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One year into the sport, Inez Carrasquillo regularly shatters world Strongman records, such as the highest overhead done in Strongwoman and a 50-pound bag throw to 14 feet—and that's just in her daily training.
Now, Carrasquillo is prepping for the Official Strongman Games this November in Daytona, Florida. She stands a good chance of becoming the next World's Strongest Woman, and the first Latina ever to claim the title.
In a very male-dominated sport, Carrasquillo represents all the kick-ass women out there who struggle to get the same recognition as the men. She finally has an opportunity to change that, performing feats of inner and outer strength she once thought were impossible.
I want to be the world's strongest woman.
I started my strength career with powerlifting. I didn't even know what powerlifting was until I met Matt Blankenberger, who co-owns Rockwell Barbell in Chicago. It was my first powerlifting gym and he ended up coaching me.
I just fell in love with it and started competing. Last October was my last powerlifting meet, and I totaled 1,450 pounds lifted, the 19th all-time women's total.
Then someone messaged me asking to set up a call. I looked up his profile—he'd coached some of my friends—I was like, "Strongman looks cool. OK, let me talk to this guy.""I want to coach you," he told me. "I can make you a world champion." His name is Alec Pagan, and he is now my strongman coach.
So, I signed up for a competition in Seattle. I only had four weeks to learn what the sport was, and against all odds, I got second place.
Lifting Gave Me Purpose
I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. My sisters and I were adopted by my grandmother. We didn't have an easy life. She was a bus driver and she worked really hard. She did everything she could to make us feel like normal kids.
I'm really tall—almost 6-foot-2. I was a shotput thrower, and I loved volleyball. I played volleyball my entire life. Growing up I was always the tallest, and I was always trying to make myself smaller somehow. When I gained a lot of weight, I had zero self-confidence.
My 20s were a really difficult time for me. I was homeless at one point, living in my car. It was just rough. Lifting always made me happy. It was like an escape from growing up. I didn't have to think about anything else going on. I had a purpose in that moment.
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