A Life Less Bullshit

I’m Nicole Antoinette: runner, real-talk advocate, and former slave to the "all or nothing" mindset

I'm here to help you do one life-changing thing: close the gap between what you say you want and what you actually do

It's Time To Answer The Big Questions

Recently on the Blog

Question Everything

It was day 1 of Change Camp NYC, and we were deep in a discussion about truth, and about what it really means for something to be true.

Together, my co-host Bryce and I laid out our two definitions of truth.

I went first.

“In order for something to be true, there needs to be irrefutable evidence. For example, regardless of whether or not I believe in gravity, when I drop this pencil, it’s going to fall to the ground. The fact that gravity exists on this planet is true.”

Bryce went next.

“Truth is simply an agreement between two or more people. If people agree that something is true, that makes it true. For example, we are all in agreement that it’s currently 2:30pm on Saturday, which therefore makes that true.”

My favorite thing about these two definitions of truth is that they show you how few things are actually true. In the first definition, we’ve limited fundamental truths to things like gravity, the rising of the sun, etc. Which means that everything else we believe is true (the necessity of a 40-hour work week, how “hard” it is to make change, the fact that we “should” or “must” act a certain way) isn’t true at all.

Which is how you can use the second definition to change your life, because as soon as you stop agreeing and believing that something is true, it stops being true for you.

If you stop believing that you need to check email first thing in the morning, that stops being true. If you stop believing that you have to use social media in order to have a successful business, it stops being true for you. If you stop believing that you don’t “have enough willpower” to change the way you eat, that stops being true too. And on and on.

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Twenty Twenty Nine (a note on running + pushing yourself to grow)

“Oh shit.”

That’s the first thing I said when I got close enough to the finish line to see the clock.

I was running all out by then – dead sprint. I could barely feel my legs, and I had just gotten a glimpse of my family and friends cheering on the side of the finishing chute.

A few seconds later, I crossed the line.

“Oh shit,” I said again.

It’s all I could say. All I could even think.

My mother, who saw me mouth those words, was worried that something was wrong.

My husband, who knows what my strongest running stride looks like better than anyone, was ecstatic. He watched me sprint by, looked at the clock, and thought the exact same thing I did: Oh shit.

It was the performance of my life. He knew it, and I knew it. It was a time I never dreamed I could run. A time I would have told you was impossible even in the final moments leading up to the race.

And yet, there I was. Across the finish line in 20:29.

And do you want to know why I love running so much? Here’s why:

Each and every race result is so much more than the sum of the time it took to cover the course. The fact that I ran 3.1 miles in 20 minutes and 29 seconds isn’t meaningful on its own. On its own, it’s simply a distance and a time. Some people will run faster and others will run slower, so what matters isn’t the time itself, it’s what the time represents to the runner.

And to me, this time is everything, because hidden inside those 20 minutes and 29 seconds you’ll find almost four years worth of sweat and pain and fear and growth.

I think back to my very first run, on a Sunday morning in May 2011, when I could barely make it through two full minutes of shuffle-jogging. I was terrified that morning. Desperate to quit drinking, running was the only thing I could think of that might give me a way out of that hole, but I was such a beginner that every step I took felt like a deathly leap into the unknown.

I started running because I needed something to believe in. I needed to believe in myself. I needed to know that I could endure, that I could push myself, that I could start something I had no idea how to do and that I could keep going no matter what.

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