What I Learned in 2011

December 30, 2011 · 39 comments

To say the least, 2011 was quite the year.


A new beginning occurred just as a big part of my life ended.

I learned the trials and tribulations of raising a black lab puppy who is almost as sassy as I am.

I’ve learned that life goes on. And I love the quote, “God has three answers to our prayers. ‘Yes,’ ‘Not Yet,’ or ‘I have something better in mind.’

I learned to really, truly enjoy running. And I learned that anything can be accomplished if I throw your heart and soul into it. Even 26.2 miles.

I learned that life would be next to impossible without the support from those who love me.

I learned how much I freaking love BIC Bands. Should I be embarrassed to admit I own about 8 of the sparkly ones?

I learned to enjoy post-run ice baths.

And that they are way better with a running twin. 😉

I learned how difficult and heartwrenching it is watching two family members battle cancer in the same year. And then I learned the joy of having my dad and sister both beat cancer in the same year.

I learned that the blog world can connect me with so many awesome girls who are just like me (a crazy amount like me… it’s weird, you guys).

I learned the wonders of coaching middle school field hockey. Oh, the wonders…

I learned that I won’t collapse and die if I wake up early for morning workouts. I learned to enjoy them, even if it did mean showering at the gym before work.

I learned how rewarding, touching, and fun it can be to help plan the wedding of two of my closest friends.

How beautiful is that? Lisa-Marie made it for me for Christmas.

I learned to do abs with one leg in the air to keep a certain dog from climbing on my chest while doing my crunches.

I discovered a passion for creating obnoxious costumes and sporting them in public.

I learned all about nutrition, what works for me, and how rewarding it is to see results.

I learned that I still really like wine. No shocker there.

I’ve got high hopes for 2012. Are you ready? What did you learn this past year?

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile December 30, 2011 at 3:19 am

Haha such a great post, especially the last part. I want your dog! Too cute.
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2 nicole marie December 30, 2011 at 3:23 am

i’m enamoured with your dad and sister . . . and with your puppy! 🙂 x
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3 Amanda December 30, 2011 at 4:03 am

Love this post! I’m new to your blog but you. are. hilarious. I’ve also just had my first year out working after college and am rekindling my love of running (trying to rid myself of those nasty-pants shin splints). I love reading the trackbacks too – I have had Captivating sitting on my bookshelf for years now, but I’m ready to delve in and get my highlighter out! That quote about God’s answers to our prayers is so, so true. Here’s to a great 2012!


4 Kailey (SnackFace) December 30, 2011 at 4:13 am

You know how we’re twins, right? Well, it’s even more apparent than ever because we basically wrote the same post tonight! OK, not the same, but very similar.

2011 blew. 2012 is THE year. And every year after that.

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5 Jamie December 30, 2011 at 4:40 am

I love you!!!!!! This made my eyes tear. It’s crazy how much I’ve watched you change in 2011- not that you have actually changed but that you have gotten so strong and seem happier every day! (when you were even cheery to begin with, lol) have fun in DC I will miss you here!! We shall do a toast to an exciting 2012 when you get back to the beach!


6 Emily December 30, 2011 at 5:12 am

Wow, 2011 sounds like it was a verrrry successful year for you. That’s awesome!
Raising dogs is seriously like raising children, in my opinion. I’m looking into getting a new puppy of my own soon and I know it’s going to be a HUGE commitment. They’re definitely worth it though. 🙂
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7 Becca December 30, 2011 at 10:05 am

I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw your pic of you doing crunches with your leg in the air. I cannot do any workout stuff at home without my pooch trying to climb on me as well! They are so funny!! Congrats on all of your accomplishments. I am hoping to add a 26.2 to my next year (and to redeem myself at a 13.1).
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8 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers December 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

THIS: “God has three answers to our prayers. ‘Yes,’ ‘Not Yet,’ or ‘I have something better in mind.’” AWESOME. Thanks for sharing, Alyssa. And you had an amazing year – full of ups and downs, definitely, but I’ve enjoyed coming along for the ride! You always maintain spunk and positivity and your blog is basically the JAM.
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9 alyssa - fashion fitness foodie December 30, 2011 at 1:34 pm

You’ve had a tough year but you’ve conquered it all with that big smile on your face! Here’s to 2012…lots more wine, new PR’s and tons more crazy stories. I love reading your blog and can tell that you love writing it. Keep it up!
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10 Janine @ThePurpleGiraffe December 30, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Great post – you’re fantastic, strong and funny! Keep up the great work/attitude in 2012 and nothing can stop you! <3
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11 Claire @ Live and Love to Eat December 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Definitely looking forward to 2012 – I have much more positive outlook thanks to a great 2011!
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12 Sarah December 30, 2011 at 2:37 pm

You had so many great things happen in 2011! Love that you raised a black lab puppy I want one soo bad! Maybe in 2012? That could be one of my goals!
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13 Chelcie @ Chelcies FOod Files December 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Love this post!! Definitely with you on the liking wine part


14 She Rocks Fitness December 30, 2011 at 2:47 pm

I’ve learned a lot this year…some good…some bad, but all in all it was a great year! And yes, I love wine, no matter how much my head hurts the next day, I still will drink it, and probably will on Saturday evening. HA! Have a wonderful weekend and so glad to see your family members beat cancer!!!!
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15 Lauren December 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm

And I learned this year that you are one of my very favorite bloggers 🙂 Your blog is so refreshing and so much fun to read…thank you!!! Excited to see what 2012 brings for you…and for me, because 2011 sucked lol.


16 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers December 30, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Looks like a great year. Cheers to another good one!
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17 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries December 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm

No matter what “bad” stuff has come your way this year, I truly believe it’s The Big Man’s plan to help mold you into an even MORE beautiful, talented, and amazing person. I think you’re fabulous and that 2012 is going to be YOUR year, baybay! xoxox
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18 Rachel @ The Avid Appetite December 30, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Happy New Year lady! Overall, a wonderful 2011, and I’m sure 2012 will be even better! (though pretty much nothing will top that puppy 🙂 )
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19 Michelle @ Our Dream Made Out Of Real Things December 30, 2011 at 4:33 pm

What an extraordinary year you’ve had. My mom is currently battling breast cancer and it has been a very hard road. I can’t wait to get to the point when we can celebrate her victory like your family.
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20 Mattie December 30, 2011 at 5:03 pm

Great post! It was so fun to read. This year I learned I need to be more concerned about me and my life. I learned I need to stop worrying what others think and do what I want. I learned I need to be more selfish. I plan to work on these discoveries in 2012.


21 Amber K December 30, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Wow, looking back over my year I don’t think I have gone through nearly as much as you have. But it looks like you’ve come out stronger in the end. And the quote about God’s answers is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for sharing!
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22 julie December 30, 2011 at 7:18 pm

i don’t think my 2011 would be the same if we didn’t become friends.

also on a non creepy note your smile is ultra infectious xoxoxo 🙂


23 Katherine @ Neon Blonde Runner December 30, 2011 at 8:07 pm

Looove your recap. I hung on every word and photo!

You’re gorgeous AND you have an amazingly introspective head on those shoulders!
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24 Lindsay @ Lindsay's List December 30, 2011 at 8:10 pm

So great about your dad and sister!!! Go family!
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25 ash December 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm

just found your blog- love it- look forward to reading more!!


26 Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy December 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm

I learned that life goes by faster than we think it will, and change is hard, but it makes us stronger. Have a happy new year!
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27 Michelle @ Blogitness December 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm

Love this post! I’m glad you learned to truly enjoy running. That’s what I’m aiming for in 2012!
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28 gabriella December 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I learned that I’m really thankful to have blogs and friends that have gone through a breakup this past year so I have people to vent to when I don’t want to hear about anyone’s happy lovey relationships anymore. And then I learned that it’s still nice to hear those relationships are out there.


29 Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio December 31, 2011 at 5:10 am

First time reading your blog and I love it! Wonderful post. I’m excited to read what 2012 brings for you.
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30 Kristen McGrath January 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm

I love the part about doing crunches with one leg up. I feel your pain on that one totally! Our little furry creatures think they can help. Yoga is a terrible idea when they are around too hahaha. xoxoxo


31 Haughty by Nature January 2, 2012 at 1:23 am

Oh I LOVE this post! (And not just because I’m chugging margs in it.) Growing up is fun…every year I’m more confident, clear headed, and sure of myself. I’m ALMOST an an Alyssa-level 🙂
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32 Haughty by Nature January 2, 2012 at 1:23 am

Ps If I come to Virginia Beach will you help me get a beach body…okthanksbye.
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33 Lena @Fit on the Rocks January 2, 2012 at 2:55 am

What a whirlwind of a year you’ve had! The start of my year was very similar to yours on the relationship front, but I’m glad to see we’ve both rebounded from the shit coming down and ended the year with a positive bang. I’m so happy that your dad and sister beat cancer. Best wishes in 2012!
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34 Corrie Anne January 2, 2012 at 7:12 am

You’re so brave with the ice bathing & whatnot!! And puppies are the best!!!!!
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35 Steph @ StephSnacks January 2, 2012 at 3:03 pm

What a year! You definitely overcame so many things and had a blast at the same time. I think this year I learned to love the people in your life with every ounce you have… after the loss of two grandparents and my dog, it was definitely a trying time.
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36 Danica @ GirlsThatRun January 2, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I love this post! 2011 taught me that I can actually love running too and it taught me not to cut limes with dull knives on a slippery surface 🙂
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37 Brittany (healthy slice of life) January 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

The loofah still is one of the best costumes I’ve seen. Kudos to you! And yes, each year I discover that I still really like wine too 🙂
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