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, group leader for my own girls-only fitness company, Flipside Fitness. And now I run my own boxing club, Korea's largest -- Hulk's Club!!!

Life on the flipside is nothing like I ever thought it would be…!!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

One Sweet Tooth and Sweet Pic

Wednesdays are my cheat meal days but today's cheat meal came provided by one of my coworkers -- a trainer who had brought in birthday cake.  I argue it wasn't birthday cake but was more like a fudge brownie/heaven-in-my-mouth grade A goodness.  
Matched today's afternoon sweet tooth with a super sweet photo for one of my fighters.
She's injured and is going stir crazy missing training so we snapped this picture for her.

"Embracing the Suck" of the Day... Wednesday, October 26

Today I had the day off – off of training and off of work -- but it was more of an “off day” as oppose to a “day off”.
Today I almost dropped a bomb on Korea in a phone conversation.

Today I agreed to manage the gym for a few unscheduled hours.

Today I punched a dude.

Today I indulged in chocolate birthday.

Today I really “embraced the suck”.

As soon as I saw Korea calling me in the morning my energy levels went sublevel and my hopes and aspirations for a successful, jam-packed day just nose dived. Energy is contagious, both good and bad energy, and today I caught an extra whiff of bad energy and it sent everything spiralling. 
A 17 minute phone conversation with Korea killed the rest of my entire day, seriously. I was left kicking myself knowing full well the other person in this particular conversation went on with their day as if they hadn’t even skipped a beat but mine had hit a wall.

I have to get to Korea.

I feel like I’m sitting on a fence, Korea is on one side and Canada is on the other, and no sooner do I lean to be fully on one side but the other side pulls on me and stops me. I need to pick a side; I need to get on a side, so that I can fully live my life. 

People have no idea what it means for me to have lived in Korea for 11 years, establish a life there, get married and make my dream come true with starting up my own business, and then just get up and leave it. You can never fully leave it but I feel like I’ve made a decision about it, Korea just isn’t agreeing to my decision. Korea isn’t letting me go.

I have to get to Korea so that I can live my life.

It’s been over a year since I first touched down here in Toronto, Canada and every single day I struggle with moving forward and putting Korea in my past. Today’s phone conversation only restated this fact. The struggle is real. The struggle is most definitely real. And I know it’s real because the bad energy of that one phone conversation seeped into the rest of my day and I was totally off in everything I did.

I punched a man.

Perhaps I wouldn’t have done that if I had hadn’t that phone call and hadn’t been so eaten up inside over my struggle, I don’t know. He had come walking into my female-only gym and I told him he had to leave because it was a female-only facility. He thought it funny to pretend to be overly curious and try peeking over the small divider at the front. I repeated to him that he had to leave and when he didn’t leave I got up and physically tried to escort him out. He ended up elbowing me in the boob so I punched him in the shoulder as a means of letting him know I’m serious and I’ll get more serious if I have to. I then wrapped my arms around him, trapping his arms by his side, and jerked him towards the door. He then left.

My boss returned some time later and instantly I confessed to him, “I punched some dude so do I have to fill out an incident form because I will”. He told me I didn’t have to and then asked for the details of the situation. I got mad props from those training who saw the whole ordeal go down but I was still “embracing the suck” from the morning phone conversation so I wasn’t in the mood to “celebrate”.

“Embrace the suck”, I was told tonight, “but know that tomorrow you can’t. Tomorrow’s a new day”.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fueled by This Weekend's Success

 This past weekend was a very successful and inspiring one for many of the ladies at my female-only gym and today I got to give them a congrats and fist bump props in person.
 I am especially proud of this little lady -- "Lightening Lynn".

A Little Lady with A Lot of Fierceness... Tuesday, October 25

One of the ladies I’ve been coaching in boxing at my female-only gym, “Lightening Lynn”, participated in the CN Tower climb this past weekend. She was hesitant as to whether or not she could even complete it but she’s a 60-some year old lady who made up her mind one day to drop weight and lost 120lbs. She only weighs 122lbs now. So if she could lose that much weight, be so determined to do so, then a climb up some stairs should be no problem I told her.

The climb up the CN Tower consists of 1,176 stairs and a whole lot of heart and determination to take each step. Lightening has the heart and determination but she was lacking in confidence. 

I talked to her on Saturday, the day before her climb, as I massaged her calves after training, and she voiced her doubt. “The body can achieve what the mind believes”, I told her. This is seriously becoming one of my favourite affirmations, it’s right after “better than yesterday”, because it’s so true. She was so worried that she wouldn’t be able to complete it and everyone at the gym has been aware of her self doubt. This past week we had members add a personal little motivational blurb on a paper we had typed up for her; we knew that’d totally lift her spirits and show her we all believe she can do it. We chatted for awhile about her hesitation over participating so I tried to reassure her that she could do it and I offered various tips. I told her to not step on the edge of the stair but put her full foot onto it and not walk up on her toes. Pace herself, enjoy it and know that she can either remember this day as being the day she really challenged herself or the day she gave up. “Which are you going to do?”, I asked her, “challenge yourself or give up?” She said “challenge”.

She did it. She did the climb and so she most definitely challenged herself. And not only did she do it but she killer her expected time and beat the participant average.

She called me when I was at the gym to tell me her fantastic news. I was so proud of her.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Another Week to Kill It

Moved my pretty flowers from my bedroom to the kitchen table so my roommate could enjoy them and so I could kick off the new week as such -- a loaded breakfast, a tall coffee and a reminder than life is beautiful.
Talking about reminders, Balboa is always reminding me to slow down or at least take a breather.
 Took an afternoon breather with Balboa and then raced off for training.
 Getting in some weighted crunches.
 Nothing like a good sweat to really challenge yourself and start your week off right.

A Continuation of the Week's Hectic Schedule... Monday, October 24

I woke up to the smell of flowers in my room – flowers that had been given to me yesterday. 

It was a brutally packed weekend and I was hoping to have today to recover, refresh and breath from it all but no such luck.  It was go, go, go from the moment I woke up.  At 4am I got a phone call from Korea and though I may have woken up to the smell of flowers, 4am is still 4am.  There was no disguising the brutalness of that.

Took the phone call and then went back to bed.

Woke up a few hours later, ready to start the day and attack my list of things to do.

I’m in the process of trying to plan a visit back to Korea, to get my stuff and do some legal stuff that needs to be done.  But in trying to plan this, I’m also trying to map out plans for the following…
  • Personal training licensing course
  • Remaining due courses for my boxing coach license
  • Getting my police record background check (for coaching license)
  • Setting up a possible next fight overseas
  • Figuring out where I’ll be living once the lease is up at my apartment
  • Planning a club Christmas party
  • Getting my G1 license
  • Setting up when to take the CPR/First Aid course

Sunday, October 23, 2016

A Day of Sweetness in Overdose Levels

 Every week at church there seems to be a different choir performing.
Today's choir was Chosen Generation and their youngest member, one of the paster's daughters, had a solo.  I snapped this picture and you can see her proud papa at the side, cheering her on.  Super cute!
 They also had a special dance performance and, I must admit, it was very cool.
 I got this text during church and then BAM!  Next thing I knew it was ordering breakfast.
 Sunday brunch time fun with the Captain.
 I went with an omelette, I loooooove omelettes, but the Captain got the Hungry Man.
I inhaled my meal and then helped him with that plate of pancakes to the right.
Sharing means caring and I didn't want him to "struggle" on those pancakes all by himself.
Worked off those pancakes plus some with some boxing today.
Had one of my Team Blue fighters join me at System for 12 rounds of boxing and leg training. 
Someone bought me flowers tonight and all I could say was "you bought me flowers" over and over again.  I can't remember the last time someone bought me flowers, seriously.
 He also bought me a killer Filipino dinner too but he bought me flowers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Day to Remember... Sunday, October 23

I walked out of my apartment building tonight, took a right turn and then suddenly someone called out to me.  I stopped, hesitated, and then turned around.
And just like that everything changed.
Someone can come along and suddenly, upon meeting them, instantly what didn't make sense to you before now makes perfect sense.  I've always believed that we're the creators of our own destiny but that things happen for a reason.  People come along for a reason, a season or a lifetime, and paths get crossed when it's the right timing.  Timing is key and maybe you need these little life lessons to bring upon this right timing. 
Butter turned into Nut Butter; he was more nut than smooth like butter.  Plan B was never going to be a plan A because it was me who was the plan B in his life, ironically enough.  Foo Man Choo was a foo, as in a fool, for ever thinking we were a match beyond friends and my friends joked about the Nigerian Doctor being more in need of a doctor, for a little head check, than being on.

Tonight changed everything; he changed everything.  A day can change your life.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Today it was All About Boxing... But Then Again it Always Is!

Warming Team Blue up for today's training.
On Saturdays we spar at Clancy's.
...and apparently we get all emotional about sparring too.
Too funny.  One of my fighters stepped out of the ring from sparring only to cry and giggle in the same breath.  Not too sure what that was about but she's apparently not the first to do this.  I can somewhat relate though.  There's definitely an emotional connection between pushing yourself to new limits and sparring.
 Doing some core conditioning to end today's training.
  Spent my evening out at Battle Arts, cheering on this pro star -- Killer Bee!!!
 I was way too excited and too pumped to see her fight.  The Captain and I headed out there together so we got super silly at the fights.  I met a monkey and that only added to the enjoyment of the event.
 Meet up with some of the familiar fabulous faces from Jamestown Boxing.
 Three boxers were fighting today out of Jamestown.
 Had to get a shot with Coach Adrian.  He looks all super serious here but he's all giggles and smiles.

Loading the Day with Boxing... Saturday, October 22

Today’s Schedule:
8am-1pm             Coaching/managing the female-only gym downtown
3pm-5pm            Coaching Team Blue (sparring today) at Clancy’s
7pm-10pm          Killer Bee’s fight out at Battle Arts
In between coaching I was commuting – took me 25mins to get home from the gym, 1hr to get to Clancy’s, and then 1hr hour to go by car from Clancy’s in the east to Battle Arts way out in the far west…  4hrs of traveling today for boxing, yikes. 
All for the love of boxing, right?!  Right.
Despite it being a go, go, go kind of day today, I showed up for Killer Bee’s fight so incredibly pumped to see her fight, so hyper and just so really excited.   It was her first fight.  I’ve been trying to help her better prepare for this fight – sparring and doing padwork with her, and trying to help her get the mental edge on her fight via mentoring her and just really being a supportive friend.  She had to gain weight for this fight, a choice I wouldn’t have opted for personally but given that she’s like 97lbs dripping wet and it’s super hard to get Canadian female fighters that small, her choices were to either gain weight for a fight or have no fight.  She choose the fight so she gained weight. 
It was great to see her backed by her coach, Coach Adrian of Jamestown Boxing in Oshawa, and see her teammates come out.  I have many of them on Facebook and have met many of them beforehand.  When I arrived she was standing there, watching the other fight that had already started.  With her braids all done and club sweater on, she looked sharp and very poised.  She’s a fighter.
It’s an interesting thing, to watch those I’ve helped train step into the ring.  I always feel so incredibly proud and whether they win or lose is really irrelevant to me.  Tonight was no different.  People can say whatever they want to say but unless they’ve stepped into the ring and have slaved away at dragging themselves through the emotional, mental and physical exhaustion that comes with prepping for a fight, their words have absolutely no weight. 
I’m proud of Killer Bee.
She didn’t win her bout, it got stopped, but her team and I greeted her after her fight as a true winner.  Someone very dear to me texted, asking me how her fight went and when I told him she had lost, he responded by saying “you either win or you learn”.
I love that – you either win or you learn.
Those words lingered in my head.  I shared his text message with Killer Bee and I know those words stuck with her. 
You either win or you learn… better than yesterday.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Bouncing Back from a Sad Moment Morning

Left my females-only gym on such a positive note -- watching them do Zumba.
I'm seriously such a fan of our Zumba instructor.  I've never seen an Asian woman with such mad dance moves.  She's amazing and the ladies love her workouts.
Decided to treat myself to some professional lines at Onyx.
I've been getting my friends to clean up my shaved head but today I decided I deserved a treat and so I headed over to see the pro stars.
And who should I run into while waiting for my name to be called by the barber, one of my sweet friends -- the prettiest of pretty guys I know, Palmer.  Unlike most of my friends, he's only seen me dressed up because whenever we run into each other it's at Everleigh.  Today was the first time he's seen me in sweats.
New scratches... this my friends is how the professionals do it!!!
Now to teach my buddies so they can do this next time.
 On Wednesday I posted a picture on our Team Blue secret Facebook page.  It was our team manager pointing at the time because it was coming up to training time and none of our fighters had arrived yet.  Today they showed up super early and thought it cute to post a similar pic.  I showed up five minutes later and was so super shocked at just how early they had come.
You know you love coffee when even your fighters bring you coffee-related gifts.
Tonight one of the girls brought me a body scrub she had made for me.  It's made out of coffee.  I jokingly asked her if I could eat it, she said no, but I can almost promise you I'll take a lick of it in the shower when I'm using it.

A Weekly Moment in Memory of Him... Friday, October 21

One day can change your life.

I thought about this fact this morning as I rolled out of bed, scooped up Balboa and headed out the door to walk him.  It was exactly 5:25am, the exact time I had stepped out of my apartment last week and noticed a police officer sitting in front of one of my neighbour's door.  Last Thursday had changed his life -- he had ended his life -- and it had a rippling effect on the lives of those around him including me.  I still feel the ripple and, ever since last Friday, I can't help but star at his door as I walk towards the elevator and then glance back at it as I exit the it.  He lived but a 15 second walk from my apartment door.  Someone who was so sad, so desperate for help, in such a bad place emotionally lived so close to me.  I would have reached out to him I had known but how was I to know.  All us neighbors are having mixed reactions to this situation, to him, but I think it's hit me much harder than perhaps it should.  Or maybe we should all be shocked and hit hard because of it.  Maybe that's what will bring about change, maybe that's what it'll take for us to reach out of our comfort zone and extend companionship and love to those around us.  

He lived on my floor and yet none of us here knew he wanted to kill himself.

One day can change everything. 

I officially hate 5:25am on Friday mornings.  It's a hard moment, a sad memory, and a rough reality to wake up to and experience over and over.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cuddles, Hugs and an Overdose of Sweetness

 Today's mid day pause was thanks to Balboa.  Sometimes I feel like I'm go, go, go, but then I come home to my little four-legged man and am forced to take a pause.  I think all my coming and going exhausts him so he jumps on my lap, crashes, and I don't have the heart to wake him.  It's a much needed little pause in the craziness of my day though.
 Posted flyers around downtown today and laugh as you may but this one handed stapler is awesome.  Nothing like punching the hell out of a bulletin board with this stapler as I post my flyers.  
 I have no idea who this cute, jolly man is, seriously.
I walked into Dairy Queen tonight and he asked to take a picture with me so I told him I would but only if he allowed me to "woman-handle" him for my camera.  God bless Toronto, seriously.  I've never met so many friendly people in my life.  I don't know how anyone could ever feel sad in this city when you can simply walk into your local Diary Queen and hug the dude standing in front of you in line... hahaha.
 Dairy Queen salted caramel blizzard.. it's oozing with fabulousness!!!
 The Captain got a funnel cake.  I vouched only at Canada's Wonderland are funnel cakes to be ordered but he like it... and I liked helping him eat it a bit.
 I started my day with my little Balboa Button all curled up on me and that's exactly how I ended it.  Tonight he laid across my chest as I chatted the late night hours away.

Stepping out to Refresh... Thursday, October 20

I took the night off training. I needed a break, a means of avoiding people, and I decided this after I said to someone one of the meanest things someone has ever said to me.  I texted someone tonight "You exhaust me" -- the line that was said to me this past summer when a certain someone kicked me out of his truck at the side of the highway.  Instantly he proved he was worth being no one in my life but that line stuck.

I said it to Butter -- "You exhaust me".

Last night a man suffering from obvious major drug withdrawals walked into my female-only fitness club and starting yelling, screaming that someone was trying to kill him, and then he puked all over the front lobby area.  The two trainers on staff working both responded differently but one called the police.  Paramedics arrived but no police came.  We had a meeting today with regards to this and what emergency action we should take.  They noted they had wished I was there when it had happened because they know I'm a kind of take-no-BS kind of girl.  They know I would have taken matters into my own hands as oppose to calling the cops.  Tonight I had that to deal with -- the anticipation of him possibly returning while I managed the club and coached my clients.  He never did return though.

The other day someone said an uncalled for mom joke and I responded with "my mom's dead".  That someone was the Golden Nugget.  He followed up to my response with a very apologetic text message in which he added he hoped we had no ill feelings.  I never answered.  I don't have any ill feelings, I just don't have the mental immaturity to participate in school yard nonsense.  Anyways, because I never answered anticipation of me possibly punching the Nuggest at first sight at the gym tonight started up and it kicked off with a fellow gym-goer texting me, asking if I was going to start a fight.  Oh please, don't flatter him by thinking I actually care.  

A lot of people seem to exhausting me today -- Butter, the anticipation of this man at my club, the Golden Nugget, Foo Man Choo, Plan B, and even the Nigerian Doctor.

Me allowing myself to be distracted, me dividing my attention, time and effort for them. And there it was, the realization that it really had nothing to do with them but in fact it was all me.  Me trying to care, me trying to juggle all that I'm trying to take on and conquer, and me trying to work at "Korean speed" in Canada and getting frustrated that it's not panning out as I want it to or as fast.  I needed a break tonight.  I was feeling rather mentally spent and feeling mentally drained meant I couldn't push myself physically.  I just wanted to recharge.  So that's what I did.

Called off tonight's boxing and weight training, then texted the Captain and told him "Let's go get ice cream, my treat".

Ice cream out with a dear friend was exactly what I needed.

Came home feeling super refreshed and then ended up getting into quite the lengthy phone conversation on the phone with someone I have never met before, someone who up until yesterday I didn't know exist.  Perhaps it was the break I needed, the overdose of sugar from the ice cream and sweetness from my friend that abled me to stay until to the wee hours of the day, I don't know, but that mental break worked wonders.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

From 5am to 11pm It was Non Stop

 The calm before the storm -- walking through High Park before the craziness of my day starts.
I knew it was going to be a busy day but I'm blessed to be busy.  Busy means the hustle continues -- the fight to establishing and setting up the Second Dream.
Today's busy day started off with me heading to High Park to host a Flipside Fitness boot camp.
In between coaching my boot camp and doing my own training, a certain someone came
to Toronto on two wheels to search me out and talk with me.
I'm pretty easy to find though, or at least I think so.  I'm either at one of the boxing clubs I coach/train at, at one of two fitness gyms, at the library, or getting groceries.
Foo Man Choo searched me out.  He knew I was busy, I'm always busy,
and I think he purposely wore this shirt to try to win me over... hahaha.
I guess I should add Starbucks to the list of predictable places to find me at.  That's where I load up on caffeine before training and have a lot of my business meetings.  My fab gal, Polska B, swung by Starbucks today to give me an encouraging hug and to say hi before I headed into training.
 After training I had a meeting with a meeting with a rep from Isagenix.
 She sent me home with all this... yes, she even sent me home with a bag!
My evening was spent at Clancy's Boxing, coaching Team Blue.
This week my assistant, aka partner in crime, is getting married.  He's been super busy planning his married so he's been absent for some training.  We've missed him but today he picked me up and off to training we went.
We showed up early but what's this?!  It's almost training time and non of fighters were there yet.
I wasn't impressed with them being so late and I wasn't impressed with these pants.
I was rather agitated coaching tonight... blah :( ... but those boots ;)