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Valerie Thomas

“I have come to realize that my body really is an amazing machine.  If you fuel it properly, strengthen, stretch, condition it, and give it the proper rest, it can and will do extraordinary things.  This is the oldest I have ever been, but the youngest that I have ever felt!”

Photo Courtesy of Melissa SeibenPhoto Courtesy of Melissa Seiben

My CrossFit journey actually started in Lloyd at Misfits, but I’ve been at the Lair since 2014.  Driving to Lloyd was just too much, but I craved those workouts and wanted to be able to do more of them.  Jackie Heiland and Sherrie Berrecloth were the ladies who told me about how awesome the Lair was.  I would see the ladies run by the store when I would be at work and I finally gave Lindsey a call – BEST DECISION EVER!!!! 


Photo Courtesy of Darlene Sopyc

I absolutely loved how friendly and welcoming everyone was. Not once did I ever feel out of place!!  I couldn’t think of a reason for not staying at the Lair even if I tried.  We are so fortunate to have this “gem” in the community and our own little cross fit “family” is second to none!  I believe we have some of the best coaches around.  They truly want what is best for each of the members, and they are always looking for new programs and classes to offer.  They continually have the athletes best interest at heart and you can tell they really care!



To date, my favorite Lair moment/memory would be this years Friday Night Lights for the CrossFit Games Open Competition.  The atmosphere in the building was electric and so much fun!!  Everything was so well organized down to the last little detail. There were over 50 members that signed up this year, and the coaches went above and beyond to organize the teams, themes, challenges, heats, and workout space! It brought our community tighter and got to know some people I don’t often get a chance to see at different classes.  The friendships that I have built at our box are so special to me – people I probably would never have crossed paths with I can now call friends and they are always there to cheer me on or pick me up!!! 

My proudest moment would have to be when I hit my last snatch PR (105 lbs) That lift used to intimidate the SH&*T out of me, but I am finally feeling confident walking up to the bar, and even maybe feel like a weightlifter!!   The barbell club, weightlifting programming, as well as the one-on-one coaching I received from Alyssa contributed to this.  I still have so much more to learn and improve upon when it comes to the Olympic lifts, but looking back to where I started, I have come a long way.

There have been so many more proud moments for me at the gym, especially this past year.  After my achilles rupture, I really questioned if I would be able to come back as strong as I was before it happened.   As I was able to  re-introduce each movement, both my confidence and strength improved immensely.  I was so grateful for each movement I could do, even if it was one of my least favorite!  It was hard working through recovery and not being able to do everything, but looking back now, I don’t think I would have grown as much as I have if that injury wouldn’t have happened.


I joined Mission Nutrition in November and it has really been life changing for me.  My educational background is in Nutrition, but I have learnt so much more on this program then I could have ever imagined!  My main objective when I started this program was increasing my overall caloric intake to actually support what my body needed.  I had HUGE hesitations about signing for the program because I knew it meant 

that I would be handing over control to someone else and they would be in charge of how much I should be eating.  As a teenager, I battled anorexia, and although I would never, ever go back to starving myself to that extreme, I was always very aware of what I put into my body. A couple months into the program, it blew my mind to see all that I was consuming on a daily basis, yet I was getting more lean, defined, and stronger!  It just goes to show that if you fuel your body properly, it will cooperate and perform better! My weight did actually increase a couple pounds on the scale, but my pictures told a different story – more visible, fuller muscles!!  I still have a love/hate relationship with that darn scale, but I am slowly starting to realize how many factors can actually effect that number, and that a picture is worth a thousand words!!  Nutrition is the basis of the CrossFit pyramid, and I can certainly understand why.  I feel so strong and energized in all of my workouts, and I have got some new PR’s to prove it!

I love the support that the coaches give you on the program – again, they go above and beyond and truly care about both your wins and losses.  I like that the options of Mission Nutrition are many – building, cutting, maintaining, and I love the fact that nothing is off limits if you can fit it into your macros (because we all have those days when the cravings hit!!).  I do feel so much better though when I make the whole, clean, unprocessed food choices!

In my mind, I am even tossing around the POSSIBILITY of trying a “gain” cycle which considering my history would be HUGE for me, but I may have to start that one with baby steps!!  I have come to realize that my body really is an amazing machine.  If you fuel it properly, strengthen, stretch, condition it, and give it the proper rest, it can and will do extraordinary things.  This is the oldest I have ever been, but the youngest that I have ever felt!

The “Itty Bitty Fitties” competiting at Lift For Lymphoma Fundraiser Competition

Going forward, I still have so much I need/want to improve upon; my technique in all of the lifts, getting more efficient in my bar muscle ups and stringing them together, and stringing my ring muscle ups together.  I would love to do a handstand walk; I want to get stronger – how cool would a body weight snatch be?!?!  I did get a taste of competition this June at our own Lift for Lymphoma and that has lit a fire to compete more, and maybe even attempt a lifting competition some day!  One of the biggest obstacles I want to overcome is being able to consistently manage my mindset, so I do not defeat myself in my head before I even attempt a lift/movement!


Val and Mel “thumbs up” for Friday Night Lights

I feel so fortunate that the Lair has given me an outlet to express my passion for fitness and allows me to be part of such a special community of like-minded people.  We all may have our own specific journey that we are on, but it sure is fabulous to be able to support each other in such a friendly, non-judgemental environment




Mother and Daughter working towards health and fitness together



Val comes to the gym faithfully and is often there along side her daughter, Jessica.  It’s so cool to see a mother be such a role model for her daughter, but also the time they spend doing something that makes them grow physically and mentally more fit is invaluable.  Val is a super hero in our own town.  You may see her on the street and think, “wow what a fit woman”, but you may not know just HOW fit.  Val competed in the Crossfit Games Open Competition (world wide competition) as a Masters Athlete.  She placed 1st in Saskatchewan, 5th in Canada West, and 253rd World Wide!   She is an amazing athlete, but even though she trains hard, there is no shortage of smiles, laughs, joking around, and sweet dance moves with her in the gym!  Val, we love having you around and are very excited to see what the future has in store for you <3

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