Endurance Training, Life Lessons, And A Modern-Day Story Of Harassment At Johnny’s Gone Fishing


The Story of Robert the Bruce and the Spider

As a young child in England, I remember my mother telling me this inspiring story of Robert the Bruce - don't give up, try try and try again. From: http://goo.gl/JaXvi

As a young child in England, I remember my mother telling me this inspiring story of Robert the Bruce (his skull is pictured above!) - don't give up, try try and try again. From: http://goo.gl/JaXvi

“According to a legend, at some point while he was on the run during the winter of 1306–07, Bruce hid in a cave on Rathlin Island off the north coast of Ireland, where he observed a spider spinning a web, trying to make a connection from one area of the cave’s roof to another. Each time the spider failed, it began again until it succeeded. Inspired by this, Bruce returned to inflict a series of defeats on the English, thus winning him more supporters and eventual victory.” From: Wikipedia

Disclaimer: It is important that you realize I am speaking as FitOldDog, not so much as one of the owners of Johnny’s Gone Fishing LLC – as Jake says in ‘The Gunslinger‘ by Stephen King, “There are other lives than these.” Here is another Stephen King quote that I just couldn’t resist: “When his life was ruined, his family killed, his farm destroyed, Job knelt down on the ground and yelled up to the heavens, “Why god? Why me?” and the thundering voice of God answered, There’s just something about you that pisses me off.” ― Stephen KingStorm of the Century: An Original Screenplay

Hi folks,

Life is coming back to Johnny's and people are happy about it. What's not to love about this lovely little grocery store?

Life is coming back to Johnny's and people are happy about it. What's not to love about this lovely little grocery store?

Many years ago, in what seems like another life, I was reprimanded at the local Toastmaster’s Club in Penicuik, Scotland for making a political statement about the excess of dog sh*t (feces) on the sidewalks of this little town, which we called home for five years. They were mad because half of the town council (Board of Aldermen in the US?) were members of the club, and I knew it. One of the sacred rules of Toastmasters is no political statements during presentations, prepared or otherwise. And now I’m about to do it again, but this time in an entirely different context, Johnny’s Gone Fishing (JGF), our beloved little grocery store and hangout at 901 West Main, Carrboro, North Carolina, USA. A sacred rule of neighborliness, is don’t smear dog sh*t (feces) on your neighbor’s back door, which happened to JGF the other day. Nice, mature comment, don’t you think?

Johnny's Gone Fishing aka Johnny's is coming back as a grocery store and neighborhood hangout, just like the old country stores of yesteryear.

Johnny's Gone Fishing aka Johnny's is coming back as a grocery store and neighborhood hangout, just like the old country stores of yesteryear.

It is a fact of life that anything really worth doing takes some effort. I (FitOldDog) naively assumed that setting up a grocery store would be a pretty benign activity, but that is not how this endeavor is viewed by persistent detractors. The only word I can use to describe their activities, including repeated reporting of perceived infractions, such as a couple of young girls quietly playing acoustic guitars inside the establisment, is harassment. The latest response by JGF is posted on their Facebook Page, Johnny’s Gone Fishing, where you can see that they have plenty of positive support (over 150 signatures, apparently). This interesting situation reminds me of a quote by Winston Churchill, a man who helped to save my life as an infant during World War II:

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Winston Churchill, From: Brainy Quotes.

An interesting fact is that I really became involved in this grocery store/community center/hangout/coffee place because its detractors pissed me off with their negative rhetoric and spin. For which I have to say a hearty “Thank You!”as this place has done wonders for my life, both as Kevin Morgan and FitOldDog, and I am enjoying the process of creating local jobs for good people. This is the perfect situation for an endurance athlete. Road bumps, challenges, a worthwhile goal, people trying to psyche you out (Yes! I’ve even had 65-year old age-groupers try that on me at the Lake Placid Ironman Race – wonders never cease). I think that JGF will make it in the end, as they clearly have a mandate from their wonderful neighbors.

FitOldDog will eventually make it to the Hawaii Ironman in the end too, I think. This year will be the sixth attempt, which reminds me, you’ve got to watch this movie sent by my Ironman son, Nigel.

Fun, fun, fun!

-k @FitOldDog

Today’s workouts:

Workout PLAN Coach: Chris Hauth
Duration: 01:30:00
ez spinning – all sub 115HR


  1. I had over 30 tyres spiked, was attacked verbally and physically, unfortunately in the end I was alone. So I was defeated.
    If you have a good team at JGF and you publicise each and every abuse you will win through.
    As for Quotes, I believe it was Ben Franklin who said “We must hang together or we will most assuredly hang seperately”. Now this is as good as anything Churchill ever said and suits your team at JGF.
    ( I saw Churchill once. His car was stuck in traffic and for a brief moment he looked me in the eyes. He looked very bored. Well it was a London Traffic jam.)
    Do you have hate crimes or harassment laws locally that are actually enforced on occasion?

    • Hi Trevor,
      Thanks for your comments. I’m still surprised that this is going on, but they have stayed within the law rigorously, using the law against us in a manner similar to the unions bringing England to its knees, along with massive inflation, in the late 1970s, which then led to the arrival of Margaret Thatcher.
      Once things get out of balance, mayhem occurs, irrespective of whether the power is in the hands of the extreme left or extreme right, it would appear.
      I don’t know if the rear door issue was related to the legal harassment, so I won’t say more on that score. Yep, we have laws and if we catch someone at it, I’ll invest a little time and money in pursuing them vigorously.

      • You need not be surprised.
        They happen all over the place.

        Yes, these type of antics do leave me a little saddened. I wrote a verse based on my experiences of some “small town Mr Bigs”


        In souls of those here
        Who have never known joy
        The motive is clear
        It’s – “CONTROL OR DESTROY !”
        And as for the few
        Who may get in their way
        Their spite will be true
        For opponents – “…must pay !”
        They’ll pay out in blood
        Or carry false blame
        Or be trod in the mud
        Or lose a good name
        They’ll pay out in hurt
        As they’re trapped by a lie
        They’ll be treated like dirt
        And some – “…have to die !”
        And yet for those few
        One sure thing is true
        They’ll never know Joy !

        © T Morgan 31.1.2003
        From “Spitefield”

        As for the back door that is the act of cowards and sneeks. If you play your cards right that can be used to attract more custom.

        If I can get my pudendal nerve problem under control I would like to have a coffee at JGF.

        • Hi Trevor,
          I really enjoyed your poem, it is exactly on the nail – trapped in a lie in their own brain.
          It would be good to have you over to JGF one day. You never know, I may make my fortune on the Internet and bring you and Marian over first class – give me time.

  2. Hey Kevin,

    Since this is my first visit I have to say I’m extremely impressed with what you are doing here with your blog. It sounds like your unfortunate episode with your abdominal aortic aneurysm was actually a blessing in disguise. Now you’re actually able to help people exercise safely so that in itself is a huge achievement.

    On to the issue at hand. That’s horrible that people are still acting like that in this day and age. It sounds like though there is still a lot of support behind the JGF store. I have no doubt that if you ever catch them, you’ll teach them a lesson. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

    I’m so not into exercise at all so you’ll have to forgive me for being somewhat ignorant with a lot of the terminology but I got a kick out of the video. Nigel did good..

    Enjoyed your post.

  3. Better have tea than coffee as coffee irritates the bladder! Though I suppose tea does too to a lesser extent.

    • What’s an irrated bladder?
      Never had that, hiarus hernia, burst disc, trapped pudendal nerve, ladder land on my head, glass in knee, ankle ripped open, cuts bruises; and through it all my bladder seems not to have been irrated by anything, not even coffee.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.