Belfast Telegraph

My Inspiration: Colin McEvoy

The head of operations at Open + Direct Insurance is inspired by the story of Rick Hoyt who has overcome adversity in life

I am inspired by ordinary people who do extraordinary things, especially those who have to overcome significant barriers to achieve their goal.

Most recently I've been amazed by the story of the Hoyts, as told in a chapter of Chrissie Wellington's book A Life without Limits. Rick Hoyt was born in 1962 with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. At the age of 15, Rick persuaded his father Dick to help him take part in a five-mile charity race to raise funds for a lacrosse player who had been paralysed in an accident. He wanted to show the athlete that his accident need not hold him back in life.

Dick and Rick went on to complete more than 1,000 races including marathons, duathlons and triathlons (including six ironmans). In a triathlon, Dick attaches a bungee cord around his waist to help Rick along in a raft during the swim. He then pedals a special two-seater bicycle for 112 miles and for the marathon he pushes Rick in a custom-made wheelchair.

When you stop to consider the challenges people have to face on a daily basis, you realise that there are always solutions, no matter how impossible a task may seem - especially when you work as a team, just as Rick's story proves.

The tenacity and resourcefulness displayed by people like Rick and others not only remind me to maintain perspective in both my personal and working lives, but also to think laterally and remember that positivity is infectious. This is an ethos I relay to colleagues at our network of 16 Open + Direct branches across Northern Ireland. By adopting a 'can do' attitude, the customer experiences excellent service and ultimately the business reaps the benefits.

Belfast Telegraph

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