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A Commitment to CrossFit Helped This Amputee Overcome a Devastating Injury

Athletes often display super-human mental toughness, from playing through injuries to overcoming personal barriers and beyond. And this is no coincidence, according to CrossFit adaptive competitor Krystal Cantu. Krystal can speak to the connection between physical fitness and mental toughness from personal experience: a lifelong athlete, Krystal had just gotten into CrossFit training in her mid-twenties when she and her boyfriend were in a car accident that left Krystal with just one arm. She says that the first thing she thought of after the amputation was CrossFit.


Krystal was back in training just a month after undergoing surgery to remove her right arm. She credits being in great shape with the speed of her recovery: "I was in really good shape at the time, and I think that helped a lot with the healing process."

Now, Krystal is an Olympic athlete! She competes in the javelin in the Paralympic Games, and has earned enormous respect and admiration from the people she trains with. "She just works hard. She has the will to compete, the will to win... I would take 15 more just like her," says Krystal's coach Zach Caswell.

As remarkable as Krystal's rapid adaptation to life with one arm seems, she knew that ceaseless progress was the only way she could stay fit without losing ground or time. She says that she couldn't let herself "fall in that deep hole" of sadness or despair; by staying active, Krystal kept her emotions under control and retained her positive outlook.

To anyone facing a challenge, Krystal has some advice: "It's very important to stay mentally healthy... because we can break down physically if we're not okay up here," in our minds. A great reminder that happy means healthy, and vice versa!
For updates from Krystal, check out her website or Facebook page.

This video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro and shot/edited by JeanCarlo Ramirez. To see more inspiring athletes, take a peek at our HooplaHa YouTube channel.

This Organization Feeds Their Entire Community

If you are a kid and your bed is a lumpy, old couch or a cold, hard floor and you leave home for school without a regular breakfast, you will not excel in your classes. This daily struggle is shockingly common in many areas of the country and it sets many children on a downward spiral at an early age that is difficult to recover from. This is where Meals By Grace is making a difference.

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Anonymous Authors of Love Letters Uplift The Lonely

While it is exciting to see the bold type of a newly arrived email from an old friend or the pulsing dots of a long awaited text, there is still something special about the arrival of a hand written, stamped envelope in your home mailbox.

For those who are facing personal difficulties, adjusting to new circumstances, or just feeling isolated, the physical experience of handling a letter, opening the sealed side of the envelope, and sliding out a beautiful card brings the thrill and anticipation of contact with another person, something they may been missing for long time. Fulfilling this need is at the heart of an inspiring organization called "The World Needs More Love letters".

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A Father, A Son, And A Hockey Fan’s Dream Come True!

Coca-Cola, Shaw's Supermarkets, and the Boston Bruins have teamed up to make one lucky Bruins fan's dream come true. After purchasing a Coke from Shaw's in the New England area, contestants were encouraged to enter for a chance to win a "Player for a Day Experience" with the Boston Bruins.

The lucky winner's name is Mark Karolkiewicz. Mark has been a Bruins fan his whole life and even though he had the opportunity to be a Bruins Player for a Day, he selflessly gave the prize to his son Eric Karolkiewicz, also a die-hard Bruins fan!

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Dancing Away From Illness And Onto The Stage

The hall lights dim…..a hush comes over the audience … the command "places everyone" is given… there is a palpable stillness in the air as the first notes of the opening piece float out of the speakers and hover above the stage…. the curtain rises with a whir … the lights come up… its time …

These are the moments a performer lives for. The hours of solitary sweat and toil practicing their craft in sparse, small rooms, are the dues required for the joy of putting their skill and craft out there for an audience hungering for something special and moving.

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Singer, Poet, Activist, Lupus Survivor - Shanelle Gabriel

"Rock out...live your life....live your art!" This was Brooklyn, New York native Shanelle Gabriel's response to her diagnosis of Lupus, an autoimmune disease where your body's immune system, that usually fights infections, attacks healthy tissue instead.

Shanelle first noticed something was off when her fingers turned blue and hurt in the cold and she could not seem to shake the feeling of fatigue no matter how well she slept. After being diagnosed in 2004, Shanelle decided that her health would not be something that would limit her success.

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NFL Player Mentors Kid Dealing with Mom's Cancer

For families with a member who is battling cancer, life can seem lonely. The trials and tribulations of such a scary disease can be very intense—how could anyone who hasn't gone through them understand?

Walk With Sally is an organization founded to provide loving support to children whose parents or siblings are fighting cancer, and they helped make a very special match between two people who could understand one another's experience personally. Will Svitek, a former NFL professional, lost his father to cancer when he was just 31. He joined Walk With Sally for the express purpose of mentoring youngsters who were struggling in similar situations. That's how he met Rocco.

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These Fearless Freefalling Females Will Amaze You

Did you know that today is Women Rock! Day? To celebrate and inspire, we found a special group of women who are doing what they love as they defy gravity and perform breathtaking aerial acrobatics thousands of feat in the air!

This group is known as the Joy Riders and they aren't afraid of much. The all female, international skydiving and base jumping team fall through the sky for fun. They represent joy, passion, inspiration, and work to motivate their audience to go after what they want most in life.

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80-Year-Old Champion Bodybuilder Sets Guinness World Record

Ernestine "Ernie" Shepherd proves age truly is just a number. At age 80 she is a personal trainer, a professional model, a competitive bodybuilder, and happier and more fulfilled than she's ever been in her life.

In March of 2010, on stage in Rome, Italy she was given the title of World's Oldest Performing Female Bodybuilder by Guinness World Records. Go Ernie!

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