Over the years I have wanted to be a whole heap of different things, some I conquered and some I detoured from (we’ll say detour because I don’t believe in failure). My main goal along the way was to be genuinely happy and in love with my life. If you know me, watch me or follow my Instagram, you’ll know I have an obsession with happiness. I have always been a firm believer in doing whatever it means to be content with your life. But if you’re daring and if you want more than the average well then sometimes happiness is a little unavailable momentarily.
Like I said I wanted to be a whole range of things, I was never really materialistic but I did seek to conquer things that added value to my life and I never believed in any goal being off limits. I remember being ten, eleven, twelve and always wanting to fight. There was this great desire in me to be part of the combat sports world, so that is exactly what I did. I signed my little ass up for kickboxing classes and I feel in love there and then. I was far from a natural but that never bothered me because I have always been the hardest worker in the room, I practiced and practiced until I became a natural. I set myself big goals from day one, I was lucky enough to have parents and family who believed in me and encouraged, but more so I had a trainer who wanted me to succeed, who believed that I could achieve.
My first outing as kick boxer was the junior all Irelands. Oh my god, talk about nerves, I was the definition. I arrived at the venue and I froze, I found myself a corner and I sat with my nerves, I watched everything around me, I spoke to no one only myself, I was shitting it but never for a second did I question myself. It was my turn to take to the mats, I don’t remember much about the fights but I remember that desire to win and how much I believed in myself. I found myself, a little squirt, in the finals, everyone gathered round chanting and shouting, I was no longer nervous, strangers were screaming my name. I took silver that day, unlucky to not get gold due to a clash of shins which left me battered and bruised (cry baby). I think there and then I decided that I wanted to be the best me I could be.
The dream got bigger and better as a senior, I was more than passionate, I was in love. At first I wanted to be Irish champion, then with praise of others I came to think that maybe a world medal wasn’t so unrealistic. But like all good things, they must come to an end. I fought some tough fights and never backed away but theres one that sticks with me. I fought the current Irish and five nations title, a woman who hadn't been beaten inside the country. I really didn’t care who she was, we didn’t see eye to eye, so my opinion of her wasn’t very high anyways. I knew it’d be a tough fight and it was an all out war but myself all with 99% of the crowd were convinced I was the dominant fighter. That was until the judges decided to call a very controversial draw.
From that moment on there was no love for that sport and I lost all passion for it. They awarded me fighter of the night which I refused to take seems they robbed me of being the current Irish champion. I fought a few times after that but it was never the same. I won ‘Best Female Fighter 2013’ later that year but it didn’t really mean much. I was done, I left ranking fourth in the world apparently and considered the best female of the year. But where one door closes another opens.
I found boxing. Initially I started boxing on the pretence that it would better my kickboxing but I knew this was a lie, because Sarah Kiely does not train for fun, I train to fuckin win. I fell in love with boxing, I became more and more confident in my hands. I trained hard and I competed harder. I had many wins, big and small but there was always something missing. I took myself away and for the first time in many years I was no longer competing at something to win but rather I was working to better myself.
Time away from competition has done me the world of good, every single day I miss it, I miss all my sports because they will always be part of me. Everywhere I go people ask when I’m boxing, shocked when I say its time out (never done because I have every intention to be back soon) but the truth is constantly fighting for something is hard and it’s lonely, sometimes you need to fight for yourself.
So when I tell you the end of a failed move is always the beginning of the next one believe me. I have found myself loving crossfit at the moment, enjoying life. I will never not want to succeed, be successful or leave behind me a great impression because determination and passion are built into me so I will always strive to be the best at what I do. Don’t ever write me off. I will always be back.
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