Sticking to a Goal Despite Setbacks

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Editor’s note: Evan Pardi is a local triathlete that CBT Nuggets sponsors because he embodies the spirit of training and working toward conquering goals. We are sharing Evan’s experiences and training tips in a series of blog posts.

Emerging from the water, Evan Pardi felt good about his pace, despite getting stuck behind a slower pack of triathletes during the swimming portion of the ITU World Triathlon Championships in September. He’d been through it before, previously competing at the 2014 championships.

Stay steady and finish strong. All that was left was the 6 mile (10 km) run.  

But Evan didn’t anticipate just how much the climate of Cozumel, Mexico, would affect him. With a race-day temperature of 87 degrees and between 87-90 percent humidity, it was a far cry from the Pacific Northwest’s mild climate where he primarily trains and competes.

Unfortunately, during Mile 4 of the running event, Evan was overcome by dehydration and heat exhaustion. He said his abdomen began cramping and he eventually collapsed. While race officials and doctors at the scene urged Evan to discontinue racing, he was determined to finish, despite the excruciating pain.

“It was the longest two miles ever. It took me about 30 minutes to walk,” Evan said. “I was staggering at the end and they put me on a stretcher when I finished. But I was so happy I did it.”

Evan said that when it became obvious that he was too ill to run and would have to walk the final two miles, he quickly reassessed his goals and decided to focus on a smaller, but important goal of completing the race. His advice for dealing with setbacks is to get back up and keep trying, even if you have to make some adjustments.

“Fix what went wrong, and don’t stop working toward a goal, even if the goal has changed,” he said.

Looking back, Evan said simply drinking more Gatorade during the race might have helped him, but he said that when he usually races, he barely gets through one whole Gatorade, if at all, because drinking too much during a race can upset his stomach.

Evan considers it a lesson learned. His experience is a great reminder that it’s important to learn from your setbacks or failures when training, taking a certification exam, etc.

In case you are wondering, Evan didn’t finish last, a testament to how well he did in the cycling and swimming parts of the event.

Evan didn’t let the setback get him down for long, either. He finished third in a cyclo-cross (a form of bicycle racing) event, behind two professional cyclo-cross riders. Not bad for a triathlete! His next endeavor? He wants to explore off-road triathlons!

And you can bet Evan will focus more on hydration going forward.

We are proud of Evan’s dedication and commitment to finishing his race, and are excited to see what’s in store for him next!

Learn more about Evan Pardi.