one letter at a time by Dick and Rick Hoyt with Todd Civin

glenn non-fiction review

hoyt cover (Mascott Books, 2012)

Have you ever struggled to keep motivated?  Whether you’re looking for work, trying to lose weight, or trying to graduate from school, pressing on can be a challenge.

Rick Hoyt is a paraplegic since birth due to cerebral palsy.  He can’t talk (like most) walk, or eat by himself.  Simply living his daily life is an overwhelming ordeal.  Despite this he is recognized today along with his father as a champion.

The title “one letter at a time” refers to how he communicates.  Rick has a specialized computer that allows him to speak but it’s a slow process.

In 1979 Rick talked his dad into entering a race to show how the handicapped can enjoy life.  Dick pushed him in wheelchair over a 5 mile course.  later that day his son told him “I forget about disabilities when we’re running”  That was the catalyst that would propel this father son team to participate in over 1000 races including 70 marathons.

When running, Dick pushes his son is a specialized racing chair.  The duo has had amazing success.  Dick has been told that he would be a world-class athletic if not for Rick but he maintains that his son is the reason for competing.  His heart would not be in it otherwise.  What love!

The Hoyt story is an amazing one and great for life reflection.  Many of the chapters are written by various people who have interacted with the family over the years.  Some duplication of information can be found from chapter to chapter; Perhaps that could have been better edited.  There are also chapters written by Rick; I felt that sometimes he should have given more credit to his dad.  However he has also said that if he could, it would be Dick in the chair and he would do the running.

If you’re feeling a bit sorry for yourself or could use a different perspective I can recommend this one.

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