Part of a series of runner profiles we’ll be featuring throughout the summer
I run because I can.
In early spring of 2010, my husband Jim and I sat in a room in Children’s Hospital and watched the attending neurologist show us images of our 5 month old son, Morty’s brain and tell us that Morty would have cerebral palsy.
Before Morty was born, I had run a few races here and there with friends, and like many new moms, I ran with Morty in a jogger to help lose the baby weight. But with Morty’s diagnosis, I eventually came across the story of Rick and Dick Hoyt.
Rick Hoyt also has cerebral palsy, and his father, Dick, has pushed him in road races, marathons, and even the Ironman Triathlon. It’s an inspiring story for many, but for me, it was also an example of what could be possible for Morty. I found out that the Hoyts were hosting a 5K nearby in Watertown. We went to that race, and for the first time, I felt a real sense of how running could be something more than just exercise.
In time, we found a team of duo runners based out of Cape Cod called myTeam Triumph and started running with them. Being part of that team gave Morty and all of us a feeling of belonging.
“Morty works incredibly hard to make his body do things that we do with such ease that we don’t even think about it. Knowing this makes pushing him seem insignificant. And when I hear him yell ‘One more mile!’ – even if there’s really a lot more than that – I can’t help but get a burst of energy.”
Through the Hoyts, we have met so many others in our same situation, and what I love about all these duo runners and their families is that we all take the Hoyt’s motto, “Yes You Can” to heart. We will give our children experiences of running with the wind in your face, of being part of a team, of being cheered on, of cheering other people on, of getting a medal after crossing the finish line, and even sometimes finishing the last few yards of a race on your own.
Morty works incredibly hard to make his body do things that we do with such ease that we don’t even think about it. Knowing this makes pushing him seem insignificant. And when I hear him yell “One more mile!” – even if there’s really a lot more than that – I can’t help but get a burst of energy.
So I run to spend time with my son. I run because he inspires me. I run to give him my legs. I run because I can, and I run so that he can.