November 22nd, 2020
Steel Country Beginnings
This is the first in a series of articles about the beginnings of Shelter Fitness. We hope our story helps the community understand our inspiration to serve.
The Mill Whistle
Hey guys it’s Mike - I am one of the founders of Shelter Fitness. There are two of us, me and my brother Matt. Yup, Matt and Mike. Matt and Mike – on their way to taking over the fitness world one set of resistance bands at a time! Haha well, though that may seem like the obvious goal, we do have quite the back story on how we got to this point (which in full transparency, is nowhere near taking over the fitness world one set of resistance bands at a time).
I told Matt (the tech guy) that we need to have a platform to talk to you guys and to share our story, and I want to be able to hear your stories as well! In fact – I want to publish some of your stories on our site. I am not the tech guy, in fact I really am not too sure what I am. Maybe you guys can help me figure it out along the way?
Raised in the heart of steel country, Western Pennsylvania, Matt and Mike went to bed to the sound of the 11 o’clock shift change whistle at the mill and arose to the same whistle when the shift ended at 7 the next morning. They were forged and hardened day to day and lifted themselves up by their bootstraps at an early age to help make ends meet. They walked to school uphill both ways, did I mention that? Well though not all of that is true, we did grow up in western PA and our grandfather did in fact work at the Jessop Steel factory during our entire childhood. I just figured I would make it sound better.
They were forged and hardened day to day and lifted themselves up by their bootstraps at an early age to help make ends meet.
- The Western PA Steelworker
Matt and I grew up in a house that had the 2 of us (we are 2 years apart in age by the way – he is older), our mom, dad, sister, aunt (Rock), grandmother (Meem) and grandfather (Pop). I can at least speak for myself and say that some of my fondest memories were made in that house. From having our first Nerf gun battles, to going to our first baseball game (humble brag time - I did play professional baseball for 3 years and I will get into that later) it was a blessing to be surrounded by so many people. I will eventually get into each of them and how they had tremendous impacts on our lives but for now I just want you to understand the setting.
I like to think that Shelter Fitness started in that house. Matt and I have since gone our separate ways but never too far from one another. Being high school and Division 1 college teammates together helped us both learn many of the ins and outs of the fitness industry (specifically the ability to smell a gimmick from a mile away) as well as connect us with a ton of people that have amazing stories!
"Our" Story Begins
The story is what this is all about. It's about my story. It's about your story. It's about the story that we can create together. Eventually I will run out of things I want to say, but for now I am going to continue to share with you in hopes of hearing some of your stories that we can share with the world.
Written by: Mike Lucas