Well, how far I have fallen in such a short amount of time…. my muscles seem non-existent. Where I was once “ripped” (ok, that’s a stretch), I am now looking a little squishy. I can actually feel myself getting slower and slower.
It feels like a Las Vegas magic act and I am the main event!
It looks like I am going to have to keep working hard and eating properly to maintain what I worked so hard to achieve. What kind of cruel world is this? I think this is extremely unfair and we humans shouldn’t have to work so damn hard to get a bit of muscle. I will be sure to take this one up with “the BIG GUY upstairs” – he’s got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!
So despite my weak little arms not being of any use tonight, they did manage to get me through Rey’s punching combinations (which he added a few more special ones at the end). In this combination, I do 9 punches and repeat them 3x. There are now 6 different 9 punch combinations that I have to do 3x from start to finish. So (and I’m no ‘mathlete’), but that works out to be 162 punches in a row as fast as you can and must be completed in the proper order. Now that just sounds CRAZY!!
Sometimes Rey mixes it up and gets me to do one set of each of the 9 punch combo so I don’t get into just the habit of doing them the same way each time. I can actually smell the smoke coming off the gears in my brain because it is working so hard.
The best/worst part is… if I mess up one – I have to start at the beginning!
I need to start practicing every day because before I leave for summer holidays I want to be able to do my punches properly (right now it is looking sloppy because my hands are going faster than my brain is working). I want to be able to do them faster. And I want to be able to hit harder with each punch (at the moment – I’m only concentrating on just getting the right punch landed at the right spot in the combos!)
I hope my arms and my brain can keep up to Rey’s plans!
*apologies for my earlier post!!! No offence was intended if any was taken!!
Tomato. Tomato? Potato, Potato?
ok that saying doesn’t work when you actually just write it in words out but you get the drift…
May is upon us and it is so great to hear that spring has sprung and jumped straight into summer back home in Canada. But all of the lovely status updates on Facebook from my friends means that I am itching to get outta Singapore and back to good ol’ Canadian soil pretty soon. Much to do before that happens though (probably booking an actual flight would be a step in the right direction). But I am definitely looking forward to it! Canadian summers are on the brain and it’s hard to focus on “the now”
One thing that I need to get completed this week is responding to all of the emails that were sent to me before and after the fight. I had about 60-70 of them in total and I want to be sure that I send a message back. No matter how long it takes me to get to them all. They are there and definitely not forgotten, but have just been pushed onto the back burner until I could get some things for work completed. I also have about 125 more thank you cards to write this weekend too. I always love to write them and I know how much I love getting something in the mail and a good ol’ fashioned thank you card is sometimes becoming more and more rare to receive these days. Now, I do realize I sound like a wise old grandmother talking about the good ol’ days, but I do think it is important to take the time to do this. The “thank you” is just as powerful as the support that was given in the first place.
So along with the May weather playing with my brain and not assisting me in any way to get all my tasks completed, Rey is also messing with my brain during training. Now that we don’t have to work on “our battle plan” we can actually do the fun things that come with boxing. So, our new goal is to train my brain to do some of the combination training that Floyd “Money” Mayweather does.
Now, Mayweather is a real jerk in my opinion (ok I have other words I would prefer to use, but I want to keep this blog clean). And after watching his fight this weekend I unfortunately have to admit that he is a pretty phenomenal boxer even if he probably deserves a punch in the junk. I told Rey that the only reason that I struggle to complete the 9 punch combinations that he is teaching me is because my inner-self is in conflict with wanting to do the combinations because of my disdain for that man. Obviously, it has nothing to do with me being crap at it… that’s just silly talk.
So – rather than focusing on the d-bag version of May(weather), I would far rather think about the amazing May weather in Canada that will eventually lead to June weather and my arrival back on Canuck soil. There is nothing better than that!
Bring on the summer!!
(as I sit at my desk during student-led conferences… May’s weather has definitely gotten the best of this Canuck!)
I got back into my regular routine straight away this week. I needed a bit of normalcy back in my life and oddly enough what is “normal” for me now is boxing every day!
However, I have a new goal in mind… and that is to balance my life out a bit more. Easier said than done? Perhaps. Will my balance life seem just as busy as before? Quite possibly. But I am hoping that it will at least seem a little more relaxed from my perspective. Mind over matter may work in this situation because I don’t think there really ever is a time during the school year where anything is just totally relaxed.
To kickstart my “relaxation”, Singapore has really helped me out by giving us all a Public Holiday on a Wednesday. Best idea EVER!! May 1st was Labour Day and I spent the day completely relaxing and enjoying the day with Kelso. It was really nice and I was very thankful to have the day off because tomorrow (Friday) I am headed to an ISTA Drama Festival at Tanglin Trust School in Singapore for the entire weekend with 16 students.
It will be great to see what it is like as a visiting school teacher. The only festival I have ever attended was the one that I organised back in November. That was a slightly nutty thing for me to do to sign up to organise something that I myself had never seen before. Again, my friend Greg Dixon did an amazing job of capturing what the festival is all about and has created a wonderful film on the student’s and teacher’s experiences throughout the festival. He’s kind of fantastic at this whole filmmaking thing, isn’t he?
I can’t wait to see what the kids experience during the festival! Here’s to a great weekend ahead and some fantastic experiences.
Well I am back from the jungles of Northern Thailand. The teachers have survived giant spiders the size of my hand in my bathroom at 5:00am, a snake in another teacher’s bathroom (thank god that didn’t happen to me!!!), teenage love triangles and gossip, sicknesses of our young cherubs we were looking after, and a rather uncomfortable bed/floor mattress for a week. No tigers were spotted on the trip but we did get up close to a Gibbon monkey family at one point which was pretty amazing. However, I think I would have preferred another 6 minutes in the ring with “The Hammer” though I am happy to be back and my body has finally told me to slow down. Thanks to the not-so-nice ear & throat infection I have acquired, I have been forced to listen to my body this weekend and have taken the time to rest up.
I did get a chance to see the whole boxing match since I have been home (thanks to Apple TV I was able to watch it on the big screen in my living room which was pretty cool). I was very nervous to watch it from start to finish. My perspective of the night was a bit of a blur and I knew that a lot of the training and practicing that Rey and I had done kind of went out the window as soon as that bell went and Jemma started to attack. I happens I guess, but I have apologized to Rey But here it is in full: our entrances, our training bios and the full fight itself. Check out Jemma and I showing our version of the eye of the tiger here:
It has been great to be home again and by looking around, I need to spend some time getting caught up on my regular life and getting things back to normal. As one of the guys put it, he felt deflated after the fight and asked who wanted to climb Everest. I think he was joking? But with a group of determined individuals like our squad is, you never quite know.
Some of the next things on my agenda is to get caught up at work and at home, work through all the back-piled emails and get my thank yous out to everyone who donated and supported me over the last few months, start getting my summer plans in order and book my flight home for the holidays, etc. I think there are only 8 weeks left of the school year and I know that time will just fly by.
I have had a lot of people ask about the blog and what will happen to it because they have enjoyed reading it. And I think that I will keep it going to fill people in on what is happening with me over here in Singapore and it has definitely acted as a bit of therapy to my sometimes crazy, busy lifestyle. I hope that you all keep reading along on my Asian & Canadian Adventures in the future – though I can’t promise the excitement of all that lead up to the big event. But I am sure I will find something worth writing about
Thanks again to everyone for their support and kind words! And I promise to thank you all individually for your support – it may take me a little while to get to everyone but it’s coming!!
Happy Sunday and I will see you at the gym tomorrow Rey!
Sorry you haven’t heard from me for a few days. I haven’t had internet access and have been on-call working since 4:00am Monday morning. I am currently in Chiang Mai, Thailand with approximately 85 Grade 8 students from my school. The trip has been great but extremely tiring as days are not only filled with fantastic activities, but also a ton of hormonal teenage Drama (and quite frankly enough to last me a lifetime!) I do not miss those years at all (though sometimes Kelso may argue that I act like a teenager at times!!)
Otherwise, I have been rock climbing, abseiling, zip wiring, doing a homestay in a village, mountain biking and I’m off today to do kayaking and orienteering. Not a bad way to spend my week. I have fully recovered from the pummelling that Jemma gave me in the ring on Saturday. It took a few days for my neck to recover from a bit of whiplash from her punches but all seems to be back in order and I am already planning on my next session back at the gym when I return.
But, I do apologize for being MIA during this time. There isn’t a lot of “free time” to be able to write and post, but I have finally gotten some footage that I think you will enjoy. So without further adieu, iFS White Collar Boxing event footage is upon us! Enjoy!!
Opening Training Video
An Overview of the Night – filmed by my friend Greg Dixon
(Greg made this video to share with our school community so that is why it features me prominently. Just to be clear – our squad raised the $60,000 USD not me by myself!)
My full fight video should be coming out either today or tomorrow as well so I will be sure to post when I have access to it!
Thank you again for all of your support everyone! More to come as and when I have internet again. :)
It’s hard to believe it’s all over.
4 months of training and 4 months of fundraising all summed up in one awesome night.
Jemma “The Hammer” Hooykaas truly stood up to her name. She was one fierce female who wasn’t giving up for anything or anyone. Guts, determination and a crazy strong jab made her one heck of a competitor. I was so impressed with her and her boxing. She was an all-star.
I had a fantastic cheering squad worldwide supporting me during the fight and I could feel all of their support as I stood backstage ready to make my entrance. Now, many of you may know, I do like to make an entrance. I had my amazing fly girls with me making sure that everyone watching knew who runs the world… GIRLS!
My sister sent me this video of my family back home, watching the fight via a live stream that I set up over my iPad. I loved seeing my family getting involved and enjoying the fight with me. I wish that they could have been there in Singapore ringside to enjoy it firsthand, but it was a close second to the real thing. Check them out cheering here when they announced the winner!
After the fight – Jemma and I were both so happy with what we had accomplished in the ring. We ended our fight with a big hug and walked down the catwalk back into the backstage area together. We chatted about the fight and congratulated each other on a great effort on our walk backstage to the dressing room. And then we had a beer.
I showered up and came out to say hi to everyone who came to support me. What a buzz!!! Everyone was so excited and it felt so great to hear all the congratulatory words and feel the hugs from all of my friends. Thank you again to everyone who came to support. It was awesome to have such a great cheering squad!!!
The rest of the night was a party and a half. We watched the rest of the matches and then went upstairs to the New Asia Bar located on the 78th floor of the hotel and has amazing views of Singapore. No better place to celebrate a great night! We enjoyed a few wobbly pops and danced the night away until the very wee hours of the morning. Fantastic!!
So… who won?
In the red corner… Keriann “K.O” O’Rourke!!!
Videos and photos to come soon! I’m departing for Chiang Mai, Thailand in the early morning for a week long excursion trip with over 100 Grade 8 students, so I won’t have too much of a chance to post as much as I would like but I hope to keep you updated as much as possible this week.
Thank you again to everyone for the amazing support! It has been an AMAZING experience and I am so proud of our fundraising and all the boxers who stepped into the ring last night all in the name of a good cause. Fantastic effort.
Today was difficult. In the words of my opponent Jemma “The Hammer” Hooykaas,
Work productivity – all time low. Brain productivity – all time high.
All I could think about was what is going to happen in the ring tomorrow night. I have been mentally preparing all day – daydreaming, if you will, about the whole night ahead. I am so very excited but also getting slightly nervous about the big event. There’s a lot of hype leading up to the fight and it takes a lot of mental willpower to not let it get the best of you. Easier said than done I think.
I’ve been getting prepared not only for the fight itself, but also for after the fight. On Monday, I fly out with all of the Grade 8 students (over 100 of them!) from my school for a week long trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand. There was lots to get prepared in my classroom to be ready to leave it in the hands of my Grade 7 classes and a group of various teachers and I don’t want to have to think about anything work related this weekend. I also didn’t want to leave my classroom in total shambles, and sadly upkeep for the last little while has been fairly low on my priority list, I will admit.
I was so thankful that after school my friend Jodie invited me over for dinner with her and her son, Oliver (a former student of mine). It was perfect. We chatted a bit about boxing, but we really talked about what is going on in “Master O’s” life and it was exactly what I needed. I didn’t even think about boxing when we were just talking about life at school. Relaxed. Chilled out. And we enjoyed a delicious meal together with great conversation. You did more good for me than you can ever imagine.
I have been completely floored by all the words of encouragement I have received today. Everyone is as excited as I am it seems, and it helps to know that there are so many people all over the world cheering me on tomorrow. It has been very motivational to have messages from near and far. Master O gave me some of the best pearls of wisdom I have ever received and I will be making a copy of it tomorrow so I can keep it in my boxing bag and read it again just before I head towards the ring. Thank you Ollie – I’ll give it my best “Hook, Jab, Smack” inspired by you.
So – the plan tonight… sleep as well as I can and sleep in tomorrow morning if possible.
Again, perhaps easier said than done. It feels like Christmas when I was a kid and you were too excited to sleep!
For the past few days I have been working to get things arranged so that my parents can watch the fight *live* on Saturday night (Canadian Saturday morning). During all of this, I have ran into a few road blocks (i.e. the event venue treating the wifi password like it was the secret codes to the pentagon, while having to “test-drive” a few options of how to make this possible over 3G). I think that I have worked something out, but along with some of these things happening on my end I have also had my father on the other end of the technology trying to get this to all go through his “Smart” TV (which he is currently calling his “Dumb” TV).
To get this all working, we have been texting and skyping and using many different forms of technology to communicate with my family back home. At one point, I was on Skype and could hear and see my father perfectly, and he could see me, but he couldn’t hear me. So I was writing notes and holding them up to my screen and my father was talking to me (and also to himself when he was kind of losing it and saying some very unpleasant words at his TV). Which was completely hilarious to see his frustration unfold over the wonders of the internet.
However, last night I went to do a post on my blog and technology was NOT working in MY favour…. and then I did exactly what I watched my father do that very morning. I swore at my computer, threatened to throw it across the room and then kept muttering about it under my breath while Kelso watched me out the corner of his eye in bed beside me. It’s not so funny when it is happening to you.
And I came to the realisation – I have turned into my parents.
However, we have prevailed and now it’s up and running and all is right in the world again (well, my world at least). So this is what I wanted to post last night before my computer decided that it didn’t want to cooperate.
Shout Out to Southwestern Ontario!
Over the past few weeks, I have done 2 radio interviews that have aired on radio stations back home. I’ve gotten messages from people telling me that they heard me on the radio too which is pretty fun. Here in Singapore I would be called an “Artiste” with all the media coverage I have been getting. It is pretty fun to hear and I am so happy to get the message out there to everyone.
I am still working on how to get the clips into my FB page, but myFM radio has also posted them online through this link:
And, Kate Dubinski from the London Free Press, has also written an article about me and the upcoming fight. You can read the article here:
*sidenote* I found out that Kate’s husband is best friends with a couple who I am good friends with here in Singapore! Small world!!
All this coverage has been wonderful and I am thankful to everyone who is showing their support to this little Huron County gal tomorrow night.
I know in my heart that everyone is cheering me on and I will post the fights as soon as possible after it is all over – and post the results of whether I win or lose here as quickly as possible too. Thank you to everyone who has shown their support for me in both my fundraising and my boxing. It has been a wonderful experience and many continue to do so by donating in my name at
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can’t say it enough!
Yep – it’s the truth. A true bunch of superstars. One big group that sets the bar high and will inspire others to do the same. We started out as a gang of people trying to get through a session without vomiting; to a squad that worked together to raise over $50,000 USD!!!!
And we haven’t stopped there. More money is being collected and we have absolutely smashed our original goal of $20,000 and surprised the hell out of ourselves and everyone around us. How cool is that when you even surpass your own goals by over double?? We underestimated what we CAN do. It has been a very pleasant surprise indeed.
Along with this accomplishment, our squad has come such a long way in terms of our boxing and fitness. It’s hard work – no joke! But we have persevered on to our final week. We look different, we feel different (*and gosh darn it, people like us* – sorry I couldn’t resist the SNL Stuart Smalley reference)
In this last week, training will begin to relax. My week with Rey has included only shadow boxing and pad work and will eventually taper off on Thursday with my last session of only shadow boxing. That’s when sh%& gets real.
And for now, I will spend my time trying to devise a game plan to keep myself calm, cool and collected on Saturday before the fight… without beer!
Hmmmmm…. tough one.
There are only 5 days remaining until the big event. I feel ready for Saturday, but I also feel anxious about the event. I want to keep my cool throughout the next few days and it would be even better if I didn’t allow myself to get nervous before stepping into the ring. However, these feelings are inevitable. It’s hard not to when you know that 1,500 people are expecting to see great boxing and a great show. Despite being a Drama teacher, the butterflies are always there before the curtain goes up (or in this case, the bell rings).
Deep breaths and repeating my mantra “it’s just like sparring” will hopefully help.
The next few days will inevitably generate a range of emotions for all the squad members. I am very much looking forward to when the event is over and the squad can actually get to know each other outside of the gym a bit more. Perhaps we have more in common than boxing?! *Shocking realisation!*
But a lot can happen in 5 days. We must all be careful to not get injured and take care of our bodies. I know I am very careful about where I am walking for fear of twisting my ankle (which I have a tendency to do). Eating right, getting enough sleep and drinking lots of water are other things to have to worry about. We have to be at the top of our games come fight night.
But the biggest thing that I hope that happens in the next 5 days is that we reach $50,000 USD. We are so close to achieving this – with just over $3,000 USD to get there. It would be simply amazing to hear that amount announced on Saturday night. I am already so proud of the squad and all that we have done together to get where we are. I don’t want to toot our own horn or anything, but the squad is kinda awesome
So – the fight looms and the end to all of this craziness is near.
Bout #5 – Here we come!