Hall Hunt Returneth

Hall Hunt Returneth
by Newbear Lesniewski

Paint a mental picture of yourself as a child.

Don’t worry about staying inside the figurative lines - or even the border of the still-forming personality page. Forget about questions as pragmatic as, “Do these colors match?” And try not to rationalize, ponder scale or draw circles around revisionist history.

Just grab another slice.

“Basically, I’ve eaten a lot my whole life. I was 5 when large pizzas started disappearing. My mom and dad would go in the kitchen and be like, ‘Where’s the other pizza?’ - and all I could say was, ‘Sorry, I ate it. Is that OK?’ They just told me to eat until I was full,” the newly no-longer-retired glutton said.

Hall Hunt was the kid putting away watermelons at family cookouts and making every uncle with a spatula hang his head in shame. And it’s kind of always been like that. So the fact that he came up two ears of corn short at the 11th annual Sweet Corn Fiesta on April 14th should come as no surprise.

Especially when you consider that he was in first place before deductions.

“I thought I won, which would have been terrific and was, of course, what I was shooting for. I’m my own harshest critic, so not being first was originally upsetting. But looking at it from the outside, finishing third wasn’t too bad - especially considering the competition,” he said.

One arena where Hall is perfectly agreeable batting second? His faith. Something Hall considers the biggest part of his energetic fight; the engine that powers his force-of-nature appetite for all things possibly achievable in this life. Athletes and addicts alike take turns both personifying and populating the “all things through Him doctrine”.

Hall delivers his personal favorite 16 ounces at a time.

1 Corinthians 10:31: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

What kind of competitive eater would The Good Lord have been?

“It’d have to be bread and fish. After making them appear out of thin air, a little bit of fish and a few loaves of bread ended up feeding everyone all day. And since he’s ‘waste not, want not’ you could see him showing everyone how it’s done with all the leftovers,” Hall said.

Visions of dunking cups used for bread morphing from water to wine danced in his head.

From whatever good book one seeks to attain their personal future wealth of knowledge, wisdom is the ultimate goal. But sometimes, realizing you’re a freaking genius is nothing more than a stroke of dumb luck.

This MENSA member once struggled with the reading portion of the SAT.

“That (reading) section took me forever - and I couldn’t figure out why - but I could never get through all the questions. My tutor thought maybe I had ADD, so I got tested. And part of the test was an IQ test, where I really shocked myself. I maxed out half the categories or something crazy, and they didn’t even know how to score it,” he said.

All those brains come at a cost. First, there’s the “nerdy-spreadsheet” side of Hall’s personality. The monthly budget. Airline tickets for eating contests. Cook-prep methods for the 12-minute masterpieces. The guy should really be a consultant for Microsoft Office.

And that’s just the top layer.

Take the contest tickets: there’s what day to buy, what airline to fly, what time to leave - and thus, arrive. And don’t get the man started on chewing consistency, affected by food and oil type inside the grill or frying pan - temperature and humidity outside in his personal, buffet-style fantasyland.

“When it comes down to it, I probably overthink it. It really comes down to how bad you want it and how hard you’re willing to push through discomfort to make yourself win,” he said.

Another hard reality: hard bodies are more-properly equipped to engage in a little stomach engorgement. Dumbbells and cardio turning stretch-marked biceps and toned tummies into demolition machines of all things calorie.

“You’re eating food as fast as you can - the goal is to always have some food in your mouth and always have some food being swallowed. Getting your cardio in means you don’t have to breath as much, so you can be more efficient with your oxygen. Some people are totally gassed at the halfway point because they’re not in shape,” he said.

Not a problem for this former SEC-level soccer player. Insert “Gator Chomp” here.

Ahead of his time. Almost annoying in his excellence.

Compelled by the power of Christ. Capable of supercomputing food-variable spreadsheets.

Not afraid to take his shirt off.

Welcome back, Hall Hunt.