Tamara Walcott, a powerlifter from Laurel, Maryland, has broken the world record for the heaviest cumulative lift for bench/squat and press in a women’s competition. According to Guinness World Records, Walcott lifted a total of 1,620.4 pounds across three compound lifts: the squat, bench press and deadlift.

The Maryland native achieved the record-breaking feat after overcoming several challenges in her life, including obesity. Walcott, a divorced mother of two, initially wanted to play basketball and baseball. But her busy schedule made it difficult to find time for those sports. In 2018, she learned about powerlifting, a sport she could practice individually on her own time.

“I walked into a gym, and at that time I did not know what powerlifting was,” Walcott told Guinness World Records.

The powerlifter has since continued to shatter several records, overcoming fear and perceptions about women in the sport.

“When I first started benching, people were like, ‘Women shouldn’t bench, you shouldn’t bench,’ so I was scared to bench heavy,” she said. “It took me two years to get over that fear.”

Walcott said she often thinks about her grandmother during her training.

“My grandmother took care of all of us, not just our household, but the community as well. Everything that I am today is a true representation of who she was,” she said.

The powerlifter wants to inspire many others to try the sport.

“We can be whoever we want to be, because you got me and the powerlifting community, arms wide open,” she said.