Why You Have No Excuse

Why You Have No Excuse

Yesterday, instead of doing my swim workout I sat on the couch and watched episodes of Deadwood while eating jellybeans. What was my excuse, my explanation for skipping the pool? Well, other than wanting to see if Swearengen was going to pass his kidney stones (he did), I had none. Feeling shameful, today I focused on my track workout and had my best run in weeks. Why not make up an excuse and tell myself, “You’re just resting up from the weekend’s workouts,” “You deserve a break,” or “You don’t need to swim”? Because as long as Team Hoyt is racing, I have no excuse, and neither should you.

If you’re not aware of who Team Hoyt is (you should if you do any races), they’re a father/son team who will race their 1,000th race this year. That in itself is pretty remarkable (I’ve probably done about a dozen, so I’d have to average almost 40 more races a year to hit 1,000 by the time I’m 50), but what makes Team Hoyt even more awe-inspiring is the fact that the son, Rick Hoyt, has cerebral palsy and can barely move. He communicates via a computer and has a nice job, but he’s not exactly in the best condition to lace up his shoes and go for a run. So how does he race? Well, it’s “easy,” really: Dick Hoyt, the father, tows his son in a boat when he swims, rides with him in a bike, and pushes him in a wheelchair while running.

It’s hard enough for millions of people to drag themselves out of bed and head to the gym for 30 minutes of half-ass elliptical machine cardio while flipping through a magazine, let alone have the mental drive and determination to train for a race, whether it be a 5K, a marathon, or an Ironman. Team Hoyt goes one step further — Dick Hoyt has worked twice as hard as virtually anyone you know. He’s swam 2.4 miles while towing his son. He’s hauled about 350 total lbs up steep hills on a bike. He’s run the Boston Marathon over 26 times, and his finish time pushing another human being in a wheelchair is still way better than what most of you will ever hope to run in your lifetime.


Can you imagine what Dick Hoyt’s race time would be if he were a team of one? The man is nearly 70 years old, and he’s FAST. He and his son are faster than I am and probably will ever be. I can only imagine what his full potential is when he’s not towing or pushing his son. But Dick is so unselfish and so committed to racing as a team that we’ll probably never know what his marathon time would be if he ran by himself, or what the Ironman clock would read as he crossed the finish line solo. And I bet he wouldn’t have it any other way.

Team Hoyt’s unselfishness and commitment to themselves as athletes and to others with disabilities should light that fire under your ass. You have no excuse. If you’re overweight and bemoan the fact that everyone else seems to lose lbs except you, you have no excuse. If you’ve been planning on running your first 5K but have been putting it off, you have no excuse. If you’re striving to hit a PR for your next 70.3 race but are watching TV and eating jellybeans instead of swimming, you have no excuse. Know why? Because Team Hoyt has plenty of built-in excuses, and they don’t let that drag them down. They overcome their disadvantages, sign up for those races, and kick the asses of most able-bodied, young, healthy people racing among them.

So what’s your excuse? You don’t have one. Get off your ass and work towards achieving your goal, and when you do, thank Team Hoyt for inspiring you to believe in yourself and prove to yourself that you’re strong and determined.

4 Responses to “ “Why You Have No Excuse”

  1. Bri says:

    Talk about a tear jerker!!! I think this video would make almost anyone feel like a lazy schmuck!!

  2. Rebecca says:

    Ugh, tell me about it. The first time Jason showed me that video, I lost a contact lens due to the teary eyes.

  3. Danielle says:

    Sister Madonna Buder, aka the Iron Nun, is pretty darn inspiring too. I find it hard to complain about sore muscles and achy knees when I think about her feats. Anyway, nice article, Team Hoyt is amazing.

  4. Savannah says:

    Great post! Such an inspiration. (+ tears)

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