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.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Empowered Patch Design Submissions

The submissions for the Empowered Patch Design Contest.
Now for voting.  Voting ends this Monday at midnight.

The Strike of Midnight... Thursday, March 22

At the strike of midnight tonight, no more submissions were allowed to be entered into the Empowered Patch Design Contest.  A total of ten designs were submitted and, I must say, there are three that I really, really like.  Now it's up to the voting though.  I made it open to everyone and anyone to vote but the votes must be made known either on the Empowered Clubhouse Facebook group page, the Empowered Clubhouse Facebook company page, or the Empowered Clubhouse official website.  

If you'd like to vote, awesome, click on any of the links above and comment with your vote.

I should note that the Facebook group page is a private page, open only to members and new members wanting to join must be female and preferrably living here in the Philippines.  As for the official website, please click on "blog" and the comment on "Boxing Patch Design Submissions" blog entry, thank you.  I'd love for you to vote, I really would.  It'd be nice to have an array of people voting and plentiful of votes casted.  Please note that you're only allowed one vote, thank you.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Continuing on Despite Things

With my in-your-face, loud and proud leggings on, I jumped into my Uber and 
headed off for today's photoshoot out in Quezon city.
 The photoshoot was all about empowered women and matching up real life badass women with fictional badass women so it was pretty flattering to be asked to be involved.
 Brought my Supreme Diet food with me... of course!  No room for hangry pains here!!!
I took this picture when walking to boxing today, the Philippine Army.  
 It's the middle point between where I live in BGC and where the Philippine Army is.  
 It's right where the building I was hoping for Empowered sits... starring at me.
The struggles of an entrepreneur are real, the struggles of an athlete are real, and when the struggles of each combine, it's really rough.  It makes it hard to focus on moving forward.
 It was a super busy day, one that I really wanted to crawl under the covers and ignore, but after boxing I then had to go to a friend's event at their restaurant and attend a birthday party.
Skittles' cousin is a congress man and tonight it was his birthday party so we headed over to his over-the-top, drop dead gorgeous home.  It was stunning, I loved it, and it was full of happy people all celebrating his birthday.
Some of the people there celebrating were also familiar with who I am so that made for quite the unexpected and super sweet turn in events.  Here we are posing for the camera -- three entrepreneurs, three fitness gyros, three boxers... love it!

Heartbreak in Happy Land... Wednesday, March 21

I lost the space for Empowered.

I won't go into my frustrations and the overdose of disappointment I feel because what happened was really not cool and I lost a little respect for some involved, to tell you the truth.  It made for a really, really, REALLY hard walk home from boxing at the realization that my fight wasn't backed up by all those who said they'd have my back.  I cried the entire way  home.  I showed up feeling completely beat up and who should I run into while waiting for the elevator at my condo but my business development partner.  She's been super supportive but, with my nose all red and eyes swollen, I then had to clear my throat, put on a smile, and address the situation.

First heartbreak in the Philippines for me and it was very much a real one, wow.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Way Out-of-Town Business Meeting

Showed up for a meeting with the owner of Ensayeo and ended up also 
meeting the owner of Tiger City Boxing Gym.  I should note here that my should-have and would-have opponent that cancelled our fight trains at Tiger City.  I brought that up and that made for a good giggle.
When you first enter the shop, you're bombarded with an overdose of equipment.
 Lots of balls... oh, I do love, love, LOVE the medicine balls!!!
 But the initial shop I walked into was only a teaser of what Ensayo Equipment actually has.  I went up floors and in and out of doors to see other spaces, numerous rooms, with more equipment!
 Shout out here to the security guard outside who kept me company while I waited for my Uber.  
Ensayo is in a bit of a shady area and one guy in particular was circling around the area watching me so the security guard here took it upon himself to watch over me.  Super sweetie.
Quick shout out to this guy too, the one resting in the hammock he made on this crane, 
for the good giggle he gave me.

Lining Things Up... Tuesday, March 20

An hour and some later, I finally showed up.  Ensayo Gym Equipment store, here to see the owner.

A tour around the entire shop and a lot of discussing of this and that.  It was good to meet him.  Nicky is the owner and manager.  He's also a retired professional bodybuilder and a super nice guy.  I'm hoping to carry his line of fitness equipment and I'm really hoping that they'll swing me some kind of discount.  Their stuff is legit though, it's really good, and it comes highly recommended. 

Tomorrow I'll be finding out if my investors are in, if we'll be taking the space, but I'm already many steps ahead in the planning process.  I always have to be one step ahead because if and when it goes down, it's going to start happening fast and I really need to have everything lined up for what's next.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Jumping Into the New Week

Jumping into the new week with a new workout.
Week #2 of working out in the park.
 If the sun beating down on me doesn't kill me than the exercises back-to-back just might will.
 Nah, who am I kidding.  I can beat the heat and beat the training in the park, boxing is where it's at.
 Attended a special family dinner party tonight.
And met this boss lady.  She's an original, she's a REAL boss lady.  I'm telling you, us modern day boss babes have nothing on this lady who did it all and did it all at a time when women just didn't.

Busy is Good... Monday, March 19

Jumped into this new totally two feet first.  By noon not only had I got in a serious sweat sess in the park but had edited the video pertaining to it, inhaled my breakfast, and was sipping on my first morning coffee at a local coffee shop, emailing potential sponsors.

I had a family dinner party to attend tonight so everything had to be done by 5pm.

Usually I finish work when my head hits the pillow, like after midnight.

I was losing at least seven solid hours so everything got put back-to-back, there was no room for anything extra and it was go, go, go from the moment I woke up.  I even went so far as to take work with me in the car, for the Uber ride to and from the dinner party, but with the sun going down and it being dark, I could only do whatever work I could do via my phone.

This is going to be a do-or-die kind of week and it started today at full speed.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Coffee and Corporate Papers Today

New possibly Sunday tradition -- a Canadian coffee before church.
Attended a new church today and it made me miss Grant Church in Toronto all that more.
I crave a church that has pews and people who recognize each other.  A church where there's a bulletin with things to get involved with, people to connect to, and not just a church where I can just fill up another seat.
Total surprise here, wow.  Showed up for lunch out and was served my corporate papers for Empowered, sent to me personally by my corporate lawyer.  I'm not even joking when I say there must be about a dozen little "sign here" post it notes.
Signing here and there means getting all my five incorporators to sign it so that's what the plan is this week, to travel around, collect all the needed signatures.

It's a Massive Week Ahead... Sunday, March 18

This week's big business importance:
  • Investors will be informing me how much of an investment they're putting into Empowered.
  • Decision to be made regarding the McKinley space with MegaWorld.
  • Meeting with possible equipment supplier.
  • Possibly collaborating with three new sponsors.
  • Hosting a BoxHIIT session for an out-of-town company.
  • Empowered women photoshoot.
  • Will be a special guest on a Facebook live show.
  • Empowered Patch Design Contest ends on Thursday.
  • Launching the vote event for the Patch Design Contest.
  • 10 business meetings.
  • Approaching several local companies regarding sponsoring Empowered.
  • Have to meet with all my incorporators for their signatures on the corporate papers.
  • Possible meeting with one of the high end fitness facility's owners regarding a collab.
  • Need to hand in my signed corporate papers for the final process.
  • Going to get my Jourenda formated and then sent to the printers.

Biggest thing this week, I find out if Empowered has enough investment to say yes to the space.

Big week this week, super big... HUGE.

This very well may be the most jammed back week of important this and that for Empowered. 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Not Slowing Down for the Weekend

Spending a chunk of my Saturday spending a chunk of my money isn't what I wanted to 
do but it's what I needed to do.  Sent money to my main supplier in Pakistan.  
A little preworkout love before boxing... tested out a new coffee at The Refined.
I arrived late at boxing but got in a solid workout -- boxing and functional training. 

Feeling the Pressure... Saturday, March 17

The hardest part of my boxing isn't the actual training, the boxing, it's the walk to and from the boxing club.  When I look over and see that big Telus building starring back at me.  It's in that building that I want to launch Empowered.  This time next week that building will either be mine or it won't be mine.  Already the walk to the Philippine Army Gym is a hard one because I see that building.  This time next week, it'll either become a super happy one or an incredibly sad one.

It all comes down to what goes down this Wednesday.

Less than a week, less than a handful of days.

I gave my investors until Tuesday/Wednesday to tell me how much they're investing and on Wednesday I have to tell MegaWorld whether or not we're taking the space.  If I get at least 4 million pesos invested, I'm taking it.  If I don't, I can't. 

To want something so bad and to be so close to either getting it or losing it... wow. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Overdosing on Coffee and Carbs

Treated myself to a new shirt today.  A super cheap find but a much needed one and 
funny enough it's super appropriate too.
 At 8pm my brain felt absolutely fried.  I had been working hardcore on Empowered today and need to seriously refuel and refresh myself.  Was treated to dinner out and that definitely helped.
 An overdose of carbs always helps too.  My cheat meal for this week.  No guilt here!
Was asked to attend a Remy Martin event at Brick & Mortor so I stopped by for that.  We played trivia, lost so badly but walked away with some free gifts and lots of giggles.  I gave myself extra props for the question about the Olympics.  The answer was a city in Korea but I didn't know how to spend it in English.  Got it in Korean, I joked that I should have got mad bonus points for that.

I Blame the Coffee... Friday, March 16

I bought a shirt today and got a discount because I whipped off my sweater right there, at the front of the shop, and revealed my bright pink sports bra to all passing by in the busy mall.  The sales girl looked me and said, "oh okay..." and then she asked if I was going to buy it.  "Yes", I told her.  I had come in wearing a sweater because what was suppose to just be breakfast out turned into me running errands and working up a sweat in the beating sun.  

I didn't have time to go home to change but I didn't want to show up at my business investor meeting super sweaty.  So I bought a shirt.  It read "I am a social vegan.  I avoid "meet"".  Made an entrance walking into that meeting with leggings and this new black crop top on.  Nice.

My investor meeting went really good.  They're in.  Now for them to get back to me with their number.

Three coffees into the day and my day had already been quite productive but then it went into ultra mode.  I turned into this massively aggressive workaholic and was pumping out emails left, right and centre.  I'm approaching various businesses regarding collaborating and sponsors for Empowered Clubhouse so today I researched numerous companies and then sent out over 30+ business emails.  

I was on a serious roll.

I was on such a roll that I even worked right through what would have been my outdoor park workout time and then continued on right through when I was suppose to be boxing. 

My investor had made a suggestion today during our meeting and I totally went with it.  

I think the overdose of coffee is to blame (to thank?!) for today's overdose of work attacked and conquered today.  It was ridiculous!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The Struggles are Real but There's Always Coffee and Balboa

Drip coffee by Supreme Diet.  It takes a little longer but it tastes a lot stronger.  
It's the drink of champions.
Always looking up in life, that's the goal.  Embrace the suck but don't get stuck in it.  
Kiss a puppy, pour yourself another cup of coffee and then move the hell on.

Feeling Awake Now... Thursday, March 15

I feel awake. 

It's like a light switch was flicked on.

"Be more aggressive", I told myself today as I sipped on my morning coffee.

At the event the other night I sat and heard a panel of female entrepreneurs talk about how much their juggling and how they went after what they want.  They're juggling so much and it was inspiring.  Last week I sat and listened to Skittles' tell his story about his rise to success and what I got out of his talk and the talks from last night is that you really do have to go after what you what.  Establish your why and then figure out the how, but you need to know your why.  Why you're doing what you're doing.  The how can come later.  Make your own story and have non-negotiables regarding how you're going to be successful in life and with life.

Some of Skittles' non negotiables included getting rid of negativity, keep learning and don't quit.

So what are my non-negotiables?!  Good question.

I think my biggest non-negotiable would be being selective with who you surround yourself with.  My dad use to tell me "I know your friends, I know you" and it's true.  You became what you surround yourself with.  It's so important to surround yourself with positive-minded people.  My circle here in the Philippines, it's all entrepreneurs.  I've got a friend who owns 25 corporations, another who is always jumping on a plane to go here and to go there for business meetings and whatnot.  They're all very successful in that they're being super aggressive with pushing themselves and going after what they want.  They're all hungry for success, for life.  Life is whatever you make of it and they are trying every bloody day to make it better than the day before.  

Another non-negotiable that I'm really trying to adopt for myself with how I approach situations and business is to be more aggressive.  No one is going to be as passionate about my business as I am so I have to fight for it myself and stop feeling like I have to sugarcoat things or assume people will help me.  Like investors, for example, I'm having a hard time asking them how much money they're putting into my business and now it's coming to a do-or-die crunch moment where I might lose the space in McKinley because I haven't been aggressive enough.  I've been too relaxed and somewhat assumed the investors will approach me about their contribution when the fact of the matter is that's my responsibility.  

You want something then go get it.  Don't assume anyone is going to give it to you.  You have to fight because anything great worth fighting for isn't going to come easy and anything easy that doesn't require a fight isn't going to be great.  You want something that is worth fighting for but you do have to put up that fight to get it.

I think a big part of me feeling so awake also had to do with who I sat beside.  I sat beside my former business partner.  I saw that she had clicked "going" on the Facebook event page but wasn't sure if she'd follow through with it.  When I noticed her there at the event, I approached her from behind and teased her by covering her eyes with my hands.  It was the first time I had seen her since we parted ways and I suspected it to be super awkward but it wasn't.  She asked about Empowered and I told her.  We chatted a lot about it and I ended up sitting beside her the entire night.  I had anticipated me running into her would be super uncomfortable and I wouldn't know what to say but it was actually quite the opposite.  If anything, it was a relief to see her and it served to reassure me that what I'm doing is exactly what I'm suppose to be doing and I made the right choice in parting ways.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Getting Down to Business

 Hit the park today for a seriously intense workout before my business event.
 The intensity was definitely amplified by the fact that I was on such a time crunch.
 Four supersets and four sets of each superset.
 Ya, I'm definitely going to feel this tomorrow... love it! Sore or sorry, I picked sore.
Made it to my business event right on time and with a coffee in hand but this was what greeted me.
Free food.  The event was catered, nice.
 The event was being hosted by KMC Solutions and was called "Who Run the World".
 It was all about empowered women empowering women and it's line up of speakers were all inspiring, successful female entrepreneurs.  Holy girl power!  Love it.
Some great food for thought -- what will be YOUR story?