Fathers are special individuals. What exactly makes a father? Having children is just the first step. A father is someone who wants to catch you before you fall but instead picks you up, brushes you off and lets you try again. He's someone who wants to keep you from making mistakes, but instead lets you find your own way, even though his heart breaks in silence when you get hurt. He's someone who holds you when you cry, scolds you when you break the rules, shines with pride when you are successful and has faith in you even when you fail. A father not only has boundless love and passion but is devoted to supporting and guiding his children while stopping to instill those same characteristics along the path.
The emotional and physical devotion of father-and-son duo Dick and Rick Hoyt inspired hearts around the world when their story was published by several prominent media outlets in 2014, including the Boston Globe, ESPN and ABC. When Rick was born a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy without the ability to walk or talk, his father ignored doctor's early warnings of a hopeless situation and worked tirelessly to both achieve inclusivity and to involve Rick in a plethora of activities. At age 15, when Rick asked to be pushed in a 5K race to benefit a local athlete who had been paralyzed himself; Dick didn't hesitate and jumped into action.
After that first event, Rick immediately responded by telling his family he no longer felt handicapped during the race. Since, the two have continued, having now completed 1,000 road races, marathons and triathlons, completing the Boston Marathon an incredible 32 times -- together. The elder Hoyt loved his son so much that he committed to helping him achieve his dreams. His love reached a level that subsequently inspired thousands of others to find that same, burning passion in their own relationships.
A father's love, passion and devotion come wrapped in many packages. Some involve participating in marathons, while others involve simply being there to guide, teach and advise.
We certainly wish all the incredible fathers both in and outside of our network of schools a relaxing, fun and enjoyable Father's Day. Your commitment, love and teachings continue to inspire us all.