Glances Backward: Part I

It's at once hard and easy to believe 2014 has almost reached its end. Some months flew by, some dragged on, but in all I finally feel like life has been on pace this year. It feels like I lived a year in the past 12 months, like it was all in proportion, and what a year it was. The past couple of years have been really difficult for me. Of course there were high points in each one, but I reached each New Year's Eve bellowing out good riddance to the past 12 months. This year I'm eager to see what 2015 brings me, but I'm beyond grateful to say that 2014 has been a great year, full of many delightful things — chief among them, change. For the next couple weeks, I'll be taking a look back at what an incredible year it was.
All the moves made in January set the tone of "change" for the year in a big way. A friendship that was ultimately very short-lived got its legs this month, and this person played a significant part in helping me build the confidence to make the changes I wanted to and finally felt ready to make. In January, I began the long and unrelentingly difficult path to quitting my cigarette habit, as well as the infinitely rewarding journey toward becoming a runner.

My first run was on December 26, 2013. On January 6, I ran without stopping for the first time ever. I ran a mile and a half. On January 12, 2014, I had my first runner's injury: A double quad pull that nearly left me crying on the track. On January 26, one month into my life on the run, I finally ran three miles without stopping.
Beyond running, life was quiet. Life was good. Life was fun.

Then in February, things changed even more. Life wasn't so quiet anymore, and I lost a friend. Hindsight lets me know it all worked out how it should have, but at the time, it amounted to little more than immense pain. But other pains began to cease, because I started seeing my chiropractor in February, and for the first time since I was in middle school, there was finally a reason to believe I could get relief from chronic headaches and migraines. If you've followed me here for a bit, you know how much I love my chiropractor. Beginning work with him was a huge step toward a healthier me.

In February I launched this blog. My first posts are dumb, but they're still there. This is at least my fourth blog, not counting the Geocities (omg remember the dollz?) and Myspace days, so you would think I could have written a better opener by then? Nah. I thought about starting over alyssagoesbang for months and was afraid to pull the trigger for so long. I was really hesitant about diving into the "lifestyle" or "completely directionless" niche, but I bit the bullet on February 25 and here I am.

My work shipped me off to Nashville at the end of February, a city I'd wanted to visit for ages. That story continues in March.
March was a big month for me. I explored a little bit of Nashville (I'm still far from done and can't wait to go back), celebrated my grandmother's birthday without her for the first time ever, became a more confident runner, had my best St. Paddy's Day on record, turned 25, reevaluated some relationships, and ran my first race. I ran it without the person who promised to cross my first finish line with me, and instead ran with good friends who always cheered me on a little more quietly from the distance. I ran my first 5k in 0:29:05, shaving more than a minute off my previous personal best 3.1 mile time.
March brought the start of spring and of my 26th year. I was terrified of turning 25 — which is useless, of course, and foolish: I should be grateful for every day I get to stick around here and grow older. But with my 25th birthday came the start of a new year in my life, during a year where I could already tell things were changing drastically and for the better. Looking back, now far closer to 26, it feels silly to have been afraid of turning 25, because this has been one of the best years of my life.
Some birthday shenans.
The first thing I did as a 25-year-old.
Come on back next week for the highlights and low points of April, May, and June.

Linking up with some of the best bloggers in town for the 2014 review extravaganza.
Don't forget to swing by and see the sweet hosts:
Melissa // Karen // Shane // Angie // Kenzie // Amanda  // Emmy // Nicole // Amy


  1. Loved reading this! I also started in February and my first posts were awful too .... Ive left them, if only for the comedy of them all haha

  2. Looking forward to hearing more highlights of the year! My first posts are totally scary too, haha! I don't even recognize some of them!

  3. That double quad pull sounds awful! I have tried to start running a few times but I get so nervous about pushing myself too hard and injuring myself. I would love giving running another go though. I am sorry to hear about the friend that did not work out, but in the ends things are always okay. Congrats on your first 5k! Thank you so much for recapping with us!

  4. Love this girl!! It's always great to look back and see what each month had in store for you! this was a huge running year for you and I'm sure next year will be too!

  5. First, I love these posts! I'll definitely be checking out the blogs you linked to. I want to play too!
    Second, even if there were some things at the beginning of your year that didn't pan out like you thought they would, it still sounds like you got off to a pretty great start. I knew you used to smoke but had no idea you just quit less than a year ago. So proud of you for taking some huges steps to be a healthier, better you! You talking about the beginning of your running journey amazes me every time. You have a lot of guts to have taken on so much so quickly!

  6. It makes me so happy to hear that this was a good year for you! It's amazing that you just started running in January and are already on to half marathons - you're such a tank!!

  7. loved reading this, feel like I'm getting to know you more!
    in a non creepy way, you're so pretty! and you look so cute in your running gear, i always look like a sweaty mess. speaking of, i never tire of reading about you and your running, especially when you started. it's so inspiring :)

  8. I love looking back over the year like this! I didn't realize that you just started running a year ago!? Gives me hope that perhaps if I start soon, I can actually make something of it.

  9. I can't believe its been less than a year since your first run! You're SUCH a runner now.

  10. Hurry to May ! I like May (I happened in May !) :) But I love that you're doing recap posts because I think it's awesome and will give you so much perspective when you look back in like Feb of 2015.

    Also, I want to see you in all the running magazines because GUUURRRLLLLL that Apple Chase 5K picture is FINE ;)

  11. Unfair, you take great running pics!!!! I've never had a good running pic taken. :(. Looks like it was a great first quarter!

  12. Wow your running makes me want to get back out there and run. I haven't really ran since 2013... but all the talk about running is extremely inspiring!

  13. For a first race, you had an awesome time! (I always have a little running envy for people who can actually run a good pace, since I'm slow as a turtle).

  14. damn girl look at you go! I'm so proud of your running, it inspires me to get my ass off my couch.

  15. Love loved reading this and so nice to meet you! So glad you linked up with the Review, it is always so wonderful to get to know new bloggers. I started running for the first time in my life a couple of years ago and I to remember that first time when I ran for a mile without stopping, it felt awesome. I am so glad this year has turned out to be a better year for you. I think it is so important to look back and see that sometimes the things that we thought were hard and were hard at the time, in the end actually turn out to be a blessing. Looking forward to your recap next week and your newest follower :)

  16. I admire runners... I happen to believe I am not a runner. I still think sometimes that if I trained, I might be able to do it...and I do nothing. A former massage therapist myself I happen to know how great Chiropractors can be and I also know a massage with a chiropractor is just over the top amazing! *wink.
    Sounds like you had a great start to the new year! Happy to meet you!

  17. Oof. I am so terrified of running injuries. Which, of course, I put myself at risk all the time because my training sucks.

    I'm sorry you lost a friend, but I'm glad you can say that it was for the best. Sometimes we really do just have to let people go.

  18. Loved reading this!! I am so glad to have found your blog! I think that the fact you chose to quit smoking and become a runner is amazing! And super inspiring!


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