IFBB Pro Donna Salib Went From Bodyslams To Bodybuilding

Donna Salib is a well-accomplished IFBB professional, Olympia certified, bodybuilder dwelling simply out of doors of Louisville, KY, the place, as she says, “we’re identified for our bourbon and horses.” A glance over her bio will in finding pieces corresponding to: retired paramedic/ firefighter, private teacher, prep trainer, qualified power and conditioning trainer and ambassador to charities such

Donna Salib is a well-accomplished IFBB pro, Olympia certified, bodybuilder dwelling simply out of doors of Louisville, KY, the place, as she says, “we’re identified for our bourbon and horses.”

A glance over her bio will in finding pieces corresponding to: retired paramedic/ firefighter, private teacher, prep trainer, qualified power and conditioning trainer and ambassador to charities corresponding to Active Heroes (army veterans and their households) and Hannah’s Care Packages. Obviously that is any individual who’s all in favour of serving to other people. To seek out this type of selfless individual in a game devoted to selfishness is fairly refreshing.

Whilst incomes her IFBB professional card on the 2017 North American citizens, and successful the KY State Open Ladies’s Champion, and incomes a Michael Soong’s all time ancient global report in uncooked powerlifting are beautiful cool to have to your résumé, Salib could also be a type of Olympia-bound bodybuilders whose occupation has spanned the now notorious Ms. Olympia hiatus.

The just about 4 years that the Ms. Olympia lay restlessly in her grave used to be a vital epoch for a number of of the women whose careers, had been disrupted. To this present day, it’s unattainable to ge round the truth that they in fact dropped the highest ladies’s match in bodybuilding historical past within the title of greed. Argue all you need, however that’s what it used to be — greed. It for sure wasn’t out of reverence for the workplace of Ms. O.

It’s arduous to position a real label in this crew of girls whose attractions had been set at the Olympia previous to its stoppage in 2015, saved the hearth burning throughout its hiatus, and were given again within the race when the Ms. O after all got here again, however suffice it to mention that they personified the “Rising Phoenix” competition that held the spot open whilst the grand dame of girls’s bodybuilding rested.

In 2019, Jake Picket and his crew introduced again the Ms. O and put the brass ring again up inside of succeed in. Donna Salib is a type of women who used to be attaining for it when the O perished and is attaining for it once more now that Ms. O were given again up on her ft. That, in and of itself, is a smart tale. However, there’s far more to Ms. Salib than her spectacular accomplishments and her go back to the combat for the submit hiatus Ms. Olympia. The best of which, and least mentioned, is her position as a professional wrestler on TV!

“Coolest” is, after all, indicative of what I recall to mind wrestling, in particular on account of the way it created “someplace for bodybuilders to head.” When you would possibly brush aside it as one thing tacky, studying that Salib is in fact Ms. Marvelous — spouse and valet to Mr. Marvelous, aka Melvin Maximus — your ears would perk up.

Donna Salib sitting in a hotel lobby
Wings of Energy

How did you get into Professional Wrestling?

It began with Ohio Valley Wrestling.

*[Note: At one point, OVW was one of the incubators of the WWE, launching the careers of several WWE Superstars, including Bautista and John Cena. Later, OVW became the developmental territory for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (or TNA)].

My husband Hany were wrestling for awhile and he used to be a bodybuilder too. I all the time sought after to be concerned with him. So I’d pass with him to the entire occasions. Other folks began telling me I must do one thing with him. We began enjoying round with some issues, then I assumed, oh my phrase that is amusing!

What used to be your act?

I began as his valet [manager]. He used to be truly flashy. Referred to as a large spender. Ms. Marvelous would pop out with him to the hoop in a robe, flexing and taking a look frightening. I stopped up within the ring doing tag crew stuff. My occupation ended with me doing a tag crew with my husband!

Did the robe and the hair and the jewels come naturally to you?

NO!! I’m the most important tomboy – no hair, nails, footwear… Ugh, it’s simply now not me. However Ms. Marvelous must do all this girly stuff. However, I went with it any approach, as a result of my husband used to be taking part in it and having amusing. It went over so nicely too. The lovers cherished us. Each time I got here out, Ms. Marvelous used to be all the time dripping in jewels. I’d all the time take off a bracelet and provides it to one of the vital women within the target market. It changed into a large factor to get considered one of my bracelets. At the 1,000th episode of OVW, Hany proposed to me after our fit!

Aww…That’s a reminiscence you’re probably not to omit! What about now? Are you guys nonetheless wrestling?

I suppose it’s good to say I’m semi-retired now, for a number of causes. First, we’re beat up. Other folks assume wrestling is all faux, but it surely’s now not. It’s no doubt choreographed, and we’re wary, however the affects are actual. It’s very taxing bodily. And, in OVW, it’s a grind. You truly don’t receives a commission until you’re hustling – at the street. We bought a large number of products and it used to be a large number of paintings.

How is doing contest prep when you’re at the street wrestling?

Smartly, that used to be every other factor. All over prep I should be very regimented. A large number of the puts we pass don’t cater to contest prep. It’s an enormous trouble to pack the entirety you want, deliver meals, and there wasn’t all the time a fridge. I needed to come to a decision as a result of bodybuilding is No. 1. I sought after to be with my husband, however wrestling takes an excessive amount of clear of bodybuilding. And, it used to be simply time to transport on. My husband used to be so beat up. We’re in our 40s, WWE isn’t selecting us up. They requested me, however now not him. There’s no approach I’d do this. That is his factor. I’m simply right here to have amusing. We simply revel in going and looking at now. It used to be simply time to head and transfer on. It used to be now not well worth the possibility of having harm and disrupting bodybuilding.”

Did wrestling give a contribution the rest certain to bodybuilding?

I’d say it made me higher at entertaining other people. It truly helped take the jitters away on degree.

Do you have got a canine?

Sure!! Two bullies.

Are you cooped up in a condominium or do you are living in a area with a backyard?

That is embarrassing, however my husband does actual property and he’s truly excellent at it. We are living in, let’s simply say a REALLY great area.

Are the ones lodging very similar to the way it used to be whilst you grew up?

Heck no! I grew up considered one of six youngsters. My dad labored building. We lived in an outdated farmhouse with out a indoor rest room. We had a “ringer washer” hooked up to the kitchen sink. You already know what this is?

The article with the crank that rings out the water between two rollers more or less factor?

Sure, that! There used to be no rest room; we used an outhouse and we pulled water out of a nicely. It used to be the hickest time it’s good to recall to mind! We had a large river in the back of us and a creek on each side folks. When the snow melted, our assets would flood. We actually needed to take a ship to the primary street so lets get to the bus to university. No telephone, no TV… We had been all the time out of doors. When it got here supper time, mother would pass out to the auto and honk the horn a undeniable collection of occasions. One lengthy honk if it used to be an emergency.”

Feels like Waltons Mountain. Did you are living off the land or have a large lawn? Did you hunt?

“With six youngsters – we had a humongous lawn! My dad hunted. A farmer who lived subsequent to us would give us goat’s milk to lend a hand feed the youngsters. If I used to be excellent, I were given a Mr. Goodbar. It used to be easy nation existence.”

So how did you pass from being a paramedic/ firefighter to the place you are actually?

“I used to be firefighter and paramedic for 17 years. I noticed an excessive amount of, I suppose it’s good to say. I needed to go away on account of PTSD. I fell again on private coaching and that saved development. I in fact suffered from the consuming dysfunction bulimia – kicking that were given me into bodybuilding as a result of I had a reason why to consume.

[Salib’s husband chimes in: “Now she wont stop eating!!”]

The person upstairs places me the place I’m meant to be. I think like I used to be put right here to lend a hand other people. If I will’t do it as a primary responder, then I’ll lend a hand other people get have compatibility, drop extra pounds, get more potent… I like seeing other people satisfied and thriving. I exploit this platform now to achieve other people in any respect other phases in their adventure. I all the time have excellent issues to mention about other people to raise them up. I am hoping other people take note me as a result of I used to be great to them. No longer as a result of I used to be a paramedic, or wrestling on TV, or within the Olympia. I’m quite simple.

Donna Salib posing in the middle of a road wearing a black dress pulling up her hair
Wings of Energy

You can be, however the game you’ve selected isn’t. Ladies’s bodybuilding has taken some lumps. How do you spot it getting better?

Ladies’s bodybuilding is striving to make the game glance excellent once more. We’re out to dispel the misperception that girls with muscle mass are manly. I just like the glance of lady muscle. Olympic sprinters who’re muscular don’t get referred to as manly. We’re no doubt in a special technology now. The comments now’s to make you glance extra female. That permits us to really feel stunning and pampered… it lets in us to be extra magnificent. The manly stigma has made women step again and reconsider what they’re doing and the place they’re going.

I’ve problems with guys who trainer ladies and get them to make use of medication {that a} man would use. I’ve noticed some dangerous issues occur and a few women be ruined bitterly. Who coaches you and the way do you handle the 8,000-pound crimson elephant within the room?

My husband coaches me. We analysis. I communicate to my physician. I consider longevity. I don’t need to pass out to dinner with my son and feature him be embarrassed. Additionally, I need to be certain that I keep secure. My well being and longevity are primary. Ladies have to make a choice their coaches properly after which concentrate to them! When you don’t concentrate in your trainer then why do you have got one? It’s now not the trainer’s fault in the event you don’t concentrate to them.

There appears to be extra of a sisterhood in this day and age. I see a large number of you women truly appearing reverence and admire for every different relatively than the old fashioned overt cutthroat festival. How do you fortify your sisters?

I kill other people with kindness till they prefer me. I’m all the time if truth be told pleasant and I really like bodybuilders! When the competitor’s record comes out for the display I’m doing, I make goodie luggage for every of the competition and provides them out on the finals.

Goodie luggage? Isn’t the phrase “goodie” every other time period for sabotage? You’ll’t inform me there’s no chocolate in that bag.

Sure there’s chocolate! And other goodies…espresso and desserts too. This yr I did soy candles, glass fingernail recordsdata, hand lotion and chocolate – all the time sweets. I give the luggage on the finals, after it’s in every single place. Being a feminine on this game isn’t simple. If any individual brings me a present, it’s going to position a grin on my face. Possibly my little goodie bag places a grin on every other lady’s face; it makes me satisfied.

The charities you champion are attention-grabbing. In particular your fortify of my fellow veterans. Are you able to inform me a bit of about that?

I come from a protracted line of army members of the family. Deployed all over the place. Even my son served, (he’s out now). I’ve all the time been very lively in supporting vets. The large factor I’m concerned with now is named Energetic Heroes – in Louisville (Shepardsville). It’s a 148-acre ranch with stunning land and wide-open areas with log cabins, pavilions. It’s a Retreat for Vets and their households, the place they may be able to come and scale back stressors of on a regular basis existence. In the event that they’re having bother, we attempt to serve them. Suicide is a large factor vets handle. We lose about 22 an afternoon. That’s nearly one each hour. It’s truly horrible. Going at the retreat – free of charge – with their households places them in a spot the place they may be able to fear much less about issues, escape from the arena.

What’s your position?

I used to be an match coordinator and handled a large number of occasions to lend a hand veterans and their households. I’d have meals and different issues introduced in that had been donated via vets who personal companies. They’re very supportive and happy to grasp that it’s to be had. There are such a lot of charities that sound excellent, however you don’t know the place the cash goes. With Energetic Heroes, it’s evident the place the cash is. It’s 8 years later and I’m nonetheless at it.


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