by Ilana Hart May 01, 2021
About me:I was born in Brookly, New York. I now live in Austin, Texas. I’m a mother, daughter, sister, athlete, entrepreneur, and philanthropist.
Becoming an Olympian
I have been active my entire life. Both of my parents ran track and my father was a track coach, so I used to go to practice with him. My mom entered me in the Colgate Women’s Games, which is a track meet that’s still, to this day, held in New York City, and that’s how I got my official start in the sport. I made my first Olympic team after what would have been my senior year of college.
My biggest career highlights were winning two Olympic Gold medals - 2016 being one where I had the fastest split in the Olympic games in the 4x400m, and also placing 4th in the open 400m.
Staying Focused on the Prize
I missed the Games in 2012. Going from 2012, being super disappointed and taking it day by day to get ready for 2016, I was able to really regain confidence in myself and confidence in my training. I changed the way I was speaking to myself and how I viewed myself as a person and an athlete. It really was the process and the journey of going from 2012 to 2016, and just knowing the things that I’d been through, that really made the difference to me going into the 2016 Games. That entire process is one that I enjoyed and often reflect on when I’m faced with new challenges, because it was a testament to staying focused on the prize and working hard every day, and then seeing that the fruits of your labor will come.
Grace & Resilience
This past year I’ve learned to focus on taking things one day at a time. I had to learn to be gracious to myself, since I am my worst critic. I learned to give myself space not to be perfect, and know that if I give my best effort every day, that’s really all that I can ask from myself.
I always tell myself: Try to stay in the moment, take it day by day, and be gracious to yourself. We really have to give ourselves credit for the things we have accomplished and not focus on what has gone wrong.
Motherhood as My Biggest Motivator
I am incredibly obsessed with my son; he’s even more motivating in terms of who I want to be. More than on the track, he motivates me to work on myself and be a good example for him. A large part of parenting and motherhood is leading by example, so I'm really working on myself in that area.
I definitely have “mom guilt” sometimes. I often have to make tough choices, as there are some days that I go to physiotherapy when I really just want to go home and be with my son. But I know there are things I need to do to work and provide for us to live. So, that’s been challenging. And sometimes there are things professionally that I want to get to or didn't get to. I’ve really had to learn how to give myself grace and know that I’m doing the best that I can. And this is also what I strive to role model for my son.
Empowering Girls & Women through Sports
I do a lot of work through my nonprofit for girls,the Natasha Hastings Foundation. I really want to advocate for girls and women in areas like self-love, discipline, period poverty, and learning about our bodies, and also to let them know all of the options that are out there for us. Sports has been such an amazing platform for myself and for other women in my life, so I really think it’s important to expose women and girls to sports, not just for their health but for the additional benefits it brings.
I try to focus on the things that aren’t necessarily talked about. You’ve got to eat right, and you’ve got to be hydrated, and you’ve got to recover well, in order for the exercise to be fruitful. Hydrate. Eat Well. Rest well.
Daily Skincare Routine
My skin is combination (oily/dry). I train outdoors pretty much year round, and my biggest concern is exposure & susceptibility to the sun.
My favorite FRE is the I AM JOY Rose Oil Spritz. I use that all day every day.
My secret “mom way” to use FRÉ is with the DETOX ME mask. I like to try and pamper myself sometimes. On some nights, after my son Liam goes to bed, I love to luxuriate in a bubble bath, and I'll use the mask, followed by RECOVER ME. My skin feels amazing, and I feel nice and relaxed after doing that.
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