The Wisdom of the Tooth

Wednesday, 9 December 2009  |  Bullish Insights

I can almost hear my Wise Tooth speak this Chinese proverb below:

The runner who runs 26 miles must rest his weary legs.

Okay, no such proverb exists. But, pretty much every serious runner will agree with what my Wise Tooth said.  After a brutal marathon, one should rest and recover.  The type of recovery varies depending on the runners’ experience and preference: some run easy, others cross train, others do nothing at all for weeks, but the key is to take it easy and listen to your body the week after the marathon.

This Wise Tooth of mine has been speaking proverbs since he got yanked out of my mouth yesterday.  You see, two months ago my dentist delivered awful news: I had an impacted wisdom tooth that had to be pulled out.  I cringed in fear as I could still vividly recall the pain from the last time they removed another wisdom tooth seven years ago.  Then, she dropped an even bigger bomb: After the procedure, no strenuous activity would be allowed for a full week.

No way.  I could not skip running for over two days!  To make matters worse,  I was in the middle of Singapore Marathon training and nothing—not even all my teeth falling out—could stop me from messing up my program. (Of course, I’d have to shut my mouth lest I scare people with my toothless grin.)

Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea. I could schedule it the week AFTER the marathon when rest from running would actually be good for me.

And so, yesterday, after two months of stalling, I finally went forward with the procedure.  I went through three injections and several minutes of twisting and tugging before the dentist proudly showed me the wisdom tooth: my Wise Tooth.  I nonchalantly dropped old Wise Tooth into my pocket and asked the most important question there was for me (in case the answer changed): “So, no strenuous activity for 7 days?”  Sadly, the dentist nodded.


Today is the second day of my exercise ban and, surprisingly, I am loving every minute of it.  I thought I would get antsy and I would spend half the day quelling urges to run or cross train.  But, nope, it’s quite the opposite.  I’m enjoying this time when I have no concrete goals yet no injuries to worry about.  I feel like I’m just…floating.  Yes, seven full days of peace, enlightenment, and relaxation thanks to the Old Wise Tooth.