This Inspiring Athlete Is Kicking Ass — With Only 1 Arm

Krystal Cantu is an American crossfit athlete who lost her right arm above the elbow in an automobile accident. Just a few weeks after her surgery, Krystal was in her coach’s garage with a kettlebell in her hand. “I guess I just realized sooner rather than later that it’s life,” says the 25-year-old athlete. “I’ve never been the person to sit down and cry about anything. The day the accident happened, I was already thinking about how I was going to get back to my normal life. I was doing CrossFit and working before; I just wanted to get back to living the way I was living.”

Read her story:

I was born in Edinburg, Texas on May 9th of 1989. We were a family of four; my mother, father, sister and myself. My parents never had much but we lived the happiest and fullest life with what we had. I knew my parents struggled financially and they did everything in their power to raise my sister and I in a way where we grew to be strong and independent in a life we could hold on our own.

Growing up I was involved in sports, specifically softball. My father enrolled me into little leagues and I quickly grew to love the sport, camaraderie and competitive aspect of it. I continued to play all throughout high school and joined a co-ed team during my first years of college. I’ve been athletic almost my whole life and I’m glad I was, because it taught me life lessons that I will forever be grateful for. In May of 2012 I graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with my bachelors in Communications. In the year leading up to my final days in college, my life was exactly where I wanted it to be.

Late 2011, I found myself on the Internet watching a promotional video for a Tough Mudder. Tough mudder is a 12-13 mile obstacle course that includes freezing cold water, 12-foot walls, electrical wires and many more. I sat there wondering why in the hell people would voluntarily sign up for something like that. I then saw the faces of people crossing the finish line and immediately knew I wanted to feel exactly what they were feeling at that moment. I wanted to feel accomplished, happy, strong, all of the above. I found that the next closest Tough Mudder in Texas would take place in January of 2013. I signed up, trained, and by the end of 2012 I claimed a total of 3 Tough Mudder headbands and 2 Spartan Race metals.

At the age of twenty-four I was working at a company that I worked extremely hard to get into. I was one of the lucky ones who got to say I had my dream job and I woke up every morning excited to see what the day would bring. I was healthy, in shape and starting a new relationship. There was nothing more that could bring me such happiness then when I was in that chapter of my life.

crossfit no excuses
In April of 2013, I was introduced to the sport of crossfit. If you asked anyone at that time what I thought of crossfit, they would gladly tell you that I was against it. I had heard so many negative comments that I quickly turned that into my own personal concept of crossfit. That concept quickly changed the day I decided to put my pride aside and take my first crossfit class. It wasn’t the workout of the day that had me coming back for more; it was the coaches, the people, and the environment. I had never experienced anything like it and little did I know that it was going to save my life.

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