Thunder, the Wonder Dog, was an 85-pound Weimaraner/lab mix. He was adopted from a local animal shelter and lived out his days in rural Washington state.
Thunder wasn't a perfect dog. He ate my wife's brand new couch while trying to retrieve a ball that had rolled under it. He ate our strawberries out of the garden. He loved to eat horse droppings.
He loved to pretend he was a lap dog, crawling onto the couch - all 85 pounds of him - and stretching out until you had to move. And, he often rolled in smelly things and brought his muddy paw prints indoors with him.
But despite all that - Thunder was the best dog. He would chase the ball for as long as your arm would hold out, leaping in the air to make an acrobatic catch. He was loyal and gentle with my son. He loved riding in the truck. You were always welcome to rub his belly, whenever and for however long you want.
So why name this coaching endeavor after my old dog, Thunder, the Wonder Dog?
Because Thunder made every day his best day. Even as he aged and his beautiful body sagged, Thunder got up every morning to head out to the barn. He never stopped loving a ride in the truck. Thunder gave it all, every day
I think endurance sports training should:
- provide personal growth;
- be safe and keep the athlete training
- and, be fun.
To accomplish that, we - the coach and the athlete - must be true to ourselves. We must be our most authentic. Trust me, Thunder was always - every single day - his most authentic.
Thunder no longer races to catch a ball, or follows us out to the barn every morning. His days have ended, but his spirit has passed to us.
And that's why Wonderdog Endurance Sports Training will always be Team Thunder.