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Not only is she an Olympic athlete, model, and mother, Natasha Hastings is also an entrepreneur who inspires people to better themselves and preserve regardless of what life throws their way. Hastings was born and raised in New York City where she began her track career at a very early age and won first place at the USA Track & Field Junior Olympics. Continuing her love for competing on the track, Natasha attended the University of South Carolina where she coined the name “Gamecock Divas” for the ladies’ track team. From there Hastings went back home to New York City, continued to train, and went on to become a member of the USA Olympic Track and Field Team. As she nears retirement Natasha Hastings has shifted her focus to family life and becoming a business woman while continuing to empower others.
Despite being a world renowned athlete, Hastings has faced several setbacks in her career and life as an influential African American woman. Adjusting to college in the south was not as easy as she had hoped. Discrimination in South Carolina was still prevalent at the time, but instead of letting it affect her education she found a support system among her coaches and teammates where she continued to defy the odds. During her time in college she overcame an injury and went on to set personal records, achieved the fastest collegiate time for the 4 X 400m in 2007, and won the SEC Championships. Hastings attributes much of her early success by staying focused, driven, and surrounding herself by people with similar goals and aspirations
Shortly after her college career at only 22, Natasha made the USA Olympic Track and Field Team where she brought home a Gold Medal. Despite her successful first appearance in the 2008 Olympics, Hastings did not make the team in 2012. Admitting this was a major disappointment and setback in her career, Natasha knew she needed to adjust. She continued to train and was able to compete in the 2013 and 2015 World Championships in Athletics. In 2016 her effort and hard work for the past four years paid off and she made the USA Olympic Team competing in Rio. Natasha reflects on her growth from not making the team in 2012 and attributes much of her success to it because she learned what you are comfortable doing is not always what you should be doing.
Looking back on her career, Natasha admits that her “hard reality check” among other obstacles has made different aspects of her life, like pivoting her career less intimidating. When she became pregnant she was terrified of what it would do to her athletic career and felt as though she had to hide her pregnancy in order to succeed. After she announced her pregnancy and concerns that come with it, other athletes came forward and said they felt the same discrimination and did not receive support from their sponsors. This enraged Natasha who supports women of all backgrounds and goals, which prompted her to launch a brand designed for women with fast moving lifestyles who still want a bold expression of their feminity.
Now Hastings has successfully started a Youtube channel which features workouts as well as behind the scenes footage of her life and a podcast in addition to her brand. The inspiration behind the podcast stems from the grueling schedule she faces which was magnified after becoming a mother. On Natasha Hastings: Postpartum to Podium, she discusses the importance of self care and individuality for women. She uses her experience and ability to adapt to various situations as motivation and inspiration for other women facing similar challenges in their life, which she plans to continue during retirement.
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