Honest Dogs – Are you honest?
A number of professional fighters train at our facility in Denver. One of the fighters tends to bring his dog, an Alaskan Malamute named Cody, to the facility while they work out.
I was coaching these guys through a conditioning workout recently. The men were pushing through sprints on a prowler and Cody was meandering back and forth among the bustle.
In the world of dogsledding, many dogs, when fatigued, will stop pulling with any real effort, but still keep just enough tension on their harnesses that it’s hard to tell that they’re no longer working hard.
There are some dogs though, that never stop digging into their harnesses with all of their strength, even under severe fatigue. These dogs are generally placed at the lead position on the harness, and are referred to as “honest dogs,” a term of considerable respect.
The first thing that was impressed up on me when I started working with the fighters was the sheer effort that they put into everything they did in their workouts. They have a developed a camaraderie that revolves around physical intensity and the sort of mutual respect that comes from shared suffering. It’s an atmosphere that I’ve missed a good deal since leaving the world of military special operations.
It occurred to me while watching them grind out the prowler sprints, with Cody alongside providing moral support, that the reason they’ve made it to the upper echelons of the fighting world is that they share the same traits as the sled dogs that earn the place in the lead harness position; the honest dogs. They never stop putting out, even when their bodies are wracked with exhaustion.
They could easily slack off a little on the prowler; push it a little slower or turn it around a bit early and pretend they didn’t notice, but they don’t. They’re honest, too.
Take a moment and consider how this applies to your daily activities. Whether it’s at work, while spending time with your family or grinding out the last set of pullups at the gym, you are the only person who’s truly going to know if you are putting yourself entirely into that activity or if you’re really only doing just enough to appear that way.