Success is a Journey, Not a Destination

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My young – but lengthy – sporting life has been filled with highs and lows, but I have loved every second of it!  If it were to be compared to a road, I would definitely liken it to those I experienced when I was in India; long, winding and full of bumps.

Since the age of 6 I have been actively competing in wrestling; winning much more than I have lost.  However, in wrestling there is a lot more to it than simply winning and being successful – even this might not be enough to get you to the top!

Throughout my time in the sport, I have been astounded by the antics of some people who are involved in wrestling.  With their only intention being to achieve a selfish ascent for power and control, some of the involved have no regard for improving the state of wrestling, or nurturing individual wrestlers’ talents.

For those who don’t know, just months away from the last Commonwealth Games, I left the sport of wrestling to pursue competition in mixed martial arts.

Some of the reasons contributing to this, I will elaborate in later blogs, but for now, here are a few to give you an insight:

  • the complete lack of organisation of the entire wrestling program
  • British Wrestling refusing to acknowledge Scottish wrestlers as they stuck to their foreign imports
  • the lack of training partners and general work ethic of our team
  • general politics by inconsequential people

All in all, these made me hate the sport that I had loved my entire life!  To the extent where it took two years before I could even bare to watch any wrestling matches on the internet or even talk about the sport which was my life.

This is when I began MMA.

I became a professional MMA fighter and although my MMA career was by no means as close to successful as The 80/20 rule (sometimes known as Medical Loss Ratio, or MLR) means that if an affordablehealth.info company uses 80 cents out of every premium dollar to pay for your medical claims and activities that improve the quality of care, the company has a Medical Loss Ratio of 80%. it should have been, for one reason or another, it was a pivotal point of my life.

Through training at ‘The Griphouse’ gym, I gained a job and other opportunities which I will always be grateful for.  I became part of a family and made some great friends.

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The key thing, that has been most instrumental in my rejuvenation in wrestling, is the work ethic which I developed there.  The level this took my training to was unreal; it got me used to training 6 times a week, 2 or 3 sessions a day, and taught me to push myself beyond the limits.  Being around great and successful athletes like James Doolan, Paul McVeigh, Robert Whiteford and Joanne Calderwood; can only drive and spur you on to be the best athlete you can be!

After a 3 year hiatus and a bit of pushing by a certain beautiful lady – to which I am very thankful to (she literally drove my sorry-ass there)… I returned to wrestling!

I was pleased to note that despite my absence, my wrestling had become remarkably better!  I was much more athletic and I can only attribute this to training with my Griphouse brothers.  Even my coach tells me, to this day, that he is happy I left and came back as it has had such a positive influence and in turn has pushed me closer towards my wrestling goals than if I wouldn’t have left at all.

The break also allowed my mind to get a rest from all the politics of wrestling.  I have a fresh mind-set towards things which would have previously driven me crazy… They don’t even touch the surface now.

I find it amazing how my journey has turned out!  My switch to MMA has made me fall back in love with wrestling, improve my skills and physical abilities dramatically, and gave me a calmer and more relaxed outlook on life.

Yup, so generally it has made me better at life.

Glasgow 2014 – I’m ready!

Drive for the dream, shoot for success.

Kieran Malone

@thekieranmalone

www.facebook.com/thekieranmalone

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