Big deal. With music I know that I can do anything I set my mind to.”

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