“Work To Live”, NOT “Live To Work”

Three weeks ago, I got a phone call from my job at Canada Post, and was offered my first three week assignment. Up until that point, I had only been called in for "day of" work. I was stoked to be given an assignment that worked well with the hours of my new boxing studio that I opened on February 1st.

All I could think about was the extra income that would help with the finances of opening up my own business. The job that was offered to me was an inside job, Monday to Friday, six in the morning until two in the afternoon. That would give me enough time in between to nap if I needed to, hang out with my son, or get errands done. It all seemed like a perfect way to make a lot of money, and work around my boxing schedule.

I learned in the first week that life wasn't so bad working full time hours in the day, and coaching boxing classes at night. What sucked was how I missed out on time with my son, my own boxing training, and many hours of sleep. The weekend came, and I was able to catch up on much needed sleep. Although I was dreading Monday's new start time of five in the morning, I told myself that it was only two more weeks. I used my mental strength to boost my spirits, and start strong on Monday.

This week was a lot harder on me than I had expected. I was running on four hours of sleep a night, less food than my body was used to, and not seeing my son as much was hurting my heart. I started to notice a decline in my positive vibes. I started counting down the days not only for the weekend to come, but for this assignment to end. By Thursday, I had developed an all day cough that didn't seem to subside. Friday morning rolled around, and I woke up for my shift with chills that I couldn't shake. I threw on three sweaters, brushed my teeth, threw on a touque, got in my car, and headed to work.

I lasted two hours before I had to go home. I slept from the moment my head hit the pillow, right through to the next day, only getting up to let my dogs out, and use the washroom.

My work week didn't end there. I still had two classes to coach, and an audition in Toronto for a boxing role in a Universal movie picture. It was an audition I looked forward to all week, and wasn't going to let any sickness ruin it for me. I drugged myself with Dayquil and cough medicine, and did what I had to do. I spent the entire weekend popping Dayquil in the day, and Nyquil at night. The dreams I had were out of this world, and quite frankly, they scared me.

Monday was a new work week. I had already left work on Friday, so I knew I had to get my ass in gear, and pull through my last week. I brought my backpack to work, loaded it with all the cold remedies, and prepared for a heavy day. Monday's are always the busiest at the post office. The day dragged on, and the cold medicines were making me feel dizzy. I knew it was time to get off of them. I coached my Monday night classes feeling like death. I tried jumping in on training, in hopes to sweat it out, but my body ached, and I felt weaker than I ever remember feeling. I went to bed as soon as I got home.

I woke up Tuesday morning, the chills were back, and I had sweat through my bed sheets. Something is not right. I drove to work just to tell the supervisor that I had to go home. I was not well, and I knew it was time to see a doctor.

Fast forward through an angry phone conversation with the completely full doctors office, through me sitting in the waiting room at a walk in clinic, and here I was picking up antibiotics for a severe throat infection.

I have been on antibiotics for two full days, and lets just say I am on the road to being myself again.

I have learned a lot while working full time, and having my own boxing studio.

1. Family is more important than the amount of work I was doing

2. Health is more important than the amount of work I was doing

3. Sanity is more important than the amount of work I was doing

4. Happiness is more important than the amount of work I was doing

5. No amount of money is worth feeling how I felt throughout the last three weeks

I am a very busy person. But I have spent a lot of my time working for little to have a lot. When I say a lot, I’m talking about all of the beautiful things besides money. (A great body, a strong mind, amazing friends, great relationships with my family, and my boyfriend)

Training my body has always been one thing that keeps my mental health strong. Starting my day with the gym has been a routine for me for many years. Getting at least seven hours of sleep is vital to keeping me on track with daily tasks. My son knows how busy I am, but he also knows that even if I am busy, I will always make the time for him. Working the hours I was, I missed out on my morning workouts, I couldn't for the life of me get more than five hours of sleep a night, and there wasn't enough hours in the day to see my son nearly as much as I wanted to. This was detrimental to my happiness, my high vibrations, and slowly was chipping away at  my health.

I became so tired, I didn't have the energy to prepare the healthy foods I was used to preparing on a daily basis. This led to not having the energy to put forth the effort I normally do in my own training, and daily tasks. I was participating in my own boxing classes, but was not able to give the hundred percent I am used to giving.

Throughout the last few weeks, I have got lost in the thoughts of how so many people I know spend their lives working full time jobs, and complain about having no energy. I DON'T BLAME THEM!!!! I am a professional athlete, and I barely had the energy after two weeks on a full time job. I depleted myself to the point of making myself sick. I truly believe I ran myself down, and that is why I ended up with an infection.

Here's an example of how my days looked:

1. Wake up at 4:30am

2. Let the dogs out, and feed them

3. Go to work for 6am or 5am

4. Go home, walk the dogs

5. Go pick my son up from school

6. Spend two hours with my son trying to stay awake on the couch while watching a movie with him

7. Take my son back to his dads

8. Go to the studio, clean the floors, get ready for class

9. Coach classes from 6:30pm-8:30pm

10. Go home, feed the dogs, let them out

11. Hang out with my boyfriend

12. Go to sleep by 11:30pm-12am

13. Wake up at 4:30am

Try to fit prepping food, running errands, doing laundry, training myself, showering, and doing work for my studio into that schedule. I either fit it in with next to no effort, or I wasn't able to fit it in at all.

I took the life of a boxer, and coach for granted. Before taking this job, I thought I was the busiest girl on the planet. My boyfriend would remind me that although I am busy, I didn't know what it was like to have a full time job, and do all the things that I do. I would argue that I am the busiest person I know, and that he should walk in my shoes someday.

In my mind, I put one hundred percent into being a professional athlete. When I hit the gym every morning at 9am, I work my ass off. I take being an athlete very seriously. Training is hard work. I put one hundred percent into doing all that I can everyday. If there's time to clean the house, I clean the house. If there's time to get some groceries done, I get the groceries done. If there's time to prep food, I prep food. If there's time to work on my website, I work on my website. If there's ways for me to build on my business, I work on business.

I don't sit around, I don't watch television during the day, and I certainly give my best efforts to being productive on a daily basis. Once in awhile, I may even shower, and actually take the time to do my hair (if there's time). Once my productive day ends, I give my best efforts as a coach to my classes.

My girls mean the world to me, and being a strong coach is vital to their success, and mine. I jump in on my own classes, and work as hard as I possibly can to ensure that my boxing stays sharp. On weekends, I am a hockey Mom, and I travel to Oakville to see my coach, and spar.

I have always had it in my mind that I work hard, and I am damn proud of it.

I realized with this three week work assignment that, I would not be a pro boxer if I had a full time job. I would not have the time and energy to train like I do. I would not be the Mother I am today if I had a full time job. I would not have the time and energy to be the positive role model I am.

I would not be able to own a boxing studio if I had a full time job. I would not have the time to do the business side of things.

I would not be able to train the way that I do if I had a full time job. I would not have the energy to give one hundred percent.

I would not be as productive as I am if I had a full time job. I would have to give up a lot of the things I do on a regular basis.

I would certainly not be the Kylie Angel I am if I had a full time job.

My boyfriend was right.

I look up to my boyfriend so much. He works full time during the day, and he also co owns his own MMA gym. A lot of times, he is in his home office writing reports all day, and then heads to his gym where he coaches, and trains. He has been doing this for four years now. No matter how many lessons he tries to teach me, I never listen to him. He would laugh, and agree. It takes me experiencing it for myself to stop, and say, "Baby, you were right." He was right again. I was not as busy as I thought. Well, I was, but what I was doing was all of the things I love. I didn't know what it was like to work full time, and do all of the things that I love.

My boyfriend used to be a pro MMA fighter. He trained hard, and probably had a lot more things he loved to do on his plate too. He even managed some pro fighters, and travelled a lot while doing that. Once he opened up a gym on top of working full time, he slowly left the fight world. He still trains, but I am willing to bet (and I could be wrong) that he used to train harder. He spends his evenings helping others, and his days working hard. He knows how to run a business, and he is the brains behind the stuff business owners don't always want to deal with.

To those who work full time jobs, and find the time and energy to do more:

God bless you. I knew it was probably hard, but I was over here thinking that I was just as busy, and still giving one hundred percent in all I do. I have now been slapped in the face with a reality check.

I am proud of the lifestyle I lived before this three week assignment. I have so much more appreciation for what I did than I ever have before. My faith in God helps me grow everyday. I look at these past three weeks as a blessing in disguise. This assignment was a gift from God. A test. I took an assignment without knowing it was an assignment within an assignment.

I have been a business owner for less than a month. It is not by chance that I own a boxing studio. Everything happened the way that it did for a reason. I am serving my purpose. In order to serve my purpose, I have to appreciate the gifts, and blessing in my life.

I am gifted with kindness, compassion, and strength. These traits allow me to help others.

I am blessed with a job that allows flexibility. I did not have to take this assignment. I chose to. As a casual with Canada Post, I am allowed to turn down jobs if they don't work with my schedule. I am blessed with a boyfriend who has been through this, and is a strong role model for me to look up to.

I want to work to live. Over the last few weeks, I live to work.

I lost motivation, energy, drive, and my health took a hit. This was a test. I could've chalked this up to the assignment from hell. I could've chose to move on after the three weeks without looking at the blessings in disguise too. But instead, I listened to my inner voice. My inner voice was telling me to stop, look around, and understand everything that is happening.

Even sitting down to write this blog has helped me see the bigger picture.

In order to be the boxer I am, the coach I am, the girlfriend I am, the Mother I am, and the person I am to others, I have to appreciate what I have every single day, and count my blessings. I need to listen when the people I love have important life lessons to share. We take the things we have, and the people we love for granted. I am so grateful for such an awful experience, because without it, I wouldn't have had all of these revelations.

I think from now on, I will continue to enjoy the life I live, and be grateful for the gifts, and blessings. Next time I am asked to take a three week assignment, I won't be so cocky to think it'll be easy. I will remember all of the things I once took for granted. The time at the gym, the time with my son, the time I have to pour into my passions, and the hundred percent effort I have the time to put in.

Time to count down the days until I get some much needed relaxation on the beaches of Mexico with my boyfriend. I will be sure to soak up all the beauty there, and be grateful for every minute of sunshine, and rest.

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