Low Testosterone Marathon Runner Adopts Four Ethiopian Kids

Do low T levels lead to cuckservatism?

I finished five marathons when I was 11. I wonder if it led to my life of fatigue and low testosterone levels?

New York Times: Hall, 33, who was one of the last remaining hopes for an American front-runner in this summer’s Olympic marathon, is succumbing to chronically low testosterone levels and fatigue so extreme, he says, that he can barely log 12 easy miles a week….

Testosterone is vital for optimum athletic performance, but the hormone’s levels can drop over time with extreme training, similar to how some female runners or gymnasts experience decreased estrogen levels. Hall, who at 5-foot-10 kept his weight consistently at a spry 130 to 140 pounds, said he first learned of his low testosterone levels when he turned professional after college, and initially managed to hit top times nonetheless.

Supplemental testosterone is a banned substance, but Hall would be eligible for a medical waiver if he wanted to try to boost his levels. He said he has decided against that because of potential side effects (including dependency and infertility) and ethical concerns (some athletes use testosterone illicitly as a performance-enhancing drug). Natural remedies like the altering of his diet and lifting weights have not restored his strength, he said.

…Regardless, he was the rare American marathoner who challenged the sport’s dominant athletes from East Africa. His landmark time for an American runner was achieved in an uncommonly fast Boston Marathon field, leading most of the race at blistering speed until he was beaten at the end and finished fourth.

“I remember Wesley Korir telling me after that race that the Kenyans were afraid of me, and I thought that was ironic, I’d never heard of a Kenyan being afraid of a white person before in the race,” Hall said. “I think it showed the level of respect they have for me. I love that it ruffles feathers with them, but I don’t see any difference between them and me. White people can race Africans.”

…For the last five years, Hall has lived as an Olympian hermit, tucked away in a valley in the mountains of Northern California with his family, where they can be close to their church, a charismatic evangelical Christian fellowship. Still supported by Asics, he withdrew from formal coaching and team training altogether, beginning instead what he referred to as “faith-based training.”

…In October, the Halls adopted four sisters, ages 5 to 15, from an orphanage in Ethiopia, where they spent several months training last year. The girls did not speak English, so to prepare for the adoption the Halls took Amharic lessons, practicing the language with their Ethiopian running partners.

“We met them and fell in love, and decided to adopt all four girls in a week,” Sara said. “It was a step of faith. Not many kids get chosen by their parents, and older children have a difficult time finding homes — it’s even harder for them to stay together. We asked them if they wanted to join our family, and they all said yes.”

The Halls let the girls pick English names, then enrolled the children in a small Christian school and supplemented their education with home tutoring. The girls had been raised Protestant, and so were already in sync with the religious patterns of the Hall household. Sara said they wake up a half-hour before school to pray on their own, a practice they learned in the orphanage. “It’s crazy to me,” she said. “Sometimes I don’t even want to get up and do that.”

The girls already share their parents’ passion for Muscle Milk teff pancakes, made with a sponsor’s protein powder, an Ethiopian grain, baking powder and water. “They’re like a healthy brownie, a molten lava cake,” Hall said. “Every night when I go to bed I can’t wait to get up and have my pancake.”

Hall said fatherhood would be a major priority for him, along with volunteering for the Steps Foundation, which he started with Sara. But for now his main pursuit is coaching Sara, along with her other coach, Steve Magness, as she seeks her first Olympic spot at the marathon trials next month.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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