The Dentist


I had my annual dentist appointment today. Going to the dentist is a necessary evil…something I’m not too fond of, but something I know is very important to my overall health. Don’t get me wrong, I take care of my oral health diligently; but having someone poke, prod and scrape in my mouth with sharp metal objects and whirring machines is not my idea of fun. While lying back in the chair, I started to think of things to distract me from the aforementioned reality of what was going on. It occurred to me that going to the dentist bears several parallels to running a good 800m race. Consider the following:

  • Both involve self-subjected pain and discomfort.
  • They both have a ‘twilight zone effect.’ That is, neither take very long but while you’re doing it they seem to go on and on forever.
  • Both require the individual to ignore the bodies’ own instincts and reflexes. At the dentist, you’re constantly attempting to override your swallow reflex along with your instinct to close your mouth, kick the dentist’s assistant in the head, and run for the door. At the 401m mark of a well run, evenly distributed 800m run, you’re questioning what you got yourself in to and attempting to ignore your bodies’ instinct to take the easy way out and run a relaxed second lap and instead hammer yourself in to the ground so you’ll actually run a good time.

Any more parallels that I missed?

Discuss entry

Mike Young

Mike Young

Founder of ELITETRACK at Athletic Lab
Mike has a BS in Exercise Physiology from Ohio University, an MSS in Coaching Science from Ohio University & a PhD in Biomechanics from LSU. Additionally, he has been recognized as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) from the National Strength & Conditioning Association, a Level 3 coach by USA Track & Field, a Level 2 coach by USA Weightlifting.
Mike Young


📈Owner @AthleticLab 🏆Perf Dir @theNCCourage ⚽️Fit Coach @NorthCarolinaFC ➡️Proformance 📚Keynote Speaker & Author 📊Sport Science & Research🏃🏾‍♂️T&F 💪🏼S&C 🏋🏽‍♂️WL
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Mike Young
Mike Young