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.

Friday, October 14, 2016

A Touch of Korean Tragedy... Friday, October 14

As I stepped out of my apartment to walk Balboa, I looked up and there, at the end of the hall, sat a man on a metal chair.

It was 5:25 in the morning.

The man was a cop.

I cautiously walked down the hall, he greeted me with a hi and a wave, and I stopped to ask him a question.  "You don't have to tell me what happened but should I be worried?"  He asked me if I knew who lived there, in the apartment where he sat guarding the door of, and I told him I know basically everyone who lives on my floor.  I didn't really know that particular resident but I had seen him two days earlier; we took the elevator down together.  

In between seeing that cop sitting there and then seeing him leave, I had raced off to my club to coach and rumors among my neighours had started to spread about why there was a cop doing door duty.  Some thought maybe he was the mysterious hit-and-run cyclist who hit the elderly lady on Parliament and drove away.  That happened three weeks ago and just recently, yesterday I think actually, the lady died due to injuries from that crash.  It wasn't until I returned to my apartment building after coaching that I found out what had happened.

My neighbour had committed suicide.

A young guy whom I had just talked to the other day and shared a giggle in the elevator with killed himself around 3am today.  Someone who thought their life was so bad that they couldn't escape from it, fix it, or make it better thought the only choice they had was to kill themselves.  Someone who lives in my building, on my floor, a few doors down from me, ...my neighbour... killed themselves while the rest of us were all cozy in bed with not a care in the world.  I was told that he had reached out to a friend, he told his friend that he wanted to kill himself, and that friend actually did end up coming over.  Unfortunately he showed up something like an hour too late.  So close but too late.  Wow.  My heart goes out to his friend.  He will always have to wear this burden.

News of my neighbours death really shocked me not because I had known him but because this is Canada.  I lived in Korea for 11 years and know 14 people who had committed suicide.  For every year in Korea I knew at least one person.  I've been in Canada now for one year and now I know one person who committed suicide.  I thought I had left that all in Korea, wow.

Today I experienced suicide in Canada for my first time ever and it really made me upset.  I don't think I'll ever be able to not glance over at his door whenever I'm in the hallway now.

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