The story of Rick and Dick Hoyt is one of the most inspiring stories—especially for me personally. (Spoiler: Grab your tissues).
According to Wikipedia, “Team Hoyt began in 1977 when Rick asked his father if they could run in a race together to benefit a lacrosse player at his school who had become paralyzed. He wanted to prove that life went on no matter your disability. Dick Hoyt was not a runner and was 36 years old. After their first race Rick said, “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.” After their initial five mile run, Dick began running every day with a bag of cement in the wheelchair because Rick was at school and studying, unable to train with him. Dick was able to improve his fitness so much that even with pushing his son, he was able to obtain a personal record of a 5 km run in 17 minutes.”
Every time I think about their journey, I can’t help but wonder, how does someone do what they do? Rick’s answer, “Our message is yes, yes you can. You can do anything you want to do. As long as you make up your mind, you can do it.”
The reason I love their story so much is that it inspires me. If they can do it, I can do it. Thanksgiving this year was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. It was the beginning of October when I made up my mind to run a 5K. I signed up for a race, I made a plan to train for 8 weeks, I decided that when race day came, I was running the entire 5K regardless of the weather. You can read more about my 5K journey in my post, I Am What I Dream To Be.
Hurdles Along the Way
As I started training, I found that I really liked running. It was easier than I thought it was going to be. In fact, it started to get addictive…then came some hurdles. The temperatures fluctuated and we had days of rain. I had some changes get thrown into my schedule so that I wasn’t able to run as consistently as I wanted to. My last three weeks of training turned out to be—well not as consistent as I had hoped. Then, the biggest hurdle came—my grandmother passed away. Can training be a breeze to essentially go from sitting on the couch to running a 5K? Yes. It’s possible, but in my case, life offered me some challenges.
Do I Run Today, Or Not?
Last Monday I was faced with a decision. Do I run today, or not? I didn’t feel like running at all, but I had made up my mind that I was going to run the 5K on Thanksgiving Day. You see at that point on Monday, I hadn’t quite ran 3 miles yet because of the hurdles in my training. Yet, I knew that if I could just run 3 miles on Monday that I could do it again on Thursday. The one thing that made all of the difference is that I had made up my mind ahead of time. I even got asked on Wednesday if the weather was going to be nasty if I was still going to run. My answer was yes, because I had made up my mind.
The Thrill of Victory
Thanksgiving Day I ran my race—the entire race. It was one of the best feelings of accomplishment. My husband and son surprised me by meeting me halfway through the race. There were people cheering me on with their voices and someone even had a cowbell. The funny thing is that when they cheered and rang that cowbell I wanted to run faster and faster. I sprinted cross the finish line and I yelled “Yes!!” and raised my hands! I was a winner. I had accomplished what I had set out to accomplish. It didn’t matter what my time was or who finished before me. My goal was to run the race and I did it!!
[sidenote: the cowbell reminded me of a certain Saturday Night Live skit featuring the Blue Oyster Cult…and it made me laugh a little inside!!]
You Got This!
I completely agree with Dick Hoyt in saying that you can do anything that is possible, with a made up mind. Just to clarify—I have to highlight the word possible because we need to be fully honest with ourselves. We can’t do anything that we put our minds to—but we can do anything that is possible. It doesn’t have to be running. It is that one thing that you want to do. Are you ready to make up your mind?
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