As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Asia February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d 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, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and left. I returned to Toronto, Canada 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. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I'm at now, living in the land of the happy people.

The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love.

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

From Smelly Sweats to Sexy Style

Training out of my comfort zone meant stepping into the ring to spar with my new coach.
Am convinced my pain is their pleasure -- one got to hit me around for four rounds 
and then the other got to work out all the kinks in my sore muscles.
Another day of intense training, another day closer to the potential fight.
In the evening, I had to dress up for a family dinner function.
It was the one year passing anniversary of a family member.
 Guess who was my date.
Lots of family and lots of food... isn't this always the story with Filipinos?!  Yuppers. 
Trying to cut weight meant me avoiding temptation and sticking to attacking the protein at the buffet.
Ran into some of my fierce females from Empowered.  They were looking as gorgeous as ever but one is now happily sporting quite the baby-bump!!! Congrats!!!

Side Vent... Tuesday, April 17

No word yet from Snickers in Korea regarding my Korean boxing license letter needed but the fight prep continues and so does the intensity with training.  Upping the intensity meant me stepping into the ring with my coach for sparring.  His reach was like the length of my legs though and he kept it out, right in front of my face, so it meant I really had to work to get in and fight on the inside.

I feel like everything has been put on hold because of this fight and the fact that it may not even happen turns my stomach.  

I need Snickers to get that letter of authorisation signed in Korea by the boxing commissioner.

One thing, one job... I asked him to do one job for me.

Three years ago I got up and left Korea.  I left Snickers with everything -- my dogs, my money, my business, and even all my belongings.  Whatever I could pack in my bag I took and whatever cash I had in my purse I took.  I left him everything.  He has everything of mine and yet he still is taking from me.

I can't even begin to express my disappointment and my annoyance with even having to deal with him regarding this situation.  

...and that's enough of me venting.

I wish I wrote about something else but this has been burdening me to no end... wow.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Staying Focused and Staying Sweaty

Kicking my week off with a hearty, healthy breakfast from Yummy Diet.
Today they surprised me with a little gift tucked away in my daily package of food -- body wash.
I don't know if this a sweet gift or a hint that perhaps I need to shower more... hahaha.
The Philippines is a pretty religious country and it's nice because on route to boxing 
I get a dose of daily scriptures via those printed on the bridge poles.  
That first one, 2 Corinthians 5:7, that's inked on the back of my neck actually.

Exhausted but still going.   I was quite surprised to see just how legit the weight training 
area of Insider's Boxing Gym is.  They have a loaded area, I love it!
On route home from boxing I caught a kid's basketball tournament that was being held.
There's always something going on in this part of my walk and I quite like it.
Trying to get some work done after boxing, at a local cafe, turned out to be quite distracting because of not only all the people who wanted to pet Balboa but all the adorable pups I wanted to pet.

A For Effort, F for Fail... Monday, April 16

I didn't make my weekly weigh-in goal today.  I weighed in at 117.9lbs, that's less than a 2lb drop from last week's 119.68lbs, but my goal was to drop 3lbs.  I can't say I'm surprised though.  I took a kidney shot last week during sparring that really killed things for me with regards to consistency.

Consistency is key.

I missed a day of training and struggled through the next days' training and then for about two days I couldn't really stomach my food.  I didn't eat anything beyond chopped up fruit that following day, Friday. 

No excuses.

Back to the drawing board and back to staying focused and staying consistent because there's no real room for error.  If all else fails, I can bank on leaving the last 5lbs to water weight and leave it to the day before weigh-in but I rather not.  The idea was to drop fast, fast and consistent.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

No Rest on This Sunday

I thought that not going to church today would mean I'd get some extra time to make 
sure I'm okay to train but that totally didn't happen.  I only got maybe an hour to relax before 
it was train and then train again.

Earned that shower... yikes.
I may have not gone to church today but I got in my daily dose of scriptures thanks to those 
printed up on the bridge beams that I see on route to boxing.
Running in the morning was then followed by boxing in the afternoon.

Double Sweat Sess... Sunday, April 15

Running in the morning, boxing in the afternoon.

No church for me today.

Sorry, God, I prayed to you today but didn't attend your service.

I feel like everything regarding Empowered has been put on a temporary back burner with me training for what is still referred to as "this potential fight".  I did however coach my Empowered BoxHIIT session, which went from 8 participants to 3 with a series of unfortunate events.  Coaching the class was a nice temporary distraction from the fight that has filled my mind with wondering thoughts, anxiety and eagerness.  

I am consumed with thoughts of "this potential fight".  It's borderline ridiculous.

High Street was hosting a Fit Street event this weekend but I didn't really get out to experience or enjoy it until today, when I was walking back from boxing.  Me enjoying it though only went as far as me purchasing coconut water and waving at one of the Pucked Up Philippines people on stage that recognized me.  

Tomorrow I have my weekly weigh in, quite the way to kick off a new week, I know, and I'm apprehensive as to whether it's going to be a good one or not.  I was injured this week and consequently I didn't eat anything on Friday beyond half my breakfast and whatever fruit was in my Extreme Juice.  Saturday I ate a bit but hardly an average day's worth of food based on my body's needs.  I suspect my body is holding onto the food because of this and I feel rather bloated.  

The goal is to be 116lbs.  I need to get down to 108lbs in the end though, for "this potential fight".

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Boxing and Business on Overdrive

I was doing abs ringside today when I looked up and caught this scene.
It felt like a replay of a scene from many moons ago back in Korea, 
at my first boxing club -- UP Boxing Club.  
He's like the Filipino version of my teammate Jae Myoung back at UP.  His name is Roman 
and he's fighting out in Japan in a couple of days so he's still training hard up until fight day.
From boxing to business, sporting my name and club on my clothes, books in hand and, of course, food also in hand.  Life of an athlete, life of an entrepreneur... the juggle is real, the struggles are many.

I Just Want to Train... Saturday, April 14

Still not quite feeling on par with how I was before my sparring injury but I can't afford to miss another day of training so into the boxing I went today.  I had a full day of working out and work actually; it was such a busy day.  

Boxing in the afternoon and then business in the evening.

I woke up late... nothing really went down in the morning except me enjoying my breakfast.

Still trying to sort out the legalities with my boxing license in Korea which means I've become this nagging woman when dealing with Snickers.  Yes, I'm going through him regarding my license.  I woke up an authorisation letter that Korea has to sign or copy and paste on their letter head and sign, but it's Snickers that has to present it to them.  I'm legally bound to him as my boxing manager.  Am I stressed about it?  Ummmm... yes.  That's a hell yes to that.  Once I get that signed though, wow.  Freedom is mine.  I'll never have to ask him again for legalities regarding my boxing license because I won't be registered as a Korean boxer anymore.  I'll be a Filipino boxer.  Part of me suspects that he realizes not only the importance of this but that it's basically the last string that connects us.  Sure, our divorce isn't official yet but that really doesn't interrupt my life nor does it restrict me with anything.  I just can't get married again until it gets signed but that's okay.  I don't care to ever get married again.

Did that, done that.  Not doing it again.  

My business here in the Philippines, Empowered, isn't officially under my name so it's untouchable to Snickers.  I made a corporation and, on papers, it belongs to five Filipinos here that I know, that I trust, and that I am very confident with.  Snickers owns 96% of my business and then next person that owns the next biggest chunk is my Business Development Partner.  She owns 3%.  The plan is to legalize my divorce and then get make a paper trail for myself here.  Until then though, I know better not to give him a breadcrumb trail to cash in on.  I know him well enough though to know that he personally would never do that but I also know his family and they're a whole other story.  They're hungry and they don't play fair.  It's sad.  I feel sorry for Snickers because of them but I can't try to be his hero anymore.  I don't even sees what the problem is.

But anyways...

Trying to sort out Korea as I get closer and closer to the potential fight day.  I wish I could just get this sorted out so that I could focus solely on training for it.  All this background "noise" is getting ridiculous and it keeps me up late at night.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Home But Not Having Fun

I was an injured athlete today so this is pretty much how I spent my day 
-- on my side with Balboa beside me.
I'm pretty sure Balboa enjoyed the extra attention but I'm sure he thought me staying home would mean more walks outside together.   No such luck.  I only ventured out once today to walk him.

Down for the Count... Friday, April 13

Friday the 13th and I'm sick.  Totally not connected and not totally true.  I'm injured, not sick.

I always feel the repercussions of sparring the day after.

Today is that day.

Today I feel it.

Yesterday's fourth round kidney shot, yup.  I definitely woke up feeling it today.  I got up, felt nauseous, struggled to down most of my breakfast, and then was TKO for the rest of the day.  

I didn't box, I didn't weight train... I didn't eat.

The closest I got to being able to stomach food was half of my breakfast and then an Extreme Juice from the street market in the evening.  When I'm not feeling good, I crave fruit and juice like a pregnant lady... seriously.  That Extreme Juice tasted so damn good but with not having anything in my belly since the day before, I inhaled it and then spent the rest of the evening feeling like a bloated whale... a bloated beached whale.

At this point, I really don't have time to nurse an injury and when you've got not only training for a fight plus the launching of your business to juggle, the struggles instantly multiply.  I just had no energy to do anything except lay there on my right side.  I stuck to bouncing from the couch to the bed, responding to business emails and doing other business dealings via my cell, and then I watched a ton of YouTube videos for my boxing training.  Podcasts helped me pass the time but then I'd go to get up and the pain of using my obliques to get off the bed or couch then kept me down.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Another Day, Another City

Yet another city to head to for training.  Today it was Makati.
 Off to Makati for sparring with Coach Bogs at Elite Boxing.
Stepped into the ring, me fighting as an Orthodox boxer and he as a southpaw.

Kidney Shot... Thursday, April 12

Sparring in the morning lead to no training at night.

I took an illegal blow to the kidney in the forth round and thought nothing of it beyond calling Coach Bogs out on it right after it happened. It hurt but that kind of comes with getting punched and today we sparred. My pain tolerance is quite high but it wasn't until I was walking home that I really started to feel that punch. My left side was hurting and I felt a bit nauseous. 

Upon getting home, showering and eating, I then took Balboa to The Refined. It was there and then I really started to feel that punch. I sat down as all the staff crowded Balboa and tried to pick him up. I thought I was going to puke, I was so nauseous, and so I sat there for longer than anticipated.

Finally got up and went home. 

Later in the evening I returned to The Refined, to work on Empowered and bounce ideas around, but I was struggling to focus. I must have starred at the screen for about an hour, trying to ponder the wording on something that on any other day I'm sure I would have thought up quite easily.

Today's sparring was really good though. Super intense in some moments and perhaps a little harder than anticipated hits but it was good. Coach Bogs is usually an Orthadox fighter but he's also a very good South Paw so with my potential opponent being a South Paw, I asked him to step in as that today. It wasn't as frustrating as anticipated however so I was quite relieved with that. I've been doing a lot of mental and image training at home, researching South Paws and whatnot, so I'd like to think I stepped into today's sparring more prepared than I thought. Bonus.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

From BCG to Poblacion On Foot

 Am pretty sure I ventured into a part of the city that isn't use to foreigners but I quite liked it.
I headed to a new boxing club today, Team Insider, and the trek over took me through various sides of the Philippines, ranging from the shady and questionable to gorgeous and upscale.
 One of my new coaches, Adamson.
 Had the chance to do padwork today with two coaches present.
 And then of course I had the long walk home.
 I doubt I'll get bored of this walk.  It's "interesting" to say the very lease.

New Club... Wednesday, April 11

I am officially a member of Team Insider Boxing Club in Poblacion. 

After a conversation with some key individuals regarding my boxing and my concern with the lack of attention I'm getting at the Philippine Army, I've decided to take on a new club, a new coach. This isn't to say that I won't still be training at the army because I will be but it won't be my main club and I'll only be there on my "off days". 

Team Insider is a little over a 4km walk away from my condo but with my bag stuffed with all my boxing gear it made for quite the trek, not to mention I didn't really know where I was going either. At one point in my journey there, I noticed a guy take note of me, turn around and then start following me. It was right about the time I realized I really didn't know where I was in regards to my route mapped out. I turned, saw a girl walking behind me, and then suddenly latched arms with her and smiled big. "Sorry but do you think you can help me? There's a dude following me and I don't know how to get to this particular street". She was super sweet in giggling and showing me the way.

An hour and a bit later I showed up at Team Insider.

It's a small club that I've actually have visited before but just to check it out. There was no one else training when I arrived there today but there were some coaches sitting around and some pro boxers too. I was introduced to them all.

It's always a bit nerve racking, starting at a new club, going back to being "the new girl" all over again but today it was really good. I did pad work with both of the coaches but it wasn't until I stepped into the ring with the second coach that I really felt like I could honestly be a part of this club.

He prayed for me.

Yes, you read right.

The coach took me to one of the corners of the boxing ring, told me to bow my head and then he prayed for me. Now I'm not a very religious person but I've always had a lot of respect for people who have steadfast beliefs and don't feel the need to apologize or hide them.

It was a great training session. They tested my skills, assessed me, and then pushed me to my max with the last round on the heavy bag. I might not be able to raise my arms for the next week because of it but that excites me, the fact that they really challenged me.

The plan is to train here three days a week, train twice a week at the Philippine Army, and then train once a week at Elite Boxing for sparring and pads with Coach Bogs. Three clubs, one week, but for the next month. 

Training suddenly just got expensive. Of course it's a lot cheaper than in Canada but I also was making money in Canada. Anything more expensive than free when you don't have any income though is expensive. Consequently, I've decided to walk every day to training. It works out that I'll be trekking about 50kms a week. "Just take a jeepney or the bus", some friends say. "Just buy a bike", others said. Well, I can't afford training as it is so a jeepney at this point, despite it being ridiculously cheap to the average person, I'm not the average person. I am an athlete and an entrepreneur -- two professions that don't make money until you make it big or make something. So the notion of buying a bike, wow, that's a lot of food I could buy instead. Buying a bike at this point would be pure luxury and part crazy. Luxury because I don't have the money but crazy because I've seen Filipino driving.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday in the City

Not bad for living in what much of the rest of the world thinks is a poor and undeveloped country.
It has it's poor pockets, sure, but so does Canada.  It also has a lot more than those who have never visited could ever imagine.

Truth and more truth.
Treated myself to some pierced ears -- two piercings in my left ear.
My view from my condo before I headed out to boxing.

Today was a very challenging day and I was exhausted by the end of it.  Promises of it being my cheat meal day definitely helped to get me through tonight's boxing.

Random Thoughts Today... Tuesday, April 10

Spent way too much time dealing with Korea in Korean and, as the Filipinos say, I got a nose bleed.  There were four of them in Korea I was dealing with, all because of my Korean pro boxing license.  I have to get a letter of authorisation from KBC (the Korean Boxing Commission) but Snickers has taken it upon himself to register me with Boxing Management, KOWSC.  Our fighters at Hulk's are registered with Boxing M but I've been with KBC for years so that adds some confusion to the whole situation.  Instead of things getting lost in translation with me trying to explain what this letter of authorisation is to Snickers and those involved, I simply went and wrote it myself.  Sent it in Word Document and in PDF file form for him to either let them copy and paste on their own letter head or simply print and sign.  It should be that simple, but then again the key word is "simple" and at this point nothing really seems simple with Korea.  The fate of this possible fight now rests on a meeting that is suppose to go down this week.  No pressure.

With preparing for the possibility of this fight... a fight that still has yet to be confirmed, I should note because it depends on a bunch of things -- the needed authorisation letter, GAB issuing me a Philippine license, the promoter's contract, and apparently some kind of financial issue with my opponent... I'm having to readjust my training.

Padwork at the Philippine Army is a hit and miss because they're not use to training any pro fighter for a fight and the coaches works there simply for extra cash, as part timers.  Elite Boxing in Makati also doesn't deal with pro fighters and I don't think both the Philippine Army and Elite Boxing have boxing coaches that can officially stand in my corner for the fight, that's a huge issue.  I talked today with a fellow pro fighter here and he recommended me to train at Team Insider Boxing Gym.  It's out in Poblacion, beside Makati.  The coaches there are more suitable to deal with me and my upcoming fight.  Consequently, I may have just added about 24kms of walking to my weekly training because I agreed to venture to a new boxing club to prepare for this fight. I don't really have the money to afford the training so Ubering it is totally out of the question.

Am pretty sure the female soldiers who work the front desk at the Philippine Army are the only ones who know better than to look at me because I'm white and assume I must have money. They see me pay my daily boxing entrance fee in coins. 

What's worse than dirty gym socks? Dirty gym socks that are also still soaked with sweat from the previous night's boxing.  They were the only ones in my bag though so after walking 2.5kms to the Philippine Army and discovering this, it was either put them on or call it a night and go home.  I put them on... obviously.  

Monday, April 09, 2018

Keeping the Sweat Flowing

 Functional weight training to kick off a beautiful new Monday morning.
And an intense boxing session to finish it off.
By the way, what the heck is the dude in the background doing here?!
There's only two of us in the boxing club and he's photobombing my picture like that?! Seriously dude...

Week 2 Weigh-In... Monday, April 9

Today's To-Do List:
  • Weigh-in for week 2.
  • Morning Power Park Workout.
  • Create and post my Power Park Workout, Wk 5, video.
  • Meet with my Business Development partner.
  • Get my corporate papers dropped off at the lawyer's place.
  • Deal with Empowered Clubhouse website tweeks needed and update.
  • Contact business partner in Korea regarding my Korean boxing license.
  • Work on the letter for the Korean Boxing Commission.
  • Sports psychology read-up.
  • Boxing in the evening with coordination training and core training.
  • Work on partnering businesses' consignment letters.

The highlight of my day was my weekly weigh-in, week 2.  Yesterday I had gone jogging but then I also downed about a litre of milk.  I ate clean all week, upped my water intake and could count my "cheat snacks" on one hand -- 2 snack-size white chocolates, a few spoonfuls of that ultra cheesy mac and cheese at the market the other day, and one hot caramel ice cream sundae from McDonalds.  

Since last week's first weigh-in, I've dropped 4.18lbs.  

I went from being 123.86lbs to 119.68lbs.  
My goal for this week was to get under 120lbs... success!!!

I also dropped a solid 2% in body fat so that was pure bonus.

The potential fight is set at 108lbs so I have 11.68lbs to lose, 12lbs to play it safe.  

Sunday, April 08, 2018

No Days Off

 Hit the road today with a sweater on and a newly refreshed focus.
Being cheered on by two hardworking guys who waved for my picture.
 Running is great for building up your endurance but it's also great for discovering new places.
Today's discovery was a golf course by the Philippine Army.
Second discovery included a golf driving range.  I'm not into golf but I'd be
down for whacking some balls around.

My crew for tonight's Empowered BoxHIIT in the Park. 
Partner padwork rounds.  We had an uneven number so I got to participate.
I don't care what anyone says, boxing is the best sport and I'm pretty sure it's safe to say these girls also think it's as badass as it is fun.  They rocked the workout tonight.