Michael Brollini – Wisconsin State Power Lifting Champion – Right Here In The Majestic Driftless

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Having known Michael for a few years now, he has always struck me as a quiet gentleman with a quick and ready smile who is always willing to lend a hand.

When our wonderful publisher Dion came up to me one day and said, “Marilu, I think I want you to do an interview, or maybe an article on Michael Brollini as a person of interest in the Driftless Area.”

Well, let me just say, I was a little bit surprised. Michael is Michael. A person of interest? Okay, I will do it. I never dreamt that I would learn the things I did!

Surprisingly, I can now say, that I know a little bit more about what makes Michael Brollini … Michael Brollini.

Where were you born Michael?
I was born in Chicago, Illinois

Where did you go to school?
I went to school in Las Vegas until part-way through fifth grade, and from the rest of fifth grade on, I went to school here in Richland Center.

Wait, let me get this straight. You were born in Chicago, moved to Las Vegas and started school there, and then moved to Richland Center and finished school here?

I have been told that you won a weight lifting championship. Just what did you win?
I won the 2019 Wisconsin State Power Lifting Championship for the 83kg weight class. What they do to determine it, is to total your weights for the three lifts: squat, bench, and dead lift. I also won the 2019 Best Male Lifter overall.

Michael, how did you get started in weightlifting? It is not a ‘typical’ high school sport.
When I started high school, I was about 130 pounds. And I wasn’t very tall, I’m still not. But, I wanted to feel better about myself. I did some research on how to improve myself and discovered powerlifting, and I thought that it looked more interesting than just lifting weights to lift weights. In powerlifting, you compete against others AND against yourself, as you try to best your best lifts.

So, what brought you to Richland Center and this part of the Driftless Area?
My mom moved us here when I was in fifth grade because it was cheaper to live here than in Las Vegas, and she had inherited a house from her grandfather. Now I live in the house that my mother inherited. It’s where I grew up.

So, who was your favorite teacher here in the Driftless, and why? And also, what teacher influenced or impacted you the most and why?
My favorite teacher was Mr. Theide. He was well spoken. A straight shooter who helped you if you needed it. Mr. Rodgers influenced me the most. He taught art. He was very creatively open and pretty much let me do what I wanted.

What is your best childhood memory?
Living in Las Vegas and having family close by.

How did you and your lovely lady meet?
Jamie and I have known each other and have been friends for a long time. But recently, within the last year, we decided to be more and haven’t looked back since. Part of our bonding process was that we both participated in powerlifting.

If you could travel anywhere in the Driftless Area, where would it be?
Stephenson County, Illinois, just to see some of the surrounding areas of where I was born.

I know that you enjoy reading. What type of things do you like to read?
I like reading older writings. My favorite is The Divine Comedy. Writers note: Any one who loves to read the classic forms of literature is someone that I want to get to know better!

What do you think is your strongest quality?
I treat everyone the same until you give me a reason not to.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy music. Playing guitar, keyboard, bass guitar, and the ukulele. I also spend time training at the gym, and helping others while I am there.

How would your friends describe you?
I believe they would say that I am easy going and that I am easy to get along with.

When you leave this world, how would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who was willing to hear what anyone had to say and someone who people had no trouble getting along with. And was willing to help anyone who asked.

If you could travel thru time and visit one place, event, or person, past, present, or future, what or whom would you want to visit?
I would like to go and spend more time with my grandfather who died of pancreatic cancer. I would just like some more time with him.

Given that there was just a very large lottery drawing, if you were to be a lottery winner, what would you do with it?
I would make sure that my family was well off. Get my mom a house. And then just live comfortably. Maybe get a few things, like a new car, or fix up the house. Maybe open a gym. That would be a dream, to have my own gym where I could help other people.

What skill, if any, would you like to learn?
I would like to experiment with other strength building sports. Maybe Olympic weight lifting, or the Iron Man competitions.

If you were given the opportunity to teach any one person any one thing from your years of study, or from life itself, what would it be and why?
Anyone is capable of getting good at any one skill if they are willing to put the time in.

If you were to invite someone from your family to come to the Driftless Area, and they asked you ‘Why?’, what would you tell them?
It is peaceful here. It’s a step down from the hustle of the city life. There are also many things to do: fishing, kayaking, snowmobiling, the county fair. There is something to do here in every season.

Thank You Michael!

– By Marilu Miller
First published March 2021 – Driftless Area Magazine