'You can do anything': Chicago Triathlon competitor shares physical fitness journey

Christian Piekos Image
Friday, August 25, 2023
Chicago Triathlon competitor shares physical fitness journey
Chicago Triathlon 2023 competitor Bayar Bayarsaikhan shared his fitness journey after his diabetes and high cholesterol and blood pressure diagnoses.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- At a Near North Side Lifetime Fitness, Bayar Bayarsaikhan has been getting ready for this weekend's Chicago Triathlon, one stroke at a time.

"I have challenged myself to do something that I thought I would never be able to be accomplished," Bayarsaikhan said.

But, getting to this point in his physical fitness journey was no walk in the park.

"I just did not have energy to do anything with the kids. I was barely walking," Bayarsaikhan said.

Two and a half years ago, Bayarsaikhan was 500 pounds at 29 years old, married with two boys.

"They diagnosed me with high blood pressure. They diagnosed me with high cholesterol. They diagnosed me with diabetes. I was diabetic, officially," Bayarsaikhan said.

SEE ALSO | Road closures to go in effect for Chicago Triathlon this weekend, including DuSable Lake Shore Drive

It's what a doctor asked him that changed his life.

"He was like, 'Do you want to live? Do you have kids? Do you want to live or do you want to die? If you keep going, the life you're doing right now, probably mid-40s,'" Bayarsaikhan said.

Now, Bayar is striding for both he and his family, initially spending hours per week on a treadmill, and drinking more water.

"It was my best friend for four months. Me and my treadmill. We were like best friends," Bayarsaikhan said.

Now, he's 31 and has lost over 245 pounds. The remarkable feat, he said, is because of God.

"Jesus Christ plays a big role," Bayarsaikhan said. "When you pray, and when you have faith in God, you can do anything."

As Bayarsaikhan trains the final hours before Triathlon weekend, he wants to share his message with others to never give up.

"Don't be too hard on yourself. That's what I learned. Don't be too hard on yourself. When you fall from something, you will learn to get up," Bayarsaikhan said.

Bayarsaikhan said once he completes the Triathlon this weekend, he aspires to, one day, open his own gym and use his story to inspire others and change lives.