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Success runs down the line. Natasha Hastings is the perfect example of that saying because both her parents were athletes and she came running quickly behind them. Natasha is a 2x Olympic gold medalist and is also known as the 400 Meter Diva. Beyond the spikes is a beauty lover who can handle all the endeavors she carries on her plate with much class and grace. We had the opportunity to get to know the gold medalist to discuss her new beauty brand, the 400M Diva Collection, planning her wedding with Superbowl Champion William Gay, and she even offers her best advice to those wanting to get fit in time for summer.

Tell us about yourself. What made you want to become a track and field sprinter?

My name is Natasha Hastings sometimes known as the 400 Meter Diva. I’m from New York City, I always like to insert that because although I left when I was 18-years-old, I’m always a New York girl.

I started out running at a very early age. I feel like I’ve been running my entire life even though I didn’t join a team until I was nine. Both of my parents were in track and my dad was a coach. Those are some of my early memories of track going out to the track with him. My mom was an Olympian, she actually made the 1984 Olympic team for Trinidad & Tobago. She took me to Propagate Women’s Game coach and my then coach, she coached me from when I was nine all the way up to high school discovered me there and I guess the rest is history.

How would you describe your journey to becoming a two-time Olympic gold medalist?

Just that! A journey (laughs). It’s been one that I have learned to appreciate and love what my journey is. One of the reasons I’m able to celebrate those medals is because I know what it took to get there. By that I mean, even the moments that I was disappointed, thought about quitting, or didn’t believe in myself were the defining moments in my career. I had to overcome those barriers, find myself, redefining what an athlete is, who Natasha Hastings was not to the world but to myself. Those were the moments that I feel like really made the champion in me. For me, it’s really about stepping back and really appreciating the journey.

Tell us about your new beauty brand, 400M Diva Collection. What made you want to branch into the beauty world?

I also mentioned that I am known as the 400 Meter Diva (laughs) so that came about from kind of naming my college team the Gamecock Divas but that’s kind of going away from that topic. I’m known as the girl who wears the lashes and the full face of makeup. I’d like to point out that I’m not the only female athlete who does that, I just think that I’m not shy to wear a bright lipstick or wear those dramatic eyelashes. I’ve always wanted to jump into the beauty world. Again, talking about defining myself, jumping into the entrepreneurial spirit, and kind of taking the road less traveled. Athletes go into coaching and sticking around sports. I do want to stick around sports but I really wanted to explore this other side of myself and expand on the beauty brand that has been developed within Nastasha Hastings, the 400 Meter Diva. It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I finally got to the point where I realized that if I didn’t do it, I was never going to. I can’t say that I had a business plan, I just took a leap of faith and tried.

Photo by Jasmine Anderson

How have you been able to juggle all your projects while preparing for a wedding, AND preparing for the 2020 Olympics?

You know… I’m still figuring that out myself (laughs). Its been kind of an interesting thing because first and foremost, I am an athlete first. Last year was an interesting year for me because I was injured and so I wasn’t spending as much time on the track. I was doing more rehab and working on getting healthy. I will say that the injury, in some way, kind of gave me room to focus on other endeavors and that being the beauty line as well as my non-profit, the Natasha Hastings Foundation. It gave me the leeway to kind focus on those things.

I do find myself in an interesting space. I’m 32-years-old and I’m very vocal about the fact that retirement is nearing. I do intend for Tokyo to be my last and final Olympics. I can’t be an athlete for the rest of my life so I am very intentional about who and what Nastasha Hastings is going to be after this phase of life. Its something I’ve realized I can’t hang up the spikes in 2020 and just decide, okay now I’m going to figure it out. Its something I know I have to do, it is inevitable and I just try to take it day by day by not being too hard on myself.

What advice would you offer to our readers to get fit in time for the summer time?

I would say number one find an activity that you like. When you’re talking about getting fit, everything from your activity as well as how you eat shouldn’t be punishment. When you think about it, you’re actually trying to improve your quality of life. I run for a living, I love running but during my offseason, you can’t get me to run for anything, I’ll go rollerblading (laughs) or ride a bike. There are ways to get physically fit and get active without it being boring. If you find that you are a person that would rather take group classes or a dance class, find those things you enjoy, find an accountability partner, and then eating healthy doesn’t have to be punishment! Again, find those foods you enjoy and try to tailor your diet around that. Even with that, I think moderation is key. Don’t punish yourself! Mac and cheese is my weakness so if I’ve had a good week when I have that cheat meal at the end of the week, I will have some mac and cheese as my cheat meal! Just find balance.

What can we expect to see from Natasha Hastings in the future?

Woo! Well, you mentioned I’m getting married. As if I’m not doing enough, wedding planning is definitely on the horizon. From that, with my workout Wednesdays on my YouTube channel, I’m definitely looking to expand the content on my channel from everything talking about my cosmetics brand, life as an athlete, and working towards getting on television, I would like to do some sports commentating in the future. I guess you can see me in a little bit of everything coming up!

 

Photo by Kevin Garner

Click here to visit the official Nastasha Hastingswebsite.

To learn more on the Natasha Hastings Foundation, click here!

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Featured Image: Kevin Garner