CFLA Athlete Profile – Harley


“Horrible Hundred” (plus 400)
-Courtesy Crossfit One World

For Time:
25 DL (215/173)
25 Sq. Cl. & J (125/83)
25 Thruster (75/53)
25 OHS (45/33)
400m run
**20min cap.
Must strip own bar. Runs finishing after 20min will read as DNF. Scale accordingly.**
**Compare to 7/11/13**


10 Strict C2B Pull Ups
15 Wall Balls (20/14)
30 Mt. Climbers – single count

B) Pistol Practice

C) For quality load (FQL) in 15 min
Heavy Single Squat Clean and Jerk

Hometown: Parts Unknown
Age: 34
Occupation: Agent for screenwriters/directors
When did you first start CrossFitting?: January, 2012
When did you first start training at CFLA?: January 2012
Favorite WOD: Anything with running/rowing
Least Favorite WOD: Anything that uses the word handstand.

Tell us about you sports & fitness background: I loved sports growing up, even if I wasn’t great at them. I could tell you Cy Young Award winners and NBA Finals MVPs dating back to like the 50s. I was the seventh best player on a high school tennis team that had 5 really good players. I bought a lot of jerseys of NBA players who almost immediately would get in trouble with the law (Latrell Sprewell, Isaiah Rider). When I got to college, I switched to playing basketball, and logged hundreds of hours in Philadelphia gyms playing pick up games. I moved to Los Angeles in 2001 and added time on elliptical machines and doing butterflies. Occasionally, I would spend an absolute fortune on personal trainers whose regimen consisted of watching me go on the elliptical machines and do butterflies. This pretty much remained the program until 2012.

How did you first get exposed to CrossFit? Take us back to your first WOD… what was it, and how did it feel?
My wife (Kinan, she starts at the gym this week, say hi!) and I had twin boys in July 2011. Six months after they were born, I looked at a scale and I was the heaviest I had ever weighed, although at the time, I thought I just needed to lose like 5-10 pounds. My wife’s friend had just started CrossFit and it sounded hard so I thought, “That’s perfect, I’ll do that for a couple weeks and then I’m set”.

The first WOD was a very crowded night class. I remember it involved running, box jumps and DB thrusters. I didn’t realize you could scale the workout, which Andy corrected me on about 3 minutes in, before I hospitalized myself. I was last by a large margin and I was so exhausted that I didn’t even realize other people were cheering me on until I was done. I hadn’t felt that tired and sore, possibly ever, so I figured that was a good sign. I was hooked pretty quickly.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health and fitness since starting CF (before/after)?

I lost 30+ pounds in like the first four months. I now run, outside, like on the street. Before CFLA, I had not run a mile outside since being cut from high school basketball as a sophomore. Six months after I joined, I ran a 10k. Not only did I have to buy new clothes, I have to wear an entirely different kind of dress shirt (regular to contemporary fit). I’m incredibly annoying to other people about eating and exercise advice when asked. I have far more energy and don’t fall asleep in my recliner on Saturday afternoons. I used to have what I now think were sugar related mood swings that have disappeared. I stopped singlehandedly propping up the price of bread in Los Angeles. I can do pullups (plural), even some with weights tied around me.
But, the biggest change is that it just completely reset my standards of what was achievable for me. Looking back, I didn’t even realize at the beginning that I had all that much weight to lose. I had just accepted that I “had a slow metabolism” and was going to gain a pound or two each year of my adult life. Exercise was something I did when it completely fit my schedule, not a fundamental necessity. My mobility is still bad, but now I’m aware of it, and working hard at it.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like CrossFit that were totally unexpected?
The quantification aspect (measuring everything, recording everything) has shifted me to be an even more results oriented person (in a good way). The idea that a workout can be fast but efficient has made me look differently at a lot of things in my life. I’m overall just much more respectful of my own time and what it’s used for. I mostly go to 1PM classes and breaking up my day with exercise in the middle alters my mindset and helps me hit reset from any mental rut I hit with work. I absentmindedly think about front squats sometimes. I look forward to speaking with my kids confidently about nutrition and fitness in ways that it took me 30 something years to figure out on my own.

Please share with us any favorite CrossFit / CFLA moments:
-While I love every single class, I have to say, there’s nothing I love more than the Sunday 8 am class, particularly during football season. The Santa Monica streets are empty, I usually get to the gym by 7:45, sit in my car for a few minutes, throw myself headlong into the workout, and then go home and sit on my couch all day
-In 2013, I did the Open, and I was in Panama for one of the workouts. I left a bachelor party to go do the workout at CrossFit Panama City, conducted entirely in Spanish. Coincidentally, I also learned how to say “No rep” in Spanish.
-Doing Murph unassisted last year. Would have never guessed possible
-Any time I walk down Franklin Hill and see the entire city
– Sometime in 2019 when I do my first handstand pushup

Any advice for people just getting started?
Every coach here is wonderful. If you ask them for a minute of advice, they’ll give you 10. Listen to them, trust them and follow their instructions and good things will follow. Write everything down – there’s nothing more inspiring than looking back to when you just started and seeing results, even very tiny ones, but it’s truly shocking when compared to the beginning. Allow yourself to accept that it’s ok to wear multicolored socks (this took me awhile).

CrossFitLA Image

I’m on the left,” Harley informed me.

Leave a Comment