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.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

An Uncomfortable First... Tuesday, June 27

In a country where everyone wants to be the next Pacquiao there are numerous of boxing clubs to choose from here but not all are the same. Today I trained at a new club and it definitely sported a different vibe than Elite and Elorde where I've trained at in the Philippines. I got in a good sweat and gave them a show for their stares but it made me miss my boxing club... and by "my boxing club" I mean Elite Boxing.

I had messaged the Empire Boxing Facebook page, requesting to come in and be able to just use their facility for training.  I didn't want any coaching and I didn't need any one-to-one padwork.  I just wanted to do my own thing at their place.  I got the okay and arrived this afternoon for training.  When I walked in I was greeted by a half naked front desk worker who asked me to sign in and that was pretty much the only interaction I had with any of their staff from that point on.  

The only people that talked to me were two men at the very end of my workout, when I was taking off my gear.  I had initiated the conversation by complimenting the one on his bright handwraps.  A conversation was sparked and we chatted for a bit.  Turns out it was their first day, it was my first day too, and that explains why we were the only ones really conversing.  The three of us were the "new ones" today.

No one but those two guys at the end of my workout talked to me but many others felt right at home looking at me.  At first it was a bit intimidating.  I was definitely on their turf but I felt like I was intruding or overstepping some kind of invisible boundary.  I quickly kick myself out of that feeling though with the fact that I was a paying customer and this was a business.  If they weren't going to act professional or curtious then the least I could do was just do my own thing and respect the fact that they really wanted nothing to do with me beyond whisper about me and watch me.  

With my blonde hair tucked under my bandana and my chin down, I went round after round on the heavy bag and did my thing as curious eyes watched on. I was "the new one" today and word that I was a pro fighter had been somehow found out and let loose in the club. It meant I trained alone and I felt like I was somewhat on show. Oh please, I lived in Korea for 11.5yrs, more than half of which I was considered the odd one because I was a female boxer in a male dominated sport, sporting tattoos, half a shaved head and blonde hair in a country that let me know it didn't exactly consider me pretty. I don't care about pretty though, I care about being strong and being healthy. Being the "odd one" is normal to me now but it was the first time I've ever felt like the odd one here in the Philippines.

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