“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”

Those famous words were said by Alexander Graham Bell. That quote emphasizes the desirability of retaining a positive outlook on things, and highlights the danger of inaction. In other words, there might be times when plans that you might have had your entire life come crashing down and if you look at that closed door too long, you might miss a (possibly better) open one.

For Carlsbad Kickboxing Club’s own Troy Rallings, that statement couldn’t be more true.

In 2016, Rallings felt on top of the world. He had only 8 days left in his college baseball season at the University of Washington, and had amassed a career year. Leading the country in the three most important categories as a relief pitcher, he was ready to fast track through the minor leagues to the big leagues. Three weeks later, his name was called in the 22nd round by his hometown team, The Los Angeles Angels of Aneheim.

However, at the time, Rallings was consulting with a handful of doctors about surgery and rehab options after his elbow gave out just a short time earlier. “Knowing that I was looking at a 12- to 18-month recovery from the infamous Tommy John Surgery to repair severe ligament damage in my elbow, it was difficult to celebrate my ‘draft day,’” he says. “I had a long road ahead of me.

Four months out of surgery and six months from his initial injury, Rallings began training and throwing with newfound motivation at the top baseball performance facility and sports science lab in the country, Driveline Baseball. After 5 months of rigorous training and well ahead of the recovery timetable, he signed his contract with The Angels and officially became a pro baseball player.

However, only eight weeks into an extended spring training in Arizona, and just two weeks shy of his professional debut, Rallings partially tore his elbow once again and just like that, his baseball career was over.

His entire life’s pursuit up to that point came crashing down, but he did not give up. He started his next chapter and opened that next door. Little did he know it at the time, but his role of “The Closer” in college (the pitcher who comes in at the end of the game to secure the victory) set him up for where he is now.

“Each night, as a closer, I needed to be ready to go into the most high-pressure situations and score the win. And each and every time, I left with the gut-level feeling of ‘this is what I was born to do,’” he says.

Once his baseball door was shut, he turned to fighting and truly believe it is the outlet his soul craves. “I believe I was called to fight.” He wants to become the champion he was born to be. “Whether it is on the field or in the ring, I feel at home deep in my innermost being when I am there.”

The comparability between the two sports, he says, is the mentality. “You have to train and prepare to be in peak physical condition,” he says. But the aspect of having to dig deep into your mind, body, and soul to pull out every bit of courage needed to fight each and every day is what drives him.

The part where you truly find out what a person is made of in the ring is what encourages him to continue.

“You face a lifetime of fear and failures, ultimately leaving with no choice, but to overcome them in battle,” he says. “My career as a professional athlete in baseball was cut short. Lord willing, I have been given another opportunity and am grateful to start my fighting career with a team that is so tight knit and community driven.”