As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I was wrong. I stayed, launched my first company, Flipside Fitness, and then opened Korea's largest boxing club, Hulk's Boxing (now called Hulk's Club).

After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again.

Now I live in the Philippines where I am the CEO and head coach of Empowered Clubhouse, the Philippines' first and only boxing clubhouse exclusively just for women. I also am the founder of the Lil' Sistas Project, CEO and designer of Slay Gear and Baa Baa Black Sheep .Ph.

Monday, October 23, 2017

In All Seriousness... Monday, October 23

Today I sat ringside, watching my coach spar. 

I returned to boxing today and next week I return to sparring. 

I love boxing and I really missed it but it was bittersweet returning today because of a sad situation that happened this past weekend, a situation that has shook many of us in the Filipino boxing community. 

Yesterday a young 20yr old boxer here in Makati passed away. He sparred on Friday and complications from an earlier untreated brain injury took his life. It was a harsh reality check for me yesterday and today it was all I could think of. I remember my coach Mario in Toronto stressing the fact that pro boxing is no laughing matter but it never really sunk in. I knew boxing at the level I'm at includes injuries and trust me I've had my share. I still vouch boxing is the best sport, I love it, but it's also dangerous. There are rules and regulations to protect us fighters, coaches and managers whose job it is to keep us safe, protective gear we must wear, and precautions and steps we must take to better protect ourselves. I'll be the first to admit my biggest problem is listening to my body but ignoring what it tells me. 

I struggled for almost 3 weeks trying to recover and it could have been cut in half if only I sucked up my pride and took the meds my doctor had prescribed. Instead I tried to nurse myself back to health and continued on with training. Last Saturday, 20mins before I left for coaching, I was head-deep in the toilet, puking my brains out and in so much pain. I refused to cancel my coaching and instead went and hoped not to faint from exhaustion and a total lack of food in my body. It was then that I realized I was only being ridiculous, I was causing my body more harm than good by being so stubborn. 

Injuries and exhaustion are a part of the sport, they're a part of any sport, but there are also people, rules, regulations, guidelines, and equipment to better protect you. Don't be so stubborn to disregard them. You're only hurting yourself. The first rule of boxing is to protect yourself so do please do that. We are after all only human. 

I was suppose to be celebrating today, a day not only marking the return of me to my boxing but also because of something that happened this exact day last year. It was hard to celebrate it with this sad taste in my mouth, knowing the tragedy that just happened with that Makati fighter. I felt it when I was at the boxing club but tried to cheer up the coaches (and myself) by staying positive and joking that I missed them all. I did really miss them, particularly Coach Bogs. It was weird being away from them for so long. 

Today marks a very important one year celebration for me. Those who know, please don't say, those who don't know, please don't ask. I just wanted to acknowledge a key day that changed my life, the person who was responsible for it and the Filipino family that adopted me... thank you. This is more than I could ever imagine and so often I think it's more than I even deserve.

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