Episode 253 – Rick & Dick Hoyt change the world

The RunRunLive 3.0 Podcast Episode 253 – Rick and Dick Hoyt change the world




Introductory comments

Hello and welcome to episode 3-253 of the RunRunLive podcast.  My mission is to help folks understand and transform their lives.  We have a great, and special, show for you today.  I have a awesome interview with the one and only Dick Hoyt from team Hoyt.

You folks all know Dick and his some Rick whom he pushes in races. Rick and Dick have really changed the world.  We always talk about the transformational power of endurance sports.  Rick and Dick not only transformed their own lives but lead the way and changed the world as well.  This, my friends, is the power of simply putting one foot in front of the other.

Simple steps lead to world changing results – that should be a lesson for us all.

I also continue with part three of my life balance framework series by giving you my ‘system theory of self’ as promised.  These first three pieces on life balance frameworks lay the foundation for more detailed tactical and inspirational pieces and give you something to think about as well.

I also do a final piece on heart rate training.

I have been making stellar progress in my training since we chatted last.  I’ve transitioned to the roads and have gotten in some quality runs with no dire consequences.  I’m starting to feel that wonderful race fitness and it feels awesome.  I did a 2 ½ hour training run with Ryan on the roads and have even done a tempo run.

The holidays did take a toll and I managed to put on some weight, but that doesn’t bother me at all if I am training well.

Coach has introduced a new balance workout that involves using a bosu ball.  A bosu ball is half of an exercise ball, a hemisphere, that you balance on while doing your core work.

The first time I tried this workout I could not stay on the ball and kept getting launched across the gym at odd angles.  I’ve got it figured out now and it’s a great core plus balance workout, especially since I do it in bare feet.

My foot is hanging in there.  My strategy is to give it a deep tissue massage every day.  I dig my thumbs in there and break up the scar tissue to promote healing in response to the exercise. So far it is working.

When last we talked I was bringing Buddy in to get a suspicious tumor removed.  It turned out to be just another fatty lump – he’s got lumps all over him – and nothing to be worried about. But he was, under doctors orders to be inactive for 10 days.

We were given the impossible task of keeping him inactive. The first two days he was sore, but by the third day he was of the opinion that he was 100% and should be doing stuff.  He was mental with the forced inactivity.

Monday my daughter took him in to get his stitches out.  The doctor laughed, saying there was no need because he had taken them out on his own already.  He’s an over achiever.

He got the green light and I took him out into the woods for a 7 mile mud run and so it was that equilibrium was returned to the universe.

On with the show.

Section One:

The system theory of self – http://www.runrunlive.com/the-system-theory-of-self


Featured Interview

Dick Hoyt

Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 to Dick and Judy Hoyt.  During child birth, Rick’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck cutting off the supply of oxygen to Rick’s brian.  He was diagnosed as a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy.  Doctors advised Dick and Judy to institutionalize Rick because he was a vegetable.  Dick and Judy refused and brought Rick home.

Dick and Judy could tell that Rick could comprehend his surroundings even though the medical doctors continued to insist Rick was a vegetable.  In 1972, the Hoyts raised $5,000 through bake sales, a local dinner dance and donations from friends and family.  They paid that amount to a group of skilled engineers at Tufts University that built an “interactive computer” for Rick.  Rick was able to see the letters of the alphabet and select the ones he wanted by pressing a pad on the headrest of his wheelchair with his head, the only part of his body he can move voluntarily.  The first words Rick ever “spoke” were “Go Bruins!”  The Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup that year and it turned out Rick was a Bruins fan.

In the spring of 1977, Rick told his dad that he wanted to compete in a 5 mile road race to help raise money for a lacrosse player who had been paralyzed in an accident.  Dick, a non-runner pushed Rick for the full 5 miles, and they finished next to last.  Later that night, Rick typed “Dad, when I’m running, it feels like I’m not handicapped.”  And that is when it all started.

To date, Team Hoyt has finished 240 triathlons, 6 Ironman distance triathlons, 92 half marathons, 69 marathons, 32 Falmouth 7.1 milers, have a marathon PR of 2:40:47 and half marathon PR of 1:21:12.  They are two of only 27 total members of the Ironman Hall of Fame, carried the Olympic torch in 1996 and in 1992 they ran and rode a bike from Santa Monica, CA to Boston Harbor in 45 consecutive days.



Section two:

More heart rate training – http://www.runrunlive.com/even-more-explanation-of-heart-rate-training



Ok my intrepid friends, hopefully you have found this time well invested because we have come to the end of episode 3-253 of the RunRunLive podcast.  Next time I have another compelling story of a young man who used running to transform the world.

I think I’m falling into a nice every-other week timing and as long as I have content I’ll keep to that schedule.

As you heard today Team Hoyt is changing the world.  I’m running the Boston Marathon for them this year to help. I would very much appreciate it if you would help me, help them change the world by clicking on the donation banner on the right side of my web page at www.runrunlive.com.


The other project I had cooking was a kickstarter project to create an audio version of my second book of running stories. This project has been kicked off and I have already produced two stories and distributed them to my investors for their listening pleasure.  If you want to get in on that feed you can find the link on my website and in the show notes.  It is a fun experiment to see how kickstarter works for micro-investments.


I’m signed up for the Derry Boston Prep 16 miler in a couple weeks and that is always a tester with its extreme elevation profile and high probability of awful winter weather.  It’s one of my favorite races.  If I survive that and my other long road runs I’m right on track for Boston. If my progress keeps up at this rate I might even take a shot at a qualifier.  Who knows? Stranger things have happened.

It’s a good world and I’m excited about this year.  Let’s all treat every day as the only day we have and make a difference.



Links for this show


Other products from Chris Russell you may be interested in

The Mid-Packer’s Lament

On Amazon

On Kindle

On Audio (Read by the author)

The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy

On Kindle

Standard Links:








Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube

Dial in number for RunRunLive is – 206-339-7804 (to leave an audio message for the show)


Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

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