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, October 07, 2018

An Unexpected Loss... Sunday, October 7

Tonight I found out that a friend of mine from Canada passed away. We weren’t super close friends but he was one of my good Polish friends from Toronto; a gym buddy from System Fitness. The news of his passing was given to Skittles from Rev, my Pastor in Toronto who Skittles had met up with today for church. 

I felt sick to my stomach. 

I won’t go into the details of his death and the situation or situations leading up to it but will note that life is too precious and too short to waste it on drama and stupid things. Do what you love, be with who you love, and live life as the gift it is. We all take time for granted, as if we’re promised a quantity of it because we’re young, because we’re healthy, or because this or that. 

Nothing in life is promised to us. “Just death and taxes”, they say, but even taxes people cheat. 

With news of his death, I reached out to a few of my gym buddies from System, most of which hadn’t yet heard the news. It was pretty rotten to be the one telling them the devastating news -- telling them via text messages sent between the Philippines and Canada. Some of them shared more of his situation with me and it was so very sad. I knew he was having a hard time when I last saw him in Canada but that was well over a year and a half ago but I thought things had cleared up. 

I had once shared with him a bit of my situation in Korea and had told him that in that moment, when I was in Korea, I thought nothing else mattered and I honestly believed there was no end. “If only I knew then what I knew now!” I told him, “I would have realized that there are always choices… you can always change a situation.” I changed my situation, I simply got up and left. And it was as scary as hell. I didn’t even believe I was doing it nor did I believe it would push though and I’d be safe until I was on that plane leaving Korea. It’s almost as if I held my breath until those wheels on the plane lifted off and I was in the air. Only then did it hit me that I was finally free and then I cried. 

Life is short. Life is too short and I’m not about to risk making mine any shorter or waste it. 

He died on Monday. They buried him on Wednesday. He was only 26 years old.

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