by Thom Van Vleck
The Jackson Weightlifting Club is one of the oldest Clubs in the USAWA…and that’s saying a lot because there are some old clubs! To me, what sets the JWC apart is it very much is a family club. Sure, there are lots of non family members, but the core has been my family and for over 85 years there has been a member of my family at the lead. While I hope that continues, I just hope it’s around another 85 years regardless of who is running it! I am pretty proud to keep the tradition going of lifting for not only strength of body, but strength of mind, spirit, and character. That’s why on the logo below that adorns the front of the shirt it says “Strength, Faith, Honor, and Wisdom”. I would say that lifting is more about life than winning awards for the JWC…..but awards are nice, too!
The anvil that is on the both sides is a silhouette of the Original “Grandpa Jackson” Anvil that sits in my gym. Many will remember the story I’ve probably told too many times of my Great Grandfather lifting that anvil to impress his kids, then my grandfather turning to weight training to achieve that same feat….then that turning into a tradition of lifting in our family. And yes, 1928 was the year my grandfather started lifting with his future brother in law and his friends that led to the formation of the the JWC. While the name “Jackson Weightlifting Club” wasn’t coined until 1957, I consider 1928 as the date the idea was born…..which was more important than the name. That idea was a man could use weights to make himself better in all ways….not just physical strength.
Here are the old logos just to let you compare. I have tried to stay true to the original as I want to always honor those that came before me and paved the way. I know I’ve shared the symbolism of it before, but since I’ve made an update, I wanted to share again. I plan on having the shirts available at my Highland Games in October and the Old Time Strongman Championships this fall (looking at a December date). So if you like them, come and compete and get one as a meet shirt! I know a shirt won’t make my lift more (well….unless it was a bench shirt…but who likes those!)…but when I wear this shirt, I feel extra inspired to not let the tradition down!