Maze a day 84

“Yes you can!” Team Hoyt

I chose today’s quote because I believe that I can achieve all my goals no matter the odds. Yes I can do it! As I have shared with you I started this project because of my failing to reach various goals in the past few years.  What I didn’t share with you is that in my pursuit of my goals I have cost my family house and home.

My failed ideas/business caused my family and I to lose our home, to live in a shelter.  As much as it killed the family spirit, my boys survived and thrived in school. My wife survived and now thrives. And I survived and learned to KEEP GOING! During one of our 30 days in the shelter I had a dream with the words “Don’t mistake slow progress for failure.” Replaying those words no less than 200 times that night, I view that night as my “Grow to be” moment. The moment when I knew 100% that I was on the right path (needing better planning) and had to continue to fight.

We all have setbacks and sometimes the smallest thing can help us to get back up and try again. When you feel that you “can’t” imagine the life of an Ironman athlete.   Considered the toughest race and physical challenge on the planet, it consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike course and a 26.2 mile marathon. When you feel you can’t go any further in your race to achievement think of the tri-athlete and every single step of this grueling challenge. When that inspires you to keep going think of Team Hoyt, which like me will inspire you to NEVER STOP!

Whats so amazing about Team Hoyt? consisting of Father Dick and his son Rick they compete in Ironmans to full marathons. All the while Dick is pushing, biking, and towing during the swim portion son Rick who is a spastic quadriplegic with cerebral palsy. But as Dick explained “Rick is the one who pushes me.”  With the Hoyt’s family motto “yes you can” they have competed in over a 1000 races, and Rick who doctors advised institutionalized living has overcome immeasurable odds to accomplish more than most, by attending and graduating from college and running his own business.

Competing since 1977, Dick age 71 and Rick age 51 are still out trotting the globe one step at a time proving to the world that if we all put our minds to it no matter the task or obstacle “Yes we can” do it!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Dick Hoyt for the purpose of the blog and will share one of the most inspiring conversations that I’ve ever had during tomorrows post.  And as if the feat of competing wasn’t enough fuel to inspire action in us all I’ve included Team Hoyt’s statistical career to show you that they don’t just compete to say they did it but are in it to win it!

Race History

240      Triathlons (6 Ironman distances, 7 Half Ironman)
22         Duathlons
69         Marathons (29 Boston Marathons)
8           18.6 Milers
92        Half Marathons
1           20K
37        10 Milers
32        Falmouth 7.1 Milers
8           15K’s
214      10K’s
154      5 Milers
4           8K’s
18        4 Milers
140     5K’s
8          20 Milers
2          11K’s
1           7K
1           20 Mile Bike for Best Buddies
1051   Total Events (as of June 2011)
Best End Times
2:40:47     Marathon
56:21          15K
1:21:12       Half Marathon
40:27         7.1 Miler
13:43:37   Ironman Triathlon
35:48          10K
2:01:54      18.6 Miler
27:17          5 Miler
59:01          10 Miler
17:40          5K
2:10:45      20 Miler
Biked and ran across the U.S. in 1992 3,735 miles in 45 consecutive days.
“Every step counts!” Unknown

Finding a way! That’s is my purpose for doing this blog. I have shared my art heart and soul hoping that it would help me to get on track and it has worked. I honestly never expected for anyone to follow my journey but now that people have, Lets Walk!

I’ve been inspired by the Hoyt’s ever since the moment I saw the story more than a decade ago. But after having the opportunity to speak with Dick Hoyt and speak it is truly a life changing experience. And I proudly share this life changing moment with you!

From the beginning of the conversation I quickly realized that the father son team is just that truly a team. Before speaking with Dick  I believed that Dick was just a great daddy giving his all for his son.  In hindsight I learned the greatness in Rick as well.  And that there is no Team Hoyt without both. Dick said on several occasions during our conversation “Rick is the one pushing me!” The two are truly a team! A concept that as a past athlete I didn’t fully comprehend until this interview and hope that I can give justice to the Hoyt Team with my words.

1. Lack of motivation seems to be one of the biggest obstacles to achieving one’s goals. I understand that Rick was the initial motivator for starting the races, but what keeps you motivated to continue after all these years?

When we first started running no one would accept us.  Race organizers tried to find reasons to not let us run.  But we would not accept no for an answer.  This would get us more motivated to continue running. After awhile people started coming up to us and thanking us.  Because they saw Rick and I running they felt they could do it and we are in the best shape of our lives thanks to you. We had a young girl who was ready to commit suicide, but saw our video and now is 18 years old and running and competing in triathlon. We have had alcoholics and drug addicts who are now sober and clean and out running doing triathlon. We
have had mothers and fathers who have seen us compete who go home to hug their children and find ways to spend more time with them.  More people around the world are out running and doing triathlon because of us.  

2. What advice would you give to the readers about how to stay motivated to go after their dreams/goals!

Prepare themselves both mentally and physically. Set goal’s and work hard to achieve them.  Have fun and enjoy your work and never give up no matter the odds.

3. Most incredible thing that has happened since starting Team Hoyt?

People excepting people who are physically challenged! When we first started out nobody wanted anything to do with us.  Now we are invited all over the world. People from other countries come over to the U.S. to do stories about Team Hoyt.  There are now 12 chapters in the U.S. that organize and have competitions that have physically challenged children in the running races and triathlons. 

4. I would assume that the races themselves present a challenge that almost cannot be matched anywhere else. Many people defeat themselves before they start (going after their dreams) or along the way.  How do you defeat the naysayer in you to keep going in the races?

Rick’s smile is what keeps me going!  After the first time we raced and Rick told me he didn’t feel disabled it motivated me to continue on.  His smile helps me get through all the miles of each race.

5. What is the biggest challenge you have had to overcome  in life?

Getting people to accept Rick.  Doctors didn’t give him a chance and my wife and I refused to give up on him.  We included him in everything when at the time most physically challenged people were institutionalized.  We would take him out to eat, swimming, all family activities and treat him as a human being.  We had to fight to get him accepted period from the public schools to races. 

For more information about Team Hoyt please visit

10 Responses to “Interviews”

  1. Thanks for subscribing to my blog. I really appreciate yours and your goal. I didn’t see a search button and wonder if you have created a dog maze yet… if so, I would be happy to link or put a picture of it on Jet’s blog. If your interested in subjects, Jet and/or JJ are game! Have a great day.

  2. […] “Don’t mistake slow progress for failure”     ~Warren Stokes  […]

  3. Wow. This is so inspiring and really puts my petty problems into perspective. Thank you so much for posting their story. BTW, the a-mazing footprints were a really nice touch!

  4. You are a breath of fresh air, sir! Thanks for “liking” my blog today.. because it brought me to your arena…you are one of those folks I include in my list of “unsrung” heroes…folks that are keeping on keeping on and blessing others in the process. Huzzah! old swimmer

  5. […] Warren “Griot” Stokes is an artist and storyteller. He claims to have 150 pieces of art and over children’s books to his credit. However, he’s had some setbacks. Per his site: […]

  6. Thanks so much for liking my most recent post. I also am banking on the power of discipline and goal setting to help me make a mid-life career change. Best of luck in all your endeavors! I’m going to keep exploring the site.


  7. I have received The Liebster Blog Award and would like to pass it on to you!

  8. I, too, have lost everything before. I’m glad to see you’ve come out the other side.

  9. I’m accident prone, poor, disabled, and in debt. But, I’m not dead yet. I can still over come every challenge. I learned how to play the piano, in front of the Blessed Sacrament at age 43. God has a sense of humor. I used to work at that Catholic Church, and God weighed in on my side big time.

  10. Great mazes. They very much resemble life in that there might be different paths that go nowhere but unless you travel those routes from time to time you can never discover the Right path to your ultimate goal. What is most important is that during those moments of what appears to be a dead end, you realize they are just that…moments. Turn around and take a different path but keep your sights on movement forward no matter the time it takes.


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