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.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I picked up one day and left. I returned to Toronto, Canada but only to pack up my bags and venture out again. Now I'm living in Makati, Philippines. Life for me is better in Asia and I'm so happy here. This isn't 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. I left Korea with Flipside Fitness on my brain, Hulk's in my heart, 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.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Going Hard and then Going Home

As if I didn't take enough beats in today's six rounds of sparring, Coach Bogs pulled me out of the ring after and did an ab exercise where he and Coach Jun Jun took turns punching me.  My core took 80 punches... I took it like a champ.
 Completely exhausted but completely happy... happy, humbled and blessed.
He's wearing a cone and I'm dripping with sweat from boxing, together we're a hot mess.

A Humbling First... Wednesday, November 22

Today was the first day I've ever heard one of the coaches complain about being tired.  

He looked at me, said "I'm exhausted", smiled, and then walked away. 

Today the other two Muay Thai coached aren't here so he's pulling their weight.

It was around 12:30pm when he said this and instantly my heart broke at he notion that he still had a solid 9.5hrs left till work was over for him. He's been working since 6:30am; he's only 6 hours into his 15.5hr work day. 

I had sparring today and it was quite successful but when I heard that particular coach tell me he was exhausted it's almost as if my sparring was nothing. Everything felt so petty and I felt I had no right to complain about anything. I did 6 rounds of sparring, fought my best, but now I get to go home. I get to have a hot shower, eat my lunch, and continue my work in the comfort of my cozy, air conditioned condo. 

Every once in awhile I get these reminders to stay humble and stay grateful.  After all, the worst that can really happen with me launching my business here is I have to return to Canada where I have a big home waiting for me and family that'd take me in with open arms. They'd look after me. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

For the Love of Doggies and Boxing

 "Looking for love", apparently the vet's wall is the new Tinder for dogs!
Balboa woke me up at 6:50am today and my day was already super busy but then I discovered I had to take him to the vet.  He has a cyst on his right paw and it's super painful for him to walk.
 Studying the sweet science with Kristian at Hernandez Boxing.
My poor baby, stuck having to wear the cone-of-shame after his morning visit to the vet.
 Now I have to be mom and his at-home nurse, and let me tell you this, he is probably one of the worst patients ever because he is quick to be quite the needy and very vocal  prince!  He's adorable sure, but his good looks and charm can't save him on this one.

Feeling Blessed... Tuesday, November 21

Boxing with Coach Bogs at Elite Boxing in the morning.

Boxing with Coach Kristian Hernandez at Hernandez Boxing in the afternoon.

It was a double dose of boxing today but both sessions couldn't be more opposite even if I tried. 

Coach Bogs likes to exhaust me with mad combos and rounds on the heavy bag but Coach Kristian takes a much more technical approach and works on specific detailed drills.  The two work super well together with attacking all aspects of the game.

Kristian has been awesome with collaborating with me and Empowered.  He's pulling strings for me and is definitely in my corner so I'm very grateful.  Today he confirmed with me that I'll be able to host my new Empowered boxing class that I'm looking to launch.  We're going to launch it in January, 2018.  I was super thrilled to hear that both Kristian and City Club are in on this but he dropped some more awesome news today when he asked me if I'd be willing to teach a group boxing class for City Club at his club.  This means I'll be doing both a boxing class for Empowered and for City Club, awesome.  Of course my answer was a big "hell yes"!  I had origianlly asked him only if I could host a boxing class for Empowered at his club and now he's asking me to do another, so very awesome.  I was thrilled at his news.

The ball is definitely rolling with Empowered and it's been super encouraging to see who has been supporting me with it.  

Just feeling very blessed today.

Monday, November 20, 2017

From Unfocused to Focused on Her

The struggle to focus at training was rough.  I wasn't feeling tired, I had slept good.  I wasn't hungry, I had eaten a big breakfast.  I just couldn't focus.  I was just in a funk.
 Left the boxing club and ran into this cutie, a super friendly street cat.  A kitten.
She walked up to me and let her pet her.  I sat down and she jumped on me.
She tried to nibble on my fingertips.  
It was clear she hungry and I knew I didn't have in my heart to just leave her there hungry.

A New Four-Legged Friend... Monday, November 20

Today definitely didn't go the way I had planned.  

My life has definitely not gone the way I planned but that's a good thing.  That's a crazy cool thing.

As for today though, it going totally off track, it was a bit frustrating.  

I was suppose to have sparring this morning and I showed up with all my gear, ready for it, but I just was in this weird funk.  I couldn't pin-point it but I knew it had to do with a multitude of things.  My text message conversation with Skittles last night definitely was at the top of the things on my mind hindering my focus.  I just wanted to spar today, physically I was totally ready but mentally my head was definitely not there.  So I sat ringside and chatted with one of the coaches.    

I ended up just training on my own.  I took my frustrations out on the heavy bag.

I was feeling kind of defeated when I left boxing but as I exited the building a little cry caught my attention.  I looked down and standing right in front of me was the skinniest little kitten I've ever seen.  It was a street cat -- SHE was a street cat.  Super skinny but super friendly.  I put my boxing gear down on the ground and sat on the street so I could pet her.  She jumped up on my lap.  

Where was her mom?!

I knew the moment I sat down on that step I was in trouble.  For the next ten minutes I struggled with getting up to leave.  I didn't want her to follow me home but I didn't want to go home and just leave her crying and hungry.  I ended up running home, dropping off my gear and grabbing some leftovers from my fridge.  I only have one meal left over from my Yummy Diet delivery when I was sick so I grabbed that and returned where I found her still crying and of course still hungry.  

Popped off the lid and sat the container of food for this little four-legged girl to eat. 

She was skin and bones and sporting maybe one third of a tail but she purred so much while she ate and her tail wagged like a dog every time I touched her.

For the next twenty minutes I sat there watching her eat.  

I didn't want to take her home but I had told myself that if she followed me home I'd let her.

She never followed me.  Instead she flopped down on the ground and rolled around, like a happy dog wanting you to pet it's tummy.  

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Turn of Events

Was invited to some live fights today by that MMA fighter I met yesterday, Mark,
so today I showed up to cheer on his fighter.

Ended up working his corner and helping him out.
He's Filipino/Mexican from the States and I'm Polish/Austrian from Canada.
We're both mutts, both fighters... and both 125lbs. Well, I'm 1.6lbs bigger... hahaha.
Yesterday morning I didn't know any of these guys.  Today I came having met one of them but 
this afternoon I left feeling like one of their teammates.  I wish them all a safe trip home to the States 
and hope they take only good memories of the Philippines.

A Bit of A Ramble... Sunday, November 19

I know all too well about being the visiting boxer and being put in less than favourable situations so when a visiting fighter today needed help I stepped in. "It's going to make for an interesting story", I told him and it definitely will. Fighting overseas, not a comfortable or easy thing to do and it's more than just dealing with the different local food, the weather and the time zones. Those who have fought overseas, much respect. It's a whole other fight and it starts well before the round bell rings. Props here to @tsunamijsm for travelling here and winning his fight. He did his father proud.
When I was told there were some live fights this weekend, I was intrigued.  

When I was told it was a fight with a visiting fighter from the States, I wanted to go.

I attended the fights today. 

I had been invited by that pro MMA fighter I met just yesterday, Mark.  His teammate was fighting.  I was originally going to go to Belle & Dragon to watch the UFC fights on the big screen with the guys but I'm always up for attending the live fights.  I'm not really a MMA fan but I'm definitely becoming one because I've been watching a lot of UFC fights lately, like almost every weekend.

I arrived at the fight location and no sooner had a done a lap in the exhibit but I turned and there was Mark, walking towards me.  He took me over to meet his crew; there was 4 of them in total.  Nice guys but I could tell their fighter was stressed.  They were all concerned.  They were told they'd have a cut man but there was no cut man to be found.  They were told to prepare their fighter in whatever space they could find and there was no one to wrap their fighters hands.  We grabbed a chair and I grabbed the gauze to wrap his hands.  I know all too well about being the visiting fighter and being in less than favourable situations so I took it upon myself to help him out.  I entertained them by telling them what happened to me in Korea, in Thailand and in Mexico.  How I could go on about the horror stories I collected as being the away fighter and how I resorted to fighting underground in Korea.  How in Thailand they never wrapped my hands and how I had to scramble to find my own corner help because they didn't even so much as give me a corner coach.  How in in both Thailand and Mexico they changed my opponent last minute and made me fight fighters outside of my weight class despite the weight requirement I was forced to follow to a T.  

The horror stories of being the visitor fighter, there are many in my books.

"It's going to make for an interesting story", was what I told today's fighter and his crew.

I wanted to lighten their stress, have them focus on what they could control, have them focus on just the fight, and then leave the Philippines with a great story, a great experience.  I didn't want them to leave not having any fond memories of this country that I've grown so quickly to love.  

It's interesting because I lived in Korea for 11.5yrs but sometimes find myself so bitter towards it and it's people whereas other times I really do miss it and want to go visit.  I still feel very much Koreanized and more so Korean than Canadian.  I do have good memories of Korea, of course, but the last year and a half of my life there was so splattered with moments of pain, sadness and loneliness.  I never really experienced what loneliness was until I got married and his family became mine.  There was them (his immediate family and him) and then there was me.  And I know that if there was no them then my experience in Korea would have been so much different.  It would have been awesome.  Instead though, it wasn't.  I can't blame them entirely for what happened to me, to us, but it definitely played an incredibly huge role in the fact that he broke and I became super defensive and tough.  He would yell, I would totally shut down and shut up, then he'd leave me there crying by myself.  

On this day eight years ago Snickers proposed to me.  It popped up on my "On This Day" Facebook feed and it sparked a conversation between him and I tonight.   We ended up getting into quite the lengthy text message conversation about it actually and it lasted for 60+ text messages between us -- the longest text message conversation we've had since I left Korea.  It was interesting to note the tone of the conversation too.  With his mother and father there breathing over our shoulders and shaking their heads at me, at us, we actually conversed quite comfortably.  He told me he was proud of me and then wrote it in English, so to make sure I understood what he wanted to say.  It was the only English sentence in our entire conversation but it was the hardest to digest because I use to always wonder if he was ever proud of me.  Today was the first time he ever told me he was and ironically it really hurt to have him write this to me.  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Saturdays Are For Working and Working Out

When I was waking up, Coach Farah and her Empowered Sisters out in BGC were slaying 
their morning boot camp session at Track 30th.

And when they went home, I was turning on the music and sending my Empowered Sisters off for 
a quick warm up run before we started our boot camp here in Ayala Triangle.
Later in the day I launched our next ad.
Had an MMA fighter come to my club today after he contacted me on Instagram.
He travelled here with his teammate who has a fight tomorrow in Pasay.
This is what happens when I ask one of the coaches to take a picture for me, they take a 
picture of themselves... hahaha.  Always jokes.

Balboa isn't allowed in this store so the security guard took it upon himself to join him at the door 
and keep him company while I picked up some stuff.  Thanks Mr. Security Guard.
So much for movie night with Balboa; he crashed early.
Notice how he sleeps, horizontally on the bed so that he literally takes up half the bed.

Hashtag Creepy... Saturday, November 18

I'm not too sure how people are able to search me out but recently I've been having an increase of strangers reach out to me on social media, in particular though via Instagram.  I don't know if it's creepy or cool but it's been happening.

Yesterday an American pro MMA fighter private visiting the Philippines messaged me on Instagram, asking me about my boxing club, Elite.  He wanted to know the prices and whatnot so I gave him the details and recommended him to check it out.  Today he came to train and I happened to be there.  
#cool

Today someone private messaged me to tell me that they saw me coaching at Ayala Triangle.  They noted that they wanted to take a picture with me but they were too shy.  I thought that was cute so I responded by telling them next time to say him because I'm "a cool gal".
#cool

Another person private messaged me today, they took it a step further that the others who had messaged me.  They had taken a picture of me walking today to Ayala and then they sent it to me.  The message that followed the picture was short and to the point.  "I saw you", they wrote.  I responded by sending him a close up picture of my eye.  "Big brother may be watching but little sister is watching back", I added.
#creepy

On Thursday one of my potential suppliers for my custom made boxing equipment responded to a picture I put on my Facebook Story.  He responded with a smiley face that had two hearts for the eyes.  I messaged him back telling him that it was totally unprofessional of him to be sending me such messages because we have a business relationship.   
#creepy

Also on Thursday, I had a long time fan of mine message me a couple of pictures of me that they had found online and then they wrote "I will never let you go. No matter what situation we are in, I love and care about you for ever."  I didn't respond.
#creepy

Hashtags are big but #creepy has turned into my go-to response to many of these random people messaging me because I really don't know what to say but it.  I mean, it's one thing to see me and one thing to take a picture of me but how do they even go about finding me on Instagram or Facebook?! I can understand how the MMA fighter found me.  Look up Makati boxing clubs and up comes Elite.  Look up Elite and up comes me.  But for the others who see me and then randomly find out how to contact me.  How do they do that?!  It's not like I wear my name on my shirt or anything.  And then to send these random paparazzi pictures secretly taken of me, to admit to doing such a thing... ya, #creepy is right.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Attached at the Hip

 The daily life of Balboa means him totally disregarding my personal space.
I lay on the couch and he sits on me.
I sit on the chair and he lays on me.
He's always seems to be somehow occupying my space when I'm at home.
It's almost as if he's an extension of my body, like an added limb.
And when he's not on me or right beside me, he's somewhere always watching me, like here.
He didn't exactly make folding laundry any easier for me.  
Helping me wasn't his priority, watching me was.

Blame the Little Guy... Friday, November 17

Today wasn't quite a heavy-hitter kind of day like yesterday and I totally blame my four legged sidetick.

Yes, I blame Balboa.

I tell ya, he milks the cute card and that cute card is a hard one to fight off.

He woke me up at 7am for a bathroom break, I stayed up, had breakfast and then laid down beside him on the bed for what was only suppose to be a 10 minute nap.  I had packed all my boxing gear, even had my training clothes on, so I was ready to nap and then get going.

I woke up 2.5hrs later.  

Blame Balboa.  

Woke up hungry, ate, and then had to take him for another walk.

Then I tried to get to work but with him climbing all over me and then snoozing on my nap, it was hard to resist not taking a billion and one pictures of him.  The struggle was real.

I was productive with my day but it came with starting much later than anticipating and with me using up a chunk of my phone memory on pictures of this little cutie.  I didn't head into boxing till the late afternoon and when I arrived everything was turned off -- the lights, the round bell, the music.  All the coaches were sleeping and only the front desk lady was awake and working.  Coach Bogs had anticipated coaching me in the morning and now it was late afternoon when I was arriving so I told the front desk gal to not wake him but instead let me do my own solo training and come back tomorrow for pads.

So much for Saturday being my day off training.  Sunday is my new day off, at least for this week.

It's been a very mentally challenging week of frustration and anticipation with having to wait out this holiday and try to move Empowered forward as much as I could and still mustard up the energy and focus to give it 100% at training.  But it was a good week.  I think yesterday made up for the rest of the week and now we're approaching the weekend.  I've been on par with my training and next week I'll be kicking it up a notch with sparring on Monday and training with Coach Kristian on Tuesday.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Balboa, Boxing and Business

Day two of pancakes because why not.  And yes, I did make Balboa his own pancake, don't you worry.  I didn't sit there and tease his senses with all this awesomeness on my plate.
Balboa, my sunshine on four legs.
Headed over to Hernandez boxing.  A few weeks ago I proposed a business idea regarding Empowered and hosting boxing classes here so today I came to discuss it further.
Steps are definitely being made and today we definitely moved fast forward with it.  
2018 is going to be fabulous!!!

From Down to Up... Thursday, November 16

I had woken up to Balboa standing on the top of my chest as he pawed my nose, signally me to get up.  He had to go to the bathroom.  I'm not a morning person but Balboa is.  So I slipped into some jogging pants, put on a baseball cap and threw on a sweater.  

It was the first day back from the three day holiday and though I had hustled both before and during it, I didn't anticipate anything to come of my hustle till maybe next week.  These random chunks of holidays here in the Philippines are killing me -- killing my motivation, killing my drive and killing my patience.  

So I was up early, ready to work but really wracking my brain with what to work on next.  I don't have the luxury of someone telling me what to do.  I have to create my own work, figure out what to do next and answer my own problems, questions and concerns... hence the struggle.  Some days are harder than others.  It's never easy.  The struggle is real and today the struggle was really hard but it was also rewarded all at once.  

Every once in awhile I get discouraged and today I definitely had my moment of pure discouragement.  Skittles reached out to me when he felt it oozing through my text messages to him but I refused to answer the phone.  I didn't want to bask in it but I also just wanted to be left alone.  

Got out of my rut, got cleaned up and then go to my first meeting. 

...then it happened.

All my hustling and trying to push things forward with this and that started to take form.

The Philippines Women's University set a date for Empowered to come do a boot camp.
Coach Kristian has agreed to help me up get a fight.
Business collaboration with Hernandez Boxing was taken to the next step.
Got confirmation from my needed incorporators for my legal corporate papers so I can file them.
A highly sought after real estate broker contacted me to set up locations to see.
Received confirmation that target pads I ordered on on route from Korea.

Finally... it feels like it's a definitely a long awaited finally.  To have all these things come together today was pretty awesome but it was a totally unexpected overdose of great news.  Feels good to finally have some of the struggle dealt with though.  This and that got checked off my list, nice.  On to the next, because you know the work as an entrepreneur never ends.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A Super Eventful Day

When my friends see this picture, it's going to break the internet.  I cooked.
I cooked pancakes,... of course I did.  And they're super healthy,... of course they are.  No seriously!!!
Stepped into the ring today for sparring with Coach Bogs.
Thought I'd give these new gloves a try by throwing some combos at him.
...and then he came back with this, the scariest punch ever.
If there were a theme for today it'd be pain.  
Even my massage, how I ended the long day, was painful.
Ohhhh but those pancakes, they were pure bliss!!!

Breaking Me... Wednesday, November 15

I broke the Internet with a picture of breakfast I had cooked and then both Coach Bogs and my masseuse, Rej, broke me.  

I don't cook, nor do I really need to cook now that I've discovered the wonderful world of food delivery services, like Yummy Diet.  Yummy Diet sends me food every day, well minus the weekends, but on weekends I tend to eat lighter, Skittles' cooks, and then there's the Sunday Legazpi Market.  This week has been a holiday so Yummy Diet, like many other businesses, haven't been doing business and have instead taken the whole week off and not just the three specific holiday days.  This means I'm out of luck.  I still have food stored in my freezer from Yummy Diet and when I was sick but they were still sending me food but I'm kind of picky when it comes to breakfast.  I can't eat meat and rice for breakfast.  That's just not breakfast foods.  I need eggs or French toast; foods that are very "breakfasty", if that's even such a word.  Today I decided that I was going to cook breakfast.  I don't exactly have groceries though but I do always have whey protein and fresh fruit on hand, like apples, bananas, mangoes, and oranges.  Turns out I also had eggs, perfect.  Made a batch of three ingredient pancakes -- eggs, banana and whey protein shake.  And you know what, they were actually really delish.  Not to toot my own horn or anything but I'll definitely be making these again, 100% for sure!

After breakfast and priding around my plate of pancakes, I then headed off to boxing.

Today I had boxing.

And that's where the attempt to break me started...

First it was Coach Bogs with six rounds of sparring in the morning that sent me crashing to the ring floor twice -- one for a body shot to my solar plexus and another body shot to my liver.  Two brutal blows taken, one that was super painful and one that was super scary.  The shot to my solar plexus was definitely incredibly painful but it was the second body shot that got me that was the scariest punch I've ever taken.  I crashed to the ring floor and couldn't breath, couldn't move and couldn't do anything but try to compose myself as my eyes filled with tears.  I managed to get up and finished the round, finished the sparring, but man was that scary.

Walking out of the ring and moving on to do heavy bag work, the pain was gone but the memory of those two punches definitely stayed fresh on my brain. 

In the evening I headed off to get a massage; it's both a necessity and perk of being an athlete.  No one questions that you get them and now that I live here in the Philippines I can finally afford them.  When I went in earlier to set up my appointment I had noted to the receptionist that I wanted the same masseuse that I had had a few appointments ago.  They always ask me what kind of pressure I want and I always tell him to go hard.  I want them to work out my kinks from training and to loosen up my muscles.  A few appointments ago I had this one masseuse that took it to a whole other level.  A level that even I was left counting to ten because ten seconds of her really grinding away at all those sensitive pressure points was all I could handle if she didn't move on to the next.  I remember her have very firm hands and being extremely strong for her small size.  I wanted her again.  Tonight I got her and tonight I found myself counting to ten several times when the pain of her kneading away at my back and back of calves got so intense.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Going Full Speed on this Holiday

 After working out it was work for me... stalking for Balboa.
And then it was off to BGC for a business meeting with my business partner.
Returned to Makati and was scheduled to meet up with a friend and fellow Empowered Sister at the ASEAN music fest but when I arrived it was crazy.  Word has it that they had planned for only 10,000 people for tonight's free concert but over 15,000 showed up.
Ditched the concert and showed up here, the gorgeous outdoor porch at Blackbird, 
where we spent the rest of the evening.

Not as Planned... Tuesday, November 14

Day Two of this holiday nonsense with many businesses being closed and Makati being a ghost town which meant the only business that was going to go down today was that of boxing and that between my business partner and I.

Held my business meeting at Skittles' salon, The Refined.  It was like hitting two birds with one stone -- I could check in on them plus score free coffee and a cozy spot to have my meeting.  Perfect.  

Our business meeting over coffee turned into chats over dinner.

Returned home just in time to head out to the ASEAN music concert.  It was a free concert and so it was anticipated to have a huge crowd because, well, it was free but also because it was loaded with many local Filipino performing artists.  As my Uber drove past it on my way home from my meeting I could help but gasp at the sight of the already so early but already so big crowd.

I don't do crowds.

Ended up ditching the free concert with my friend who is also anti-crowds and instead found a cozy table for two at Blackbird.  I've never actually been to Blackbird but it's a gorgeous restaurant that's beside Ayala Triangle.  I pass it several times a week and have always been curious to check it out but had ruled it out on account of the high class and glamorous vibe it gives off.  I can't afford it is what I'm saying.  But my friend insisted we dine there tonight.  She had missed my birthday party this past summer because she crashed after a long day of work and though she sent me a gift she still feels guilty about it.  No need, really, she's a great person and I know she's a super busy lady.  Being treated tonight to a surprise belated dinner party was absolutely fantastic and it was so nice to just sit down, relax, and actually have some girl time with her.  I didn't get home till about 11:20pm, much later than I anticipated, and I knew I had work waiting for me, but I decided to give myself the night off and just hit the sack after walking Balboa.  I scooped him up in my arms and off to sleep we went... or so we tried.  

Too much on my mind.

These days all I can think about is that particular Filipino female fighter and the title she now sports.  I've been waiting to have a meeting with the owner of Elite to discuss this but each time I go to contact him I stop myself.  He's not going to be the one to bring me to where I want to go so I'm going to try another approach.

I think I have it figured out.

Finally around 3am I fell asleep.  Brutal considering I have sparring tomorrow morning.

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Grind Continues Despite It's a Holiday

It's just me here, walking in the middle of the street because with the holiday this city has turned into a complete ghost town.  There's closed businesses on my one side but a very busy and very loud boxing club to my other side.  
Holiday?!  What holiday, us boxers and coaches don't get a holiday.
Today, out of curiosity, several of us stepped on the scale.  We started with Coach Jun Jun.
Then it was Coach Bogs' turn.
Last but not least it was mine.
In Korea I weighed 107.  In Canada I got up to 135.  Now here in the Philippines I'm 126.6lbs.
Everyone including me was shocked.  I'm smaller than I have been in a long time but heavy.
"Pool party, my place, tonight... must be a boxer to attend", I posted on Facebook.

Finally Some Pool Fun./.. Monday, November 13

Today, tomorrow and the next day are holidays.  Holidays for most that is, not for us boxers or coaches.  So, having said that, it was no surprise that the boxing club was open.

I feel for those guys, the coaches, I really do.  I really, really, really do.

I've been trying for the past two weeks now to get some of the coaches from Elite Boxing over for a swim at my condo.  On the 7th floor there is a beautiful lap pool, a kiddies' pool, and an entertainment room with a ping pong table, darts and video game station.  There's also a mini movie theatre and a banquet room too.  

I'm allowed two quests but had asked if I could bring five.  I was told I'd have to pay for extra, it's not a lot, and I'm okay with that.  I made it clear though that they're not to ask me for payment in front of my guests, instead just bill it to my condo unit.  

One problem though, the boxing club opens daily at 6:30am but closes daily, 7 days a week, at 10pm.  The 7th floor pool here closes at 10pm.  Sometimes the coaches are able to close the club a bit earlier though, like shortly after 9pm, if all their clients are done training and have gone home.  I've been waiting for two weeks for this to occur and tonight it happened.  Tonight was one of those rare nights.

Coach Bogs showed up around 9:15pm and then two other coaches arrived at 9:40pm.  They only had 20 minutes left till pool closing but the workers at my condo are very sweet, we're quite comfortable and they all knew I've been waiting a couple of weeks now to have the over so they gave us an extra 10 minutes of fun.  Thirty minutes wasn't a lot to play around with but it was fun trying to teach them how to do the front stroke, doing handstands in the pool and trying to see who could float the longest.  

The coaches at Elite are great guys.  They work crazy long hours, are pushed to physical exhaustion with coaching, some of them only go home on their day off and yet I've never heard any of them honestly complain about their job.  If anyone complains, it's me telling them to slow down and not wear themselves so thin.  A couple of weeks ago I hosted a little "Boxer Makeover" pop-up barber shop at Elite and tonight I finally got to have them over for a pool party.  It felt really good to do these things for them because they really are my life line when it comes to training and that club surely wouldn't be what it is without them.  Sometimes I wonder if their manager honestly knows how great of a staff he has.  

Oh how I'd love, love, LOVE to hire them if only I weren't making my clubhouse female only with not only the clients but with the staff.  I know I'd hire in a heart beat; no second thoughts needed!!!

My next idea is to plan something for them for Christmas, something that the coaches and staff directly are touched by and not the clients or anyone else.  I want to give back to them, to the people that day in and day out I see at the club, those who train me and help to keep me motivated and focused -- the coaches, the assistants trainers and the front desk ladies.

I don't know what to do for them, what I could give.  I thought about getting my potential suppliers for Empowered to send me equipment but I question whether or not the club would keep it if that coach were to leave, for example.  So equipment like new head gear or new gloves, or perhaps even a groin protection (which I should note that they don't have and I don't understand why not), could be an idea but I want something that is a bit more personal.  However, there are 9 coaches, 4 assistant trainers, 2 front desk ladies, so it'd be hard to get personal and specific considering it's 15 people we're talking about.  Through in the fact that I'm barely getting by with what I'm making and yeah, it's going to be a challenge.  This past weekend I tossed the idea out there to one of my Empowered Sisters and she told me that if I needed any help then just let her and her husband know, suggesting that they'd give a financial donation to aid me with this.  It's definitely reassuring to hear that others want to get in on this because I know the staff at Elite are most definitely deserving of a merry Christmas.  Now to figure out just how to make it merrier for them.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Always Under Construction

Like every Sunday, today's Sunday started off with a trip to the Legaspi Sunday Market.
I love this scene not because of the pool but because of the contrast of the pool with the building being constructed in the background.  Some days I look up at that building and feel just like it, constantly under construction, and then other days I wonder if it'll be built before my business gets fully off the ground.
This is the 5th ever bikini shot I've taken of myself and posted on Instagram since I arrived here in the Philippines 256 days ago yet I can't even count how many times I've been in it.

It's funny to look at it, personally that is, because I see the flaws in my body and where I want change.  We all want change, I'm no different, and everyday I'm hustling it at the gym, slaying it with the clean eating, and really working towards it.  I've got goals, they're high but others have attained them.  I just lack the patience though, I know.  I know my body has changed but I want more.
 In the evening I headed over to Elite were I was greeted with some sparring between the young guys.
Refusing to let my weekend be my weak end, here I am exhausted after boxing, exhausted after ab work, and holding just enough energy left to pose for a picture with Coach Jun Jun.