Go Team Maddy! Rick van Beek Competes in Triathlon and Gives Us All a Lesson on Love
Every so often, something wondrous happens. From it, we are given an opportunity to learn by example – a light of hope may appear for those who are struggling, and others may simply feel inspired to make a difference – something wondrous changes us all.
Madison, known as Maddy, is a 13-year-old girl with cerebral palsy. She “can neither walk nor talk, and her dad says he isn’t even sure that she can see.”
But Maddy loves the outdoors.
Her dad, Rick van Beek, told Midland Daily News that “she functions like a 3-month-old, and one of the very few things that we know she enjoys is being outside, being in the water, feeling the breeze in her hair and in her face.”
So, four years ago, van Beek began training for outdoor races. Since then, “under the name Team Maddy, van Beek and his daughter have been participating in half-marathons, triathlons, and other outdoor races.”
Last Saturday, during the Sanford and Sun sprint triathlon, van Beek “pulled and pushed [Maddy] along with him, taking every stride and stroke together toward the finish line.”
While he was swimming, he pulled Maddy in a kayak. While he was biking, she was in a cart behind him. Then he ran the last leg of the event with his daughter; she was in the wheelchair he was pushing.
“Call it inspiration, call it motivation, call it whatever you want, I call it LOVE,” van Beek wrote. “That will never fade … She is my heart and I am her legs, though someday she might not physically be able to be there with me, she will always be in my heart, quietly cheering me on.”
She is my heart and I am her legs.
Rick van Beek’s example of fatherly love is truly something wondrous. Go Team Maddy!!
Image via huffingtonpost.com
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