“Mediocre efforts achieve mediocre feats. Extraordinary efforts achieve extraordinary feats.”
A bold quote from a bold guy. Yes, it’s time again for a feature of an awesome fit friend in my series of interviews on the blog.
A couple years ago I worked for an obstacle race event company called HARD CHARGE. Hands down the best part of that job was all the cool people I met – not just co-workers and local partners, the people who participated in our events. For some it was the first time they’d ever done anything athletic, for others, they were semi-serious athletes looking to compete. No matter what, each had a story.
One story that stuck out to me and everyone on the HARD CHARGE team was a young guy; a formerly out-of-shape guy who found a new love for fitness in obstacle racing. That was cool but that wasn’t the best part of his story. I’ll share that later.
Blog pals, I’m pleased to introduce you to: Logan Harpool!
LP: Tell me about your fitness background – did you compete in a lot of sports growing up?
LH: I played nearly every sport but baseball was what I enjoyed the most. I played baseball all through high school and even traveled to the Dominican Republic to represent the United States in a series against local teams in the summer of 2010.
LP: That’s pretty unique! Sounds like you were really talented; did you go on then to play in college?
LH: I signed a letter of intent to play in college before my senior season in high school. After a change of priorities, I gave up my scholarship to come home and go to school full time.
LP: Was this around the time you got into obstacle course racing (OCR)?
LH: Yes, and when I found obstacle racing was also when I fell in love with the grind. Training for week and sometimes months for an hour of racing i something I really enjoy. Nothing can compare to the feeling and the rush I get when standing at the starting line of a race.
LP: Oh I totally get it! Tell me about that first time you stepped up to the start line at an OCR.
LH: I ran HARD CHARGE in Park City, KS. I was in terrible shape and had never run more than a mile at one time. I did terrible in the event, but I loved it.
LP: Yes, you were at our first HC event ever! So if you weren’t a runner, how did you find your way to us?
LH: After the death of my best friend, I ran the race to carry out a plan that we had made. I needed something to feed my inner competitor, and OCR seemed to fit the role perfectly.
That was in April of 2013, and then in June I ran a local OCR and took 12th out of 1200+ racers. That’s when it hit me that I could actually win. I started training for real and eventually picked up my first win in a small even in Northern Kansas!
LP: Awesome, congrats! There’s no better feeling than the first win. Except maybe the second, third…!
People know OCR takes some strength but they don’t realize it takes a lot of coordination and poise. I’ve been out there on the courses and seen top athletes take major falls. Did you ever have any biffs?
LH: I fell off of the top of an A frame cargo net once. I was in the lead and feeling tough when I slipped and rolled down the net uncontrollably on the other side!
Another time I was trying to be smooth and get over a wall quickly. My toe caught which launched me face first into the mud. All I heard was the ch-ch-ch sound of cameras going nuts. Thanks, guys.
LP: It is kinda funny when someone falls – once you know they’re okay!
LH: The worst was at Warrior Dash in Kansas City, when I won. I crossed the finished line and walked around a bit before kneeling down. Everyone around said, “Leave him alone, he’s praying.” Though I do pray often when competing, I wasn’t that time. I was recovering from the rack job of the century from the massive waterslide just moments before the finish line. Men: when you go down the slide, cross your legs.
LP: Guys, did you hear that? Ha, good advice!
Not to take the spotlight away from you, but we have to talk about your mom – she’s pretty tough and has gone through a lot right?
LH: My mom is a little beast. In 2011, she was diagnosed with melanoma. After multiple surgeries and a year of chemotherapy, she was deemed cancer free. With a new perspective on life, she started a fitness journey, running 5-7 miles per day and doing various body weight workouts, even some CrossFit stuff with me!
LP: Love it. Is she your biggest cheerleader or does she love to get out and compete too?
LH: She loves to watch me race, but would never pay money for herself to run a race. She’s selfless like that so I signed her up for HARD CHARGE in 2014, and she completed the course!
In 2015, she mentioned Tough Mudder being on her bucket list. Though she was not dying, she’s happy to be alive and wants to live life to the fullest. I emailed Tough Mudder and they cut us a deal on registrations. My mom and I conquered the 12-mile course. My 5’2″ 125lbs momma was climbing 20-foot walls and crawling through mud like it was nothing. She had never felt more alive!
LP: How cool! Speaking of competing, your wrote a book with that same name – talk about the book!
LH: “Compete!” consists of 20 traits and tactics that are essential for maximizing potential for success. While the book is applicable to athletes, coaches, and fitness fanatics, I wrote it for anyone wanting to achieve a goal or make a dream come true. They must know how to compete. Do more, be more, achieve more!
LP: Why did you want to write a book?
LH: Most people would never guess I love to write because of how hyper and high-strung I am but I have always wanted to write a book, I just never got around to it. During my fall 2015 semester, I finally made it happen. Just like my book says, if you want it, go after it and make it happen!
LP: Now time for my most important question: What is your favorite food? Or foods!
LH: I really don’t eat a lot…
LP: Oh, oh no. No. Say it ain’t so! I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.
LH: I’m just a really picky eater! Okay, if I had to pick it would be something that my mom makes, some kind of chicken.
LP: Since your mom is the coolest, I’ll accept that.
Do you have a personal “slogan” or quote that you really believe in?
LH: 1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
LP: Lastly, the part of the interview called, “Anything but the Obvious” – what’s something totally unrelated to fitness and all the obvious stuff, that you’d want people to know about you?
LH: I’m actually a germaphobe in public places. If I’m outside, I’ completely fine, but in a public bathroom or even a restaurant, I’m continually watching what I touch. If I have to choose between swimming in a public pool or in a pond, I’m going for the pond. I know that’s weird, but that’s me!
Love it. We’re all a little weird. And weirdness is one of the best things in the world.
In between OCR training, coaching baseball and finishing up his senior year at Wichita State, Logan is a motivational speaker and working on his next book. Those interested in his speaking engagements, or with questions or ideas for his next book can email him at Competeharpool@outlook.com. He’s also on Twitter @LoganHarpool and Instagram @loganharpool.