The backbone of Greg ‘Slim’ Harrell, 55, mantra, who is still actively involved in athlete’s lives as an owner of a nutrition supplement company and an Olympic advisor, is naturalism.
Even though Harrell retired from professional football and Olympic bobsledding in the 1990s, he still is actively engaged in getting that edge for him and everyone he comes to contact with in his day-today.
Also, Harrell has a firm belief in the power of sports.
“In life things that we do, that may not be directly involved in that moment, ties in with everything else and sports ultimately kids, everybody should be involved in it at some time,” said Harrell. “Because it teaches you the game of life and the game of life is gonna happen every day.”
This philosophy to attack the game of life with hard work and consistency can be seen in his commitment to bobsledding and in his passion for nutrition.
“I didn’t wake up one morning and I was an Olympian. It didn’t happen that way.”
Most recently, Harrell was involved as an advisor in Olympic bobsled tryouts for Montgomery county track and field athletes. This past summer the tryouts hosted at Gaithersburg High School graded these athletes with points on such events as the 20-yard dash, 40-yard dash and vertical jump.
The best of the 25 males and 10 female athletes took a step towards qualifying for the US Olympic bobsled team. This year’s Winter Olympics slated for Pyeongchang, South Korea in February 2018 will see no Moco athletes on the USA bobsled team.
However, come April 2018, Harrell and others including New York Yankees developmental coach and former coach of Harrell, John Philbin, will oversee another open tryout for Montgomery County athletes. Even though the venue is not decided, Harrell believes it might be hosted again at Gaithersburg High School or possibly Damascus High School.
Currently, he is working on a book about going from a high school bench warmer to the pros and to the Olympics.
As an Ahoskie Cougars High School football player in Nags Head, North Carolina Harrell played in two games during his high school career.
“That was it,” he said.
However, Harrell believes that was the “best thing that ever happened to me being a bench warmer.” While his older brother Sam Harrell played at Ahoskie and was an allAmerican, an East Carolina Pirate and a Minnesota Viking football player, younger brother Harrell did not start to excel until college.
Younger brother Harrell starred at Chowan University and transferred to the University of Maryland to be left undrafted out of college but stuck in the Oakland Raiders’ camp as a developmental tight end.
“My finish was my start. Two games of high school. I know a lot of people that would have quit but when I got to college I was given my chance,” Harrell said.
This experience would serve Harrell well, especially with the current business he owns. After he retired, Harrell had a strong desire to stay involved in sports. This lead to his niche: nutrition. Harrell considers himself a pure naturalist. He tries to keep pure. He attributes this to his upbringing in Nags Head, North Carolina by his mom and dad who happen to have been married for 62 years.
So, after Harrell retired, Harrell got involved with nutrition to educated as well as a profession. One aspect of nutritional education revolves against steroids.
“Never did steroids because my mom and dad…that’s why I do nutrition now because everything came from the garden to the table. That was it.”
As a kid, Harrell was never given headache medication because his parents taught that there was always a reason for a headache. His parents would teach the Harrell kids that you need to eat or maybe you need to sleep.
This mantra propelled him to get the most out of his body when he played sports, but through all pure extremes.
“Edwin Moses, Herschel Walker, Willie Gault, we knew our body needed something else. More than sleep, water and just eating balance meals because the level we were training we can’t get all that much out of it. But we were determined to not go and use something that would go against the hard work we had put in. So, when I retired from sports, that was my niche.”
This niche led him eventually to a DNA technology called Epigenetics. His company which in its third year is quite lucrative mainly focuses on professional health practitioners. The company is international and Harrell has quite a few professional athletes as clients.
The technology is fairly simple. Harrell has a machine that is hooked up to a genetic lab in Hamburg, Germany. A client gives a hair sample or cheek swab. Harrell’s machines process the sample and a DNA report is produced. Within fifteen minutes of being processed, a 35-page report is sent back to Harrell on what foods a person should avoid and what food a person should eat for a 90-day period. It also includes vitamin suggestions. Nothing invasive, just a new technological advancement to take a step to get that edge.
Dr. Eric Neute, out of Missouri, is the face of their company. Neute explains this is the gps to your system.
Harrell was involved in a project at the World Cup in Lake Placid where all the competing bobsledders received the test and results.
Currently, there are potential projects with the Big 10 Conference and University of Maryland.
“I love it. Technology is involving. Like your cell phone…to be on the level. With nutrition…Mind boggling. I love it,” said Harrell.
On August 10 and 11, Neute will be in town, hosting a two-day seminar at the BWI Marriot to professional health practitioners epigenetic and the reports and uses for clients.
Philbin’s involved with the technology and company in the Damascus area. They are working to get the technology into some of the Montgomery Athletic Clubs and gyms.
Yet for Harrell this is another answer to why steroids are not the answer. “This is what I teach every day the shortcut is steroids. Your lifestyle and living a good quality life is taking the nutrition. That sums it up.”
Harrell believes steroids can ruin lives.
“So…I believe in getting the edge but there is a natural way in the edge. There’s a way to get the edge through hard work, and a lot of other things with nutrition but you got to go out and find it.”
“But then at the same time anyone can take a shortcut. So, steroids there’s nothing positive. You’ll never hear anything positive to come out of my mouth on steroids because it’s a temporary fix if that’s the type of life you want to live temporary…there was an article, this is sad. 15 to 21 years old were asked if they could use steroids and would be guarantee pro sports, 90% said they would because they’d do anything to get there. That, to me, we got to do more speaking, lectures to these kids because it’s a short life we got to live.”