Jordan Luck, a 30-year-old grad student and warehouse manager from Placentia, California, grew up as an All Star athlete, even receiving a soccer scholarship at a Division 1 school. But after an injury sidelined him in college, a suddenly sedentary lifestyle led to serious weight gain. It took an epic guys’ weekend pit-crewing at World’s Toughest Mudder, and finally stepping on the scale, to set Jordan on the path back to peak physical fitness—and to Mudder Nation. Here’s his story.
TRANSFORMING INTO A TOUGH MUDDER
In 2017, my best friend, who is an avid fitness and OCR fanatic, asked me to be his pit in Las Vegas for World’s Toughest Mudder. A few of our other friends were also running, so it promised to be an epic guys’ weekend.
The race went off perfectly. Shane finished 55 miles and we had a great time with friends, saw some amazing things done on the course, ate some epic buffets, and then went our separate ways.
A few weeks later, I realized I wanted to be on the course, not stuck in the pit and in no shape to even walk a lap. I talked to Shane a lot about diets and exercises, and he was nothing but encouraging.
Around this time, though, I lost my grandmother, and I went right back to food, being lazy, and just feeling worthless. Then, in April 2018, I found myself buying size 54 pants—not because my old ones were worn out, but because I had outgrown them. I realized the time had come: Either I was going to die because my health was so poor, or I was finally going to do something about it.
On May 1, 2018, I stepped on the scale and weighed 378 lbs. I was mortified. I stepped off the scale and walked straight to the kitchen to start actually prepping my meals for the first time. My diet was strict; if eating pizza, beer, chips, and all the other crap any time I wanted had gotten me to this point, it was time to do whatever it took to get the weight off, even if it sucked.
My new diet consisted mainly of chicken, ground turkey, turkey bacon, eggs, avocado, and organic peanut butter. Eventually I began to see progress through just diet change, and I decided to start hitting the gym, too. Under the guidance of friends and a lot of Google searches, I started working out three times a week.
Morning cardio was by far the hardest part of the journey. I started off on a treadmill, completely shot after walking just one 23-minute mile. But I stuck to it and eventually worked up to 20 miles a week, running almost every morning, and increased weight training to six days a week.
THE AHA MOMENT
Ultimately, I think this whole process has been one giant “aha” moment. Every few weeks there is some new personal best set, or new clothes to be bought because my body has changed a little more.
The goal of my first Tough Mudder in October 2018, weighing a little over 300 lbs., was just to finish the course by any means necessary. With the help of my friend Shane and my fiance, I accomplished it. At my second Tough Mudder a few months later, I met my goal of finishing in under three hours of time spent moving.
Then on May 1, 2019, I stepped on the scale and weighed 257.7 lbs. The first year had passed. In that time I ran two Tough Mudders and two OCR 5Ks, but more importantly I had drastically and permanently improved my quality of life. As fun as Tough Mudders are, it was most important to know I was doing everything possible to not die of some sort of preventable cardiac failure at age 40 because I was fat and lazy.
Perhaps my biggest “aha” moment is yet to come: At the 2020 World’s Toughest Mudder. I have a lofty goal of running 40-plus miles, but it has been my plan from day one.
A lot of people have asked what my goal weight or size is, but all I’ve ever said is: I want to be in whatever shape I have to be in so that I can crush my WTM goal.