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.

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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How (& Why) To Create An Anchor Habit

If you’re feeling stuck, or overwhelmed, or like you’re floating around in an endless mess of to-do lists and yet aren’t actually making progress on anything, then this is for you.

So stop whatever else you’re doing – stop multi-tasking and refreshing your email and listen up:

You’re not going to stop feeling stuck or overwhelmed or like you’re floating around in an endless mess of to-do lists until you a) decide to change something, and then b) ACTUALLY CHANGE SOMETHING.

You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.

You are the changes you make, not the things you moan about and “wish” you could change.

But, look, change doesn’t have to be huge in order to be hugely impactful. If you’re sitting there waiting until you have “enough time” or the “right circumstances” to make a big change, you’re making it too hard on yourself. Who says big changes are the only way? Who says it has to be all or nothing?

Life doesn’t need to be a constant battle between eating zero cookies and eating eleventy hundred cookies.

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Read this if… you’re feeling disappointed + discouraged

It all started a week and a half ago.

I had just crossed the finish line of the Dine n Dash 5k, and I was crushed. It was my slowest 5k time in years – literally, years – and yet I’d been training hard for this race distance all season.

My mind was short-circuiting with desperate questions.

What just happened? What went wrong? Where did this fall apart? Am I not training hard enough? Digging deep enough? What was the point of month after month of focused training, if I couldn’t get it together come race day? Does any of this even matter? Wouldn’t it feel better to give up? If I didn’t care so much and try so hard, I wouldn’t have to feel like this anymore.

I ran a cool-down lap, cried, took a shower, cried, went to brunch, cried, and then drove back home.

For the next few days, I felt a little lost. That race had just been a time trial – a fitness assessment to see how I was progressing en route to my goal race in March – but the poor performance and totally disappointing results were weighing me down. I was going through the motions of getting back into my training, but every step was a struggle. Each day started with a feeling of dread, and by mid-week it took all of my mental muscle to pull myself out of bed for what was supposed to be an easy 6 mile run.

But it wasn’t easy. The trail was a little too hilly and a little too rocky, and with my already shaken confidence and desperate need for even a tiny win, the conditions were all just too much. 10 minutes into the run, I stopped in the middle of the trail and burst into tears. I turned around and cry-jogged my way back to the car, tripping a few times (hint: cry-jogging on a rocky trail is not recommended) and launched myself into the passenger seat to wail and sniffle until my husband was done with his run.

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It’s Time To Forgive Yourself

I was 22 when I left New York.

Except “left” isn’t quite the right word – I should probably say fled. I was 22 when I fled New York.

Because that’s what I did back then. If a situation got too intense, if I made too many mistakes, if a relationship started to feel challenging and uncomfortable, I bailed. I closed up, shut down, and got myself out.

Self preservation, yes. Fear, absolutely. Effective? Hardly.

When I boarded that flight in early 2008, I thought I was simply running away from a failing relationship. But what I was really trying to run away from was myself, from the person I had turned into through years of drinking my way into destructive behavior.

When I landed in Los Angeles six hours later, I was convinced I could leave it all behind me. Be different. Start over. Swipe – clean slate.

And yet…

A year and a half later I was packing my bags again, with even more urgency this time, desperate to escape the aftermath of yet another hurricane of bad decisions.

And on and on it went.

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