As the Dean of Corrections Education at Edmonds Community College, Kristyn Whisman has to be tough and strong. After all, she spends plenty of time in prison. But few realize just how strong she really is. Whisman is aiming for the title of "World's Strongest Woman."
Whisman has already won the national title three times. She tells KIRO Radio's Dori Monson Show she's dreamed of earning the world title since 2002 when she first saw the World's Strongest Man and Woman competitions on ESPN.
"I just really thought it was a fantastic sport, a really great opportunity to do some really weird and interesting lifting. And I pretty much committed myself at that point."
Whisman was a swimmer in college, and after her college career came to a close, she transitioned her training to strength.
"Once I graduated from college, I found myself a trainer who had had experience with strength athletics, some body building and power lifting, and just worked on training for a strength sport rather than an endurance sport," she says.
Her first Strongman competition was in New Mexico in 2006 and her training continued, earning her the national title three times. Whisman says having a competitive activity is a necessity for her.
"Having a sport that I can compete in regularly, that kind of keeps me sane on a day-to-day basis, so I don't get grouchy with other people."
All the lifting, which she says is not done in a static way, but rather requires athletes to move around with heavy loads, actually has practical applications in her real life, she's found.
"It's functional," says Whisman. "What I'm able to train for and do actually has application in my daily life when I need to move stuff around my house or I get the desire to rearrange the living room, it's very helpful."
She's also found a use for her training at work. As Edmonds Community College Dean of Corrections Education, she works out of the Monroe Correctional Complex and says training is a big thing she has in common with people she works with at the facility.
"What's really great for me is that weight lifting and strength training is a common interest among students that are here that I can talk about with people that's not too personal," says Whisman.
After the North American Strongman National Championship in October, Whisman hopes to move onto the World competition to take the international title. The Dori Monson Show will be following her progress.