Luke Richmond was a fat kid. There is photographic proof, but it’s under lock and key in the safe hands of his mom. It’s a fact most people find hard to swallow looking at the ripped 27 year-old Tiger Muay Thai Crossfit coach, who is also a personal trainer and extreme mountaineer. Having just climbed Mt. Vinson in Antarctica in his quest for the seven summits, his childhood as a chubby child in the outback of Australia is far behind him.
“It was amazing and beautiful,” says Richmond of his Jan.17th summit to 16,050 ft. “It was -30 degrees when we landed in Antarctica and it was one of the warmest days we had. We flew to base camp and from there we set off with sleds and packs for ten days.”
Vinson makes for his fifth summit, having already scaled Denali in North America, Aconcagua in South America, Carstensz Pyramid in Australasia and Kilimanjaro in Africa. Up next is Mount Elbrus in Russia with Mount Everest rounding out his adventures. His quest, however, isn’t about fame and fortune.
“I’m raising money for the Royal Flying Doctor Service,” explains Richmond. “They saved my mom’s life when we lived in the Australian desert. I’m also raising money for the Children’s Hospital at Westmead in Sydney.”
Whether he’s hand-feeding hyenas in South Africa or running through the streets of Istanbul in pink speedos, Richmond’s mountains are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to his life of extremes.
The athlete is also completely addicted to Crossfit and will be competing in the Crossfit World Games. It’s an event that sees five workouts released online over five weeks. Workouts must be done to exact specifications with the fastest times moving forward within their divisions. The top forty competitors from around the world will meet in LA to compete for up to a million dollars in prize money.
“Training isn’t just a hobby anymore,” says the Level One coach who teaches at TMT 3 pm Monday through Friday. “Crossfit has turned fitness into a sport. You can train because you love working out and test yourself against your previous time and the times of others.”
Always eager to introduce new faces to fitness, Richmond says he wants to pass on as much as he can.
“Don’t be intimidated. At the very beginning there are a thousand people just like you. Everybody has to start somewhere.”
Sound advice coming from a former fat kid.