Category Archives: Fitness

I workout a fair amount… sometimes I like to write about it.

Body Break!

If you lived in Canada in the 80’s/90’s you know exactly what this title is referencing (or maybe this is only an Ontario thing???)

For those non-Canucks, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod kept us fit and fabulous throughout those years with their suggestions of ways to take us off the sofa and into action. To me, at the time, their messages were more funny than something I actually  listened to at that age. Ok, well – they are still funny, obviously. But now I see their point. And now I have also decided on this year’s Halloween costumes for Kelso and I after surfing a bit looking at videos and pictures of Body Breakers, Hal and Joanne.

Coordinated track suits are a MUST!

Coordinated track suits are a MUST!

Shiney Lycra! My fave!

Shiney Lycra! My fave!

But not only were they known for their amazing wordrobes but I am sure that everyone can remember the slogan. “Keep Fit and Have Fun” as brought to us by the ParticipACTION campaign. Catchy Slogan indeed. Marketing Genius.

I myself have been working on my own ParticipACTION. As mentioned in my last blog, I have taken on the challenge of donating $1 for every 5 mins of exercise I am doing each week. So far so good… I’ve completed 2 hours of exercise so that means I will be donating $24 so far to the cause. This week’s goal is to do enough exercise to donate $60. Exercising for charity? Feels even better.

My friend, Chris White, has also working on the “Take Action Challenge”. He is running the North Face 50km Race on October 5th and will be donating $1 for every kilometre he runs. This is seriously amazing. I struggle to run 5K on any given day so I actually can’t imagine running 50!!! He’s doing some great stuff for his own training and he ran 25.58km last week and will be pledging that in dollar-form as well. Thanks so much Chris and congrats on all that you have done so far!!

(if you want to see what 50km in a Singapore running trail looks like – check out the map of the race here Holy Guacamole!)

And now there is another way that you can “Keep Fit and Have Fun” while also helping a cause. On Sunday October 6th, I am organizing a Bootcamp in the Botanics Fundraiser and Picnic Breakfast, in partnership with LEVEL Fitness. This fantastic initiative combines fitness and fundraising and is a chance for people to experience what LEVEL has to offer. First – a Bootcamp fitness session and then a post-workout Picnic Breakfast for all.

Bootcamps run by LEVEL are fantastic (I have been attending sessions for the last three Monday evenings at ‘Speaker’s Corner’ and love them).

REGISTER TODAY! Check out the online registration form below (you can fill it in directly from my blog!)


So, until next time….


Canadians - I dare you not to sing the jingle...

Canadians – I dare you not to sing the jingle…


I Challenge YOU!!!

Finally… they are making apps that mean something.

Don’t get me wrong, I love “Pinterest” and I’ve heard “Candy Crush” is an addictive game and I use my “Conversion” app to help be figure out the measurement differences, but I have never downloaded an app that would help me to help someone else… yet.

A friend of mine posted a link to website listing “10 Empowering Apps for Social Good“.  It was an interesting list highlighting some really great things that you can do with your phone, tablet or computer that would either teach you about perspective, understanding or even better… allows people to do something and have money donated for doing it.

Two apps on the list especially stood out to me.

Budge” – Users can stir up donations just by getting friends to do activities that they already do or play games they already like. The loser of the challenge can donate a predetermined amount to one of a handful of charities (both in the U.S. and Australia)

Charity Miles” – this one is simple in concept too while also promoting healthy fitness. Earn money for exercise that you do. Bikers, walkers and runners earn $ for every mile they complete. The charities are all in the U.S.

Both of these initiatives (and also the other 8 listed on the original website) are amazing ideas. Unfortunately, you an only choose a charity from the list of charities involved with these sites (this is also a ‘fortunately’ because these charities that are listed are raising a great amount of money!)

But I thought these ideas could be put to use in my own way. I would like to set up a challenge to you (and to me).

Are you up for the Challenge?!


  • Care to challenge me to something?
  • I may win. I may lose. But I am up for the challenge!
  • Be as creative as you like with your challenges.
  • Challenges can literally be anything! Hold my breath? Do a certain amount of pushups? Write a poem? A math problem? (ok, please don’t choose that one!)
  • Send me your challenge via Facebook, post a comment to this blog or write to me at
  • I will post your challenge on my blog, your donation wager amount and will write about the completion of the challenge (Kelso will be my witness for completion – he’s in compliance – I promise it will be by the book!)
  • If I complete the challenge successfully – YOU DONATE. If I lose the challenge – I DONATE


  • This donation challenge is for all of my runner, walker, biker friends out there. I have many of you!
  • For every km or mile you walk, run or bike in a week – please donate $1. (i.e. if you walk/run 10 kms – please donate $10)
  • If you would like to give more – then up your challenge goals.
  • Tell me about your goal and your donation via Facebook, post a comment to this blog or write to me at so we can celebrate your donation and also your achievement of completing the challenge.
  • Don’t walk, run or ride? Take classes instead? No problem! For every class you take, donate $1 for every 5 mins of the class (Take a bootcamp class for 60 mins? Donate $12 for that session)
Together - we CAN do it!

Together – we CAN do it!

I look forward to these challenges and will keep you updated on what I complete in a week too.


My first donation will be for my “Take Action Challenge”. For every fitness class I take this week, I will donate $1 for every 5 mins of class. It will look like this:

  • Monday – 1 hour bootcamp = $12
  • Tuesday – 1 hour boxing class = $12
  • Wednesday – 1 hour boxing PT session = $12
  • Friday – 1 hour bootcamp = $12
  • Saturday – 1 hour boxing class = $12

This week’s donation will be $60!

Do your part - challenge me or challenge yourself!

Do your part – challenge me or challenge yourself!

Where to donate?

Please go to

Please click on the ‘Donate Now’ Button

It is important that you make it clear that your donation is for the CIS Teachers House Building Trip to ensure that the funds are directed appropriately. (Our team leader is “Donna Jackson”)

MISSING: One set of muscles!

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!!

Back in the saddle and other manic musings

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.

Day 101 – Hook, Jab, Smack!

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! 🙂

Until tomorrow!!



Days 90-92 – Sleep Deprivation and Ginseng Overdose

Well it certainly has been a busy few days. We have had all of our fundraising events running back-to-back since Sunday! Thus the reason why I haven’t been posting for a couple of days. I just ran out of time in the day. Here is a summary!

SUNDAY – Clothes Swap for Cambodia

This event was absolutely fantastic and we raised over $2,000 from the event. At $2 per clothing item – that’s A LOT of clothes! We had loads of people who came down to join us at Fandango’s. We have gotten really positive responses from everyone and requests to run another one already… maybe sometime, but we need some rest first! 🙂 Here was my day in a nutshell.

  • 6:30am – up and at ’em and off to school to work on setting up the Book Fair,
  • 10:00am – back for a quick shower and change before the girls came to my place to pick up clothes
  • 11:00am – depart for Fandango’s and unload the car
  • 12:10pm – back car into a post and crunch my taillight and bumper (well done Keriann! Not too bad damage on the outside but the beeping noise that happens when you back up is now messed up and it now produces the most ear piercing noise. Instead of beeps, it now holds on a single horrible straight note until you finish backing up. This needs to get fixed immediately!!!)
  • 12:10-2:00 – create a whole store in Fandangos. Amazing that all this was accomplished in such a short amount of time!
  • 6:00pm – start clean up
  • 7:30/8:00pm – depart Fandango’s and head for home
  • 9:00pm – start marking seven 40-page Personal Project papers (I thought I would have time to do this but the book fair prep really took much longer than I anticipated!)
  • 10:00pm – fall asleep on the papers and admit defeat

MONDAY – Book Fair Starts

This was another nutty day! But well worth the nuttiness!

  • 4:45am – wake up and head to school to complete marking those papers and complete set up for the book fair
  • 7:45am – first book fair customer! yay!
  • 8:30am – work day starts
  • lunch – sell more books at the fair
  • back to work sessions in the afternoon
  • sell more books after work and set up more books to sell
  • 4:45pm – head to the gym for a PT session with Rey
  • work from home, Skype husband in Hong Kong, do some more work to get ready for the Weigh-In the following day and head to bed around 11pm

TUESDAY – Weigh-In event

The big event! Libby did a great job getting things organized this day – from t-shirts for the boxers, to gathering a PA system to use, to all the other bits and bobs of organizing. We couldn’t have done the event without her amazingness!

  • 5:45 – wake up
  • 7:15am – arrive to work and get things set up for the book fair – try to get more books prepared and ready to sell, and also get things ready for a day of teaching
  • Morning recess – so many visitors and books sold! Great start to the fair
  • Lunch – even better turn out
  • After School – lots of parents and students came to purchase books! Amazing! Also the Leadership Club brought lots of helpers and they helped me reorganize all the books. It looks fantastic now. Thank you!
  • 5:15pm – pack the car and depart for the Weigh-In
  • Let the fun and fundraising begin!
  • Raised well over $7,000 from the event! Well done squad and a special thanks to Paul Summers and his mates from work who ran the Horserace Auction Sweepstakes. A massive success!!!
  • Midnight – after counting up the money and locking it up – I head to bed finally. So. tired.

WEDNESDAY – Book Fair Continues and a bit of normalcy

Things are getting back to normal now. The book fair is doing really well and practically runs itself these days (with a little help from some of my students!)

  • 5:45am – seriously struggle to get out of bed
  • 7:20am – arrive to school – get some work done for the students and try to reorganize my desk which has become a pit for anything and everything (the clutter is driving me crazy!!!)
  • Morning Recess – amazing turnout from students to the book fair! I love to see so many kids excited about reading and recognizing what a deal the books are 🙂
  • Lunch – it was packed in the book fair! My friend, Nadia brought her class down to check it out as well as lots of other kids from Elementary and Middle School divisions
  • After school – Loads of parents and students at the fair again. I love to see and hear people talk about how much they are enjoying the fair. Thank you to all the CIS community for the support 🙂 I had to be at a meeting (2 places at once is my favorite place to be!) so a student stayed for a little while after school to be the cashier and did an amazing job. And only in Grade 5 – she ran the whole place! 🙂
  • 5:00pm – rushed off to the gym to do a PT session with Rey. I tried my best, but my body is very tired. I have tried to get some bursts of energy through my trusty Ginseng pills, but they are no replacement for good, ol’ fashioned sleep and rest.

So – that’s my plan for tonight… my bed has never looked so inviting

G’night!!! 🙂

Day 66 & 67 – Feeling Groovy

Eat, work, train, sleep, eat, work, train, sleep, eat, work, train, sleep…

I can officially say that is my life in a nutshell at the moment. It has been a lot of work as of late, but we are now also seeing the benefits of all of our hard work finally paying off. Not only am I finding my stamina during my workouts holding up longer and I am  able to punch harder for longer, but I am also finding that I am getting into the routine of my lifestyle a bit easier than before when it was perhaps a bit more of a shock to my system to be working out this much all the time. Also – our hard work in fundraising is also coming together too! More updates to come soon! Don’t forget to pass along the fundraising info to your friends by sharing my blog or this website

I also started to take Ginseng – I am finding it to be the “Red Bull” of herbal medicine for me. 🙂

Today will be my “day off” from training for the week. It was quite nice to not have to pack a full bag of gear and lug it into the car I  have to admit. Though it is a day off from training, it is already off to a busy start with other things. Tonight is the opening night of the High School’s performance of “Working” which I am excited to see. I am sure there are lots of last minute things that need to be done after school today so I am looking forward to helping out.

But there are now many new things that are coming up in the next few weeks and I am happily anticipating to a bit of a change in my daily routines. This weekend we are doing all of our videos/photos for promo stuff for the fight. This is quite fun to do and I am actually going to blow dry my hair for the occasion! See? I told you things are getting exciting now! 🙂 Next weekend, we are off to Bali for a friend’s wedding as well so my regular routine will be looking different then too.

As much of a routine my life has become, it is one that I am really enjoying. I’ve never been a creature of habit before, and I doubt it will last forever. But for right now, it’s working for me.

I just had to get into the groove of things. 🙂



Day 61 – Who runs the world… girls! Happy IWD!

Happy International Women’s Day!

This lucky lady started her day with a 6:30am workout. It was tough and it killed me for the rest of the day. I had a terrible sleep the night before because I had work on my mind and I was also worried I was going to sleep in (despite the fact that I wasn’t getting up any earlier than I normally do anyways!). All in all, there was at least one moment in time today where I felt like I was asleep standing up.

Which leads me to boxing training this evening. I was definitely tired from a full day already and was late arriving to the gym because I got caught up with what I was doing at work. Thankfully Rey still let me come and spar. I was sorry I was so late though for my sparring partner. It definitely wasn’t my best work, but it definitely went better than Tuesday’s session. Footwork, footwork, footwork is on the agenda for the next while. We filmed my sparring which was really helpful because right away I could see what Rey was worried about. I have developed a really bad footwork habit and it is one that I need to break immediately. There is always something it seems. But I have learned my lesson about over-training today and sadly my bootcamps will have to wait until after the fight.

So, since I am struggling to keep my eyes open, I think I am going to start to listen to my body and just go to bed. But before I do, I will leave you with two women fighters who kick some serious butt in the ring (one a ring and one an octagon). To two of my faves – Ronda Rousey – UFC Fighter Extraordinaire, and Ireland’s Boxing Wonder Woman – Katie Taylor….Happy IWD!


"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey

“Rowdy” Ronda Rousey


Day 58 – One Hot Mess

Well, I spoke too soon. Those spinning plates I talked about in my last post may have come tumbling down during my sparring session tonight.

Admittedly, there are a few things in my life that I don’t deal well with – spiders, scary movies and being disappointed in myself (to name a few). Tonight’s sparring session was a total disappointment to me and I hadn’t mentally prepared myself for what a blow I would feel because of it. My partner was a really fast boxer from the Vanda team and he dodged and weaved what felt like every single punch I threw at him. He landed some big ones on me and I saw stars. Before I even got to the gym I was nervous and I had convinced myself that this match wasn’t going to go in my favour. From the start of the first round to the end, I could feel myself unravel and my confidence plummet. This was hard enough for me to feel on my own, let alone with having a bunch of people standing there watching it all happen.

By the end of it, I felt awful. Hot tears of disappointment were welling up in my eyes and I was fighting harder than I was with my punches to keep them in my eyes rather than running down my face. I tried my best to hold it together but I don’t think I was too convincing. I just wanted to move on and finish the rest of the session and not talk about it. We finished with 3 rounds of pad work which helped to just get my mind off of how I was feeling and then sprints to finish it off. It felt better to concentrate on something else for a few minutes.

Rey didn’t want to see me upset and was trying his best to tell me that it is all part of learning how to spar and I shouldn’t be so upset. All I wanted to do was to have a good full on sobbing cry for 5 mins and then put myself back together and just move on. I guess we operate differently. Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus, right? 🙂

So… how to move on?

After crying on the drive home, I feel much better… and cheaper than therapy! 🙂 I have taken some deep breaths and I know that in the end, Rey is right. It is all part of learning experience  and the only way to move forward is to challenge myself with those who challenge me. Perhaps I should take a lesson from my own teaching and start practicing what I preach when I tell my students “We can only learn from our mistakes”. Ok – lesson is now learned. I get it Ms. O.

Sometimes, a humbling situation like I experienced today is just the adjustment I need to get focused and back in the game. I need to put my game face back on and start to use these experiences to improve myself. I plan to take what I have learned from this experience and try my best to apply it to Friday’s sparring session Rey has lined up for me. Perhaps it will be the same, where I make lots of mistakes and embarrass myself in front of all those people again. Perhaps, I might improve just one little thing. I’ll never know unless I try…

Being defeated is often only a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.
– Marilyn vos Savant –

or in the words of Rey…


Day 54 – Takin’ a Break

Today I needed a break. I have been going full on for weeks now and as I sat at my desk by the end of the work day I was exhausted and had a big headache. I felt burnt out and decided to head home to do some work and just chill out rather than go to the gym. I really needed it and I hope taking the day will help. *Phew*

I have been in contact with some people from the hospital since my last visit there in October. I am trying to collect a few things that they need/want to be brought over from Singapore and also find out a bit more about donating blood to the hospital since there is huge shortage in Cambodia. I plan to send some things with the squad when a few get a chance to visit the hospital sometime before the fight. I had the chance to first visit in February last year and the experience has been a part of my heart since that trip. I hope to return.

This is the CSC – they do AMAZING things to help others – you should help them change lives.