Last year at this time, I posted a Facebook status update that read, “I want to blog more, skate more, and stress less.” Something about the way I distilled what I wanted out of my life at the time into this single sentence seemed profound. Then I read Nicole’s “life less bullshit” manifesto, which was a lot more profound than my brief musings, and decided to write one of my own. Of course I’m still not blogging as much as I would like to, so nearly a year later, I present my own personal manifesto to you:
Make plans but don’t get upset when life leads you in a different direction. Be flexible. Learn to recognize new opportunities and embrace them even if they aren’t quite what you had in mind.
Stop seeking everyone else’s approval and do what you need to do in order to be happy. Do not envy the lives of others. Remember that Facebook typically only provides a snapshot of the good things happening to your friends. Be happy for them, but acknowledge that social networks showcase an adjusted reality and be prepared to take the good with the bad.
Don’t dwell on the negative things though; focus on all that you have going for you. The next time you realize you’re already 26 and still haven’t become the next Gaga or Zuckerberg, remember all that you have accomplished so far.
Remember that the things worth doing are rarely easy. And that sometimes it’s okay to have a good cry about those things.
Sooooo I got you guys all excited for my debut as a Gotham Girl and then I fell off the face of the blogging planet! MY BAD! Have I mentioned that roller derby can be pretty time-consuming?!
I am pleased to inform you that I have been drafted to the Queens of Pain (captained by none other than Suzy Hotrod)! I will also be playing with Gotham’s B travel team, the Wall Street Traitors.
March 31 was my first bout with Queens (and my first official bout EVER!). We lost to Brooklyn, but barely. Then last weekend (on April 14), Queens traveled to Philly to play the Heavy Metal Hookers. We won (!) and I scored a few of our points.
I’ve been asked to write my player bio for GGRD’s website and 2012 program. As a writer, you’d think this would be easy, but it’s HARD to write about yourself! I need to reveal some random facts about me, list some of my likes and dislikes, etc. I’ve shared my draft below.
Also, it’s super weird referring to myself as “Byers”. I like the nickname Morse better. Or Remorse. Or Remy. But unfortunately, I think Byers is the most organic shortened name.
Derby Name: Byers Remorse
Number: 13% APR
2012 Tagline: No refunds or exchanges.
2013 Tagline: ???
2014 Tagline: Transaction cannot be stopped.
2015 Tagline: She’ll take your money and run.
Byers Remorse discovered derby in the summer of 2010, when a coworker convinced Byers to join her in trying out for the local league, the Monterey Bay Derby Dames. After attending an open skate session at the local rink (and using crappy rental skates), Byers was hooked. She went home and immediately ordered a pair of skates to call her own (Riedell 265s, in case you’re wondering). She successfully tried out for MBDD and began working her way through the league’s Fresh Meat program.
However, a few weeks into her training, Byers learned that she would be moving to New York City. With only a few months of skating under her belt, Byers tried out for the Gotham Girls and was invited to callbacks. When she did not make the final cut, Byers skated with Gotham’s rec league and tried to find other opportunities to skate as much as she could. The following summer she found a home at Suburbia Roller Derby and skated with them for several months before trying out for the Gotham Girls again. This time, Byers was accepted as part of their 2012 Fresh Meat class. WOO!
In 2014, during her 3rd season with Gotham, Byers was sidelined due to a knee injury. During this same time, she learned she would be moving to Washington, DC. Following an ACL reconstruction in May of 2014, she returned to the track in 2015 with the DC Rollergirls. She skated with DCRG for 2 seasons (captaining the travel team for the 2016 season) and also skated with Team Maryland during this time. Always thirsty for the highest level of competition available, she transferred to Charm City Roller Girls prior to the start of the 2017 season.
While Byers has always had a competitive edge, team sports were never really her thing. Prior to roller derby, her most athletic endeavor was spending two seasons with the Glassmen Drum & Bugle Corps.
Byers Remorse was born and raised in Michigan, where she attended college and studied Digital Design & Rhetoric. She currently lives in Washington, DC and works as a web designer for an institution of higher education. When she’s not skating, Byers enjoys reading, writing, and spoiling her dog.
Charm City Roller Girls 2017-present
Team Maryland 2015-present
Bad Apples 2013-present
DC Rollergirls 2014-2016
Gotham Girls Roller Derby 2012-2014
Pigtown Butchers vs. Dundalk Deviants (3/25/17) – Jammer MVP
Team Maryland vs. Team Maine (2/19/17) – MVP
Team Maryland vs. Team West Virginia (2/18/17) – MVP
Pigtown Butchers vs. Dundalk Deviants (1/28/17) – Jammer MVP
Pigtown Butchers vs. Hampden Hons (1/28/17) – Jammer MVP
Team Maryland vs. Pennsylvania All-Stars (10/23/16) – Jammer MVP
DC Rollergirls vs. Charlotte Roller Girls (4/2/16) – Jammer MVP
Cherry Blossom Bombshells vs. DC DemonCats (3/19/16) – Jammer MVP
Bad Apples vs. NJRD (8/22/15) – Bad Apples Jammer MVP
DCRG Channing Skatum Interleague Scrimmage (3/15/15) – Team Step Up MVP
Bad Apples vs. NY All Stars (2/15/14) – Bad Apples Jammer MVP
Wall Street Traitors vs. Rat City Rain of Terror (8/10/13) – Traitors MVP
Empire Skate Showdown 2012 – Wall Street Traitors Tournament MVP
Suburbia Roller Derby 2011 – Meat MVP
gel nail polish, metallic shoes, proper grammar, manual transmissions, sour patch kids, sushi, bubble tea, letterpress, the color green, listening to Christmas music starting July 25
red meat, long commutes, late trains, crowded trains, people with poor public transit etiquette, single-ply toilet paper, tanlines, visible bra straps
Takes her boutday makeup and manicure very seriously
Is an athletic clothing snob
I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day by providing you with a brief wedding planning update:
- Venue is booked
- Photographer is booked
- Photobooth is booked
- DJ is booked
- Wedding dress has been purchased
- Bridesmaid dresses have been purchased
- Hair appointments have been scheduled
I also started designing our invitations. These will also be used as a starting point for our other paper goods (save the dates, menus, etc.). I will need some feedback at some point during this process, so let me know if you’d like to help! We still have lots of decor and other DIY projects to get started on…*sigh*
In other news, training with GGRD is going really well. The draft happens in just two weeks; at that point, I will be placed on one of the four home teams (Brooklyn Bombshells, Queens of Pain, Bronx Gridlock, or Manhattan Mayhem). That means my first bout will happen in a month or two. SO EXCITING!
Also, my derby name is officially being submitted to the registry (this is BIG NEWS as it has taken me SO LONG to get to this point)! I will officially be Byers Remorse of Gotham Girls Roller Derby, and my number will be 13% APR.
So after all of the excitement in mid-December, I drove to Michigan with Nigel and Nacho on December 23. It was a long drive, as usual, made longer by the fact that I was the sole driver, but Nacho was a great travel buddy and stayed awake chatting with me the whole time. We did make the mistake on the Ohio turnpike of holding out for Panda Express (we really wanted to get lunch there), only to find NONE! I swear they used to have Panda Express restaurants in the highway oases on I-80…but perhaps I am confusing them with the ones on the way to Chicago/Wisconsin. Oh well.
So after a less than fulfilling late lunch at Burger King, we rolled into Fenton, where Corner awaited our arrival. He flew to Michigan from Ohio that afternoon since he had been in Bethel for another 4 weeks of work.
As usual, we went to Grandma’s house for Christmas Eve.
I received a lot of great gifts. Mom made me an awesome Michigan State quilt and throw pillow using my old Spartan Marching Band trumpet shirts. I also received a Kindle Touch from Corner’s Aunt Koreen, a Jawbone UP wristband from Corner’s parents, and the Urban Decay 15th anniversary eyeliner set from Mom & Les. I received many others gifts as well, but I’m feeling too lazy to list them all out right now, so those are just the highlights.
We took care of a lot of wedding-related errands while in Michigan. We visited the ceremony/reception venue and met with the photobooth company. I went dress shopping with Mom, KC, and Kathy. The bridesmaids dresses are ordered and perhaps the most exciting news of all is that I FOUND MY DRESS! I don’t want to say too much about it and spoil the surprise, but I will say that it is NOT white and it makes me feel like a Hollywood starlet. I can’t wait for it to arrive (in 5–7 months…who knew these things took so long?)!
I didn’t get a chance to skate while in Michigan, but I did go to 5 of Abby’s fitness classes with Mom (kickboxing core, body vamp, spin, and 2 Zumba classes).
Corner and I welcomed 2012 by eating a 4-course meal with wine pairings at the Fenton Winery with Mom, Les, and Adam. Blackberry merlot…YUM! 2011 was such a great year and I can’t wait for this year to top it!
It also snowed a bit while we were in Michigan.
Meanwhile, it still hasn’t snowed much here in New York. I was thoroughly enjoying the mild winter weather, then it reached 18 degrees on Sunday and it was freeeeeeezing! I went out and bought Nike Therma Fit tights for those cold derby practices at the Crashpad.
And in closing, happy birthday to KC!!! How is my baby sister 21 already?!
Today I arrived home from work to discover that Nigel had opened his Christmas present. Last night I started packing for my upcoming trip to Michigan; I had gathered up all of the wrapped Christmas presents and placed them in a reusable shopping bag, which I left on top of the coffee table. Nigel’s gift is a new toy and an individually wrapped stick-shaped treat. Well, when I got home today I found his gift bag strewn on the floor. Tissue paper was everywhere. The toy was ignored, but the remnants of the treat packaging were scattered all over the living room.
I was actually on the phone with my mom when I walked in the front door and surveyed the damage. I had just finished telling her to remind everyone at home that they need to hide their dirty laundry when Nigel arrives at Mom’s house on Friday. He is a Houdini dog and can open duffle bags and even pull clothes through the tiny holes in plastic laundry hampers.
Usually, I know better than to leave smelly items within his reach, but today I just forgot.
Here is a picture of the perpetrator (this photo does not show the aftermath of today’s present-opening, but was taken a few mornings ago after he got done rubbing his face around on the comforter).
This post could also be titled “The Best Christmas Gift Ever!”
I have been bursting at the seams to share this news with everyone, and now that all of my ducks are in a row, I finally can!
On November 19, I tried out for Gotham Girls Roller Derby for the second time. I think 80-some girls tried out, and about 30 of us were invited to callbacks the following day. I made it to callbacks last year, too, but there was another round of cuts after callbacks, and I was not asked to continue on in the process. This year, however, I was invited to be part of the Fresh Meat pool! So for the past 3 weeks, I attended 3 practices/week with the 20 girls in the Fresh Meat pool. I also got to participate in a scrimmage with a bunch of World Cup skaters from around the world (I was a bit awestruck at the fact that I was sharing the track with Bonnie Thunders, Donna Matrix, OMG WTF, and Fisti Cuffs). What a great night!
It was an amazing experience overall, and I felt like I could see a difference in my skating after just 9 practices.
The final practice was on Sunday — and it was just scrimmaging. I say “just” not because scrimmaging is easy, but because that’s all we did. So the potential Fresh Meats scrimmaged while the coaches stood around in the middle of the track making notes on their clipboards. Nervewracking, for sure.
On Sunday evening, I eagerly awaited the phone call that would determine my fate. Ariel Assault called at 6:19 PM with good news. I am so, so proud to announce that I am one of 13 girls who make up Gotham’s 2012 Fresh Meat class!
So while I am sad to leave my friends at Suburbia, I am thrilled that I will no longer have a 1.5 hour commute to and from practice. More time spent with Corner + Nigel = happy Kristen.
I can’t wait to skate with the best league in the country. I’m going to learn so much. Who knows where my derby career will go from here?
I just used my lunch break to run up to the library and pick up 5 books that I had placed on hold. My friend Sarah pointed out that the New York Public Library system allows you to find and reserve books online and have them sent to a designated library location, where they can be picked up at your leisure. BRILLIANT. So I am officially working on my Day Zero goals of re-reading the Chronicles of Narnia and the Little House books.
As I walked out of the library, I noticed a dog store next door that looked hip and fairly upscale. I popped in on a whim thinking I could kill some time browsing designer dog toys. And what do I find? A squirrel tail, which I immediately purchased for Nigel.
Allow me to explain: while we lived in California, there was an awesome holistic pet food store that also carried a few toys. Corner and I bought Nigel one of these squirrel tails and he LOVED it. So much so that he chewed the ball portion of the first toy apart after a few months. So we went back and bought him a new one because it had quickly become his favorite toy. Fast forward to now, we’re living in NYC, and we sorely need to replace Nigel’s squirrel tail toy because the elastic that holds the tail piece to the ball is breaking. But I just can’t bring myself to throw it out because, again, NIGEL LOVES THIS THING. So what do I see hanging on the shelf when I walked into the dog store today? SQUIRREL TAILS. I was so excited the two salesgirls must have thought I was crazy.
I’m going to have one excited puppy on my hands when I get home today.
Corner is in Ohio again for the month of December (he actually flies to Michigan on the day that I will be driving to Michigan for the holidays…jerk).
As you may know, Corner does the majority of the cooking in our household, so it’s been interesting for me to figure out what on earth I’m going to eat while he’s gone.
Last week, on the Sunday before Corner left, he helped me prep these freezer-friendly bean and rice burritos. I opted not to freeze them, since once frozen they have to be baked for 35-40 minutes! I don’t have that kind of time…the whole point of prepping these beforehand was so I could rush in the door before or after derby practice and have something ready to go. I stored these in the fridge instead and heated them up in the microwave for about 3 minutes at 50% power. I made sure to flip them over a few times during the process to help alleviate sogginess. I added a bit of hot taco sauce to spice them up a bit. I will definitely be making these again.
I am also a big fan of this baked pumpkin pie oatmeal, which I bake in a small glass baking dish and then distribute into mason jars for serving sizes that are easy to grab and reheat each morning.
Later in the week I made these peanut butter protein balls to stick in the freezer and to eat post-practice. They are pretty yummy, and the taste of the whey protein is pretty well masked (that or I’m just getting used to the taste of whey, haha).
Yesterday, I made this skinny zucchini ziti. It is a crockpot recipe that only takes 2ish hours to cook. Which, come to find, is sort of inconvenient because I had a hard time finding an opportunity to make it (you can’t just turn it on and leave for work…bah!). So once again, food prep was relegated to Sunday afternoon. Anyway, this turned out pretty well, except that the various layers of pasta noodles did not cook evenly. Luckily I don’t really care, and this made a pretty delicious dinner last night (and I have enough left over for at least 3 more meals this week).
I also decided to make my own protein bars yesterday afternoon. I have been trying to keep healthy snacks around since I am always ravenous after aforementioned derby practice. I already had most of the ingredients for these bars onhand. I will say one thing: this was one messy recipe. I ended up with sticky oatmeal all over my kitchen. And after I took the frozen mass out of the freezer, it was hard to cut it into bars. BUT, I did get 20-some pieces that are sized something like a regular granola bar that you would buy at the store, so I should be set on these for awhile.
Upcoming meal attempts will include the following:
(Notice I don’t cook any meat? The only meat I am willing to use when I cook is ground beef because it doesn’t require any prep…prepping meat grosses me out! So it’s almost like I’m a vegetarian when Corner is gone.)
I’m starting to feel like I may be leaving Fresh Meat purgatory very soon!
I am out of pack hours and into scrimmage hours! In case you have no idea what I’m talking about, Suburbia Roller Derby requires members of the Fresh Meat class to complete 10 pack hours, followed by 10 scrimmage hours. At the end of this, there will be a vote…and then hopefully I will officially become a league member (and get to register my name! FINALLY!).
Imagine my elation when I found out on Wednesday that, even though I am still technically Fresh Meat, I have been rostered for next Saturday’s bout! That’s right, ladies and gentlemen…I will be making my skating debut at Suburbia’s charity bout next weekend! It’s a Dogs vs. Cat bout that will benefit the Hudson Valley Pet Food Pantry, and I am on the Dogs team.
So, my dear friends, if you are free next Saturday and located in the near vicinity, come watch me skate!!!
Tryouts for Suburban Brawl (Suburbia’s travel team) are at the beginning of November. I signed up, and I am pretty excited.
And in case you haven’t seen the photos of Suzy Hotrod in ESPN’s body issue, please go check it out (feel free to ogle the other athletes, too). She motivates me to train harder (those ARMS! My goodness!).
The past two weeks, I’ve been trying out Derbalife. It’s an Herbalife program designed for derby athletes. Riggs affectionately refers to the various stuff she sees me drinking as “weight gain shakes”, but really I am just trying to get leaner, tougher, stronger, etc. We will see if I get any results.
In other news, today is cold cold COLD here in New York! I busted out my winter coat this morning, thinking it would be warmish again by midday and I would be overdressed…but I just walked to Chipotle for lunch with a couple other derby girls, and it’s still quite brisk outside. Brrrrrr!
Today when I get home, Corner will be waiting for me. He is finally back from his work trip to Ohio (although he may be going back in December or January). Looking forward to a fun (derby-filled) weekend!