As the story has it, one day I headed to the opposite side of the globe – the Flipside. I arrived in Korea on February 16th, 2005 and thought I’d do a year, then leave. I went from being some random foreign girl to taking on labels I never imagined – university professor, film extra, professional boxer, reality TV star, CEO of my own girls-only fitness company (Flipside Fitness), CEO of my own boxing club (Hulk's Club, formerly known as Hulk's Boxing), and now I'm launching my 3rd business -- Empowered Clubhouse.


After 11.5yrs in Korea, I then picked up one day and returned to Toronto, Canada. But then I left again. This time it was for the Philippines. That's where I am now, living in the land of the happy people. The struggles are real and the struggles are many but I'm living life on my terms, I'm calling the shots, and I'm doing what I love. Life is an amazing adventure and this is my story of yesterday.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Female Champion... Sunday, July 8

1,353 steps, 250 meters, 59 floors, over 600 runners, and I came in 1st place in the women 30-39 category with 2nd and 3rd place coming in only 20 seconds behind me.

Super happy to have joined this competition last minute, Kerry Sport's Vertical Run, because I met some amazingly fierce females who proved to be quite the intense competition.  In the morning I was so full of anxiety though, I must admit it.  I know I take competition way too seriously at times (okay maybe all of the time) and I get myself so worked up about it.  It's not that I'm so nervous but maybe it is nerves mixed with excitement, I don't know.  All I know is right before the race, when they told my heat to line up at the start line, I had to quickly excuse myself to use the bathroom one last time.

At the starting line, right at the front of my heat there was this long-haired pretty Filipina, Dolly.  I figured she'd be in my age category so I knew I had to beat her.  I purposely asked some random guy in front of me if we could change places too so that I could start the race off beside her.  He agreed to it.  My plan was to keep beside her but when the announcer yelled "GO!" she sprinted from the start line like a bat out of Hell. I lost sight of her on the second stairwell and then spent the next 30+ floors pushing myself to keep my pace and catch up to her. After the 30th floor I finally spotted her, one flight of stairs in front of me. For the next 20 floors I then ran right behind her.  Finally I passed her.

I gave it my all at the 57th floor, knowing it's only a 59 floor run, but I hadn't taken into account the race started on the ground floor which is actually the 2nd floor.

"Keep on going!", a race volunteer yelled.

Keep going?! WTF??? I had no choice but I was running out of steam and I could hear Dolly coming up on the stairs below me.

Beat her by 20 seconds... crazy.

At the top I turned and approached Dolly.  I just had to meet this fierce competitor and tell her thank you for the crazy strong competition she proved to me.  She laughed and we hugged.  Upon returning down from the race up, we hung out more and even got to meet the other top runner in our age category.  Turns out her and Dolly's race times were only milliseconds apart, that's crazy but that just goes to show you how strong these women really are.  

These two fierce females were so awesome to race against today and we talked about wanting to compete against each other next year.  Next year my plan is to actually train for this because the lactate acid that built up in my legs and the pressure on my lungs once we got into the higher levels was nothing like I've ever experienced before.  I got rather nausious at the start and thought I was going to puke but thankfully I didn't.  It was rough on the body and that kind of messed with my mind but I kept on telling myself that the faster I got up there the faster I could end this pain.  

I'm super competitive, I know, but hey I'm a pro athlete. Every thing turns into a competition to me but to have Dolly there with me, a girl that until today I had never met, a girl that became the reason why I was pushing myself so hard, it was awesome.

I accredit my success to her, definitely!

First place, me at 12:00.
Second and third place, Virna and Dolly, tied at 12:20.

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