As the story has it, I woke up and found myself on the very opposite side of the globe – the flipside. I arrived February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d simply do a year, then leave. Years later and I’m still here. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company, Flipside Fitness, and CEO of my own boxing club, Korea's largest -- Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing.

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I picked up one day and left. I returned to Toronto, Canada but only to pack up my bags and venture out again. Now I'm living in Makati, Philippines. Life for me is better in Asia and I'm so happy here. This isn't a new chapter in the book of my life though, it's a whole new book I've started!!! I'm a whole new woman. I left Korea with Flipside Fitness on my brain, Hulk's in my heart, boxing in my bag, and my four-legged friend Balboa Button by my side.

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

Monday, April 25, 2016

Helping to Carry a Friend... Monday, April 25

The weight on my shoulders via some burdens and stress I've been carrying are sometimes heavier and are in higher numbers than I'll ever admit to anyone.  But what doesn't break me makes me stronger, right?! Everyone has their issues and I am no different. I'm nor more or more less immune so I'm trying to stay positive and keep my perspective in check.  I think it really does come down to the power of the mind and how you perceive things, situations.  You can either throw yourself a pity party, mope around and say "poor me", or pick yourself up, look at is as a challenge and say "bring it on".  I don't think God would give us anything we couldn't handle and if there's anything that my religious upbringing in a family that went to church every Sunday and was super involved in helping run it has taught me than it is that.  

Challenges build character.

Just recently I added the weight of trying to look out for a suicidal friend to my pile, a surprising addition to my life that I wasn't expecting and am still digesting. She's a friend I've known since elementary school and just recently I reached out to her after she posted a Facebook status that signaled a yellow flag in my head.  I didn't know anything was wrong with her until she privately messaged me.


In Korea suicide is very much a common occurrence so much so that it's not really a shock when you hear about it.  We've become so immune to it and that's terrible.  You may never think of suicide for yourself but living in Korea you will most definitely know a friend, a coworker or a neighbour that does and that will go through with it.  I lived in Korea for 11 years and have known at least one person who has committed each year -- a friend's wife who hung herself, a student of mine who told me beforehand he was going to end his life, a fellow teammate who couldn't deal with the let downs of getting a job.  The list goes on of those I have known who have all ended their life.  

As for my friend here in Canada, I don't have any answers she's so desperately looking for and I'll be the first to admit I don't even really understand the problem that started this all for her but I'm trying my best to help.  I of all people know that sometimes you just need someone to vent to, someone to lean on, someone to pick you up.  In Korea, my person wasn't a person at all.  It was a four-legged little boy named Pacquiao -- my dog.  Occasionally it was Pyen Chi too and only sometimes was it Balboa.  I used to curl up in my chair in my "secret room" with Pac in my arms and tell him why I was upset.  I'd sit there crying, he'd lick my tears and then I'd go wash my face and act as if nothing was wrong.  Only Pac knew my heartache and even though he was just a dog and clueless as to why I was upset, there was some kind of reassurance with him being there with me.  I didn't feel alone.  

My friend is alone.  I texted her to tell her I'm here for her.  I texted her my number and told her that whenever she was feeling sad or just wanted to talk that I'd be here for her.  She's yet to use my number and the last time I heard from her was just the other day.  I feel like I'm holding my breath when I don't hear back from her.  I don't know if those around her, like her family, even know about her struggle.  She's told me about how she continually ponders ending her life, what she's done and the close calls, and it scares me to think that I may be the only one fighting for her.  She needs to reach out to others, surround herself with those who will lift her up and remind her that she matters.  I know when I hit rock bottom in Korea I kept it all in my head, well, I shared it with Pac.  But even when things got at their very worst I reminded myself that this is the lowest it could ever get so it can only go up from here.  "It can only get better from being the worst", a sentence I used to tell myself over and over.  And it's true though and where there's a will there's a way.  Finding the will to find a way is challenging but it's not impossible.  You just have to remind yourself that this too will pass.  

The mind is a powerful thing.  It controls your thoughts and ultimately controls your life.  
Today's lack of response from my friend weighed so incredibly heavy on me to the point that I didn't go for boxing and instead just stayed home trying to sleep the day away.  I had other things to battle too, like a crazed fan, the end of the month crunch that's coming this week, plans with Mexico, and struggles with getting Balboa to Canada.  I have my fair share of things occupying my head space and today it just seemed like one massive struggle uphill to stay positive and keep focused.  

I didn't even go to team training tonight at Clancy's though I knew seeing them all at the club would instantly lift my spirit.  I just wanted to be left alone so I headed into System for some weight training and to get in some serious heavy bag work.  I'm never really left alone at System though, friends are always there and tonight it was no different.  I was hugged by various friends training today, various ultra sweaty but very sweet friends. 

Heading home my mind wondered back to that of my friend.  I felt sad for her and felt as if I could seriously cry for her as I took my nasty, sweaty self back home after training.  

No one should feel like they're alone.  Everyone has somebody, don't they?!  Tonight my somebody was a friend.  I didn't want to end the night feeling upset over my friend so I showed up at my friend's house after 1:30am.  I was greeted at the door with a smile and a hug, and was reminded that ya, I've got my fair share of great people in my life so I'm never alone.  But if I ever do feel like I am, I can just show up at their doorstep.

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