May Book Club: Devoted: the Story of a Father's Love for his Son

For this month's endurance related book club, we read "Devoted: The Story of a Father's Love for his Son." This book is about the Hoyt's, a father and son running duo, who is now well known for their participation in the Boston Marathon among other races.
I would say that likely, even more people have heard of them now, after the tragedy occurring at Boston just a few weeks ago. I know that I recently have heard more about them, even in the mainstream media! Which admittedly, is rather unusual since endurance events are generally not highly publicized with the general public following them.

The book follows Dick Hoyt, a young man at the time that that book starts, meets his wife Judy and starts a family. Their first child, Rick, suffered some complications during birth, with the umbilical cord wrapping round his neck, cutting off his breathing, and ultimately causing brain damage in the form of cerebral palsy. He has very little control over any of his muscles, and although he works to communicate with his parents and brothers, he does not have the ability to speak.

Because Dick spends a lot of time working very hard to pay bills for Rick's care and treatment, especially because initially they will not allow him to join in the public school system in Massachusetts. When he eventually is able to, he winds up being scolded for skipping PE class and spending time in the library instead. This helps Rick to find a motivational figure in his teacher and coach. It is on a trip with this coach that Rick first finds a race that he would like his father to enter with him.

This was the start of an addiction. An addiction to racing and competition. From there, they enter marathons, triathalons, even Ironman events, including Kona!

Reading the story of two men, you learn how incredibly motivated these two men are. These two men embody their trademark motto "Yes You Can." It got us, as a nation, through the Boston Marathon tragedy, as we see them come through it for a record number of times.

Admittedly, currently being pregnant, I also got a little bit scared, because situations like Rick's can happen to anyone, regardless of how well you take care of yourself during your pregnancy. But I am trying to remain positive, as Dick always did with his own son, even after the difficulty of having a spastic quadriplegic son set into the life of he and Judy and their other sons. They have managed to make a wonderful life for themselves despite the obstacles that they were facing, and that, even beyond all of the racing, is incredibly inspiring.

Have you read this book?
What moment of the adversity that they faced (qualifying for Boston? the public school struggle?) can you most relate to or which touched you the most?
Does this book inspire you in more ways than racing?


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