We’re inspired each day by the stories you share that show how you’re #AerieREAL. This week we’re sharing the story of a truly incredible woman who overcame some seriously extreme obstacles to make her dreams come true.
Krystal Cantu is an award-winning weightlifter, a sister, a fighter, a daughter, and a graduate from the University of Texas at San Antonio. At 25, she can lift 200lbs – with only one arm!
On August 2, 2013, Krystal and her boyfriend Daniel were in a car accident where her right arm was severely crushed and had to be amputated immediately. Her first concern? Never being able to compete again. Despite the odds and with outstanding amounts of courage, Krystal was back in the gym 3 weeks later. Shortly after, by serious will and faith, Krystal begun beating all of her old records and lifting more than she ever could. She says the accident is ‘the best thing that could have happened’. Read on below to learn a bit more about Krystal and what makes her Aerie REAL.
Aerie: Hi, Krystal – thank you so much for chatting with us. What does #AerieREAL mean to you?
Krystal: Aerie Real, to me, is something that stands for so much within an individual. It is something within someone who has looked past the media and what they portray as an ideal individual. It’s accepting who you are and being happy with what you have been given. It’s knowing that perfection is not being thin or tall, it’s being you that makes you perfect.
Aerie: What makes you #AerieREAL?
Krystal: I’d be lying if I said that I never wanted to be like the girls in the magazines. As you get older and you start to realize that looks aren’t everything, you change. I’m very happy with my body and who I am as an individual, athlete, daughter, sister and girlfriend. I don’t have the six pack or flat belly, but that’s okay.
Aerie: Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Krystal: In three years I hope to have been in a lot more competitions with podium standings, as well as pursuing a full time crossfit coaching position. I hope to have seminars going as well around the states. Heading out to different boxes, answering questions, meeting new faces and showing everyone how strong they truly are.
Aerie: What’s your favorite inspirational quote?
Krystal: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13
Aerie: What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
Krystal: My biggest accomplishment thus far has definitely been the progress I’ve had in Crossfit in under a year. There’s no particular event or movement that I’m proud of because I am really proud of it all. I continue to surprise myself with the strength I have mentally and physically. It’s been under a year and I can only imagine what can come in the next few years.
Aerie: Do you have a role model? If so, who is he or she, and why does he or she inspire you?
Krystal: I don’t have one set role model, I have various ones. I look up to my mother who is the rock of my family. She has the biggest heart and puts her family before herself all the time. She loves unconditionally and never fails to be by my side when she knows I need her the most. I look up to Daniel, my boyfriend, because he is the true representation of how everyone should love. He cares and supports me in whatever I do. He may get upset with me from time to time, but he never holds grudges or ignores me. He’s a good hearted person who I love very much. I look up to my coaches and how they genuinely care for each of their athletes. They competed in the 2014 crossfit games (Ballistic Crossfit) and they never trickled away from us nor did they focus on themselves. It’s always their athletes first, and then them. The heart and dedication they show day in and day out is very inspirational ad motivating.
Aerie: What are three things you always have to have with you?
Krystal: My iPhone, Ray Ban Sunglasses, and iPad.
Aerie: What’s your favorite part of the day?
Krystal: There is nothing I look more forward to than a good WOD (Workout of the Day). I am anxious throughout the day just waiting to head outside and sweat.
Aerie: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, All, or Nothing?
Krystal: Never really got into the whole twitter thing. I have an account, but never use it. I do love me some instagram and facebook though!
Krystal, thank you so much for sharing your story with us!