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.

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Best Girls in Taguig... Sunday, October 6

Sometimes I catch myself getting a bit annoyed and frustrated when coaching the Lil' Sistas because sometimes they binker amongst themselves or chit chat when I'm trying to get their attention for an exercise.  But then I remind myself that them learning boxing isn't the entire reason I'm there.  It's not all I'm trying to teach them or let them exercise.  

I found myself having to recheck my goals and why I coach them in boxing. 

Whether they get my boxing lesson, tips and exercises isn't the point.  It's so much more than that. 

I reminded myself of this today, before I headed out.  And then I reminded myself when I was there.

I had gone to coach the Lil' Sistas at Holy Family Home and had brought one of my fighters whom I train at Empowered.  She had shared with me a bit of her story and I felt she was a great match for my Lil' Sistas -- a great potential mentor with awesome energy.  And she was.  I stood and listened as she showed such enthusiasim when the little girl she was helping with her hand wraps finished wrapping her hand.  She was so excited for her and voiced a sense of pride for the girl.  It was a pretty cool moment and I know the Lil' Sistas around her felt her positive vibes.  

We had traveled there via a van -- a new sponsor from my boxing club that wanted to help out.  She sent a driver and a van.  I had both for 8 hours but only needed them for about 4.  It was such a huge help though because usually I'm fighting the whole lack of phone signal there, trying to order a Grab and then struggling with getting the Grab driver to figure out how to get through those crazy small back streets.  The van and driver sponsorship was definitely a huge help.

After boxing we finished off the rest of the soya milk that had been donated to me in exchange for an interview I did a few weeks ago.  We also had apple slices and dipped them in the Fix and Fogg peanut butter that KiaOra Kitchen had donated for the Lil' Sistas Project.  I still have lots of peanut butter, I buy the apples, but now I'm looking for another sponsorship for next time's boxing class.  I'll have to figure it out for my October 26th boxing class with the Lil' Sistas at the Center of Hope. 

It was great bringing one of my fighters to come help me.  I really appreciated the added extra energy and positive vibes.  Usually I just go to Holy Family Home alone and take on the task of coaching them all by myself.  It was interesting to note her remarks and comments while on route back to the clubhouse.  I had asked her to not speak so much Tagalog and don't let the girls know she is fluent in it.  I really want them to try to speak English and build upon their communication skills, not only with the English language but asking one another to put to pieces what they want to say and what I say.  Anyways, she had told me some of the comments the girls said and one comment really struck a cord in my heart.

"You're tired, Coach Amy is tired too... don't do that to her."

For a Lil' Sista to say that, wow, that's very mature for a child to say but I definitely appreciate it.

Sometimes I feel like I'm not getting to these girls, like I'm not building any kind of foundation for them and with them, that I'm just putting in time and it's not doing anything.  But then I get feedback like that and it just makes me melt.  It makes me feel proud of all these little girls, how much they've progressed and matured.  Earlier this morning I was looking at some of the pictures I have of them from a year back and I noted who is still there, who has since been adopted or left for whatever reason, and those who have since joined.  There are two girls there who I've become close with, one of which went from being a mischievious one to quite mature and sweet.  Another one went the opposite route.  She's always been sweet to me but these days she's having a hard time fitting in and is kind of the loner in the bunch.  I don't know if anything in particular has happened to her since last year when I first met her but she fit in back then, she doesn't really fit in now.  Today she cried.  I had asked everyone to introduce themselves and when it came to her turn, she froze.  I tried to help her but some of the girls made comments and she cried.  I don't think they said anything particularly mean.  I just think she doesn't like the added attention.  I put my arm around her and asked if she was ok.  She didn't say anything but instead just sat down.  I checked in with her a couple more times but by the end of our time together she was okay. 

These girls, I tell you, they break my heart every time I see them but I continually and gladly go back to them.  I think they're amazing.  I wonder if they think they're amazing too.

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