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A Father’s Day Fitness Story

Maruchy Lachance is president of Running Ninja!, a lifestyle brand for runners by runners. Running Ninja! offers a wide variety of apparel and gifts for runners to keep you happy and inspired while you’re on the run.

Father’s Day is here, so I am compelled to share a story I have followed for years about Dick and Rick Hoyt.

Dick is 65 and his son Rick is 43. Their story begins when Rick was born with his umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and is rendered physically disabled. Dick and his wife loved and nurtured their son, ignoring the doctors that warned he would likely be mentally disabled as well.

In time their instincts paid off when they find that Dick is mentally healthy and sharp. He begins school and communicates using a computer. Years later while at school Rick learns of a race to raise funds for a classmate that had been in an accident. Rick asked his father to push him at the race so that he could help.

An admitted couch potato with terrible eating habits, Dick was unable to deny his son this experience and so they run. Dick pushing Rick. After the race Rick asks his father when they would race again because the experience made him feel that when he was running he was no longer handicapped. Dick took the challenge and this year they completed their 27th Boston Marathon and have completed 1,000 races (marathons, dualthons and triathlons).

A few years back, Dick suffered a mild heart attack during a race. Tests confirmed that one of his arteries was 95 percent clogged. The doctors told him that had he not been in such great shape he would have probably been dead 15 years ago. This story touches me for many reasons, one being that it serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of living a healthy and fit life not just for yourself, but for those who count on you. (Read about the Hoyts here.)

For more inspiration from Maruchy Lachance check out:

Learn How to Challenge Yourself

How My Child Overcame a Weight Problem

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June 19th, 2011

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