The Lesson

This week’s challenge is inspired by Bryan Leib of Leib Recovery Solutions. A few months ago, Bryan sent me an email about a special he watched on TV about Team Hoyt.

Team Hoyt is a father/son duo who started racing in marathons together in 1977, and today they participate in triathlons together throughout the United States. In 2009, the duo completed their 1,000th race by competing in The Boston Marathon. But that isn’t what makes the Team Hoyt story so impressive. You see, Rick can’t walk or talk.

He was born with cerebral palsy.  His parents, Dick and Judy, were told that there was no chance of recovery and little hope for Rick to live a normal life. However, Dick and Judy refused to give up. They stayed resilient in their quest to help Rick live as normal of a life as possible. Today, Rick has the capability to speak through a computer system, and although it might take several hours for Rick to put together a couple of sentences, you can imagine that it is worth the wait. His parents also assisted him in getting his own apartment with live-in help and also helped him obtain a college diploma from Boston College.

By now you might be wondering how the duo competes in these challenging races together. And instead of telling you, I thought this clip would offer the best look at Rick and Dick’s journey together. Take a peek:

If you’ve ever competed in a triathlon or a marathon or even a 5k, you know it isn’t easy. If you haven’t competed in such a race it, too, is probably because you know it isn’t easy. Either way, it’s tough work. Dick and Rick have been racing together for more than 30 years. They’ve completed thousands of events together, including a 3,735 mile trek across the U.S. in 1992 which last 45 days. When they run, Dick pushes Rick in a custom made running chair. When they swim, Dick pulls Rick in boat. When they bike, they ride together in a special two-seater bicycle. As of February 2011, they’ve competed in 1,042 events together, including 240 triathlons and 68 marathons. Next month, the duo will compete in the 116th Boston Marathon. Dick will be 70 years old.

There are dozens of “lessons” that I could pull from the Team Hoyt story, but the one that I want to share this week, is the one about helping other people.

According to the official Team Hoyt website, Rick was once asked if he could give his father one thing, what would it be? Rick responded, “The thing I’d most like is for my dad to sit in the chair and I would push him for once.”

The Challenge

In life, there are times when we carry other people, and there are times when other people carry us. From teammates to spouses to family members to friends. It might be a listening ear when tough times set in. It might be a short-term loan when the car breaks down. It might be any combination of things. But the simple truth is, we rarely do it alone.

Everyone is deals with trials and challenges. Sometimes these challenges are more than one person can carry. Is there something in your life that you need help with but are too proud to ask for help with? Is there someone who has come to you with a problem and you’ve yet to offer a listening ear? Sometimes our greatest moments in life occur when we reach out to others for help and when we reach out to help others. Even random acts of kindness are good for the soul.

This week your challenge is to think beyond yourself and reach out and extend a helping hand.

The Reflection

As you look back on your life, can you pinpoint a time when someone offered you a helping hand which radically changed your life or career for the better?

You can share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Gary Jensen
Editor | collector mentor

To download companion worksheets to use with The collector mentor Challenge™, please visit

About collector mentor
Published bimonthly, collector mentor is a quick-read publication dedicated entirely to delivering articles and practical advice that teaches credit and collection professionals how to increase collection results, enhance productivity, improve teamwork, and become better stewards of the industry.

Next Article: Thanks for Reading the Healthcare Big Issue