Be Like My Dog
My dog, Doccer, and I went for a thirty-five
minute run today on a mountain trail near my house. While
we ran side by side, I thought how we athletes should be
like my dog. Here are a few examples we can take from Doccer
to help us with our training.
Doccer never complains. He is up for any type of workout
without asking will it be hard, will it be hilly or will
the water be too cold? Doccer has a high level of mental
and physical pain tolerance. Sometimes, when wrestling,
we will accidentally head butt each other. He continues
to scrap with me while I am writhing in pain from the WWF
Doccer has had two elbow surgeries, on each elbow, before
being a year and a half old to correct some genetic defects.
A French veterinarian orthopedic specialist, visiting for
a week to teach a procedure at Colorado State University,
performed a unique operation by breaking several bones in
Doccers elbows to allow him to be as pain free
as possible. Doccer was selected for this procedure because
of his severe conditions. His hips arent great either,
but my wife and I werent going to have his hips in
a cast for a year. Needless to say, Doccer may not be pain
free while training, but he sure seems to enjoy running
and swimming whenever possible.
Now, let it be known that Doccer is not tortured. As a
matter of fact, he sleeps with us on our bed every night.
We give him regular massage, glucosamine and aspirin if
we feel like he needs it. He gets naps throughout the day
and dreams of his next workout as I observe his paw movements
and breathing rate. We never force Doccer into a training
session and we dont train him excessively. For example,
his long runs are our hikes and he only runs in the morning
if the day will be hot. The point is, he never questions
the workout because he LOVES DOING IT!
Doccer is agile of foot. He has never sprained an ankle
he has four of them. He is focused on the task at hand and
not allowing his mind to wander, with the exception of the
occasional squirrel. You never have to ask him twice to
get in the water. He doesnt sit around the edge of
the water pondering what he should do or talk with a friend
until the Masters swim session is half over. He cross-trains
regularly with swim/run bricks. He has great entry and exit
skills for transitions.
I cant say Doccer has the best nutritional discipline.
He eats anything. However, in my non-scientific opinion,
he must have one heck of an energy system. He can go for
a run just after eating breakfast or even if he has hunger
pains. I also think he can sustain a high level of performance
above his anaerobic threshold. Even at 11,000 feet, he doesnt
Doccer is always available, never complains and is willing
to try almost any type of new training idea. If you are
ever in doubt or not having fun with your training, think
about my dog, Doccer.