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.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Unexpected 4ft Sweetness... Saturday, January 13

My day was surprisingly and expectantly packed with little Filipino kids.  From the moment I stepped out of the door to walk Balboa to showing up at the park to train, I must have been approached to just under 20 kids.

I walked out of the condo this afternoon to walk Balboa and looked up to see a flock of little kids running towards me.  I stopped and watched as they approached me.  They were all so curious about Balboa and wanted to ask me questions about him but they lacked English.  There were about 11 boys and they had been playing in the large field across the street from my condo when they caught glimpse of Balboa and I.  Between the group of them, only three of them knew random English words but it was quite cute how they resorted to body language to communicate with me.  One little boy wanted to ask me if Balboa bites so he stuck his hand out and then grasped his arm, as if to his arm was a dog and it was biting him.  One little boy was quite proud when he blurted out "What is your name?" and pointed to Balboa.  He wanted to know Balboa's name.  I high fived him for his English sentence and blurted out whatever Tagalog cheer words I knew.  They responded by giggling and high fiving me in return.  It was super cute.  

The cutest point of the whole situation came when one boy motioned to pick Balboa up but Balboa jumped back.  I then picked him up and handed him to the boy.  Instantly the little boy smiled and hugged Balboa.  He then passed Balboa on to some of the other boys and they too smiled and they too gave Balboa a hug.  I passed Balboa's leash to one of the boys and motioned for him to run with Balboa but Balboa was a bit hesitant to follow him and instead would run ahead a bit, stop and then look back at me.  When I motioned that I was leaving, I said goodbye and then some of them said "thank you" while others thought the correct response was to say "you're welcome" to me.  Both were right.  I had enjoyed that sweet moment.  They walked me to the end of the field and stood curbside as I crossed the street and walked up my condo driveway.  

My next run-in with kids came when I tried to head to the park to workout.  I didn't want to run all the way to Makati for boxing and thought I'd bring my agility ladder and work on legs and core in the park.  

In my head it was a simple idea.

I packed my bag with my bluetooth speaker, my agility ladder, water bottle, and keys.

I had just arrived at the park when someone ran past me and said hi.  I've been meeting so many people here in the Philippines so I didn't think anything of it beyond just saying hi back and smiling.  It's hard to keep track of all those I've met.  Turns out I didn't actually meet this guy though and I found this out when he did a lap in the park and returned to talk to me.  "Where are you from?", he asked.  Yup, he totally didn't know me.  It's okay, I am kind of use to random people talking to me here in the Philippines.  I got that a lot in Canada too.

When he left, I picked a spot in the park to train and then I began to set up my agility ladder.  That's when some kids ran right through my spot.  They jumped over my ladder, my bag, and sat on the large rock right beside me.  They sat there watching me so I thought I'd ask them if they knew how to use an agility ladder.  The boy nodded his head, got up from the rock, and just like that he jumped in on my workout.  I ended up putting all four of them through a little workout with me.  I showed them different footwork drills with the agility ladder, we used it to do a walking plank and push-up exercise, and then I challenged them to hold a plank with me for a minute.  We also held a side plank for both sides too.  I was impressed.  These kids had such great energy and were willing and eager to do everything and anything I motioned for them to try.  They were ultimately the perfect client to train.  No excuses... no ifs, ands, or buts.  

I didn't get in the workout I had anticipated but instead had a lot of fun with these little ones.  They were super cute and I loved their energy.  As I walked out of the park they ran by me and said thank you.  One of them said "see you tomorrow" and then that guy I had met when I first arrived ran by me again and said "see you next week".  

Yes, I'll be back.  I'll be back to coach my Empowered ladies here but I don't think I'll ever be able to successfully get in my own workout here if today was a glimpse of what it's like for me to train here in this park.

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