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Mike Shines Inc. is a for profit business whose sole purpose for development is to financially assist non-profits and community based organizations whose missions are to develop awareness in regards to domestic violence and give support to domestic violence victims by supplying resources for increasing the safety of at-risk children and abused and battered women.

Mike Shines Inc. is aware of some of the funding challenges facing non-profit organizations in this changing environment and in our opinion non-profits are facing two major challenges; reduced government funding and an increase of non-profit organizations. Add the reluctance to give based on a difficult economic environment and you can easily see this leaves non-profit organizations competing for a smaller pool of funds. Our vision is to give a little boost financially to those organizations whose mission statement goals match our sole purpose for development.

We plan to achieve our vision goals through a variety of projects. Our primary project will be the annual publishing of a coffee table book filled with motivational and inspirational quotes from unknown authors, celebrities and small business owners. Each quote will be matched with a picturesque outdoor photograph which may consist of a landscape or scenic view.

October is Domestic Violence month and our goal is to introduce a new coffee table edition every October.


  • About Mike Shines...

    • Occupation:

      • Aquatics Director, Head Strength and Conditioning Coach, The College of Idaho

      • CEO, Mike Shines Inc.

The following article was written and published over two decades ago in Powerlifting USA, a national magazine which gave a detailed look at some of the best lifters in the world. The article was written by John Luthy who was on the Executive Committee of the United States Powerlifting Federation.

Although much has changed in Mike Shines’ life including his age, those who really know him feel that the following article gives a true representation of Mike today and gives those who don’t know him a chance to become acquainted.

Every state has its legend. Those who have conquered the mountains or begun a new era or initiated new beliefs among the citizenry. Idaho is no different. It is a rugged state founded by rugged men and is, in its primitive way, perhaps more mystical than most, with legends of strong men abounding.
In sport there are parallels, allowing us to revere those who stood above the rest, setting new standards of excellence. Above all, we revere those who are a combination of forces, of strength, dignity and leadership. Such a man is Idaho’s Mike Shines.

For those who were there in the beginning, it was hard to believe ten years had passed. I remember the first time I met Mike at Boise’s YMCA, I was 28, he was 23 and he schooled me on the basketball court. Having already lifted for 7 years he was rock hard at 170lbs., and had the speed, quickness and grace of a true athlete.

Retiring to the weight room, where I felt more secure, I soon found Mike to be the best possible lifting partner and friend. Little did I know what the future held. Workouts changed forever one day in 1976 when a new friend entered the gym. Lee Ellsberg, on a trek after law school in Colorado, introduced Mike to power lifting and in particular the deadlift which was Lee’s specialty. For some reason Lee could work a special magic on all of us making us train with almost maniac commitment, but we all grew and Mike discovered powerlifting. As is often the case in our sport, Lee shortly moved on, back to Denver and a new law practice, but the fire had been lit. I am reminded of Lamar Gant and his legendary marathon deadlift routines. Such was the case with Mike Shines, who would spend hours in the gym helping others, but completing set after set, building a foundation of strength almost as an afterthought.

Mike’s focus was then as it is now, on younger people and others less gifted as himself. Any workout could be interrupted to help someone. Never in ten years have I seen him refuse to help another, no matter the weight on the bar or the importance of the lift. Never a cross word, never a heated exchange. As I said, he was a perfect partner, who was always supportive, stable and committed.
Life again changed forever with the addition of a California State 181 lb. champion Pete Gutierrez to the YMCA gang. Pete brought knowledge of organized powerlifting for the first time and encouraged, along with Bob Packer, the initial Idaho State championship held in 1978. As a YMCA fitness director, Mike helped several of us organize the YMCA Weight Training Council, which sponsored the first state championship, and later the first Northwestern United States Championship. At the urging of Bernie Corrall, Pete, myself and others Mike entered the 1979 Jr. Nationals held in Inglewood, California. There he amazed on lookers by warming up with only the bar prior to his opening bench and squat and still tied for third with a 644 deadlift. With little training and less than a serious attitude, Mike was one of the nation’s best! During 1978 and 1979, his first two years in the sport, Mike set new state records and Inland Empire records en route to winning the state, Inland Empire, Brigham Young and Spokane powerlifting championships. By this time, Mike had already been appointed by the AAU as the State Weightlifting Chairman, and by 1980 was also serving the USPF as State Chairman.

Sport, in and of itself, is not for a chosen few, and accolades follow success at all levels, but powerlifting has a way of distorting one’s view of one’s accomplishments. Perhaps it is because it is such a personal thing, the training that leads to the ultimate desired achievement. Once done, it is ours forever, but cannot be shared. So often we assume it sets us apart, that it is as meaningful to others as it is to us. Very rarely have I met a man, who, as an accomplished powerlifter, can enjoy his PR’s but only as part of a greater activity; as an aside, and as a sidelight to his true pursuit. Michael Shines as I reflect, always seemed to lift somewhat detached from the mania that surrounded the rest of us. The sport at its best mirrors his integrity and spirit, but neither support or distorts them. It has been an avenue of expression. But not really necessary for a life time of achievement. The winning continued; two time Northwestern United States Champion and Best Lifter, another Inland Empire Championship and Best Lifter; two State titles and Best Lifter. It all looked SO easy. After four to six weeks (maybe) of training for most meets Mike would hang close in the squat (usually around 550-600) and the bench (around 380), and then pull a deadlift to win. I’ve seen him do a fairly easy 675 after a 6 week cycle.

Mike Shines is an achiever, not only through the competitive arena, but now as a successful businessman and a teacher. He has reached that rare balance that allows a man to be himself. At 33 , Mike is a proven health facility manager, with knowledge and experience that surpasses the normal fluff we so commonly encounter. He’s an instructor that can do what he asks of his students, offering leadership through the best possible example. By 1981, though, he was by no means finished with his accomplishments, Mike achieved another pinnacle as YMCA coordinator of the 1981 Junior Nationals. Those who follow our sport will recall the accolades generated by that event. As a meet director, I say to all, it could not have been successful without Mike.

In this and every sport, the measure of a man must surely be more than some of his PR’s. It must be comprised of his contribution, not only to the sport itself, but to its community of athletes. Perhaps more importantly, what truly endures is the legacy one leaves to those he will never know. To those who come after, to be rewarded by labors accomplished and dreams already fulfilled.

Michael Shines has done much for Idaho Powerlifting. He is a part of its history and is a solid cornerstone for its future. For his friendship, leadership, and quiet dignity, the athletes of this state salute him and offer a warm and richly deserved thank you.

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