ESPN has an interesting article on professional and endurance (ultra) athletes and their doings of number two. Some of the stories are a real tribute to the strength and resilience of the human body, still others are eerily reminiscent of Colitis. Take a look at this excerpt describing an ultra-marathoner
But the main culprit was this: The moment Moss began to exercise, her body started shunting blood away from nonessential systems, like digestion and waste, in order to feed the heart, lungs and muscles with nutrients and oxygen. This is known as exercise-induced ischemic colitis, and the result is a black, bloody, swollen colon, like the one that now has the attention of Michael Dobson, the director of a colorectal surgery center in Charlotte, N.C., who is holding up a disturbing endoscopic image from The American Journal of Gastroenterology. The owner of this colon, an ultra-marathoner, had denied proper blood flow to his intestines for so long — because of natural, but extended, shunting — that the tissue inside his colon began to die and perforate. An extreme example, yes, but anytime blood is removed from the colon by exercise, as Dobson explains, water and other material that should have been absorbed along the way instead pass rapidly to the rectum. There, spikes in volume and pressure trigger nerves in the sphincter that emit urgent warnings to the brain. In less scientific circles, this is what is known as prairie doggin’.
Even prime time sports like basketball and football have similar stories.
Tim Tebow does too. LeBron James poops. Derek Jeter, Maria Sharapova, Drew Brees — they all poop. Most of these stars will never have a Julie Moss moment or even a Serena Williams scare. And if they did, it’s highly unlikely they’d ever talk as openly about it as Paula Radcliffe does in discussing her own Defcon 1 incident. The British distance runner and Nike spokesperson was four miles from winning the 2005 London Marathon when she stopped suddenly and darted to the side of the course. Radcliffe had been losing time for several miles because of gastrointestinal disturbances — the kind that, according to one study, affect 83 percent of marathoners and that are usually preceded by gaseous outbursts that runners call walkie-talkies.