Dick Hoyt, Boston Marathon Icon Who Pushed His Son in a Wheelchair, Dies at 80

Racing legend Dick Hoyt dies at 80
(Instagram/team.hoyt)

It’s not often that becoming a legend is a family affair, but the Hoyt family is anything but average. Completing a marathon is no small feat even for the most accomplished athletes, but for father and runner Dick Hoyt, the payoff was far greater than anything a finish line could offer. Racing became a way for the athletic dad to bond with his son, and perhaps more importantly, it allowed his son to experience a level of freedom and adventure that may not otherwise be possible.

Dick Hoyt’s son Rick has cerebral palsy, and it wasn’t until age 11 that he got a computer that allowed him to communicate. Rick was finally able to attend public school, his assistive technology giving him the freedom to express his intelligence for the first time.

When a lacrosse player at his school became paralyzed, Rick asked his dad if they could run a race together to benefit his classmate. Rick wanted to show the world that having a disability didn’t have to keep you from living your life, and with his dad’s help, that’s exactly what he did.

Dick Hoyt wasn’t a runner at 36 years old after receiving the life-changing request from his son, so he became one. Hoyt began training, running with a bag of cement in a wheelchair while his son was at school. Between 1980 and 2014, the father-son duo competed in a staggering 1,130 endurance events. The inspiring pair crossed the finish line of 72 marathons, multiple Ironman Triathlons, and even crossed the entire US on foot and by bike – an astonishing 3,735 miles in just 45 days.

 

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A post shared by Rick and Dick Hoyt (@team.hoyt)

On Wednesday, Dick Hoyt died peacefully in his sleep at age 80. The Boston Athletic Association said in a statement, “He was not only a fan-favorite who inspired thousands, but also a loyal friend and father who took pride in spending quality time with his son Rick while running from Hopkinton to Boston.”

Dick Hoyt embodied what it meant to be an athlete, racing with a purpose that was near and dear to his heart. Just as importantly, however, Dick embodied what it meant to be a dad.

5 Kid-Themed Virtual Phys Ed Videos to Get Them Moving at Home

5 Kid Themed Virtual Physed Videos
(YouTube/Les Mills)

Virtual learning and social distancing have caused a concerning decline in the activity levels of children. So the next time your kids are taking a recess or they’ve just spent far too long watching TV, break it up with some non-sedentary screen time. Here are 5 teacher-approved physical activity videos with awesome themes that are guaranteed to put your kids in motion.

Dinosaurs

What kid isn’t seriously considering a career in paleontology? In this video, they’ll get to duck, jump, and hide from an array of massive dinosaurs. Will it get their heart rate up? You bet jur-ass it will.

Marvel Superheroes

Newsflash: kids love superheroes. This awesome workout will inspire them to move like The Avengers. Sorry DC lovers, this workout resides in the Marvel Universe – when it comes to getting your kids moving, we need to do “whatever it takes.”

Video Games

Your kids probably dig all-things Mario, so this is a great one to keep in the pipeline when they’ve been sitting around all day playing video games. It’s even hosted by a live-action Mario and he seems like a pretty fun-gi. Let’s-a-go!

Space

Outer space, spaceships, aliens – kids are fascinated by anything that’s out of this world. In this video Britt & Shawn introduce a fun mission that challenges participants to avoid asteroids, jump over craters and hide from ET.

Ninjas

Snow ninjas to be exact – and the goal is to protect the gingerbread man from them. Your kid will have to kick, punch and watch out for avalanches. Instead of throwing stars, they’ll dodge snowflakes, because it’s best to avoid a ninjury.

 

Dad Turns To Twitter for Prosthetic for Ballet-Loving Daughter

Ballerina Pollyanna Hope dances with a prosthetic foot
(Twitter/Christopher Hope)

When she was just a tot, Pollyanna Hope lost not only her grandmother to a freak bus accident in south London — she lost her own leg below the knee. While the accident hasn’t stopped the now 15-year-old from pursuing her dance dreams, she wants to trade in her running blade for something more graceful… which is where father Christopher Hope comes in.

The U.K. dad recently called out for help on Twitter for someone to “make our 15yo amputee daughter a prosthetic leg with the foot fixed in the pointe shape so she can do pointe work on it.” The appeal has been retweeted more than 3,000 times and counting, racking up nearly 6,000 hearts and more than 300,000 views.

The tweet received heartwarming responses and encouraging feedback, as well, with several people offering suggestions for the Hopes.

Many of the responses included references to a prosthetic limb designed by Pratt Institute graduate Jae-Hyun An. The relatively lightweight, carbon-fiber Marie-T allows amputee ballerinas to dance en pointe.

“In my research I came across Viktoria Modesta and she re-interpreted performance with her prosthetics,” An told Dezeen in 2018. “It was visually so powerful and opened a completely new area of prosthetics for me. I fell in love with the idea of designing something that could expand the artistic and cultural scene of a community with prosthetic users.”

Since the accident 13 years ago, Pollyanna has had no fewer than 21 operations and 20 prosthetic legs, including a “demi-pointe” foot by engineer Yusuf Mohammed in 2018, but Christopher said it became too heavy.

Whatever happens, the positive feedback has at least helped to restore his faith in humanity… or social media, at least.

“Social media gets quite a bad rep,” but the reaction to his plea has shown Christopher and Pollyanna “that there are actually really nice people out there who want to help.”

Watch Pollyanna’s beautiful pirouettes below:

Hacker Combines Mario Kart, Ring-Fit, and an Exercise Bike for Some Reason

ring fit exercise bike mario kart
(YouTube/mechachoi)

When it comes to video games, they’re my relax time.  I think it’s pretty awesome that there are games out there like Ring-Fit Adventure that can be good for your health, but I like to keep gaming and exercising separate.  It would seem that tech guru and Nintendo fanatic Mike Choi feels the same way but needed to find the motivation to stay in shape.  Regular old workouts just wouldn’t cut it for him, so that’s where his new creation comes in.  It’s a combination of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a custom Labo exercise bike, and Ring-Con accessory.

The end result is something that works every part of your body at the same time and it looks… diabolical.

The ‘Labo Fit Adventure Kart Kit’ is a “total-body exercise program that gets you fit while playing Mario Kart!” and would probably have me sweating mere seconds after starting to use it.

The three key components to making the kit function are:

  • The Bike-Con, which is an exercise bike with Labo sensors attached that gauge how fast you’re pedaling, increasing your karts speed in-game.
  • The Ring-Con, which you use to steer by tilting it left and right and squeezing to use power-ups.
  • The TAPBO, which Choi created himself.  It’s a little device (which he even turned into his own Amiibo) that attaches to your Joy-Con and inputs button presses based on what you’re doing with your limbs, which in the case of this “total-body exercise”, is ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING.

To win a race of Mario Kart with this kit requires steadfast determination, strong calf muscles, and plenty of coordination.  You’re holding your arms up constantly to steer, pedaling like a madman to gain speed, all while trying to focus on your race at the same time.  Could you imagine 200cc while using this contraption?

I might be laughing now, but Choi’s ingenuity here is admirable.  It’s very impressive what he’s pulled off and he even mentions that this creation of his has kept him working out regularly.  My hat goes off to him, but I’ll just stick to my regular pro controller Mario Kart thank you very much.

Dad Fuses Passion for Fitness With Passion for Fatherhood and Redefines “Dad Bod”

Daddy Fitness Redefines Dad Bod
(Instagram/ose_akhile, officialdaddyfitness)

Ose Akhile has been a trainer for over ten years, and when he became a dad, he set out to include his kids in his biggest passion. Akhile treasured the time he got to spend being active with his kids, bonding with them, and introducing them to a world that was central to his life. After having kids of his own, Akhile began to realize that most activities within the community were geared towards moms and their kids as opposed to dads – and that was a gap he intended to fill.

“My mission is to not only redefine the dad bod from a physical level but to truly create a brand that is recognized for creating a community of fathers committed to being their best in every aspect of their life so that their kids can follow the same example,” Akhile told The Dad. “As I like to say, ‘ it’s better to show them how to live than it is to tell them.’”

 

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A post shared by Osekalome Akhile (@ose_akhile)

Akhile’s love of fitness and fatherhood led him to start Daddy Fitness, a program geared towards supporting dads on their fitness journeys. Though Akhile trains some clients in person, his program is available online so he can reach as many dads as possible. Akhile models both an active lifestyle and an active role in his kids’ lives – he’s a proud “girl dad” of three and stresses the importance of appreciating every moment.

 

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A post shared by Osekalome Akhile (@ose_akhile)

When discussing the feedback Daddy Fitness has received Akhile explained, “My favorite are first time dads because they truly appreciate being able to have a resource to not only help them get in shape (mainly for the sake of their kids) but also about fatherhood and the challenges it comes with.”

Through Daddy Fitness, Akhile has created a supportive community of dads who recognize just how difficult it can be. He invites dads to engage in self-care, spend quality time with their kids, and do so with the support of other dads going through the same thing.

Akhile’s home is filled with love and energy, something that he takes great pride in. “My wife is amazing. I wouldn’t be who I am today without her,” Akhile said. “No day is short of entertainment or laughter. And even the hard days, we wouldn’t trade it for anything else.”

 

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A post shared by Osekalome Akhile (@ose_akhile)

Sharing his successes, his struggles, and his support for other dads has turned Daddy Fitness into far more than your typical fitness group. “My goal and dream is to turn it into a startup company centered around helping dads be the best men they can be for themselves and their families,” Akhile explained. “This goes beyond fitness, but also nutrition, mental health, and guidance.”

“We also want dads to be active with their kids. Don’t just sit and oversee them play. Get in there with them!”

A Grandfather, a Kettlebell, and a Holiday Short That Will Make You Cry

Grandpa Kettle Bell Ad
(YouTube/DocMorris)

Tis the season for holiday shorts that are created solely with the intention of making you cry. Sometimes we need that though, it can be kind of cathartic to feel some tangible emotion, wipe away a few tears, and move on with your day feeling refreshed. I don’t even have to say much about this one to sell you on it. It has no words, and I can’t even tell you the brand it’s advertising because I can’t read German. It all translates though because it’s about a grandfather, and a kettle bell. I don’t want to tell you anymore or spoil the ending, which I DID NOT SEE COMING (ok I did, but only about halfway through).

It will be the most fulfilling 2 minutes you’ll spend on your phone all day.

It features an old man, living alone, who is reminiscing over photos of his family at home. He then goes into the garage and struggles mightily to move an old kettlebell even a smidge. But he trains, day in and day out, in the way only an old man can.

A nosy neighbor phones his family because she doesn’t understand physical exercise and is a rat (this translates into all languages, she is the villain here, mind yo business LADY) at heart. So his daughter comes to check on him, but he continues to train year-round, getting better every day.

Then, at the end of the short, you see the reason he wanted to build a little bit of upper-body strength, and it’s the type of reason that will kick you right in the feels.

The Google Translation of the YouTube description predictably makes little sense, but boils down to your health is the best gift of all, so take care of it so you can spend your time doing what matters in life.

This time of year really pulls out some great onion-cutting content, but this is the pantheon and deserves a solid 10 for the ending and the simple and easy to follow setup.

21-Year-Old Becomes First Person With Down Syndrome To Complete Ironman Triathlon

First person with down syndrome to complete ironman triathlon
(Instagram/chrisnikic)

Signing up for any race, whether it’s a 5k or a marathon, requires both mental and physical preparation. Training is often physically uncomfortable, and it takes a huge amount of perseverance and dedication to make it to the day of the race. For people without physical limitations, it’s a difficult and admirable pursuit. But when you’re pushing through additional physical barriers, the accomplishment is even sweeter. Not even necessarily because it’s more challenging physically, but because there’s a high likelihood you’ve been told that you can’t. You were told it was impossible, but you did it anyway.

The Ironman Triathlon is a race far beyond most of our physical capabilities. Even for people who consider themselves fairly fit, the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, and 26.22-mile run (yes, after you’ve completed the swim and bike ride, you have to run a full marathon. All in one day) would require a huge amount of training. Chris Nikic, a 21-year-old from Florida, made history this week. He trained and pushed and persevered just like any other athlete – because of his incredibly hard work, Nikic is officially the first person with down syndrome to complete the Ironman Triathlon.

Completing the arduous race was a long-time dream of Nikic, and he knew the only way to get there was to start working. Dan Grieb, an Ironman competitor, was paired with Nikic by the Special Olympics to help with his training. The athletes trained together, motivated each other, and on November 7, completed the triathlon side by side.

Reflecting on his accomplishment, Nikic tweeted, “A year ago I wrote ‘Chris World Champ’. Anything is Possible.”

As he crossed the finish line wearing a shirt that read “1% Better Every Day,” Nikic truly embodied the words “anything is possible.” He completed the Ironman Triathlon in 16 hours, 46 minutes, and 9 seconds. He set a Guinness World Record. He made history. But before Nikic even began working towards his lofty and admirable goal, he had some hurdles to overcome that most of us never have to face.

“From the time he was born, we were told by everyone that he’d never do anything or amount to anything or be able to accomplish anything [beyond] being able to tie his own shoes,” Nikic’s dad told Orlando Sentinel. “And we believed them for the longest time.”

Sadly, those with disabilities are told so often that they can’t. Rather than setting their own limitations, they may be told their limitations. With the support of his friends, family, and fellow athletes, Nikic set out to prove that whatever it is you think you can’t do, you’re wrong. If you put in the work, as he did, anything really is possible.

Dad With Cancer Does 176,200 Pushups for Others Diagnosed With Blood Cancer

Dad with cancer does 176,200 pushups for others diagnosed with cancer
(YouTube/Pushing through Cancer)

When you’re faced with a serious illness, there’s no right way to react. There may be fear, uncertainty, hope, determination – you can experience all of them in the span of an hour, or something different altogether. When fighting a potentially fatal disease, perhaps the best course of action is to focus on something that makes you want to keep going. Maybe that’s your family, your dog – but for a dad named Nathan Tirey, it was an unusual and admirable mission.

In 2019, the former army sergeant was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), a rare form of blood cancer. After his diagnosis, Tirey realized that though he was facing an extremely difficult situation, he was far from alone. In fact, Tirey learned that 176,200 people were diagnosed with blood cancer in the US every year.

The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center where Tirey participated in a clinical trial shared a YouTube video of this dad’s incredible feat. In the video, Tirey explained, “I just kept thinking about that number. And just one day I decided, you know what? I’m going to do 176,200 pushups in a year while I’m in treatment.”

As if the arduous journey to recovery wasn’t enough, this determined dad decided to do roughly 500 pushups a day while undergoing treatment for his blood cancer. Tirey wanted to do one pushup for every person diagnosed with blood cancer annually in the US, showing not only his commitment to his own battle but his commitment to those fighting the same one.

“Just doing that amount of pushups really drives home the fact that there are a lot of people who get this,” Tirey explained.

Though he’s admittedly “not a big social media guy,” Tirey wanted a way to both document his pushups and share his journey with the world. He created a YouTube channel called Pushing Through Cancer, an aptly-named channel filled with dozens of videos that combine his ambitious daily workouts with reflections on his mission.

In the powerful final video, Tirey invited his two kids to join him for his final five pushups. After a year of building up to the final stretch, the father of two wanted his family to finish with him. When the trio completes their final five, Tirey’s wife shoots a confetti cannon and balloons fall from the ceiling. Exhausted and proud, Tirey laughs and reflects on the work he’s done.

“176,200 pushups in about nine months,” he says, tearing up at how powerful his seemingly silly mission really was. “There’s a reason I had to do this.”

Greek Runner Helps Disabled Woman Achieve Dream of Climbing Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus Climb With Disabled Woman
(Instagram/marios_giannakou)

Greek mythology is full of legendary heroes, tall tales, and the like. The word hero even comes from a Greek word, as protector or defender. One Greek athlete proved the heroes aren’t all relegated to the mythical stories, as he helped carry a disabled woman to the top of Mount Olympus, making her the first person with a disability to see Greece from its highest point.

It’s inspiring, on many levels. It’s inspiring that someone with a disability isn’t afraid to tackle something most would think is inaccessible to her, and that she sets a great example that she isn’t limited by it. And it’s always inspiring when people go above and beyond to help someone achieve a dream. There’s nothing purer when one person directly helps another. Those gestures can seem small to some, but they can make a world of difference.

Distance runner Marios Giannakou had climbed Mount Olympus before, dozens of times. Eleftheria Tosiou, a 22-year-old student, had not, given her disability. But when she met Giannakou earlier this year, she expressed her goal. So he made it happen. He carried her up the famous peak, known as the Mountain of the Gods, in a specially-modified backpack.

The climb took 10 hours, but when they got to the summit, you can see nothing but joy on their faces.

 

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Εχθές ένας από τους παιδικούς μου ήρωες και ενας από τους πιο διασημους αστροναύτες της @nasa, ο @colchrishadfield ανέβασε την φωτογραφία μας με την Ελευθερία από τον Όλυμπο. Αυτές τις ημέρες έζησα αρκετές δυνατές στιγμές , συναισθήματα που δεν πίστευα ποτε ότι θα νιώσω, που καμια εξερεύνηση σε οποιαδήποτε ζούγκλα , ερημο ή στις παγωμενες εκτασεις τις Γης μας δεν μπορεσε να μου προσφέρει αυτά τα χρόνια .Το μεγαλύτερο μου δώρο ήταν η φιλία με το ζιζάνιο που λεγεται Ελευθερία .Και επειδή με ρωτάτε συχνά αν νιώθω ευτυχισμενος που ημασταν οι πρώτοι που καταφέραμε μια τέτοια ανάβαση στον Όλυμπο θα πω πως η πραγματική ευτυχία και εξερεύνηση δε βασίζεται στο γεγονός ότι ήμασταν οι πρώτοι που το πετύχαμε αλλά στο γεγονός ότι αφού το κάναμε εμείς μπορούν να το πετύχουν και να ακολουθήσουν και άλλοι. Εξάλλου πολλές φορές ακόμη και τα πιο μικρά βήματα του ανθρώπου μπορούν να εξελιχθούν στα πιο μεγάλα βήματα για την ανθρωπότητα. 📸 @c_sofikitis #keepdreaming

A post shared by Marios Giannakou (@marios_giannakou) on


“There is nothing more real than the dream,” Giannakou wrote on Instagram. He also thanked Eleftheria for helping remind him to “live life without fear” and for helping to make him a better person.

On their way down, the duo received a special call from the Prime Minister of Greece, and their story quickly went viral. Giannakou said, many times, how happy he was for Eleftheria. But he also said he was most happy because they proved to people that it could be done, and helped pave the way for others in her situation to follow.

He summed up the experience in an Instagram post, borrowing a somewhat famous quote when he said:

“After all, many times even the smallest steps of man can evolve into the biggest steps for humanity.”

Absolute Legend Bikes Over 2,500 Miles From Poo Poo Point Trail To Pee Pee Creek

Man Bikes From From Poo Poo Point Trail To Pee Pee Creek
(Twitter/rubydrummr)

Getting enough exercise takes a lot of motivation. The tough thing about motivation, though, is that it’s drastically different for everyone. Some people may be motivated by competition, while others may find motivation in working to improve their health. Ruben Lopez from Chicago took a different route when it came to finding the willpower to bike for 36 days – he found his drive in humor (at least partly).

We all know that jokes involving bodily fluids or gross bodily functions are automatically funny. I mean, there’s an entire line of products dedicated specifically to making it sound like someone farted as soon as they sit on them. It’s classic. Lopez shared his journey on Twitter, in a post that has accumulated over 700,000 likes in about a week. Why? Because poop jokes are classic. Or, in Lopez’s case, Poo Poo and Pee Pee jokes are classic. What an overachiever.

Ok, so technically, Lopez made his cross-country journey to raise awareness about the Yemen crisis. But for some beautiful reason, he took us on a magical journey through what feels like a 13-year-old’s dream.

Lopez briefly dropped into the Poo Poo Point Trailhead in Washington to begin his journey, and before long, he was off and riding. He slid right through Sharts Road, and in just 36 days, he made it. With a sigh of relief, Lopez reached the long-awaited “Urine Pee Pee Creek” sign (full disclosure – the sign really only said “Pee Pee Creek,” which is a huge missed opportunity if you ask me).

One observant Twitter user pointed out another interesting aspect of our hero’s journey…

Biker Miles
(Twitter/FSUAndrew)

But, no. It couldn’t be. He’s already given us so many gifts – it had to be a coincidence, right?

Biker 69
(Twitter/rubydrummr)

This impressive 23-year-old isn’t finished with his business quite yet. Lopez plans on biking to the Maine-Canada, for a grand total of 5,000 miles. Hopefully, the rest of his journey goes as smoothly as the first half. 2,500 miles down and he barely even looks wiped.

Relieve Pain and Reduce Stress With This Percussion Massager That’s Under $60

massage gun
(Getty Images)

Everybody (and every body) is different, so every recovery and every massage should be different, too.

The Actigun: Percussion Massager has a smart chip to adjust to your particular muscular condition and provide the exact strength you need. It’s currently 72% off at $54.99 and is proven to better your range of motion, relieve pain, speed up recovery and promote healthy circulation throughout your body.

Massage doesn’t just alleviate physical pain, it contributes to lowering stress and increasing relaxation.

No matter what your exercise of choice is—from weight lifting to cycling to chasing your kids around—this massager will cater to your needs. Pain doesn’t have to accompany your daily grind.

The massager’s AI Smart Chip humanizes and personalizes your recovery experience by reacting to your muscles and giving you the specific strength you need. With four massage heads, you can tailor your experience to you, whether you’re working on larger muscle groups, a minor injury, or a hyper-specific section of muscle.

massage gun

It’s wireless, it works up to two hours in a row with a full charge, and the brushless, silent motor makes the whole operation incredibly quiet. Use it at the gym, after a round, during a break at work, or at home at night while your kids sleep in the other room.

“This massager is amazing!” said Jonn, an Actigun user. “It’s quieter than other brands, feels durable, portable, and lightweight.”

Medical professional Chris N. was pleased, too: “Everyone loves it patients nurses family young and old and I am a medical director of the inpatient rehab hospital and it’s gonna come in handy.”

Even the massager’s feel—with an ergonomic handle built to minimize vibration, and a comfortable, “anti-slip grip”—is elite.

Give your aching body a break and take advantage of this DIY massager that comes in black or silver while it’s 72% off.

Prices subject to change.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

This Oximeter Smartwatch Helps You Stay Healthy, and It’s on Sale

smart watch
(StackCommerce)

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we need to prioritize our physical and mental health. And even though that might mean knocking back a few fewer brewskis, it doesn’t have to be all bad news! Thanks to the power of technology, simply wearing a smartwatch can help keep you on track. The OXITEMP Smart Watch with Live Oximeter is a super-easy way to stay on top of your health, and though it typically retails for $169 it’s available now for just $49.95.

The OXITEMP Smart Watch is the ultimate multitasker. Just pop it on your wrist and it’s more valuable than a Rolex as it monitors important vitals like your body temperature, pulse monitor, blood pressure, and even your blood oxygen levels thanks to its live oximeter. Worried about your Quarantine 15? The OXITEMP comes in the clutch to track steps, calories burned, stairs climbed, and the mileage traveled to help you keep your eye on your activity level. If you’re slacking, it’s better than a nagging partner and can give you a gentle sedentary reminder. The free companion app can give you a full health report on your smartphone once it starts keeping track of your movements.

smart watch

Of course, it will also let you know when you have a Facebook notification or a text, let you control phone calls and music, and display the time and date on its 1.3-inch screen with adjustable brightness. It won’t look half bad either. The OXITEMP comes in a sleek sweatproof and waterproof design in a handful of colors.

Get the data you need to get healthier with help from the OXITEMP Smart Watch with Live Oximeter. It’s available now for $49.95, a savings of 70%.

Prices subject to change. 

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.