As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea on February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. 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 returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I am 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.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Not Stopping for Anything

Despite my injury I didn't skip a beat with my coaching or work. 
I did however take yesterday off training... but not today.

Running Free... Monday, August 21

My doctor said no boxing and no rugby so I interpreted it as nothing that could possibly touch my head, mess up my stitches.  So I went running tonight.  I got new earphones the other day and finally got a chance to try them out.

And speaking of running, this weekend I'm launching the "+1" to Acacia Sole Sistas +1.  The +1 is that now my female runners can bring a male runner to the team run.  Keep in mind that a guy can be a woman's plus one but he can't come alone.  Us women still rule the team, that is.  Let's not forget that.  But with many of my fighters and some interested female runners asking if they can bring their husband, boyfriend or friend, I thought why not.  

I've got a local chocolate company bringing a little sweet pre-run treat for all that show up for the first +1 run and I thinking about supplying a post-run snack of coffee and peanut butter grilled sandwiches with Fix and Fogg.  Not too sure yet.  It really depends on the numbers that sign up.

Follow Empowered Clubhouse on Facebook for more details.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Rugby is Definitely NOT Football

This couldn't be more truer except to note that unlike football, us rugby players don't
wear tons of padding.  Some wear scrum caps but most of us just wear mouth pieces.
The day after... stitches in and healing nicely.

Where Did the Day Go?... Sunday, August 18

I coached six fighters today but I DID NOT workout.  The doctor said I needed to take "the day off" so I took that as a day off training.  I didn't interpret as a day off coaching though, I couldn't, after all I had switched all my fighters I coach on Saturday to today because of the rugby tournament.

Coached 6 fighters.
Went to church.
Worked on admin stuff for my fighters and Lil' Sistas Project.

Yeah, that was basically my entire day.

By the time 11pm came around I was pretty much spent and so I flopped on the couch to watch some TV but ended up passing right out.  

Sorry my homepage entry isn't so interesting for today.  I'm sure possibly something exciting happened today but I really didn't have any time to breath or digest the day.  It was simply go-go-go from the morning I woke up at 6am.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Bloody Fun, Literally

My dad always used to say I smile too much and he claims that once I was almost drowning and yet I was still smiling.  Well, here I am, sporting a bad injury but still smiling.
 It looked worse than it was, that is until the doctor confirmed just how bad it was.
The medic team had a lot of figuring out just what was wrong with me
because there was blood every where in my white hair to the point it was pink.
After getting my face stitched up, I walked out to this -- my amazing teammates!!!
Love, love, LOVE Lady Mavericks!!!

Taking One for the Team... Saturday, August 17

While my dad was mourning celebrating what would be his 51st wedding anniversary with my mom if she were still alive, I was mourning being told I couldn't play the rest of the tournament.

With 10 seconds left to the game I got injured.

It was the first time in all my years of competition that an injury had actually stopped me.

We had a big rugby 7's tournament today so I met up with the Lady Mavericks at 6:30am, jumped in the club van, and then off we went.  It was my first rugby 7's tournament so I was super excited about it knowing full well that it will be a lot more running and more fast paced than the other games.  

There were 12 of us -- 7 players on the field and 5 subs. 

I didn't make the first line cut and was rather disappointed about it but know it was deserving.  I've missed more training than I'd like to admit but I'm super busy running my own business and I do get in a ton of training beyond that of rugby.  No excuses though.  The first picks to start the games off were our veterans who have been super dedicated and faithful to training.  I've been focused on training but no specifically rugby, I'm guilty of that.

Lady Mavericks vs Eaglets, 22-0
Lady Mavericks vs Eagles, 10-17
Lady Mavericks vs Chiefs, 24-0

...and then I was out for the rest of the tournament. 

"What happened?" everyone and their mom seems to be happening.  "Rugby happened", I answer.

With 10 seconds left to the game, another player fumbled the ball so I grabbed it, turned to run and then got head butted by one of the opposition's players.  She ran right into me, head first.  No hands up.  Our heads crashed and it sounded like grapefruit smashing.  I went down to the ground, presented the ball and then got up to continue the play.  Instantly I felt what I thought was water pouring on my head and I saw the other team player still laying on the ground.  "Get down!!!" someone yelled at me and so I laid back down on the ground.  Honestly, I thought they were saying that because the other player was injured, so I thought it was more like "get down because you don't want to see her", as in it's bad.  I remember reaching out for that player's hand, Ace's hand, and asking her if she was okay.  But then everyone started to crowd around me and their reaction was really confusing me.  When I heard them call for a stretcher I started telling them over and over that I'm okay and that I was not going to get on that stretcher.  I could get up and walk.  So that's what I did.  I was escorted off the field and the reaction I was getting from everyone was wild.  They all looked at me as if I had a missing limb or something.  So dramatic.  

Turns out I had cut my forehead open so deep that later, when I got to the hospital, the doctor voiced his concern over the fact that he could see my actual skull.  It was that deep.  Honestly though, it wasn't until he started to stitch it up that I felt any kind of discomfort.  

The owner of the rugby team arranged to have a plastic surgeon do my stitches which was nice but really not necessary because I'm okay with scars.  I don't care about pretty and honestly I was more concerned about whether or not I could train this upcoming week.  

I walked myself into the operation room even though they provided a wheelchair for me.  And then I climbed up on the operating room and laid down.  When it was over, about an hour later, I left and was surprised to be greeted by many of my teammates.  I thought that was just so incredibly sweet and so unexpected.  

Friday, August 16, 2019

Love for All the Sistas

A special package arrived for my Lil' Sistas just the other day and
there was something special in it for me.
 Letters from the Sistas at MJKO Boxing Club in Toronto... sight of this makes me so happy.
I take great pride in being their coach.  I love my company but my
pride of this country is surely my Lil' Sistas. 

Pure Joy... Friday, August 16

My favourite moment this week was opening up an envelop that had traveled here for the Lil' Sistas.  It had come from MJKO Boxing Club in Toronto, the club that I paired up with to do the Snail Mail Program with, and it was full of wonderful letters so colorfully decorated for the Lil' Sistas.  

Inside the envelop there was also a card for me, talk about a sweet surprise, and some stickers they had made with a Snail Mail logo they had designed, talk about an ultra super sweet surprise.  Today it was on my list-to-do to mail them off to the Lil' Sistas at the Center of Hope and then send the next batch of letters from my Lil' Sistas to MJKO in Canada.  But before I did that, I sat in my office looking at them, both piles of letters, and I felt so happy.

I hope the Lil' Sistas, both in the Philippines and in Canada, are as happy about these letters as I am.  And, funny thing is, I don't even know what's in the letters but they make me so happy. 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Proudly Klean Athlete

 Mini in-clubhouse photoshoot for Klean Athlete, one of my leading sponsors.
 They're being featured in RaceDay magazine so today all us members of the Klean Athlete team posted promo pics on social media to help promote their awesome feature.
Honestly though, if I wasn't sponsored by them, I'd definitely be using their supplements still.
My body and my performance is so much different, so much better.

Looking for a Sponsor... Thursday, August 15

My main sponsors are Klean Athlete and Six Pack Chef -- a supplement company and a food delivery company that sends my daily meals every day.  I have other minor sponsors that send me their products or give me discounts on their services but lately I've been trying to work on a sponsor for the Lil' Sistas Project, more specifically, a sponsor for a post workout healthy snack.  I got the idea from Coach Miranda of MJKO Boxing -- a nonprofit boxing club in Toronto for kids that I've collaborated for for the Snail Mail Program for the Lil' Sistas.  At MJKO they often give the kids healthy after school snacks like fruit, for example, and I think that's a great idea because kids need to be exposed to healthy options from the start so that they can become more familiar with healthy options and incorporate it into their lifestyle.  

I approached Blue Diamond Philippines about supporting the Lil' Sistas.  One of their products is almond milk and that'd be such a perfect post boxing snack for the girls because it has protein in it, is individually packaged and needs no prep work beyond making sure we put it in the fridge the night before.

I haven't heard back from Blue Diamond... not yet.  

Another option I'm looking into is cutting up apples and bringing some of the Fix and Fogg peanut butter than KiaOra Kitchen sends me.  But cutting up apples for that many girls, sometimes it's close to 50, is a lot of work not to mention this could get really messy really fast and really easily.  

Hmmm... any suggestions?

Better yet, do any of YOU want to sponsor the Lil' Sistas and help me out in this?

[Here's to me hoping but not holding my breath.]

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Overdose of Carbs and Kindness

Once a week I go out for breakfast, a special breakfast, and it went from being every
Thursday to now being every Wednesday.  And voila, my special breakfast, dirty carbs and all. 
Check this awesomeness out!!!  You'll never believe what it is.

Next Level... Wednesday, August 14

The other week I had put it out there for people to know that my company, Empowered, will be accepting clothing donations year round.  Today someone dropped off a donation.  And it wasn't just someone and it wasn't just any donation.  It was from one of my fighters and it was boxes upon boxes of gently used clothes.  She had dropped them off while I was busy coaching one of my fighters and so when I opened the door to say goodbye there they were.

Now I have the fun of sorting it all out, a "problem" I feel more than blessed to have.

Honestly, I was so taken back by the donation that moments after I snapped that picture of me beside them, I started to get teary eyed.  The Lil' Sistas mean so much to me, they make me want to be a better person.  And in coaching them and planning more stuff for them, it's been really awesome to see who has stepped up to helping me out with them.  I currently have someone working on the admin paperwork with getting them a few used computers donated and one of fighters offered to help me deliver all these clothes to the two separate locations.  My rugby teammates have offered to be Big Sistas for my Girls Nite In idea I proposed to the Center of Hope and many of them have purchased hoodies or caps to help fund the Lil' Sistas Project.  

Things are going really good with the Lil' Sistas Project.  Now to make it better, make it awesome.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Finally Touched Down in the Philippines

My much awaited and much-on-demand black Slay hand wraps FINALLY arrived from my manufacturer in Pakistan and already I think I'm going to have to order more.  Fighters love these!!! 
I love them too.  They're my original hand wrap.
What I don't love though is my manufacturer messing up my order... again.
Notice anything different about these two wraps?!  This is actually only 1 of THREE THINGS
that are different, that aren't suppose to actually be different.
Not a happy moment for me here, doing a quality check here and realizing that ALL the
Lil' Slay hand wraps were done wrong.  This is me practicing patience. 

Frustrations on a High... Tuesday, August 12

After what felt like months upon months, the rest of my delivery from my boxing gear manufacturer in Pakistan arrived.  I was overly happy but incredibly cautious.  I'm way too familiar with being disappointed with this supplier.

"Why don't you just get a new one?!", people say.

Okay, do you know what it's like to get a new supplier that you've never met from a country that you've never been to?!  I can't just get referred to someone, gosh no, because that'd be too easy, and to hire another would be to spend more money on samples and then waste more time waiting for those samples to arrive.  And don't even get me started on the extra money, time and effort it takes to cordinate your ideas and vision with a new manufacturer.  

I don't know anyone else who is doing what I'm doing -- avoiding the middle man and going straight to the factory -- so while everyone thinks it's easy to just find another, most people couldn't even find one to start off with.  It took me so long to find this one, this manufacturer, and his product quality is awesome but he has yet to send one of my orders correctly.  There is always something wrong with my order and this order was no different.

My Lil' Slay wraps, not so little.  It's 5.5 meters and not 4 meters.
The wrist band is suppose to be white, it's black.
Oh, and the word "Slay" is printed on the wrong side.

Three things wrong with one hand wrap.  I mean, how much can you possibly screw up a hand wrap?! Right.  At that point I was wondering if this was just a joke; if he was purposely trying to punk me.  

I saw these errors on one of the wraps, one I had randomly picked to do a quality check, so I then did another quality check.  I picked another hand wrap and voila, the same thing.  It was the same thing one after another.  All 20 hand wraps had the same three errors.

I can't even sell these even if I wanted.  They're inside out, for starters.  To sell them I would then have to get them re-sewn and to do so you'd have to chop the end, thus loose some of the length, or get someone to take out all the stitches.  

The frustrations were on an ultimate high today, wow. 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Counting Sheep

 My excitement last night over my meeting meant I came home, worked up a storm, and then passed out on the couch with two of my 4 legged babies around me.
And then I woke up today and continued working on it -- Baa Baa Black Sheep.ph.

Slaying the Day, the Holiday... Monday, August 12

7am           Coaching Fighter A and a little meet & greet with her daughter at the Clubhouse
9:30am      Coaching the Ninja out in Makati.
11am         Meeting regarding Lil' Sistas and a long-time-no-see friend.
12:30pm   Boxing with Coach Marcelo
4pm          Coaching Fighter K back at the Clubhouse.

I was suppose to have a 6pm meeting out in BGC but that got postponed to later this week.  

Busy, busy, busy... welcome to my Monday.

The big plans for this week include signing the NDA contract with my new production company for Baa Baa Black Sheep and then finalizing the first two items for production -- a tank top and a sleeveless hoodie.

Today was a national holiday though but holidays really mean nothing more to me than days I get to up my hustle.  It's a day of less traffic and less schedules to work around, hence the meetings I posed for today.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Sunday Morning is for Rugby

 Morning training with the Lady Mavericks.  We have a tournament next weekend.
Today the Lady Volcanoes (Philippines' national female team) had some games and
tomorrow they'll be returning as champs because THEY WON!!!

A Very Badass Meeting... Sunday, August 11

Am pretty sure I made the coolest business collab e-v-e-r.  

I went to interview a possible company to take on for the production of my upcoming clothing line, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and, as it turned out, I am already very familiar with the clothes they produce.  Their shop is pretty much the only shop I get my tops at because their tops can sustain my training without losing shape and they always have fun things written on them.  Ironically enough, I showed up tonight wearing one of their tops actually, my "Badass" top.  Too funny.

They're a brother and sister team who took over their mother's company that she started something like 40 years ago so you know there's longevity in what they're doing.  The sister, a tall gal with cool blue hair, is the one that actually comes up with all the fun and sassy sayings they then print on their shirts but it was the brother who reached out to me regarding my line.

Baa Baa Black Sheep... "BaaBaaBlackSheep.ph", if you're looking it up on Instagram.

We stood there for about an hour sharing stories and laughs, and me going over my vision with Baa Baa Black Sheep.  I left that meeting feel so positive about my decision to leave my former production company and so sure about these two.  You know when you just have that feeling in your gut that something is right?! Yeah, I had that with these two tonight.

It is FINALLY happening. 

Now to revamp my NDA, get them to sign it and pick which 2 of my many designs I want them to make samples of.  I think I'll start off with a tank top and a simple hoodie.  Baa Baa Black Sheep will focus mainly on women but I will definitely add in some things for the guys, like my hoodie.  

Baa Baa Black Sheep, a smart athletic line for the badass bold.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Champion Status

Annnnnnnd it's FIGHT NIGHT!!!
I came here anticipating only corner coaching one fighter and then I added another... and another.
Viola, my fighters for tonight's big event.

The big fight of the night was between my rugby teammate and my fighter.
But it was this one that caused a lot of hype and a lot of concern.  But she rocked it and scored the V.
I think I scored the big V of the night though, sneaking in this handsome man to escort me.

Don't Ask Me Again... Saturday, August 10

Ignorance is bliss but for the educated, things can get super annoying and that's what happened tonight for me, totally and real fast. Organizing a charity event is one thing but it's a whole other thing when it's a boxing event and those who were ignorant about what goes down running such a event thought tonight was amazing.

It was like anticipating a train wreak and hence why I jumped in to corner coach a fighter.  I went to help her because honestly I anticipated her getting hurt and I didn't want that on my conscious.  I knew she'd be going against a more experienced fighter, a heavy hitter, but I also anticipated them not having experienced fighter staff on call, like a ringside medic.  The irony here was that she never got injured, her opponent did. And I was there to handle it because no one else would or could step up to do so. 

Post fight and pre fight med checks never happened.  I did pre fight checks and I have the puke down my top to prove it.  I couldn't not check up on the fighters though, they all experienced head trauma to a certain degree, some much more than others.  Tomorrow morning I'll be continuing them when I reach out to all my fighters and check on their post fight day conditions.

Fighters who didn't know how to wrap their hands.
Fighters who were completely mismatched -- experienced vs unexperienced, etc.
Weight classes were ignored for the simple need of more matches.
Corner coaches who were friends and not actual fighters or educated corner help.
No ringside medic to check on the fighters before or after the fights.
Apparently only one ref to ref all ten fights.
Fighters drinking right after their fights... like I'm talking about standing in the ring and drinking.
And don't even get me started on the mobs of people swarming the ringside that should never have been allowed to be because they were obstructing us corner coaches from getting in and out of the ring.

It was an amazing charity event, a gorgeous event, I was beyond shocked at the number of standard boxing practices that go into running such a boxing event were totally disregarded and ignored.  It felt like a law suit waiting to happen and I wasn't the only person who made mention of this.  I felt like I was the only one who had balls to admit this out loud though.  "But it was for charity", sure, but a boxing bout is a boxing bout.  The hits aren't any less damaging.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Pose Down in the Clubhouse

Balboa striking his most athletic pose -- his downward dog yoga pose.
 Cassius the flexible gymnast. 
 And me, flexing a pose after hitting the weights tonight.

Corner Coach Pack... Friday, August 9

I was as busy as fudge today, daaaaaang!!!  I only had 2 fighters to coach but about a billion and one things to do in between coaching those two.  Technically it was 3 but then one had to cancel last minute.  

Tomorrow is the big fight night for the black tie charity event so I had my corner coach gear to prep.

Contents of my corner coach pack:
  • extra hand wraps
  • a couple of rolls of gauze
  • a couple of rolls of surgical tape
  • water bottle
  • white towel
  • ice pack holder
  • medical scissors
  • extra mouthgaurd
  • Q-tips
  • bandaids
  • turtle shells
  • latex gloves
  • chocolate
  • metal press
  • Vaseline
  • electrolyte tablets
  • endurance tablets
  • Muscle care ointment
  • smelling salts
  • target mitts
All important things needed just in case my fighter forgets something like their hand wraps; needs something, like a sugar rush pre-fight; or runs into a medical problem during the fight, like a cut on the forehead. Trust me, things like this happen and it's the corner coach's responsibility to make sure they can tend to whatever their fighter needs. Throw in the fact that I haven't heard whether or not there's even a medic and ya, my so-called "overpacking" might not be enough. 

Ten fights, twenty fighters, my corner coach pack can't handle them all.

Thursday, August 08, 2019

In Prep for the Weekend Fights

 So this went down tonight, the weigh-in for this weekend's charity fight event. 
 I went to go support my one fighter and ended up being asked to take on another.
My rugby opponent and my rugby teammate but
this weekend they'll be my fighter and my fighter's opponent.

It's About to Go Down... Thursday, August 8

Two nights before the "big night" -- the black tie boxing charity event -- and there was weigh-in.  Why was it two nights before and not the usual night before?  Question 1 of about 1,0000 that ended up popping up because of this event.

I attend the weigh-in today because I had various questions about my role as a corner coach for one of the fighters.

Correction, I'm now the corner coach for TWO fighters.  Ya, new news to me but I feel like the boxing fundamentals, like the standard practices at play in a regular tournament, are being ignored or not addressed here.  I was asked by another fighter tonight if I could corner coach her because her corner coach backed out.  Of course I said yes.  I wasn't going to leave a fighter with out the much needed help.  I may not be the nicest but I'm not mean like that to leave a fighter high and dry.

I was told that I have to wear a formal dress when corner coaching.

I'm hoping the lady that told me was just pulling my leg or trying to be mean.  God knows there is no way on this green Earth that I'm going to wear a formal dress when corner coaching.  That's next level ridiculous.  

Amateurs.

I felt myself getting incredibly frustrated and annoyed at the lack of detail about the actual boxing part of the event, like the fact that nothing was mentioned about them seeing the ringside medic after the fight as a part of standard protocol or any kind of details for us corner coaches, like should I be using gauze or regular wraps.  What ounce gloves are being used and do we supply them or are the organizers.  

It's all really up in the air. 

I left the weigh-in super frustrated.

"This is for charity", I reminded myself.  Yes, it's for charity but it's still a boxing bout, it's many boxing bouts.  It's potential head injuries and broken noses.  It could be more than that and that's not far fetch, that's the truth.  And that's why there is a gaming commissioner to regulate things and standard boxing practices and rules to follow.  They're not to "spoil the fun", they're there to protect the fighters.  

After the weigh-in, I had a meeting and another event to attend.  It was at the event that I was then approached about possibly corner coaching another fighter, a third fighter.  The sister-in-law of one of the business partners of Skittles is participating in the event but apparently her opponent didn't show up for weigh-in tonight because she's sick.  Rumor has it it's because she didn't make weigh-in.  She's something like 15-20lbs over the set weight.  Wow.  The fight is still on though and that's when I got approached about it. 

Looks like I might be corner coaching a third fighter now.  So much for not wanting to get involved.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Trying to Enjoy My Hustle

 Trying to enjoy what I'm doing here -- building my brand, growing my company, paying it forward.
Sometimes it's overwhelming though and I get caught up in the struggle with the juggle of it.

Baa, Baa, Black Sheep... Wednesday, August 7

Over 400 people contacted me on social media to wish me a happy birthday and there was that harsh reality when I woke up today and noticed not one of those 400 were my immediate family members.

That hurt.  That flat out sucked.  

That's how I started my day, getting emotional about that sh!# realization that is my reality.

Nothing makes you feel more like the family black sheep than that. 

I've accepted it though and my way of dealing with it is disconnecting myself with them.  So I really can't get upset with them because I really don't contact them either.  Truth is beyond a couple of text messages to my middle brother about U2 the other week, I've really only had one conversation with him since my mother's death and that was almost 7 years ago.  My oldest brother really isn't on social media, he's super busy with his family of 5, and my dad has since stopped emailing me.  I know he's upset I live in the Philippines and I can only assume so are my brothers too because I'm not there to care for my father. 

I've made my own family.  I have a family of 5, three of which have four legs.  I also have a new extended family and they're Filipino.  Most of them speak English but all of them are nothing but sweet to me.  

I'm over it.  Not really, but it is what it is.

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Birthday Moments Caught on Film

 No, this wasn't my birthday gift.  The camera that took this picture was.
And this was my birthday dinner request -- a home cooked meal, pasta with meat sauce... protein!!!
 Am in love with this new camera though; it totally captures moments unlike my phone camera.
And the detail it picks up is pretty badass awesome.  I mean, look at Rousey's wrinkles!!!  Love them.

A Homey Birthday, Perfect... Tuesday, August 6

I wanted nothing more than to just at home with my little family of five but I did venture out.  I went and got my hair dyed.  My usual hair stylist enjoyed the day off but with today being my only free day, I had no choice but to get someone else from his shop to do it.  Sorry Zaldie... can I milk "but it's my birthday" card here?!  

My birthday dinner request wasn't to go out to any fancy restaurant but instead was to have a home cooked meal.  Pasta, I wanted pasta and lots and lots of meaty tomato sauce and that's exactly what I got.  

...and then I got caramel cheesecake and hot chocolate.  That was a pure perk.

Originally I had asked for a home cook meal, pasta, and a rooftop picnic on the fourth floor of my clubhouse but the picnic didn't happen.  The lights haven't been fixed yet and finding candles at the stores nearby turned out to be a no-go.  But despite the lack of picnic, it was a beautiful birthday, thanks for asking.

Monday, August 05, 2019

My Boys Are Here!!!

 My squad is back in full force... all three of my four-legged babies are back under one roof.
 Aren't they just so gorgeous?!  They ooze with cuteness and awesomeness, I know.
 Of course Cassius was way too excited to be back with Rousey.  He loves her beyond words. 
Thanks to Trainer Mike from It's PAWsible for making some much
needed behavioural changes in my two little boys.  

Guess Who's Back... Monday, August 5

Am I a terrible fur-mama if I admit that three weeks of life without the boys was pretty good?!  

I mean, walking three dogs and managing them plus my company, under the same roof does get kind of crazy.  I vacuum and wash the first, second and third floor floors every single day, sometimes twice actually.  And then there was the fact that Balboa and Cassius turned on each other.  At first is was a little fight here and there but then it quickly escalated and blood was shed, not only their blood by my blood.  I had this massive welt on my left leg from where I got accidentally bite when separating the two.  Their teeth had broken my skin, it swelled up and then it also bruised.  

It was nice to just have to worry about one of the three dogs, Rousey, and it gave us a chance to give her some extra attention that she's been deserving since she joined our family.  

The boys have been gone for three weeks now, off to doggie training camp where they've been living with a professional -- Trainer Mike of It's PAWsible.  Today they returned and I was told not to act with such excitement upon the arrival of them but it was hard not to do so.  Trainer Mike pulled up to the clubhouse and brought them out, both in the same crate.  He sat the crate down on the ground and there they whined and cried while I starred and tried my hardest not to whip open their crate down and scoop them both up.  

They lasted several hours, living in pure harmony, before their first fight broke out.  And just like that it's like they were back at square one. 

Thankfully, before Trainer Mike had left, he went over some of the commands and procedures with correcting them before he left so that was very helpful.  But it was hard to see them fight again and I instantly felt helpless and hopeless.  I just want them to be back where they used to be, back before the big move to the clubhouse in Taguig, before Rousey joined us and before I started having fighters come to my house to train.

Before all the big life changes -- all the big changes that I thought were what had made my life so great but that had ultimately caused them so much stress.

So far, so good.  

They had a fight and then another.  The second was bigger than the first and so I separated the two.  It's hard to discipline them when I don't really know who started it and can't exactly command them to calm down when it's me that gets all anxious at the sight of them even looking at each other. 

I think I'm the one who needs training here.

This will be a work in progress, I know, but I need to learn more of my responsibility in the bigger picture here and how I can be more effective in reenforcing the lessons that they spent the last month learning and doing on repeat, day after day.

Sunday, August 04, 2019

One Perfect Birthday Party

 Much love to the Lil' Sistas of Taguig, for making my birthday so beautiful.
I will forever cherish this card.  It's only the bestest of best cards e-v-e-r!!!

Surprise On Whom?!... Sunday, August 4

My surprise surprise party was definitely a surprise but it was a surprise on me. 

I showed up with donuts, juice, games, and prizes, but when I walked into the orphanage, I looked up and what should I see but my name and my picture on the wall.  

Surprise... it's a surprise for my surprise surprise party!!!

I had several games picked out to play and had prepared various little prizes for them.  I was actually quite shocked that they knew some of the games, like Wink Murder.  I tried to lessen the strength of that name by being funny and calling it Wink Patay.  The Tagalog word "patay" means to die and I thought they'd get kicks out of me trying to speak their language.  But anyways, I played about 5 different games and they appeared to have a blast. 

They're good kids but tonight I felt they were really good kids. 

That's the thing about them, the more and more I see them, the more and more I really start to connect with them, see their personalities and character come out, and really start to form a friendship with them.  I feel more like their cool aunt, in a way.

After all our games, I then went to hand out the donuts and juice but they stopped me and said they had something for me.  I filmed a bit of it on my phone and shared it on Instagram -- one Lil' Sista reading off a card they had created for me.  Honestly, it is probably the coolest card I've ever seen.  It was this three page card that was so beautifully decorated with paper flowers on the front and my picture but it's what was on the inside that really got to me.  I opened up the card and there, on the inside, were all these little post it note letters that each of the girls had individually written to me (in many cases, that meant them getting it translated too) and stuck on the pages.  There were 21 little post it notes in total.  And as I read each post it note this girl or that girl would come up and insist on pointing out to me which letter was hers.  It was so adorable.  Later on, after I returned home, I ended up getting emotional over this card as I showed it to Skittles.  Those little girls had made such a beautiful card for me and it was so touching.  The plan is to frame that card and put it on my office wall as a keepsake and reminder to myself as to why I'm doing this all and who I'm doing it all for.  

To tell you the truth, this probably was my most favourite birthday ever.  I mean, I've had the occasional good birthday but this one really took the cake (and lack there of it).  Celebrating my birthday with the very group of girls that sparked a passion in me a little over a year ago, the same group of girls that I launched the Lil' Sistas because of, it was so very memorable.  I wanted to celebrate it with my Lil' Sistas at the Center of Hope, I'm really attached to them, but the truth of the fact is I met the girls at Holy Family Home way before the girls at the Center of Hope.  They were my original crew of Lil' Sistas and there were just 26 of them.  Now I have 76.

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Mother Nature Coming Down Hard

So this happened today, not in my exact area but instead in the neighbourhood of one of my Maverick teammates.  She shared this picture on our team chat.  It rained all weekend though; it flooded all weekend.
And while it continued to rain, I continued to prepare for a special party.
Today I bought party prizes for the games I'll be having.  The party goes down tomorrow. 

Almost Rained Out... Saturday, August 3

My 7am team run, rained out.

On the flipside though, one of my friends came out to run, she was the only one that was able to do so, and instead of going for a run we stayed in and chatted.  Over peanut butter and banana sandwiches and hot coffee, we finally got a chance to catch up and she finally got a chance to not only meet Rousey but also see my clubhouse for the first time.  

My 10am small team boxing session, somewhat rained out.

Only 2 of my 4 small team fighters were able to show up.  However, because of that, I decided to switch things up and "treat them" all to padwork.  I don't usually do padwork on the weekly bases with my small teams because it makes it impossible for me to guide the rest of the fighters when my undivided attention is on whomever is hitting the pads I'm holding. 

Preparing for my birthday party, delayed but not rained out.

Ya, I don't do parties and I don't like surprises but I'm throwing a party and my guests don't even know they're my guests.  They don't even know I'm showing up and they don't even know it's my birthday.  It's a surprise surprise party for a group of people in this beautiful country that are exceptionally special for me.  And on that note, I won't say anymore.  Tomorrow night is the party.

Friday, August 02, 2019

Hitting Training Hard

Pullups on the bands to kick off my workout.
Standing ab rollouts.
 Lunge snatches.
 And then battle ropes.  Four of the eight exercises I did for functional training tonight.