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Member Stories: Tammy Valliere

Andrea Savard
February 9, 2023
5 min read

Tammy and her husband Jay came to FirePower in 2008 seekingweightloss but found so much more. Today, her leadership with fellow long-timemembers and her encouragement of new members haven’t gone unnoticed. She stayed committed to documenting her wods for years. Close to adecade later, “Mighty Mouse” is still seeing strength and benchmark workoutimprovements, and still finding joy in the same community she has helped buildas a member.  Here is her story:

"My CrossFit journey started October 2008.  I was looking for a gym to help me lose somepregnancy weight. I was never an athlete in school, never played sports as achild, had only joined a couple of gyms so when I walked into FirePower and asked,“How many times a day can I come?”, George laughed and replied “You’ll onlywant to do what we call a WOD once a day”. 

After my first week of training, I was inso much pain that my poor legs didn’t want to take me down the stairs, nevermind sitting on the toilet!  My abs wereburning so I tried everything not to laugh or sneeze. Even though I was soreeverywhere, I was intrigued and signed up.  Within a few short months I had dropped theentire baby weight and feeling amazing!  Iwas learning weightlifting with a barbell and gymnastics with the pull up bar.I never dreamed I could ever do a single pull up and started with the thickgreen band to help to get my chin over the bar.  I still remember the day Coach George tookaway my assistance band and said, “It’s time to prove your stuff!”. He wasright….and I got my first unassisted pull-up.  What an incredible feeling!

A year later in September 2009, I did myfirst CrossFit competition.  I don’tremember where my team placed, but I remember everything about the day – thecheers, the high fives, the laughs, and the community. It was something I hadnever experienced, and I loved it. I was hooked!

In2010, I got pregnant with our 3rd child and had to stop CrossFit for a while. Icouldn’t wait to walk through the doors again and it didn’t take very long untilI was back to where I had left off. This time though, my mindset changed fromlosing weight to becoming a stronger, better athlete. My new goal wasperformance and PR’s. 

I’ve journalled my workout times andstrength PR’s for years.  Journals arealways nice to look back on and see how far you have come.  CrossFit never gets easier and the RX weightgets heavier…I remember when RX used to be 65# for ladies!

During the 2011 CrossFit Open, one of the movementswas 95# snatch. For years 95# snatch was my nemesis and if it showed up in a WOD,I would take a rest day. Then last year Coach Annie got me over my mental blockand I was able to get 115# confidently. Since then even though 95# snatches in a still WOD scare me, I won’tavoid them.

A few years back during a team trainingsession, a partner WOD came up with 135# cleans. I tried everything but Icouldn’t even get a single one. I was so upset and will never forget how I feltthat day.  So I worked on them withGeorge’s help.  The great thing about CoachGeo is that no matter what he seems to be doing, he’s keeping a watchful eye onevery member in the gym. If he’s coaching a class and you’re working off to theside, he will come over after and tell you what he noticed. If he’s doing hisown workout, out of nowhere you can hear him shouting cues in between breaths.  The work eventually paid off and I finally got135# up confidently.  Shortly after I hit155#, which became my PR for quite a few years. Then last summer I hit a new PR of 175#!

Not very often do we do the same WODs butwhen we do, it’s nice to look back and see how much you’ve improved. Justrecently we did a benchmark WOD called “The Seven’s”. In 2013 I attempted itfor the first time and after an hour got a DNF. Then in April 2015 it came upagain and I finished in 40:39. Fast forward to January 2017, I surprised myselfand finished it in 28:12.   We also justrecently did another benchmark WOD “Diane”. In February 2016 my time was 5:23, andFebruary 2017 I finished in 4:01.

I enjoy looking back and comparing my timesand old PR’s to today.  It reminds me tonever give up and that no matter how long you do this sport there’s always roomfor improvement. Today, it not about the kipping pull up for me anymore; it’sabout learning the butterfly pull up. I’m constantly learning and improvingeven 9 years later!

FirePower has definitely grown over theyears. I remember sitting in the car waiting for another member to show up so Iwouldn’t be the only one in class. There are a few more members thesedays!  Even with the growth, the coachesnot only want to see their members succeed but they also want to include theirfamilies as much as they can. We do so much together inside the gym but alsooutside with our families. FirePower is my second family. I have watched Samand Charly Savard grow up alongside my kids. We all take care of eachother. 

I just want to say “Thank You” to Andreaand George for starting this new venture so many years ago and to all theamazing coaches that push me to be better every time I step foot into the gym. Icouldn’t do it without."


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