AJ Hartley is a 29 year old American physique model and aspiring bodybuilder from DeKalb, Illinois, US.
29 years old
DeKalb, Illinois, US
Born and raised twenty miles northwest of Chicago, Illinois, I walked down a similar path that many suburban children traveled. I grew up in a middle class family, attended public school and played all the sports that the community offered. While my story is certainly not a rag-to-riches kind of tale, my parents did what they could to provide all the opportunities within their means. In addition to my parent’s efforts, I always had an intrinsic desire to succeed and be the best in all the outlets that were presented to me. While academics were never an issue, I feel that my athletic abilities and accomplishments molded who I am today. Finding my first love in hockey, I was a part of a number of championship teams but it was gymnastics that I found continued success in as a state and national champion at the high school level and a recognized figure in college. With my physical foundation, I attended Northern Illinois University and earned a Kinesiology degree with an emphasis on preventative and rehabilitative exercise science. Bridging my passion with career, I am now self employed as a certified personal trainer and compete in a drug-free bodybuilding circuit with aspirations of turning pro.
My introduction into modeling was interesting to say the least. The owner of NorCalBodz, Gary Gonzalez was in the mist of taking his elite photography & model management to the next level and hired a producer from the west suburbs of Illinois to film a promotional video. It was Easter weekend of 2009 when the producer contacted me through Myspace. If it were a day earlier or a day later, I would have deleted the message on the spot; I’ve seen this movie before and it didn’t end well... With great skepticism, I responded to her message to further explore the opportunity. Impressed with both the producer’s and Gary’s gentile patients, I agreed to do the video. The video was followed up with a push from Gary to do a formal photo shoot; I felt the opportunity to travel to Sacramento, California would just not be feasible at that time. The dream was over because after three years of keeping in touch, it became reality. I am grateful for the opportunity and along with NorCalBodz, could not be more excited to see what the future holds! What I admire about modeling and photography in general is the artistry.