Dateline – July 25, 1977- Deseret News Marathon, outside Salt Lake City

I was a 21 year old marathoner traveling for the first time in my life to a “big” race and changed my diet while driving 1000 miles. In the very early morning hours, without stimulation of the morning java, there was nary a movement in the making. That was soon to change in a matter of miles. The brown fist of gelatinous goo started knocking at the door around mile 5. But by mile 8 it became an actual concern. I thought with a little will power I could make it. I kept thinking (probably just praying) that it would subside. I was on pace for a personal record and running in 17thposition. Running relatively alone nearing the midway point I had to start weighing my choices. The sparsely populated wilderness gave way to suburban neighborhoods. It was only going to get more populated as we moved into Salt Lake City. And as the time moved forward in the morning hours, only more people would be out and about. It was too late to second guess the choice to hold on; there was a visitor knocking at the anal door. Overcome by the pounding presence on every stride, I had to give way to bodily function urges at 13 miles. I dashed onto the first lawn with a 2 foot shrub to hide behind. Seconds turned to minutes which seemed like hours; as runner after runner passed by just feet away on the other side of the sparsely leaved shrub. They had to have thought they were passing by a sewer treatment plant. The mass, or mess, had to be swiped from the crack with the only thing I carried with me – a white hanky. Bowels – 1, Will Power – 0. Three, no – four, no – five swipes and it was finally tolerable to stand and not feel the cheek halves stick together too bad. But what to do with the tar stained hanky? It was left for the homeowner to discover later that morning. 2:50:07 after the start, I had gained back most of the places I had lost but it was a disappointing 5 minutes slower than a personal record.   

And so began my interest into the affects of bodily function control while running and racing. The long quest for the holy grail of bowel, stomach and bladder control has brought me to seek solace in knowing that I am not alone.


About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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