Ironman 101 has moved to a new domain. Now Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger!

Please click here to continue reading - Power Multisport.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Poker nights and poker tells

A tell in poker is a subtle but detectable change in a player's behavior or demeanor that gives clues to that player's assessment of his hand.- Wikipedia
I played poker with the guys the other night. Now I will be the first to tell you that I am not very good at cards but I do enjoy the game. However, this night I was lucky. I walked away with over 16 bucks. Considering that this is nickel ante poker that is a bumper night.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. I have a tell. You see, I grit my teeth in stressful situations. From the outside you can see my jaw pulsate. I think that I have had this tell all of my life. Twenty years ago I remember my wife letting me in on the secret. We would have an argument or something and she would ask me if I was mad. Of course I would say “no” but she knew I was hiding something. She told me about the tell. So why am I telling you this?

It’s funny how things are linked. When I lost my wife and daughter you cannot believe the stress (5 years feels like a blink of the eye). I can’t even attempt to explain it. But the tell got disruptive. The constant stress – I was told it was like post traumatic stress disorder - magnified the tell. I literally started to grind my teeth down until they cracked. Some of them came out in pieces. Well, there was a tooth that I had a sedative type filling placed in it. This was a couple of years ago. This eased the pain.  However, this tooth has hurt me for a couple of years but the pain would come and go.

Well, my jaw started hurting last week. It was now hurting like someone hit me in the jaw with a two-by-four. It was not the just the tooth but my entire jaw. Massive PAIN. I waited a few days to see if it would go away. It did not. This past weekend it hurt. It hurt on the way to the race and it hurt after the race – interesting enough it did not hurt during the race.

I went to the dentist. The tooth was extracted. I have read a number of grief books and participated in a number of groups. It is funny how unrelated things end up being linked. Who would have thought that past tragedies would lead to losing teeth? I think the connections are funny.

On a side note, I knew that I would not feel like working out after the dentist so I cranked out my 800’s prior to the visit. I nailed them.


  1. Ouch James! I have terrible teeth in general so I can understand the pain, at least for the teeth part. Are you going to LA for the 25K championships this weekend? I am considering it... but would rather run the trails in Laurel.

  2. Wow. That is an incredible connection, but I am glad you were able to get the tooth pulled! I don't think there is a stronger physical pain on earth compared to a toothache!

  3. That is gnarly to say the very least. Kudos on your winfall of cash :-0

  4. Not pleasant sounding at all! But I would guess anyone in your position would have some effect or another that shows up down the road.

    Good job with the 800s before the dentist!

  5. OUCH OUCH OUCH. Smart thinking on smashing out the 800's before.

  6. I enjoyed how you put the connections together in this post.

  7. You win $16 again and we will start breaking thumbs. Have you every read the novel "Marathon Man"?

  8. I can so relate to dental pain!!!! I have had two bone infections in my jaw due to failed implants and it feels like your whole face is being crushed. I am glad that you found relief!