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Welcome to Racked SF's search for San Francisco's hottest trainer. Over the coming weeks, we'll profile sixteen smoking hot candidates who work at local gyms and studios. Then, once you've gotten to know everyone, we'll host a March Madness-style showdown in which you get to vote for your favorite. Let the games begin!
Photos by Scott Mars.
You'll be hard pressed to find a trainer who's more inspiring than Blake Harrison. He suffered a debilitating accident as a senior in high school, and doctors believed he would never walk again. But through hard work and determination, he got his body back—and, as you can see, it's quite the body. "It's my dream to use my second chance at life to inspire people to 'turn on fire for their body temple[s],'" Blake says. And, boy, does he turn on the fire. But before you're intimidated by his rockhard abs and his surfer good looks, know that each of his programs is catered to the individual with no one left out—whether that's a group session through Fitmob or one-on-one private training. Sign up for a few sessions and you're sure to jump out of bed in the mornings, ready to work out with this (regularly shirtless) heartthrob.
In one line, tell us about yourself.
I was once told by doctors that I would never again play sports, attend college, or leave the care of my parents for the rest of my life.
Why did you become a trainer?
After my accident when I was 18, I eventually rebuilt and reclaimed my body and resumed playing sports. I graduated from Virginia Tech where I studied fitness and nutrition and minored in biology. After college, I lived in Hawaii and in Costa Rica before moving here to San Francisco to help others in their fitness journeys. Now, I'm one of the Mob Leads at Fitmob, a fitness startup that actually rewards you for working out. It's a great way for people who are looking to jumpstart their fitness regimens, or improve their performance levels, to join this community and get the support they need.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting in your class?
I encourage clients to never be discouraged when they struggle with challenges. If you're struggling, that's when to get excited because that's when you're getting the real results. When you challenge yourself, you change yourself.
Tell us one fun fact about yourself.
I'm co-writing a book, Wheelchair to Medal of Valor, and may have the opportunity to appear on Ellen next spring when the book is released.
If you weren't a trainer, what would you be?
If I wasn't training, I would strive to be a pro surfer. Everything in our universe is comprised of waves—sound waves, light waves—and ocean waves are really the only waves that we can interact with on a human scale. To levitate across a most dynamic dance floor, and lose yourself in the dance with nature, is the most present and free that I have ever been in my life.