Monday, September 9, 2013

He's not Heavy, He's my Brother

Galatians 6:2 (KJV)
2  Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:5 (KJV)
5  For every man shall bear his own burden.

The triathlon is a grueling test of one’s mental and physical endurance; couple that together with the added weight of another person who is unable to help themselves; and the challenge becomes even greater. 

Fifty one years ago, and child was born to the Hoyt family.  During birth, his umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck cutting off the blood supply to his brain.  This misfortune damaged his brain affecting his arms, legs and speech.  The Doctors suggested they put the child in an institution; he would be nothing more than a vegetable the rest of his life.  The Hoyt’s refused to heed the doctor’s advice and raised him like a normal child along with his two younger brothers.
While in middle school, he attended a college basketball game.  During the game, an announcement was made of a student who had been in an accident and was paralyzed from the waist down.  A charity road race was being organized to help pay for the student’s medical bills.  This sparked a longing in his life to help others.  He came home that day and said to his dad, “Dad, I have to do something for him.  I want to let him know that life goes on even though he’s paralyzed.  I want to run in the race.”  Thus began the “Hoyt Team.”

Rick and his father are known mostly for the triathlons they compete in together.  His father would cradle Rick in his arms and run toward a small inflatable boat, place him securely in the craft, enter the water and strap on a harness that was tethered to the front of the boat and begin his 2.4 mile swim with son in tow.  Upon completion of the first event, Dick would gather his son and make his way to a modified bike and both would start their 112 mile journey to the next part of the competition.  The final leg of the triathlon would end with a 26.2 mile run as Dick would push his son in a wheel chair the entire distance.  Both crossed the finish line in rousing victory.  Rick and his father Dick Hoyt have completed 1,091 race events of which 252 were triathlons. 

Rick’s father bore the burden of his son while at the same time bearing his own.  Both were competing in the same race.  Both crossed the same finish line, but one needed help from the other.  It’s important to remember; even though we have to bear our own burdens in life, there are those who need our help along the way.  Child of God, let’s not forget who’s side we’re on, help one another.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
 John Holmes

Recommended Reading: Galatians 6:1-6

By Louis Edwards

Information about Rick and Dick Hoyt was found at: