by Chris Tillen, Staff Writer, October 2021
Wake up at 5:30 a.m. Leave your house at 5:45 a.m. Arrive at campus by 6:05 a.m. If it’s a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, get ready to lift. If it’s a Tuesday or Thursday, hit the erg for an hour. Shower in the Morrison Athletic Center (MAC). Get ready for class. And after that whole day, don’t forget practice for two hours or more. Which practice? Well in the fall it’s Boys Varsity Cross Country, in the winter it’s Boys Varsity Wrestling, and in the spring it’s Boys Varsity Crew. And you’re a captain in all three of those sports. Does that sound like your dream? Maybe it sounds like your nightmare. Well for Max Hall (Class I), that routine is reality.
Described by Peyton Rose (Class I) as a “living beauty,” Max Hall certainly has a reputation for his machine-like dedication to the grind. From workouts to nutrition to entrepreneurship, this man does not rest. But what’s a day in his life really like? What are some of his other passions? More importantly, what does his fabled 6,000-8,000 calorie nutrition plan cover?
Max Hall previously attended The Fessenden School where he was extremely active in the theater program. He said, “I had an extremely high voice back then, and since Fessenden is an all-boys school I would almost always be the lead female part.” Some of Hall’s most notable roles include Susie Brown in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Peter Pan in Peter Pan.
Hall left behind this life in eighth grade when he had to choose between sports and the musical. This particular fall was when Hall joined Boys Cross Country at Fessenden. In addition to running, he became involved in wrestling in seventh grade. Wrestling would be a key element of his application to Nobles, and by the end of middle school, Hall was beginning to find his niche through his talent in sports.
Hall came to Nobles as a freshman, where he began to grow into the person that the community knows so well today. Hall actually mentioned that he was having a bit of an identity crisis during his freshman year, as his reputation centered around things that were foreign to him in middle school. He said, “I felt like people now knew me a lot as an athlete, which had never been who I was.” However, as Hall continued, he happily embraced his athletic side while also exploring many other aspects of his identity. English Faculty Charles Danhof, Hall’s advisor and wrestling coach, said, “Max was super eager and super pumped up,” when he first met him through the wrestling process. “It was really nice to get to know him and see him in that way, and also see now how much more mature he is and how that energy turned into such a great experience,” Danhof added.
Athletics is not Hall’s only skill. Hall said, “I’ve always had kind of like an entrepreneur type mindset.” Hall has had a hobby for sewing throughout his life, and as a kid Hall would sew cloth scissor coverings and sell them to his neighbors. But this is not the business for which he is most famous. Many students may recall how Hall spent the summer before his junior year as a gravedigger for the Town of Weston. Danhof said, “He’s okay spending a whole summer working landscaping and digging graves, when it’s dirty, hard, physical labor. He revels in it and he enjoys it.” While it’s certainly not a summer job most would consider doing, it is a very astounding path to take.
One of the most famous parts of Hall’s lifestyle is his diet and legend has it that he consumes almost 8,000 calories a day with his vigorous workout routines. Hall describes his eating as a “full time job,” having to eat around once an hour to prevent himself from being hungry. He brings three sandwiches to school a day, with multiple energy bars on top of that. He also eats two lunches a day at the Castle, and then has a full dinner at home. Hall has innovatively turned the panini press into a grill, an idea which he gives credit to Chris Millay (N ’20). Hall takes grilled chicken from the salad bar and places it on the panini press to warm the meat. Danhof said, “You can’t do that [Hall’s routine] on three meals a day.” Danhof reasoned that Hall’s current eating regimen might not even be enough. Perhaps Hall will step up his nutrition plan further, venturing even beyond those 8,000 calories.
What characterizes Hall the most is his diligence and the commitment that he brings to everything he does. Hall said, “I really enjoy going very intensely on things, trying to get to the highest level of whatever it is that I’m doing. It’s partially about the sheer pursuit of greatness.” Rose added, “He’s a maniac, he never stops doing something. Like his work ethic is absurd.” Whether it’s working out, digging graves, eating, or so much more, Hall brings his 100 percent. This extends beyond athletics and hobbies, as Hall puts in significant time and energy to taking care of the members of his teams. He embraces the role of captain and helps his teammates be their best selves.
As impressive as this is, it is impossible for every kid to live each day like Hall. Danhof added, “I don’t want every kid to think they should be Max. Because they should be what works best for them.” Danhof stressed that every person is built differently, and that every person finds different ways to be fulfilled. For Hall, the 8,000 calorie, two-day workout routine leads to fulfilment. For you it may be different, yet we can all seek to emulate his fidelity and fire.