Johnny’s Of Carrboro As A Metaphor For Ironman Training As All You Should Really Fear In Life Is Misoneism


Steve Hessler of Plein Air Oil Painter painting Johnny's in Carrboro NC USA

Steve Hessler, of Plein Air Oil Painter, rendering Johnny’s in Carrboro NC USA. Steve described our great little grocery store, coffee shop and neighborhood hangout as a piece of Carrbora-ana, which delighted me as a Johnny’s enthusiast.

Carrbora-ana = Things associated with the culture and history of Carrboro, NC, USA.

Hi folks,

Johnny's in Carrboro NC USA

Suffer little children to come unto me! And here they are at Johnny’s in Carrboro, thank goodness.

I visited Johnny’s this morning to have a nice quiet cup of coffee, during which time I made the acquaintance of several interesting local people, one of whom, Mike, was doing work for his environmental consulting with the US EPA. This reminded me of my old life as a scientist, generating data for risk assessments, some of which was actually used – can you believe that? I learned a lot during my 40 years as a scientist, and now I’m learning lots of new stuff as a neophyte businessman.

A life of science taught me that you are either building a theory up or tearing it down, and this is true of life in general, especially when it comes to your mind and body. In fact, our bodies do both everyday, having the fancy names of anabolism and catabolism, respectively. In a few months, almost none of the atoms present in your body today will be there, having moved on around the earth to settle in some other organism for a while. That’s the way life is, it’s dynamic, it changes constantly, and all are subject to this process of growth and decay (entropy), be it animal, plant, business, nation, or civilization.

The Kid's of Johnny's, defining the new Johnny's of Carrboro

These ‘kids’ are creating a new, dynamic Johnny’s, where all are welcome, young and old, left or right, for or against, locally grown or recent transplant – I am really enjoying the new atmosphere as I do my best to keep up  with the youngsters at the track (not a chance).

The only way to stave off entropy for as long as you can is to live a full life physically and mentally, working to avoid being stuck in the past. You can do this by absorbing energy from those around you. Tim Ferriss is spot on with his advice to keep away from negative people and search out the positive, much of which includes the young, because you will absorb the energy, be it positive or negative. Young people exude positive energy, and older people can too if they would but just stay alive instead of dying on their legs. This is why I love to go to the track with younger athletes. They keep me going when my old bones complain about exercise – but you get going and before long you’re cruising and having a great time. This process is all about breaking down old ideas and scars, and building up new connective tissues (fascia, blood vessels, nerves, ligaments and tendons), whilst strengthening your muscles, bones and mental attitude.

Rory and FitOldDog at the UNC track for a workout with 'The Kids of Johnny's'

Rory and FitOldDog at the UNC track for a workout with ‘The Kids of Johnny’s,’ where we had our workout and they had theirs, then we all went to The Station for a carbo-load.

A key component of my program of safe exercise for better health is to enjoy the company of younger people, but not to try to stay up with them at the track if they are in shape and on the right course. You need to learn from the young, not impede or slow them down, unless you do so constructively, as they have their journey to undertake, just like the new Johnny’s in Carrboro.

With a new generation comes change, it’s just the way it is, so don’t be a misoneist, embrace this great new world every day or you’ll miss the whole show. Nothing could be more true when it comes to sports – new training programs, new approaches to biomechanics (think Fosbury Flop) and nutrition, not to mention all the new gear.

Chez Ollie My son, Duncan, overheard me say this line out of ‘The Holy Grail’, and it became a tee-shirt overnight.

I see my involvement in Johnny’s of Carrboro as a metaphor for my Ironman training, requiring investment of myself and my resources, mental discipline, consistency, respect for one’s body (or body politique!), appropriate response to resistance and injury (e.g. “when bitten, don’t bleed,” that old French maxim for business, in ‘Chez Ollie‘), and above all, the joy of creating something really worthwhile and for the benefit of all.

You may ask, “How is Ironman training for the benefit of all?” The answer is that the undertaking of such endurance sports by older athletes sets an example – you might not be fast, but you are there, alive  and still changing every day, for heaven’s sake.

-k @FitOldDog



  1. Thanks for referring to me as a “younger person”.

  2. “Neophyte businessman” not quite right
    Neophyte is a scientist sort of word.
    It seems to me you are seeking to become an apprentice in business.
    Apprentice is a business sort of word.
    Try it, go on, embrace the differing vocabularyeven though it is not exactly change.

  3. Example sentences from
    “Way, way too many coincidences and lies to make anyone but a neophyte comfortable with this transaction.”
    “Instead he is awarding billion dollar contracts to neophyte suppliers that are long on talk and short on flight history.”
    Way, way means Much, much in English English.

  4. Check out: “The collapse of complex societies” Joseph A Tainter

    He trys to explain how some societies collapse (eg Western Roman Empire, Maya, etc.) whilst others do not.

    He argues that an excess of complexity causes disasterous diminishing returns to scale. (The opposite to economies of scale)

    This seemed yto make sense to me. There is an engineering design addage KISS – keep it simple stupid.
    This seems to have lots of applications.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

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.