Ohio Valley Strong
What is Ohio Valley Strong?
The Ohio River Valley. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Formed by the confluence of the Monongahela and Allegheny rivers at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. From the late 1850’s until the 1970’s, this was the steel capital of the WORLD. Andrew Carnegie was changing the landscape of America and he was doing it right here. From the northern tip of West Virginia and Ohio, to Pittsburgh, the shores were polluted with steel mills. All the little towns you see going down the river; for example, the one I live in; were created because of these mills. There were steel workers, pipe fitters, electricians, iron workers, carpenters, construction workers, welders, you name it and they were there. It’s what people in this valley did. It’s how they made a living. They rolled up their sleeves and went to work. The steel mills might be gone, but that same blue collar work ethic mentality remains the same.
I currently train at Rocky Road Gym in Wintersville, Ohio. Why do I train here? Well, let’s talk about that. Rocky Road is one of the oldest, hardcore gyms in the Ohio Valley. It’s been around for decades. When other gyms were folding up shop and memberships were dropping like flies, Rocky Road stood strong. How? Because of the members that it had. The environment that it provided because of these guys. I’m proud to say that I’ve had the pleasure of learning from these same original members that held that place together and helped put it on the map. These guys were bodybuilders, strong men, and world record holding powerlifters. Guess what they did for a living? They were mill workers. The guy that opened Rocky Road? STEEL WORKER. They put meaning behind the phrase Ohio Valley Strong.
I’m not saying that you’re not strong or tough if you don’t work in a mill, a factory, don’t know a trade, or don’t spend your day in a coal mine. What I’m saying is most of the time this helps build character. It’s been proven time and time again that you have to have some character to be a powerlifter. That’s how Ohio Valley Strong comes together. Most of the people that do this kind of work while also are into weight lifting, are successful. If you look at all of these gyms in the valley, or gyms across the country that are ran by people from the valley, they’ll all have at least one thing in common. These gyms will have a hardcore blue collar work ethic and the same views and mentality that those mill workers and coal miners of the early 1900’s had. When they step in that door to train, they’re going to roll up their sleeves up and get to work.