The Sensory Experiences Of Coffee And Endurance Training


Hi folks,

Grace (ukelele), Chase (mandolin), Dave and Jess (banjo), playing at Johnny's Gone Fishing as we work to open the doors again. From:

Grace (ukulele), Chase (mandolin), Dave and Jesse (banjo), playing at Johnny's Gone Fishing as we work to open the doors again. From:

We are finally able to open our grocery store and local hangout, Johnny’s Gone Fishing LLC. The inspections are complete, the Certificate of Occupancy has been approved, we are purchasing inventory, and yours truly, FitOldDog, was elected to consider where we might buy our coffee beans and other paraphernalia (cups and stuff). Coffee is a sensory experience, and like all sensory experiences it has many different aspects. Some would say, “There’s good coffee, and bad coffee, and that’s all there is to it,” but I don’t agree. It is much more complex than that. The context of the coffee, including ambiance, music, food, the company we are keeping, and our memories of coffees of times gone by, will play their role.

Coffee sign designed by Duncan (FitOldDog's number two son) for Johnny's Gone Fishing LLC

Coffee sign designed by Duncan (FitOldDog's number two son) for Johnny's Gone Fishing LLC

The shape and texture of the cup will influence the quality of the outcome. Furthermore, our senses of taste, smell, vision, and hearing are tightly linked, each playing a role in our sensory life. Even touch perception through the skin, including your hands and lips, influence your level of enjoyment, to create a unique experience every time you drink a cup of coffee. Focusing upon each of these inputs can provide a valuable meditation, as discussed in a wonderful little book, ‘Peace is Every Step‘ by Thich Nhat Hanh. Finally, coffee is a great way to end a meal, as a ‘digestif,’ as I learned whilst traveling in the land of the epicures, France. So my sense of responsibility weighs heavily upon my shoulders as I consider the source of the beans. But I’ll do fine!

Nothing like an early morning trail run to welcome in a new day. A view from the Pumpkin trail of UNC North Forest

Nothing like an early morning run to welcome in a new day. View from the Pumpkin trail of UNC North Forest.

So what about the sensory experiences of endurance training? Just consider an early morning run, as the sky is just starting to lighten and the outline of the forest starts to appear. You can feel the cold air against your skin, on a rainy day the water in your shoes is sloshing around, the feelings of hunger are starting to kick in (great!), you hear the sounds of the forest all around, and your body, though tired and a little sore, feels very much alive. Nothing like it. Everyone else is just waking up, and most of them never get to experience this (that’s their loss). Or consider an open water swim, a bike ride in the country, and all the benefits that come with being healthy and fit. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. In fact, that is what I would miss, the world. And what’s better after a long run? A cup of coffee, naturally, AT – you guessed it – Johnny’s Gone Fishing!

-k @FitOldDog


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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.