1. This is Krystal Cantu. She can lift a 210lb bar over her head.
2. Cantu is a 25-year-old athlete based in San Antonio, Texas.
3. Last year, she was in a car accident with her boyfriend, Daniel Cuate (pictured).
4. She survived the accident, but was told that she would need to have her arm amputated.
Cantu told Barcroft Media: “When I arrived at the hospital, the surgeon came up to me and said that he had looked at everything and the arm needed to come off. I had a moment, but then I said alright – if it’s going to save my life, take it off.”
5. Cantu had started CrossFit a few months prior to her accident, and was due to compete in a CrossFit competition.
“I remember every single detail from that day. As soon as I saw my arm, the CrossFit competition was the first thing that ran through my mind,” she told Refinery 29. “It killed me knowing I wouldn’t be able to compete, but I was so grateful to still have my life.”
6. Incredibly, she was back at the gym just three weeks after the accident.
Working with her coach, she engineered adaptations of the moves, as she writes in her CrossFit athlete profile:
“My mind ran at 100mph thinking of the new movements and adaptations I would have to perform. Together with my coaches and loved ones, I picked up movements in no time and had my endurance back up.”
7. Exactly three months after the accident, Cantu competed in her first CrossFit competition, the 2013 Working Wounded Games.
8. Cantu continued to compete, even performing non-scaled movements.
“I competed again in February in a scaled division. I was the only female adaptive athlete, but I did not scale the movements and I performed the weight prescribed of the scaled division. I also didn’t place last.”
9. While Cantu still has a day job in IT, she hopes to become a full-time CrossFit athlete.
10. “I may not have my right arm, but I have the highest spirits and the biggest heart.”
Follow Krystal Cantu on Instagram – @krystalcantu