IMG_1617Here’s another athlete profile of Ryan Luken!!!

Where do you live?
I live in Smithtown with my beautiful wife and 2 year old son.  I’ve been a New Yorker my entire life—born in Brooklyn, raised in Staten Island, moved to LI when I was in the 4th grade.

What Brought you to Thor Fitness?
It’s a funny story actually.  I randomly met Steve (Patty’s Husband), driving down 347 about a year ago.  You all probably know that Steve has an awesome Jeep, and I drive a Jeep also.  What you all probably don’t know is that anyone who owns a Jeep is automatically friends with other Jeepers.  It’s sort of an unwritten code.  So Steve and I sat there at a stoplight on 347 BS-ing about our Jeeps, what modifications we had done, etc.  Long story short, we became fast friends, and we would hang out, work on our trucks together, go offroading with some other jeep friends, etc.

When I met with Steve I had just finished up chemotherapy, having won a hell of a fight against Diffuse B-Cell Lymphoma.  For me, getting sick was a MAJOR wake up call.  I wasn’t living the healthiest life prior to getting sick.  I was eating poorly, not really exercising, and because of an extensive travel schedule and major stress at work, I had packed on nearly 50lbs. I lost a lot of that weight during chemotherapy, which left me weak and without energy.   It was a really tough and scary time.  After beating cancer, I knew I needed to turn things around…both for my sake and for the sake of my family.  I was searching for the best way to get healthy, improve my diet, and get stronger both physically and mentally.  I tried a lot of things…Joined “globo gym,” did yoga, tried the Atkins diet, but nothing was really “clicking” for me.

So one day, hanging out with Steve, I noticed the Thor Fitness sticker on his truck.  A conversation ensued where he told me about this awesome place that’s all about “functional fitness.”  He talked about a place where everyone supports one another, where there is great energy, where working out is fun, and where everyone is on a journey to be the best versions of themselves that they can be.  This sounded exactly like what I had been searching for.  I called Patty that night and signed up for the Elements Program.  The first Elements workout totally kicked my ass.  But I was hooked!  I remember the first few months of CF made me so sore and achy that I could barely move the day after the work out!  But I knew deep inside that this was the best and most effective way to get me to where I needed to be.

So here I am a year later, totally cancer free, and so thankful to be alive and healthy and on this awesome journey.  I’m stronger and in better shape now than I’ve ever been in my life.  I still have a ways to go but every day I am getting better and better.

I want to say that I am eternally grateful to Steve introducing me to CrossFit…and words cannot express how thankful I am to Patty for supporting me and helping me to execute on this healthy lifestyle day after day.  I feel like Thor Fitness is an extended family, a place I can call home, and a place that will keep me healthy for now and forever.  And of course none of this would be possible without the support and love of my amazing wife Alana, my son Tyler, and my awesome family.

What are your goals?  Have you achieved them?
My main goal is to stay healthy and cancer free.  As far as my overall fitness, I just want to continue to progress, and get stronger, better, faster every day.  My goals are on-going but it is extremely rewarding to know that I am making progress every waking moment, by eating clean and staying physically active in the most effective way possible.

What do you do when you’re not at the gym?
Aside from spending as much time as possible with my family,  I am also an avid musician, having played the guitar since I was 12 years old.  I actually just started my own business that I am in the process of building up—a high end 8-piece band that plays weddings, corporate events, parties, etc.  Eventually I want to expand to other areas of the entertainment business…I’m having a lot of fun building the business and I’m really excited for the future!

What CF exercises are your favorite and least favorite?
I Love me some deadlifts!  I’ve seen some really nice/quick gains there since I’ve started.  I had a PR last month at 385 lbs and I hope to be at over 400 lb by the end of the summer!  I continue to struggle with anything overhead due to shoulder mobility issues, so OH squats, full snatch, etc are difficult for me.  But I am progressing, albeit slowly, and I try to get better each and every day.  It’s always satisfying to see progress, that’s one reason why I love CF so much—you are able to really benchmark yourself, set goals against those benchmarks, and continue to focus on improvement.

Bench press
CrossFit WOD:
For Reps

2 min Wall Ball 20/14# 10’/8’ Rx+ 10’/9’

30sec Rest

2 min Sumo Deadlift High Pull 75/55# RX+ 95#/75#

30 sec Rest

2 min Box Jumps 24/20in RX+ 30”/24”

30 sec Rest

2 min Push Press 75/55 RX+ 95#/75#
30 sec Rest

2min Row For Calories

score is total # reps

6 Responses

  1. Klein

    Wow… Ryan your strength and power is inspiring thank you for sharing your profile.. Hope to wod with you soon!

  2. Jack Hymanson

    Ryan – great story! You’re truly an inspiration and an amazing person. Congradulations on your one year mark!!!

  3. Steve

    I must say that Ryan is one of the nicest, down to earth people that I have ever met. I remember that day on 347 very well. Even though we just met you immediately offered to help me with my jeep. We became fast friends and you are one of the few people that will drop what he is doing to help out a friend without hesitaing. Keep smiling my friend

  4. Ann

    Ryan, you are an inspiration to all of us. What an amazing story you have. I remember starting elements with you. I haven’t seen you in quite some time and when I saw lasts months PR board and your amazing accomplishment of 1 year cancer free, I was so happy for you and then I bumped into at class last week and your smile lights up a room and is so contagious! Like Steve said, Keep smiling Ryan and keep reaching for your goals!

  5. ryan

    All, thanks so much for the kind words! Glad to be on this journey with all of you and proud to call you all friends!