As the story has it, I woke up and found myself on the very opposite side of the globe – the flipside. I arrived February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d simply do a year, then leave. Years later and I’m still here. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company, Flipside Fitness, and CEO of my own boxing club, Korea's largest -- Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing.

But now I'm back; back in Toronto, Canada. It's not a new chapter in the book of my life though, it's a whole new book I've started!!! I'm a whole new woman and I left Korea with Flipside Fitness on my brain, boxing in my bag, and my four-legged friend Balboa Button by my side.

Life is an adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Packed Saturday

Tomorrow I'm going to be busy in the morning, rushing to the airport for my flight, so today I was 
treated to a special breakfast out.  It felt so Western... so many carbs... I loved it!
The waiter had no idea why I kept looking at him but it kept him super smiley.
Truth of the matter was he reminded me so much of my dear friend J-Doll back in Toronto.
It was a packed house today for the amateur boxing tournament and I was there to take it all in.
Eight fighters from my club were participating so I stood ringside and cheered them on.
I love these in-between-round, corner moments between the coach and his fighter.
My buddy Nico didn't win his fight but he did stop the show!  In the first round he had damaged his opponent's shoulder but when the ref went to go raise it up, to announce he had won, it was popped out of the joint... holy painful!  He went to the ground in pain, ouch!!!
Win or learn, it's always so awesome to step into the ring and give it all you got.  Props to Nico.
Leaving the boxing tournament, I realized there were other fights going on... cock fights!
I saw all these men walking around with their birds.  What a sight and talk about crazy noises!!!
Dinner for two?!  No, nice try.  How about dinner reservations for about a hundred!
I don't know what there was more of, food or family!
I think it's fair to say it was a tie.  It was a delicious and beautiful tie.

It was a Go, Go, Go Kind of Day... Saturday, May 27

My last day here in Eastwood and I spent it out of town at a boxing tournament and then at a posh dinner party.  How's that for really celebrating my move out of here?! I can't wait till my new home in Makati!!!

Side note, yesterday we put in an offer for a condo.  I'm moving into that gorgeous condo building that I had posted about this past Monday -- that building with the crazy awesome lane pool!!!

An hour out of Eastwood there was a big boxing tournament going on, one that I was actually suppose to fight at... that is until my opponent cancelled.  Anyways, 8 fighters from my boxing club were participating so I headed there to cheer them on.  One of my friends from my club, Nico, was having his first boxing bout so the excitement and anticipation around that particular bout was high.  I stood ringside and watched him before his bout.  He looked super focused but looked spooked too.  It was a big deal for him, I know, it was a big deal for me too.  I wanted him to win but more importantly I wanted him to enjoy it and really embrace the rush and excitement of the fight.  Unfortunately he didn't win his fight but it was an awesome experience plus it's all about win or learn anyways.  I think he learnt a lot from this first bout and I hope it feeds his passion for the sport even more.

That moment when you pass your should-have-been opponent at your should-have-been-fight and she makes some random excuse as to why she bailed... that happened today.  Skittles had mentioned he thought he saw her, my should-have-been opponent, but she looked so different than how I remembered her.  I looked so different too but kind of in the polar opposite way -- I've really trimmed down.  Some local fighters called her out on it by getting her attention and stopping her in the crowd to ask about it.  She gave some excuse about not being able to make the weight cut off but with a month to drop weight we all knew that couldn't have possibly been the real truth.  We all stick by the notion that she found out who I was and was intimidated.  I wouldn't be an easy fight for her.
But anyways...

The disappointment of the day came when the fight for one of the best fighters at my club got cancelled.  Something about not being able to find him an opponent at this tournament.  It was an amateur tournament but it was loaded to the brim with fights.  Something like 50 or 60 fights happened today.  I had stuck around to watch his fight but it never did happen.  We were all so disappointed.  He's been training like a beast and is amazing. During one of my sparring matches he was my corner help but every time I go to Elorde this young fighter is always there.  I think he's there more than the average coach is.  He would have destroyed his opponent, hands down.

The boxing tournament took up most of the day but then I had a family dinner party to attend in the evening so I ubered it home, showered, walked Balboa, and then headed back out.  The party was to acknowledge the 40th day since a certain older gentleman, a member of the family, passed, so family had traveled from out of town for mass and dinner.  It was being hosted at what appeared from the outside to look like just a regular office town but inside it was so opposite of that.  With lavish couches and beautiful colours, the floor we dined on was gorgeous.  I had arrived early for the dinner but once family started rolling in they just kept on coming and coming.  Next thing I knew it the place was packed.  It was such a beautiful dinner but those that had filled the event were what really made it particularly special for me.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Goodbye Eastwood Life

 My last official day training here full time at Elorde Kat and there's Coach Garry 
photobombing my picture by waving his street side lunch in the air... hahaha.  I love it!
Thank you to my coaching team who helped pushed me through some hard 
training in this hard, hot weather.  
 A little before picture, before I got my head cleaned up.  I love, love, LOVE going to the barbers and today was a bit of a rough and sad day so it was a nice treat before hitting the numbers with my business meeting.

Facts and Figures... Friday, May 26

The fact of the matter was today was my last day at Elorde.  The figures that mattered today were my financials for my business plan.  Attacked, conquered and got through both... then got treated to a hair shave afterward, nice.

It was sad acknowledging that it was my last day of full time training at Elorde so it was a bit of a mental struggle to push myself at training.  Friends were there, that helped, but it also reminded me of all those I'll be leaving here behind.  The plan is to visit here every month, maybe once or twice for sparring.

Last Friday's business meeting regarding my financials got pushed to this Friday which was good because I hadn't yet finished some of my numbers I needed to prep for it.  The meeting started around 10:30pm, we took a break around midnight for a snack, and then we resumed.  Around 2am my main financials for the investors had been punched in.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Checking Out My New Hood

Headed out of Eastwood, past some of the rougher patches of the Philippines, and into Makati.
 My new hood -- Legazpi Street in Makati. 
 Checked out Elite Boxing Club today.
First thing I noticed was the lack of Elorde on their sign.  I thought they were Elorde Elite.
I think they may have parted ways with Elorde and this may change things for me.
The club is pretty big and with it's super high ceilings it's quite spacious feeling.
Then I checked out another supposed Elorde Boxing Club.  It was in the basement of the Makati Sports Club, in a squash court.  Despite it's questionable ghettoness and questions regarding how they could ever possibly pass this off as a real Elorde Boxing Club, they seem to be one of the most expensive Elorde clubs to train at.  My question here is why?!  Unless Manny Pacquiao is training me personally here, I can't see how they can justify their prices.

Putting It Out There... Wednesday, May 24

Skittles is always telling me to "put it out there... You get back whatever you put into the universe" and he's always encouraging me to keep whatever I put out there positive.  It goes right in line with something I saw on Pinterest the other day...

Watch your thoughts, they become words.
Watch your words, they become actions.
Watch your actions, they become habits.
Watch your habits, they become your character.
Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

So, on that note, I started my day off by "putting it out there" -- "Today I WILL find my new home. Today I WILL score that coaching position", I proclaimed.  Then I headed out to Makati for day two of house-hunting.  

I saw three condos today, all of them were in the same building I saw the other day -- the Grand Madori.  I love, love, LOVE that building.  Perhaps I should see other condos in other buildings but I just got such a good, feel-good vibe from that place and their pool and gym are pretty sweet.  I really liked two of the three and the broker put an offer for the bigger of the two.  It's not in my price range but the offer he made makes it closer.  Crossing my fingers for that... my fingers, my toes, my arms AND my legs!

As for the coaching position, I had my interview.  I had typed up a proposal the other week for the church I've been attending, proposing a fitness group I want to launch there.  Today I met with their Sports Ministry.  Turns out they've seen me before, out in Eastwood.  I had popped into the grocery store for some food after hitting the gym and one of them noted they were impressed right away by my fit bod, nice.  Our meeting lasted about an hour and a half and though I thought it was a great meeting, it definitely had side tracked and ventured off the path I had hoped it to take.  I left the meeting feeling good but questioning if I wanted to even launch my idea there.  I'm not an official member of their church and I'm not in one of their d-groups.  D-groups are these small groups that meet often and do devotions together.  I told them I'd give it a try and I will but to tell you the truth I really see myself struggling with sharing this very personal part of my life with complete strangers.  

The meeting today focused more so on their d-groups and touched lightly on my proposed group so I was a bit disappointed.  I think with time I could launch my group and I'd be a wicked coach leading it but I think it'd require me to be a part of one of their d-groups first.  Honestly, this doesn't fit my timeline at all.  I wanted to go to Canada and then launch this group upon returning, so like in two and a half weeks, three weeks max.  By the time I launch my next business here, I'd already would have my fitness group training down to an art.  But to join a d-group so that I can through weight on my name at the church and then start my group, it's going to take months and by then I'll be launching my business.  The time for this group is now and I'm not definitely not interested in starting anything new when I'm just starting my business. 

I left the meeting missing my church in Toronto more than I anticipated.

I miss Grant African Church and CCF will never be able to compete with it.  It will never be it for me.  I arrived in Eastwood feeling a bit heartbroken that my church, Grant African, isn't here in the Philippines.  That's the biggest thing that's missing in my life here in the Philippines -- a church where I feel completely 100% comfortable and supported.  

Originally I was only going to visit Canada for a week because honestly I really don't have much reason to stay longer.  I simply have to grab my stuff out of storage and pack certain necessities I need, like my laptop and files.  But I miss my church so I'm staying long enough to attend two services.  I wish I could change my flight so that I arrive in time for Sunday morning service but I can't so I'm arriving late Sunday evening.  

Every Sunday I attend CCF Main I miss Grant African Church more and more.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Fighting the Champ and the Heat

Trained with the champ today, Rocky.
I read some where a great quote -- Experience is a great lesson, even if pain is the teacher.
Today I definitely left the ring being the poster child for that quote but what a great sparring session!
 I left the club with a my brain feeling a bit wobbly in my head and then had the "fun" of trying to flag down a taxi.  I didn't have the patience to do that so I started to walk.
My walk took me through a rough part of the city that had a million dollar view, wow.
 Most randomly discovered a line of tricycles so I asked them to drive me to Eastwood.
They're not actually allowed to drive into Eastwood so I got him to drop me off at the corner of it.
Traffic in the Philippines.  It doesn't matter what time of day it is, it's always there -- traffic. 

Sparring with Rocky... Tuesday, May 23

Walked into Elorde today and was told my coach had changed my sparring partner.

"You're sparring with Rocky today", he said.

I looked at Coach Rocky sitting there, he smiled, then I turned to get ready for warmup.  Sparring with Coach Rocky, great, he's going to kill me.  Rocky is a shorter boxer, probably a little taller than me, but they all praise him for supposedly his mad skills and hard hits.  I haven't actually seen him spar before but I see the intensity he brings to coaching his fighters.  He flys those pads by their heads, firing off combo after combo, and he does it with such a straight face.  Unlike Coach Garry who comments when I land a solid punch or repeat a combo he's taught me, Coach Rocky doesn't say anything.  His face doesn't even say anything either, he's emotion-less in the facial expressions and I think that throws a lot of his fighters off.  He only cracks a smile when he says "hi" or "bye" to me.  And though he seems like a nice guy, he's emotionless when he coaches and pretty much talks as little as he can.

Ya... I was stepping into the ring with him.

Coach Rocky is a former Filipino champion so I guess he doesn't need to talk or show emotion, his boxing status speaks for itself.

Upon stepping into the ring with Coach Rocky, many of the other boxers at the club and those working either came to watch ringside or stopped where they were to watch for a bit.

No pressure, oh gosh.

My plan of attack was to figure out what his weakness was and really focus on that.  BINGO, found it in the first round.  Coach Garry noted it too and we quickly chatted about it in between rounds.  Rocky often keeps his guard high but he's quick to react to me throwing body shots at him.  He doesn't however keep his guard tight and so I worked the upper cut like it was my golden ticket to staying afloat in these six rounds of sparring.

Monday, May 22, 2017

I Want My Home Here!!!

I think I've found my new home.
It had me at the sight of this, the outdoor pool.
The outdoor pool patio has a tables and chairs, an area I can so see myself spending 
countless hours working on my business stuff there.
The fact that the pool has lanes only made my love for this place deeper.
At the side of the pool area, there's a games room -- pool table, dart board and ping pong.
 The building itself is actually an older one but it's a fantastic one.
And if the pool and patio area wasn't enough to sell me on this particular place then the residence gym was.  The gym at my condo in Eastwood is pure ghetto and so was the one at the other building I checked out today but this one was fabulous. 

I'm sold.  I want to live here!!!

House Hunting... Monday, May 22

House hunting started off with a weak start today -- many of the condos aren't pet-friendly and the only one we planned to visit canceled five minutes before our appointment which meant we may have just taken an hour Uber for nothing.

Met with the broker, chatted about the situation and then decided to just go walking into various condos in the area.  The Hamilton, a condo that looked amazing on it's website proved to be the biggest disappointment, more of a disappointment than the five minute warning appointment cancelation.

And then we walked into The Grand.

Love, love, LOOOOOVE the pool area!  It has a lane pool which I could totally see myself doing some morning lap training in, a party room with a dart board, pool table and ping pong table, but what really proved to be great was the condo's fitness gym.  It's a large gym with big windows and a view of the pool.  I love it.

Unfortunately we weren't able to see any of the individual condo units, after all we didn't have an appointment and instead had just walked in off the street, but this week the broker will set some condo units for us to check out.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

I'm Heavenly Caffeinated

I sat in Row A, seat 5... do you think they picked a close enough seat for me?!
 Checked out the second floor coffee shop at church today, there's two cafes here.
Their cappicino is fabulous... wow!  Added a shot of hazelnut in it and it was Heavenly!!!
View from the cafe where I tried to play "Where's Waldo" by finding those I had sat with.

One of the Few Blondes in the Crowd... Sunday, May 21

In church I got a bit choked up at the realization that every week I've been "trying out" a new seat, trying to find a seat where I feel comfortable.  Last week I attended church by myself and felt like the loser in the pew alone.  No one sat beside me.  Every week at this particular church I've been sitting in a different seat, in a different row, in a different section.  But when I go to my church, Grant, in Toronto, I sit every week in the very same seat I sat in when I first attended it.  I've felt comfortable there from the very start.

I'm struggling with trying to feel comfortable at this church.  It's massive and I've never been a fan of big churches, plus I can't stand the fact that they have several services on Sunday so their choir, pastor and whatnot is on repeat four times every Sunday.  I'm trying to give it an honest chance.  With the exception of last week, I've always gone with others.  There's six of us that meet up there, two of which are super cute little girls that go off to Sunday School, and two that are a super sweet married couple.  The two little girls are their kids.  The four of us sit together during the service and I like that but so far it's really the only thing that has me continually coming back to this church.

A couple of weeks ago I typed up a new group idea, a proposal for this particular church.  In Eastwood they have a group that used to meet every Tuesday for a group workout.  I love the idea but I'm not going to be living in Eastwood after this week.  The church I go to now is the one I'll continue to go even after my move but they don't have a weekly workout group so I proposed one.  I emailed them again a day or two ago, to touch base with them, and they responded by saying my proposal is going through a chain of people.  They said they'd get back to me when they have to final go or no regarding it.

I hope they say yes to my proposal.  I really don't want to just be another person in their church seat, testing out a new seat every week because I haven't found a spot that's comfortable for me.  Making this workout group would totally be a game changer for me.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Long Saturday Stroll Out of Town

This was brought to my attention the other day -- a mini mart here in Eastwood that 
sells ONLY Korean food items.  Today I checked it out.
I think there are more Korean foods that I crave compared to Canadian ones and today I picked 
up a few of my favourite Korean snackies, one of which is a great love of mine... BANANA MILK!!!
Unlike these local guys travelling with Mother Nature's natural air con (the wind),
I sat at the back of a packed shuttle bus as I headed out of town. 
It was an hour and a half commute to my destination so I 
munched on dried mangos and amused myself.
 And then I arrived.
 The point of the trip wasn't to go to the casino but we did take a stroll through it.
I'm an official member at two different Filipino places now -- Elorde Boxing Club and Resort World Manila Casino.  Great, like I'll ever use this card.  It gets me free shuttle bus service though.

Apparently It's the Weekend... Saturday, May 20

It's the weekend which, in my world, really means nothing except for the fact that it'll probably be extra busy at the Starbucks where I work on my business proposal.

Yup, exactly as I suspected it -- overly crowded.

Finished drafting my floor plan for my business and am super excited about it.  Doing it brought back a lot of reminiscing and memories of when I drafted the floor plan for Hulk's.  It's so different doing this now, starting another business after all I've been through and done.  I'm definitely surrounded with a much more positive and encouraging crew of people, a crew of people who aren't judgemental or critical.

I wish I could share my floor plan with you all, hell I wish I could even just share my business idea with you or tell you the name for it but I can't.  I don't have legal rights to the name right now and until I make it legalized and get the ball rolling with the investors, it's all still very hush-hush.  Sorry about that.  It's like having a juicy secret that is just too good to not share.  I've shared it with some friends back in Canada and even friends here in the Philippines but I can't just post the details about it right now because the fact of the matter is I don't have control of the audience of my homepage, it is a view-all for whomever and whenever.

I headed out of town today, to a casino.  It's actually a mall with a casino to be more specific.  I was invited to dinner and then we headed to the casino.  None of us wanted to play or bet at the casino but signing up for a free membership at the casino meant I could get a free shuttle bus back to Eastwood.  The mall was quite elaborate, consisting of no stores I'd actually shop at though.  It was all high end stuff.  I giggled at the sight of all the posh stores and blurted out "I'm an athlete... Unless they have an Adidas store here, I can't afford anything here!" Truth is even if I did have the money I wouldn't be spending it shopping on all these expensive things.  But it got me thinking, if I did have a truck load of money, what would I do with it?  What would I buy?!

Side comment here... #fitgirlproblems.  

I'm 5ft2", weighing in around 125lbs but I'm an athlete and everyone always underestimates how much food I can pack away in my body.  Tonight at dinner, I ate not one but TWO meals.  Yup, it's true.  I ordered one dish, a mushroom beef quiche, but was still hungry so I ate an omelette.  

I came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn't buy anything beyond plane tickets for some of my friends in Canada to come here but I would spend it on various services, like paying a chef to come into my home to cook for me.  He or she would share their cooking tips and whatnot, then I'd enjoy a healthy, delish meal.  I think a personal chef would be my first thing I'd spend my money on, seriously.

Other things I'd spend my money on...
-- Someone to make me my own personalized training clothes.
-- I'd start guitar lessons.
-- Doggie daycare for Balboa.
-- A personal driver and they'd drive an old school Bronco with big wheels.

Perhaps I'd buy more dogs, yes.  Definitely more doggies.  I'd buy a massive Great Dane for myself, a Courgie for my dad, and a Chihauhau for my brother T-Roy.

Friday, May 19, 2017

I'm a SheEO

It's a Friday night and that really means nothing in my life because my days are focused on making my future instead of making a present moment.  Don't get me wrong, I'm loving my days but I've got my eye on the prize -- my business, my Second Dream.  Some may say I'm crazy for doing what I'm doing but you know what, it's us "crazy ones" that actually make things happen.  
I rather be crazy than boring.