Coach Damian

April 2, 2024
Coach Damian

There are some people that leave an incredible mark on this world. 

There are some people that leave this world too soon. 

Coach Damian Walker was both.

Today would have been his 35th birthday. 

We as a community will honor him this Sunday, April 7th by completing a HERO WOD in his honor. We do this to celebrate his life, share his story, and celebrate the impact he has made.

This is his story: 

Coach Damian joined WildFire as an athlete in the fall of 2012 about a month after we opened. He came into a Saturday class with the biggest Mohawk hair and a cocky attitude. Little did I know at the time, he had the athleticism to back up his cocky attitude and had the biggest heart below that Mohawk. 

His goal for starting CrossFit was to make it on American Ninja Warrior.

Damian went all in on CrossFit and was quickly excelling in all areas. His goals of American Ninja Warrior changed and we trained him up as a Coach.

Damian was in school for Nursing then ended up switching to Exercise Science, which he received his bachelor’s degree in. 

He loved helping people and had a special way of connecting with all different walks of life. 

While most of the time he had no filter, 100% of the time he could make you smile and laugh. 

While he was in pursuit of becoming a Nurse Practitioner and even throughout all his schooling, he was incredibly loyal and dedicated to all things WildFire CrossFit. From being an athlete himself to coaching to programming and running events and overall helping each member he interacted with find a new level of belief in themselves and ability to do great things. 

Damian had superpowers. I would say he still has super powers, as his energy is infused in every square inch of WildFire.

He loved all things Pokemon, Dragonball Z, Marvel, DC, you name it in that category. 

He loved animals….all of them!

He loved going to the beach, snowboarding and riding all the rides at Six Flags. 

While training one of our WildFire Athletes for the Wodapalooza competition he wrote a quote there:

“I am the only me I know! Be yourself! Strong, funny, modest” -Damian Walker 

Knowing Damian we all know that this quote says everything about his personality and light that brought.  And we all know modesty wasn’t his thing…lol

During 2020 when we had to shut down the gym and go virtual Damian was there every step of the way to ensure classes were still coached and members were still taken care of. 

We started to make videos for each day so that members could follow along at home and even if they weren’t joining us online they could watch the video, get some coaching and do the workout. You can get to see Coach Damian in action in these videos on our YouTube channel. 

What a gift to have these videos and get to see Coach Damian, hear his laugh and get his signature coaching after losing him last year. 

March 3, 2023


Damian and his wife Salmeh were in Puerto Rico visiting Damian’s father’s side of the family for a family reunion. They were there to spread the ashes of Damian’s grandfather who passed the exact same day the year prior. 

On this day the family went snorkeling off a beach in Puerto Rico. In the effort to save family members from the same rip current Coach Damian and his father both lost their lives in the battle of a rip tide.The family members including Damian’s wife Salmeh survived. 

This world lost Damian and his father the same day. 3 generations lost on March 3rd…1 year apart. 

This is the meaning behind the rep scheme for Damian’s Hero WOD. A workout to always remember what happened on this date.

Damian “D”

33 rounds (his age at the time he passed)

3 Handstand Push Ups

3 Power Cleans 185/125

2 Pistols

3 Bar Muscle Ups

3.3.23 the date

Damian loved throwing around heavy weight and gymnastic skills. His favorite Hero WOD is Holleyman which the structure of this wod is modeled after. 

For those of you new to WildFire I hope this gave you some insight into who Coach Damian was and explains all the pictures, notes, and things in the gym that are dedicated to Coach Damian. 

If you can join us to do the workout on Sunday in his honor please do. 

Damian’s legacy lives on in all of us.

A mentor of mine always says….there are 2 days that you die….One is the actual day that you leave this world and pass on.

The second….is the day people forget your name. 

The good news is, Coach you will never die twice. Your name, your impact, your legacy will continue to live on in all of us. 

Happy Heavenly Birthday Coach!

In Coach Damian’s honor and his love for animals we are encouraging donations to the Arizona Small Dog Rescue. He had just started volunteering there before he passed away. One of our members Mark Dowling has been volunteering there for years and that is how Damian got connected with this organization. Fittingly, Mark also shared Damian’s birthday. Happy Birthday to you too Mark. Here is how to donate:

Ways to donate:

Amazon Wish List: Link 


Venmo: ArizonaSmallDogRescue Last 4 digit of cell: 0555

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