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.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lil' Sista Pow Class... Friday, May 25

I think my heart honestly swelled up bigger than the space in my chest.  It was just so full, so big, and I was one big pile of mush because of it all.

I totally blame 18 little girls for this.

Today I arrived at Holy Family Home, an all-girls home for underprivilaged girls.  It resides in a small community right down the street from me -- an area that I see every day.  From the outside, the community looks rough and tough but, as it turns out, it's just like the community I walk through every day for boxing.  The streets are more narrow and the buildings seem a bit taller but it's pretty on par with the community I walk through.  I was quite surprised.  

I was driven to the home by a new friend and when we arrived I was quite surprised at how big and nice the building was.  Inside the building, you could see up to the top floor -- four floors.  My friend took me upstairs to find the girls and as soon as they saw her they ran up to her and hugged her.  I stood by watching, anticipating an introduction but no sooner did that happen, they started to hug me.  

...and that's when I started to mush the heck out.

There were 18 of them there today that did the class with me.  I started off with a kind of show and tell of some of my equipment.  I wasn't sure if they all spoke English but I knew they'd like seeing some boxing stuff.  I did some agility ladder drills, weaving, shadow boxing, and then I played a game with them.  They didn't know the game Simon Says so I introduced it to them as Coach Amy Says.  I had appointed one of the little girls as my assistant, Jaime, and when she won the game, Coach Amy Says, I was honestly so happy for her.  I jumped up and down, yelled and then ran to hug her.  

...the mushiness continued...

I had brought a couple of pairs of boxing gloves with me so I had some of them try them on.  I set my timer to 20 seconds and then did burnouts with them.  Man can those little ladies punch, wow.  If only you could seriously bottle their energy up, I'm convinced you could run a factory on it.  They were just so excited, so happy, and so full of positive energy.  It was amazing, really, because for that time that I was there coaching them and having fun, I totally forgot the stories I had heard about these girls and the heartache and heartbreak some of them have endured.  These girls are girls, they're children ages 5-15, and the things that they've gone through are things that children should never have to go through.  They're things that I, as a 37 year old grown woman, have never gone through.  But yet there they were, full of smiles and giggles, boxing with me on a beautiful Friday morning.  They were girls being girls, kids being kids, and it was such a pleasure and such an honour to be the one facilitating this.  

Saying goodbye was greeted with more hugs, plenty of hugs and plenty of questions.  I told them that I'd be back and I really do want to go back.  I'm very much interested in making this a monthly thing.  It's such an amazing way for me to not only pay it forward but also give back to the community.  These girls aren't from another country and where they live isn't out in the province.   They live here, right down the street from me.  

I'd love to do this more often but what I'd even love more would be to give these girls a place to go to, like the Empowered Clubhouse.  There's been a lot of things that have really made me push forward the launch of Empowered but this has been the strongest push.  I know the Home has a van and my friend mentioned they could drive them, so it'd be so amazing for me to be like, "Hey, I have the morning free, bring the girls by the boxing clubhouse... let's box!"  I long for the day I can say that because that right there, bringing them to the clubhouse to let them really train at a boxing club, would be the next best thing to meeting them all today.  

I don't think anything could beat today.

Today, this morning, was the happiest morning I've ever experienced in the Philippines which is crazy because I'm happy every day here.  I love the Philippines.  But today, I loved, loved, LOVED coaching them.  Best decision e.v.e.r!!!

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