Congratulations to Smithsburg local Elet Hall, who has been recovering from chronic Lyme disease for several years. He was one of only two contestants to finish Stage 2 in the Las Vegas Finals shown on NBD on September 8, 2014. Even with Lyme disease causing him to be not 100% (according to his Facebook page), he finished the seemingly impossible Stage 2 course faster than the other finalist, Joe Moravsky. It is amazing to think that Elet Hall has been able to compete at all when you read about how this disease has impacted him in his daily life. According to an August 12, 2014 post on his Facebook page, he reports:
“While stretching one night I rested my neck on my foam roller and under light pressure I was able to feel a tingle in my face! It could move ever so slightly. After nearly 2 months I could finally get a tiny response. Over the next 2 weeks use of the left half of my face slowly returned to about 80%.
This was last year and I wish the overt symptoms were the worst I experienced. My memory is shot, I lack energy, and I walk around in a fog. My endurance and muscular recovery, which at this point in my training should not plague me, are regularly an issue. It often takes me 3 days to recover from 1 day of training, both mentally and physically. If I have a particularly exciting day I can expect to feel beat down, depressed and uncoordinated the next, a challenging outlook for an athlete.”
When we hear about the paralysis and other symptoms he describes, we are reminded why we are so passionate about killing the deer ticks that spread it. It’s one of the reasons we wanted to get into the outdoor pest control business in the first place. We wanted to help spare people from the horrors he describes. Oddly, everybody’s symptoms can be different. Some doctors have reportedly told people they had Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome when it was really Lyme. We can’t even imagine attempting that Stage 2 course with any of those conditions. Some same champions compete even when injured. Elet Hall has shown he has the heart of a champion.
If you watched the finals you may have noticed that Brian Arnold, the American who has gone the furthest on Stage 3 of the finals course leading to Mount Midoriyama, purposefully waited until the last second to push the buzzer when he finished Stage 1. Arnold’s strategy was to complete Stage 2 early enough to allow his body to rest before attempting Stage 3. Meanwhile, Elet Hall ran through Stage 1 seconds faster than everybody else. The result: Arnold was second to run in Stage 2. Arnold admitted that was a mistake as it did not give him time to study other contestants’ difficulty with the dangling ropes obstacle. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Elet Hall was the final contestant to run Stage 2. Then, surprisingly, Elet Hall had to go first on Stage 3, giving him no time to rest after he had just completed the grueling Stage 2. Meanwhile, Joe Moravsky was closer to the middle of the pack and had more time to rest before Stage 3. Moravsky made it further on Stage 3 than Hall. Perhaps if Elet Hall had not been battling Lyme over the past few years he would have completed Stage 2 in prior years and picked a strategy closer to the Moravsky strategy; give yourself time to watch others attempt the course and to rest after you finish Stage 2.
If you visit Elet Hall’s Facebook Page, he also offers his tips for managing his chronic Lyme disease.
“My essentials for continuing to progress as an Lyme athlete:
1. Proper hydration to stave off muscle cramps and numbness/tingling in my fingers and toes when I become acutely dehydrated. I drink a gallon of water a day.
2. Eating clean. I don’t follow a specific diet plan but in order to reduce inflammation it’s important to keep track of what foods help you manage it. I eat mostly fruits and veggies, rice and beans, chicken, and eggs. Dairy doesn’t affect my inflammation but refined sugar and red meat do.
3. Sleep! Get enough! how much is up to you (sic). If at all possible I try to take a quick nap before 1 pm. I feel almost like my old self in the few hours following this. It’s so important to get enough sleep to help our overtaxed CNS to recover.
4. Supplementation- I use a lot of supplements and to what Ive (sic) found is a good effect. I’ve looked over the studies regarding most of them and experimented personally to find what does and doesn’t work for me.”
Elet would often practice in Frederick, Maryland’s Baker Park. Congratulations again Elet, and we hope to see you training in Baker Park and the gorgeous mountain ranges near your home.