FREE SHIPPING $100+ | FREE RETURNS!

FREE SHIPPING $100+ | FREE RETURNS!

Your cart

Your cart is empty

Wake Up To The DRYWORLD Life

How to Make a Comeback with DRYWORLD Athlete Sara Roel

In high-level athletics, everything is about persistence and dedication. It’s the dedication to your sport, and to push your body to its maximum day after day, race after race, session after session. Athletes need to persist no matter what. Through injury, mental blocks, doubt, defeat, wins, ridiculous conditions, and grueling competition.

There is no one more suited in the DRYWORLD team to talk about dedication and persistence than our very own Sara Roel.

Sara is a world-class triathlete from Mexico, competing in global arenas like Superleague. Sara even held the top spot for Mexico in the international rankings for triathlon. Her entire career was on the up—and then she received news that made everything come crashing down.

She had a tumor in her brain sitting on her pituitary gland. After the surgery, doctors told her she would never do sports again.

Six months post-surgery, where doctors removed not only the tumor, but her entire pituitary gland, Sara just competed—and placed top 20 overall and #1 for women—in a cycling race. Despite doctors telling her that being an athlete was impossible, she is back to training at nearly 100%, as if saying “watch me” with every rep.

We caught up with Sara to find out how—and why—she is so motivated to keep pushing, and what new goals she has for herself in the future.

“Since I started forming memories, I have always been into sports.” —Sara Roel

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 2.44.44 PM.png__PID:bdefddbc-fd79-4689-a629-03d083ba9393

Here’s How to Make a Comeback with DRYWORLD Athlete Sara Roel. 

DRYWORLD: 

First, tell us who you are, what type of athlete you are, and how long you’ve been training—then we’ll get into why you took time off from training. 

Sara Roel:

I’ve always been into sports, but then, around 10-years ago, I started triathlon. I won my first triathlon, so I think that was the motivation to keep going. I started to represent Mexico at the international, professional level around the world and it was great. One year, I was the first of the Mexicans on the international ranking.

Then, last year, well, yeah. I had some health issues.

DRYWORLD: 

Can you tell us more about the tumor?

Sara Roel:

First, they found the tumor in my head next to the pituitary gland. So, they stopped the tumor, but sadly had to extract all my pituitary gland. So, right now, I don’t have the gland that makes almost all of my hormones. I have to take replacement hormones.

It’s tough because I have to take about 12 pills every day and one injection every night. I have to be really consistent with all the treatment, but I’m looking at the bright side that I’m doing things pretty good.

It’s only been six months since the surgery, and I’m training almost normally. Of course, I still need to improve and get my fitness back, but I actually feel more motivated than before. I believe that I can go back to the international races at the end of June or maybe July.

I had my first race this weekend and it was great! It was a cycling race and I was first for the women, so it was really good—I wasn’t expecting that.

SignatureD Elite Windbreaker Jacket - Mens
SignatureD Elite Windbreaker Jacket - Mens
SignatureD Elite Windbreaker Jacket - Mens
SignatureD Elite Windbreaker Jacket - Mens

SignatureD Elite Windbreaker Jacket - Mens

$241.00
SignatureD Coolmax Tee- Men's
SignatureD Coolmax Tee- Men's
SignatureD Coolmax Tee- Men's
SignatureD Coolmax Tee- Men's

SignatureD Coolmax Tee- Men's

$56.00
SignatureD Running Jersey
SignatureD Running Jersey
SignatureD Running Jersey
SignatureD Running Jersey

SignatureD Running Jersey

$60.00

DRYWORLD: 

How long were you unable to train for? 

Sara Roel:

Eight months? Before the brain surgery was in surgery for my ankle—and then they found the brain tumor. I had a really bad headache after the surgery, and so I had all the MRIs and they found the brain tumor.

It was really weird, but I was really lucky because the tumor was big. It was three centimeters. If I had waited maybe six months longer, I would be blind.

So, since my ankle surgery until now, I’d stopped for eight months. I started training only two months after the brain surgery, and I really started from zero.

Now, if we’re talking about the hours I train, I’m training the same as before: between five or six hours at least. I’m almost training like before, but the intensity, of course, is less. I’m catching up little by little.

“If I had waited maybe six months longer, I would be blind."

DRYWORLD:

How did you feel about the doctors telling you that you might not be able to compete again?

SR:

It wasn’t until after the surgery that they told me they had to extract the pituitary gland because the tumor was attached to [it]. So that’s when they told me that my life was going to be different forever.

And it was a shock.

This is my life. Since I started forming memories, I have always been into sports. I was angry. I was pretty angry that they didn’t tell me that [I risked never playing sports again] before.

I was so angry with everything. And with the doctors as well, because it was so easy for them to just tell me, ‘you’ll never go back’ instead of looking for options.

[The doctors in Mexico] always tell you to do nothing and stay home when, for me, the best medicine has always been moving. If I could walk, I was going to walk or bike or whatever. I think that has helped my body to recover.

DRYWORLD:

And your treatment now?

SR:

I found two doctors that told me that we would try our best. They give me other options for treatment. They told me, ‘It’s going to be difficult, of course, but we can’t say that [recovery and competing] is impossible.’

So that really changed my mind. Since I’ve been with those doctors, I’ve just been trying and trying and trying, and my body is getting better every day.

"If I can train today and do my best, and I can train for a race and enjoy it, then I will do it."

DRYWORLD:

Why are you so motivated to get back to training and competing? 

SR:

Before this happened to me, of course I was motivated and I love sports. But I didn’t realize that your life can change from one minute to another.

And when this happened to me, I couldn’t believe it. Then it passed through my mind, ‘I will never go back to sports,’ and I was terrified by that.

Now that I’ve been at the bottom of my life and I have survived, I feel like other things that I was worried about—like really silly things—don’t bother me. Nothing can stop me anymore.

Of course, I know I have to be careful with my body and all of that stuff, but I feel more alive than I was before, and more motivated to be able to do what I love because maybe something else could happen—maybe even tonight.

Now, I realize that maybe tomorrow I won’t be able [to train]. I hope that doesn’t happen, and I’m doing my best, but anything can happen tomorrow.

If I can train today and do my best, and I can train for a race and enjoy it, then I will do it.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 2.46.05 PM.png__PID:efddbcfd-7986-4926-a903-d083ba9393ab

DRYWORLD:

You said you were terrified that you may never get to play sports again. How did you overcome that fear?

SR:

Even if they told me that it would never happen, I still went out with a bike or went for a run. I never really stopped.

I think that’s helped me, because on one hand, the doctors were telling me, ‘it’s impossible.’ On the other hand, I was going for a walk or a run, or swimming or whatever.

And I was investigating and doing research on my illness. That’s helped me because I now understand what I have. By understanding it, I can think about how my body is responding to the training and the sport.

It just didn’t make sense to me that I could not do sports. I know it’s a tough and really weird condition, but it’s not that extreme. And finally, when I found those two other doctors, they gave me hope. That helped me to not abandon my dream.

“Now, I’m more into enjoying it, rather than trying to beat someone else.”

DRYWORLD:

Has it changed how you approach your training? 

SR:

Yeah, a lot. Now, I never complain. For real. Never, never, never. I enjoy it, even if it’s going to be a five hour ride or a really tough swimming session. I just don’t complain. I’m happy that I can do it. Even if it doesn’t go as I wish. I just enjoy that I can do it—simply just do my best and enjoy it. And if you do enjoy it, things go right.

Pressure is important, but more so just enjoying whatever you’re doing. I think that’s what happened [at the cycling race]. I was just pushing and doing my best all the time. Now, I’m more into enjoying it, rather than trying to beat someone else.

And training is so different, especially with the treatment. I have to wake up early so that I can [take the first three pills] before I have my first training session.

So this weekend, for example, the race was to start at 6 am. So, I woke up at 3:30 am for the first pill, then I waited one hour, then the second pill and breakfast, and then the third pill, and then I went to the race. I also had to carry one of the pills because the race was five hours.

So, I have a lot of reminders on my phone to take all my pills, and I also have to be home early, around 7 pm, to have an injection.

I think that’s going to be one of the hardest things to do when I go racing, especially [internationally].

DRYWORLD:

What would you say has been your strongest tool for recovery?

SR:

Sports.

I was in the hospital for ten days. I couldn’t walk, nothing. But even there, I was moving my legs around, moving my feet, stretching my arms. And then they told me to not do any hard things for 15 days, but I started to go for walks.

The first day, one kilometer. The second day, two kilometers, three. Then, I was walking for two or three hours every day. Of course, when I told the doctors they were like, ‘Oh my god, we told you to stay at home,’ but that’s what really helped me I think.

I think that sports give you that tool to learn to listen to your body. And that’s really helped me through all this.

DRYWORLD:

Was the hardest part knowing that you weren’t allowed to do what you normally do and watching your body change, or was there something more difficult for you?

SR:

Yeah, it was frustrating. It was sad. Of course, I cried a lot. But, I also started to see all of the improvements.

I have pictures of me maybe six months ago when things were not so good. I have improved a lot over these six months. I’m not at my 100%, but seeing all this improvement makes me believe that I can still improve more. It hasn’t been that long—six months is actually nothing.

“In a race, when things get tough and I want to stop, I will remember that this didn’t stop me.”

DRYWORLD:

You also seem like you keep a really good, positive mindset, which is crucial. 

SR:

I have really tried to, but some days, I just can’t. I also can’t explain how I have kept this positive mindset. Especially when everything you do is sports and that’s exactly what I couldn’t do.

I don’t know.

I was just so grateful to be alive and to not have lost my sight. I was so grateful for that, that I think it helped me to say, ‘okay, I will try to make the best of the situation.’

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 2.45.35 PM.png__PID:ddbcfd79-8689-4629-83d0-83ba9393ab45

DRYWORLD:

It sounds like gratitude is a big part of your motivation as well?

SR:

Yeah, I’m trying to take the positive from all these things that have happened to me. And being realistic as well, because I know I now have something different from the other athletes.

I can use this as a tool to be better in some things.

Let’s just say that this thing didn’t stop me. In a race, when things get tough and I want to stop, I will remember that this didn’t stop me. So, I won’t stop my race and will have a bigger and stronger mindset.

DRYWORLD:

What are your big goals? What are your hopes now that you’re back? 

SR:

I want to break the Mexican record for Ironman and half-Ironman. Right now, that’s what I want to do. I want to be the best Mexican.

It’s not a little goal, and I have never done an Ironman distance, so everything is going to be new.

One step at a time. I don’t know if it’s this year or next year, but I want to break that record. I already researched the numbers and I think I can do it.

DRYWORLD:

Do you have a favorite triathlete sport? 

SR:

Cycling. I think it’s my best.

I’ve thought a lot of times of moving to just cycling, but no. I love the three things, and why do one when you can do three?

I will keep on racing cycling, because I really love it, but I think something really big would have to happen for me to leave triathlon because it’s really cool and I love the atmosphere around triathlon.

Screenshot 2024-03-20 at 2.43.40 PM.png__PID:51bdefdd-bcfd-4986-8926-2903d083ba93

DRYWORLD:

Last question, what’s your favorite DRYWORLD item that you train in or use?

SR:

My tracksuit! I can’t wait to use it again. I don’t know if it will fit anymore, but I hope so! I have big memories in it because I was racing in Superleague.

I think that in one or two weekends I have a race here in my hometown and I will finally get to use it again. I love it!

DRYWORLD:

Anything you want to add?

SR:

I think that my life changed thanks to something bad, let’s say. But, I believe it’s like a new start for everything and I believe that I still have a lot to give.

Sara is highly competitive, highly motivated, and an absolute testament to the sporting world and everything we value at DRYWORLD. When the world tried to kick her down, she didn’t just get up, she’s coming back stronger than ever. Be sure to follow Sara’s journey on Instagram @roel.sara. We’re so honored to work with Sara and will be cheering her on every step, pedal, and stroke of the way to the podium.

“Sports give you that tool to learn to listen to your body. And that’s really helped me through all this.” — Sara Roel

HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging
HauteD - DK Legging

HauteD - DK Legging

$80.00
CoreD Pro Shorts - Women's
CoreD Pro Shorts - Women's
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
CoreD Pro Shorts - Women's
CoreD Pro Shorts - Women's
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts
Women's Black Shorts

CoreD Pro Shorts - Women's

$42.99
CoreD Pullover - Women's
CoreD Pullover - Women's
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
CoreD Pullover - Women's
CoreD Pullover - Women's
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt
Women's Corded Sweatshirt

CoreD Pullover - Women's

$62.99
CoreD Pro Tracksuit Pants - Women's
CoreD Pro Tracksuit Pants - Women's
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
CoreD Pro Tracksuit Pants - Women's
CoreD Pro Tracksuit Pants - Women's
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants
Women's Track Pants

CoreD Pro Tracksuit Pants - Women's

$54.99

Check out our 3 newest collections

CoreD Pro

HauteD

FreeD

Subscribe for Newsletter

The latest news, events and stories delivered right to your inbox