I am so excited to share this post with you guys today. First, its #wafflewednesday and I'm always excited to share the waffle of the day. Second, this starts a new series for the blog, my "Box Breakers."
This series is about the people in my life whom I admire for their bravery, courage, tenacity, outlook on life, emotional intelligence, and overall badassness. I thought it would be fun to create a waffle (with their assistance & ideas) to highlight these individuals; their accomplishments; and, the values they represent.
I mean, if that's not true admiration, to get a waffle made in your honor, I don't know what is.
The first recipient of this honor is a current coworker and all around genuine person. I met her almost a year ago. I remember her warm smile and welcoming attitude. Truth--I had no idea what I was doing, and she was super helpful at getting me acclimated to our work environment.
The more I got to know her, the cooler she got. Yes, she is totally into art and is very creative. Yes, she is super friendly and super hilarious. Yes, she is very smart, organized, and entrepreneurial. Yes, she inspires me to be a better person. And she is a roller derby gal--that description just immediately took her to full on badass doesn't it? Yes, yes it does.
See, I loved to roller skate as a wee young kiddo. I loved the lights at the rink; the music which was played; the arcade games. Heck, I even tried my had at Rollerblading (remember when that was super popular in the early 90's? Yes I was obsessed with all of that neon.) I mean, I wanted to be hell on wheels back then, with the wind in my hair (short as it was), and athleticism as my calling card. But, there was one problem......
I only skated on carpet. Both at my house and at the roller rink. And I have to say my old school Rainbow Brite skates aren't quite flying through the wind on thick, plush carpet. Little Miss Rainbow just couldn't get off to a good start. And at the roller rink, while Rainbow shined in the bright lights, holding onto the wall while moving in a circle was just not the speed demon way to be.
Secretly, I've always wanted to get out on that roller rink floor and move. Plus, it would be even cooler if I kept my balance and really flexed my muscles while scoring points for my team. Right now, I'll just let my friend do it for me. I'll cheer her and her team on while I sit in the stands. I'm totally fan-girling right now, so without further ado, let me introduce you to Kelsey Hausler!
Q: Tell us about yourself Kelsey. Where are you from? Favorite hobbies? Any pets? Fave waffle?
My name's Kelsey, and I'm from GSO. I like creating art, and I love to roller skate! I play roller derby for Greensboro Roller Derby, but I also have started going to the local indoor skate park on my quad skates. I don't currently have a pet, but I do have a neighborhood cat that hangs out in the lawn sometimes! My favorite waffle is a classic Belgian!
Q: How did you get involved in roller derby?
I had a friend who I'd learned had joined, and I found out that the league she practiced with met up a few miles from my house. She told me that anyone could join. I didn't know anything about derby or how to skate, but I had the free time and I wanted to give it a try, so I bought a cheap pair of quad skates and showed up to their first practice of the season. I was addicted to everything about the grassroots sport and the people involved from day one.
Q: Do you have a roller derby nickname? If so, what is it? How did you get it?
Traditionally, you get a derby name once you pass assessments, declaring you skilled and safe to play roller derby. Most women decide their names on their own, and lots of people use their legal names now, but my derby name is Xena! I chose it for myself. The character and fight scenes had their own meaning for me as a preteen, because she was this woman who didn't fit into gender roles and was an all around badass who stood up for people in need.
Q: Let's get into roller derby a bit more. What does a typical practice look like?
A practice lasts two to three hours. On a typical day, we spend about thirty minutes doing endurance or specific strength training on foot, and then we get skates and gear on to practice drills we'd like to execute during gameplay. Most skaters have routines they do on their off-time to meet their individual goals, like jogging, yoga, climbing, or Cross Fit. The fun of derby is that it's a sport that uses your entire body, so most anything that engages a core group of muscles is great cross-training!
Q: What does a competition actually look like?
There's a great video for this here! WFTDA, the Women's Flat Track Roller Derby Association, has a youtube channel and they post fantastic quality videos of games usually a month or so after they've occurred. It's a dream. Games are two thirty minutes periods, with a fifteen minute halftime.
Q: Where can people come and see you if they want to check out your bouts?
We'll be having our first home game of the season at the Greensboro Coliseum on April 8th!! You can watch me play for the Gate City All-Stars in the first game, and then the Mad Dollies in the second game!
Q: Any accomplishment you're particularly proud of?
This is my first season skating for the Gate City All-Stars!! And I'm captain of the Mad Dollies with my super awesome teammate, Commander Cupcake!
Q: Who or what inspires you to be your best self?
My teammates! I love my teammates and I admire the work they have put into this league and our community. On top of seeing these sweaty, persevering women on the track, we all do our part to keep the league running.
Q: Anything else you'd like to add?
Brooke Roper is a wonderful being and I'm glad to know her! And she makes a damn fine waffle!
And, if anyone wants to learn more about derby, please reach out to us on FB, or better yet, come to one of our games!
this is our next home game event page:
Now, onto Kelsey's waffle. For her waffle, I did a grain free blueberry waffle with a walnut praline sauce.
Come again? Walnut praline? I mean, is there such a thing? I thought pralines were always made with pecans Brooke?
Well, technically, pralines are at their core just nuts and sugar. And by "nuts", I mean any type of nut. So, if you've got almonds? Make almond pralines. If you've got cashews? Cashew praline. And so forth and so on.
So, on the day you get ready to make the waffles and realize you only have walnuts, not pecans like you thought you had? You make walnut praline sauce.
How did you make the praline sauce?
Well, I took a few tablespoons of vanilla bean ghee and heated that up in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Once the ghee has melted, I took a couple of handfuls of chopped walnuts, about 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, cinnamon, coconut sugar, and lemon juice. I just let all of those flavors meld together and poured them on top of the waffle. Instant classic. Instant fanciness. Instant yums.
So, here's to you Kelsey! For following your dreams.....for doing what lights you up....for being so awesome....and for whisking outside the box and creating a life you call your own. You inspire me.