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A Life Less Bullshit

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

Here at LLB we have a two-word motto: JUST TRY. Seriously, whatever you want to do, just try! In the meantime, let's all stop pretending to live a picture-perfect life.

It's Time To Answer The Big Questions

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The 2% Challenge

Think of something you really dislike doing.

Be specific.

Which task do you resent the most?

Which thing do you cringe away from whenever you see it on your to-do list?

Now, let’s pretend that this thing on your list is indeed something that you have to do.

(What I mean by that is that there are lots of things – lots and lots and lots of things – that you think you have to do, but don’t really have to do at all. But, that’s a conversation for another time.)

So, getting back to it.

That thing you hate? The one that makes you want to burrow under the covers and eat cookies so you don’t have to deal with it?

Let’s talk about that thing.

Your thing might be phone calls. Maybe you really, really dislike returning phone calls. Or maybe it’s anything to do with taxes, or the DMV, or, I don’t know, maybe your thing has to do with having hard conversations or being interviewed on video or pressing “publish” on a blog post.

For me, it’s going to the post office. I can’t explain it, but going to the post office is perhaps my least favorite task. Every time it’s on my to-do list, I put it off. EVERY FREAKIN TIME.

If you are waiting for something in the mail from me, you should just expect that it will be late. It will always be late, because the thought of packaging the item (do I have a box? tape?), addressing it, taking it to the post office, standing in line, answering questions about the contents – it all makes me irrationally crazy. And heaven forbid I’m shipping internationally and am asked to fill out a customs form. OH MY GOD.

But, okay, this isn’t just a rant about the post office. (Although, feel free to join in on that, ha.)

My point here is that we all have things that we dislike doing, but I have recently found that there’s a simple two-step approach to make these things less hellish.

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How Will You Be Brave Today?

“In the middle of a competition, there will come a time where you will have the choice to go or not go. I am saying you should go.”

I crossed the two-mile mark, and I could see the orange cones up ahead, the ones the signaled the fourth and final out-and-back turnaround section of the race.

Four out-and-backs, four chances to count how many women were ahead of me as they rounded the cones and ran back in my direction.

At the first turnaround, I was the 10th woman. “Good,” I thought. “Stay calm, stay relaxed.”

I ran on.

At the second turnaround, I was the 8th woman. “Good, moved up two spots. Keep applying pressure. Keep going.”

By the time we reached the third turnaround, I was 7th. Coming around that turn, the course went straight uphill. “Hold your form,” I thought. Followed by my favorite mid-race mantra: “You’re strong. You’re fit. You’re in control.” I repeated that over and over, letting the rhythm of the words merge with the rhythm of my breathing, trying to find the sweet spot where you’re giving everything you’ve got without giving it all too soon.

The two-mile marker came and went. “One more mile to go,” I told myself. “Hold it.”

I counted the women running toward me after the final turnaround, and I was still in 7th. We ran on for another few minutes, and my eyes were pinned to the 6th place woman, just up ahead.

As I got closer to her, I felt myself start to go deeper into the pain cave. There was still over a half mile to go, and my head was suddenly flooded with self doubts.

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