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.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Sparring in the Shawa... Wednesday, May 11

Being that since my move to Hardknocks my current sparring partners are three male pro fighters way that are bigger, stronger, faster, and better than me, sparring has been challenging.  I think it's safe to say that I won't ever officially fight any opponent that's better than them, especially not that of Coach Perez and Vargas. 

Today I sparred with someone new -- a female out in Oshawa.

Her coach (Coach Adrian) and I have been in contact with each other long before I moved to Canada.  We had been Facebook messaging back when I lived in Korea.  Now I'm here though so it was only fitting that I'd finally meet him, check out his club and meet his fighters. 

Coach Adrian was sweet enough to travel out to Toronto, pick me right up at my apartment and then drive me to his club.  He then drove me home after the sparring too.  How's that for super sweet and taking the title coach to a new level?!  Exactly. Man is dedicated to his craft, his club and his fighters and despite the brutal traffic it was nice to chit chat while we slowly but surely made our way to his club.

When we arrived at his club I was greeted and introduced to everyone there.  The place was small at first glance but it was also packed with fighters training.  The club is actually two floors but the basement isn't yet renovated.  The potential is there though, you can totally see it and I don't doubt that it'll be pretty awesome once finished.  Coach Adrian is full of wonderful ideas so he went through each part of the unrenovated club and shared with me his vision.  I could totally relate, having so many ideas and being so excited about what's to come, the potential.  He is where I was a few years back, back when I walked through an abandoned, dirty hair salon and saw exactly where I wanted the ring to sit and where the heavy bags would be hooked up.  I wish I could go back to that.  I wish I could find that spark again -- that fresh excitement with creating something great, making a dream a reality.

I lingered around the club for some time, mingling with those training, checking the place out, and chatting with Coach Adrian and a younger fighter who goes by the ring name The Executioner.  I then met my much talked about opponent -- Killer B.  She came walking into the club and I stood there watching her.  Killer B is a small fighter, perhaps the smallest I've ever sparred with but I knew enough to not label her or assume anything.  I learned that lesson in Korea with one particular female fighter -- a mother of two but a world champion no less.  Killer B was all smiles and she had come accompanied by her beautiful daughter who also is a fighter.  Actually, word is she got into boxing after her daughter.  I thought that was pretty cool.  Mother and daughter training hardcore together at the boxing club.  

Then it was time to warm up for sparring. 

We only sparred three rounds.  I honestly didn't know what to expect but I know the whole situation had been hyped up at the club by both Coach Adrian and Killer B so there was a solid crowd of fighters eager to watch us.  It wasn't what I had expected or what I have become accustomed to with terms of sparring, after all I have been sparring with some very high level heavy hitters.  But it was good.  I was just happy to be there supporting Coach Adrian and helping promote boxing and boxing among us females.  Killer B tried her best but I know I was much stronger than her and obviously much more experienced.  I gave her mad props for stepping into the ring with me, it was a pretty cool experience for both of us.  She got to take her sparring to another level and I used the sparring session as a chance to test out different parts of my game I've been working on, like my footwork in particular -- pivoting, transitional step, staying on my toes, etc.  

Once sparring was over I packed my gear up and stood around chatting with many of the fighters who had stayed to watch.  They all had such great energy and such positive attitudes.  They were grateful to me for coming out and I really appreciated them letting me do so.  I can see a lot of potential in this club, particularly with the female fighters, so Coach Adrian and I talked about this on the drive back to my apartment in Toronto. Upon arriving back in Toronto, I showered and then headed back out the door.  Had a little late night dinner with Mr. X -- shrimp spinach salad, hold the carbs.

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