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.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

A Pet Peeve... Tuesday, January 30

Walking into Elite Boxing after a week of not being there is weird.  Elite is in Makati, I now live in The Fort BGC, so I only come to Makati on Tuesdays.  On Tuesdays I coach my Empowered Clubhouse small group boxing classes in the evening so I've decided to come early to Makati and get in a boxing workout with Coach Bogs.  I use to be at Elite every day.  Even on my day off training I use to visit them.  I lived right across the street from them; it was so easy to visit.

I miss Elite.  I miss Coach Bogs and the other coaches.  I miss many of their boxers too.

I don't have the same relationship with the coaches and boxers at the Philippine Army Boxing Club.  I only know a handful of people there, of which two of them are coaches.  I'm still very much the new girl at the club but Coach Roger is very nice to me, he always approaches me when I arrive and often re-rolls my hand wraps for me.  There isn't the same vibe at the Philippine army gym as there is at Elite.  Perhaps this sounds a bit rude to say but it's the impression I'm getting, the two clubs have a different clientele.  Unlike Elite with it's pretty girls and members wearing nice clothes, those training at the army gym aren't as image conscious.  Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine that really was loud and in my face at Elite today.

If you go somewhere to train, make sure you're appropriately dressed.  The gym is not the place to dress to impress.  I really don't care what people want to wear but wear something that you can train in, as in literally, physically can train in.  If you want to wear only leggings and a sports bra, hey, all the more power to you.  I've got nothing but props and respect for someone who is comfortable enough with their body to wear such an outfit, regardless of their size.  Being comfortable in your own skin is a beautiful thing, it's something not enough people can say they are.  I for one know I have my insecurities so I admire those women who are loud and proud with what they do (or don't) wear.  But ladies, if what you're wearing makes you conscious of your chest falling out, makes you unsure about whether or not your pants will stay up during training, or interferes and distracts you from your training, well, then don't wear it.  The gym is a place you train in.  It's not a fashion runway.  If anything, the gym is where you literally work your butt off, to make you runway ready, seriously.  

Today I counted 5 girls at Elite who stood in front of the mirror checking themselves out, readjusting their clothes and snapping pictures.  Pictures were one thing, I do the same, but it was them readjusting themselves that had me rolling their eyes.  They weren't comfortable at all and we all knew it.  These five were a part of a larger group, a group of 8.  One of the girls was so self conscious of her midsection.  She was only wearing a sports bra and shorts so to hide her midsection, she pulled her shorts as high as she possibly could.  The result, well, I don't think she quite caught the inappropriateness of it but I guess if distracting people from looking at her midsection, which wasn't even bad I should note, then she was successful.  

The scene that played out at Elite got me thinking about the ladies I train with Empowered and tonight, as they filed into the club, I checked out what they wore.  I definitely see is a difference between what many ladies wear when there are guys present at training and when there aren't guys.  Tonight, at my boxing class, all the girls wore comfortable training wear.  After training some of the girls changed their tops or whatnot right there in the club and for one of the pictures one girl sported just a sports bra and leggings though she wore a top during training.  When it's a ladies only group thing, I find those participating are more likely to wear training-appropriate wear.  There's really no reason to impress because, well, who would they dress to impress anyways?!  Exactly.  It's just one more distraction cut out from the equation.  Moreover, those training with me, because there were no guys, no added distractions, really got into it and really gave me 100%.  When I host my classes at Hernandez Boxing we have the club to ourselves so there's no one else training in the background.  We even go so far as to close the boxing club door, thus shutting it off from the rest of the facility.  It's totally private.  It's just those in my class and I.  The next step is to make sure those participating feel 100% supported and encouraged and I think I've been proactively making this a reality by opening up to them both before and after training, and just being real with them.  

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