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.