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.

Friday, December 16, 2016

A Harsh Reality Check... Friday, December 16

Boxing isn't a natural sport, I know.  Injuries are an expected thing, regardless of how many preventative measures you take.  Boxing is right up there with football, rugby and hockey in terms of the severeness of head injuries and the frequency of them.  In football players run head first into their opponent and tackle them down.  In rugby they basically do the same thing as football players except with less padding, less protection. In hockey they don't run, they skate, and then they body check.  In boxing we come in fist first and then punch each other anywhere and everywhere above the belt -- the head being the main target.  Every fighter wants to knock their opponent out.

Tonight the reality of the brutality of my sport, boxing, was a very real one.

Tonight one of my sparring partners told me she wouldn't be sparring tonight and won't be sparring for several weeks because she had to go see a neurologist.  She's been mixing up her words and the specialist thinks she may either be on the threshold of something serious or having a fluke situation.  Regardless, they're monitoring her and it's scary.  It's scary for all of us.  It's scary for her, obviously, because she's the one in the situation but it's also scary for us around her because we took are constantly stepping into the ring and taking mean hits and repetitive blows to the head.  

Worst head injury for me was this past year when I woke up after sparring and everything was a haze for a solid 4-5 hours.  It was like trying to look through fossilized glass doors.  I could see things but not in detail and no matter how close I put my face to something and squinted, I couldn't even make out the numbers on my cell phone.  It's as if my eyes couldn't make out the details of what I was looking at and my brain couldn't process what my eyes were trying to do.  There was definitely a misconnection.  I was sparring way too much at that point -- 2-3 times a week for an average of 20 rounds.  No sooner did one sparring session finish but then a day or two later, on Fridays it was only a matter of hours later, I'd be back sparring.  I was only doing what my coach wanted me to do, what he had scheduled for me to do, but I was getting injured.  It wasn't until I woke up and couldn't see that I listened to my sponsors, friends and fellow boxers who all had expressed concern for me leading up to this particular situation.  Clancy's Boxing reached out to me and then so did Lee Baxter of Lee Baxter Management.  I had ran into Lee a few times, at one of his boxing events, the gym and then once in the mall, but it was when I went to go buy a baseball hat off one of his boxers, Sam Vargas, that he sat me down and told me enough was enough.  And just like that I left my boxing club, left my coach, resigned from my coaching job at the club I was at and joined Lee's club, Hardknocks Boxing, and accepted a new coach, Lee's boxer Mario Perez.

I tried to cheer my sparring buddy up by telling her "We're all due for a head check, after all we're boxers and you have to be a bit crazy to a boxer", and that helped.  I really was looking forward to sparring with her tonight.  She's an aggressive, hard hitter like me and so it's an intense sparring session when I spar with her because it's like fighting myself but boy can that girl weave well and dodge those hooks! 

[Enter me sending all my positive vibes and cashing in my karma points here for her to recover quickly!!!]

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