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.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

You Define YOU... Saturday, November 12

After all that, after getting dressed and putting on my makeup, I jumped back in the shower.

I didn't need to really shower again, simply washing my face would have done the trick, but in between getting ready and deciding I was going to shower again I had a moment.  I had finished getting ready so I stood up to take a look at myself in my mirror.  I stood there starring at myself and kind of got lost, like a deer in the headlights.  My dress fit me like a glove, my hair was looking all posh, and even though the makeup look I had gone for was rather dramatic for me as a jock, it looked totally put together and impressive. 

I didn't look the part though.

I stood there wearing this outfit and done-up makeup that a woman with confidence would sport but it was so not me.  I have the confidence but as an athlete and not as this sexy woman that the dress was requiring.  The Captain once joked with me and told me I "really know how to kill sexy" but the truth of the matter was Korea and Snickers had initiated it.  I had killed it for me long before Canada because I had let Korea get to me. I allowed Korea dictate to me how I should feel about myself. 

"I don't live in Korea anymore", a simple reminder I tell myself every single day.

Korea's social norms and expectations don't apply to me here in Canada but for some reason I seem to have packed them in my carry-on bag with me.  It's hard to drop that baggage but it's important to note that it's just baggage.  We all have baggage but it doesn't define who we are.  We can let it define who we are, sure, but ultimately even that is our own personal choice.  We define ourselves.  I define me.

I had a bit of a moment tonight when I realized this, when I realized that I haven't been living in Korea for over a year now but that it still very much has a hold on me.  Korea isn't my obstacle, I thought it was but it's not.  It's me.  I'm my own obstacle.  I define myself but I also hold myself back.  In realizing this though, it felt so empowering, as if I had just made this incredibly fantastic discovery that'd change everything.  It may not change everything but it definitely changed my night. 

I took a second shower and then got ready again.  This time I was really ready to go out. 

If only the girl I am today could have sat down and talked to the girl I was in Korea, things would be so different and things for me in Korea would have been so different.  I lost a lot in Korea but, like Skittles says, you either win or you learn, so my so-called losses were really life lessons learned.  And let me tell you, I learnt a lot, wow.

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