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, June 23, 2017

Overshadowed by Silliness... Friday, June 23

The success and excitement of sparring today was definitely overshadowed by the fact that Elite Boxing wanted to charge me double for the training -- once for sparring and a second for "the session", or "entrance" as they labelled it in an email conversation I had with them.

I had to pay per round and then pay an "entrance" fee which is silly if you ask me because first of all it's literally impossible to spar without physically entering the club.  Coach Bon tried to explain it to me, telling me it's for the use of the equipment but I don't know what boxer goes into a boxing club to spar without at least doing a few rounds on the heavy bag for a warm-up or cool down afterwards.  

I didn't want to be "that difficult customer" but I did put up an argue and it escalated and extended way beyond what it should have.  Their club manager wasn't there today, I don't even know who the manager is actually, so I voiced my concern in an email.  I questioned them about their double charge and then explained that at Elorde and other clubs it's always been a matter of paying for sparring, not also paying this "entrance" fee or session fee.  I had told Coach Bogs I only wanted to spar, I didn't want to do padwork, and that's exactly what happened.  There was no session, no one-to-one training beyond that of us sparring in the ring against each other.  Perhaps me referencing Elorde's pricing was a low blow but honestly if I have to pay this double charge to spar then I'm going to go to Elorde to spar.  For the price it cost me for three rounds of sparring I could have taken an Uber to Elorde, sparred for twice the amount of rounds with a former Filipino champ and then returned home.  

Elite Boxing said they'd talk to their coaches tomorrow regarding the situation but I don't think that's necessary.  They know they double charge their clients, they don't have to ask their coaches to know this.  Their staff are only regurgitating what they've fed them.  It's already awkward as it now is so I'm not training tomorrow.  I doubt I'll train on Monday either.  Let them think I've left.  

This double charge is ridiculous and now I know why in the two weeks that I've been at Elite why I've been the only one sparring.  Perhaps I'm the only one that can financially afford to spar but that's the thing, I can't afford it.  I'm still very much a starving athlete, living on a tight budget and trying to launch my next business.  I'm not living the life of luxury, trust me.  

Both Coach Bogs and Coach Bon were so apologetic to me about having to pay so much but I knew it wasn't their fault so it wasn't their place to have to say sorry.  I appreciated their concern though, they're awesome coaches and Elite should consider themselves flat out lucky for having them, seriously.  I was relieved to hear later, in that email conversation with Elite, that their coaches get 100% of the sparring fee clients pay, but I know this double charge is to make sure the club makes money too.  As far as I'm concern, this double charge is a desperate attempt at milking the client for more money and is both unprofessional and discouraging with regards to increasing the interest in the sport.  Sparring is a huge part of the sport but if fighters can't afford to pay for it than how are they going to expand upon their potential or even reach it?!  

A boxing club that doesn't have boxers actually boxing in it... this is a sad first for me.

I quite enjoyed sparring with Coach Bogs because it was challenging but I also knew the importance in my coach seeing first hand how he can better develop and push me in and outside of the ring with my training. It was pretty cool to have Coach Bon in the ring acting as a ref and corner coach for me, I appreciated that.  But as I reached into my little money pouch and took out bill after bill, to pay this double charge for today's training, I felt so disappointed.  "Thank you for the sparring", I told Coach Bogs, "I can't afford this though so this will be the first and last time I spar here", and then I left.

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