Blink and you might miss her whizzing by as she sprints 100m in 10.76 seconds – a feat that only a fraction of a fraction of people on Earth can do. 2012 Summer Olympian Marshevet Hooker is second in the U.S. at doing it, though, and her name atop the track-and-field books is proof.
“I ran track growing up and then I went to the University of Texas, where I had three National Championships,” explains Hooker. “I went on to make my first Olympic team in 2008; I made my first World Championship team in 2009, and then my second in 2011. With the USA, track-and-field is very, very, very competitive, and to make a team in the USA in the sprint – which I run the 100m and 200m – is a huge accomplishment. Making it wasn’t guaranteed – making the Finals and getting on the medal stand…I’ve yet to do that.”
Not surprisingly, both of Hooker’s parents ran track in high school, passing along DNA that also helped sister, Destinee, earn the current U.S. Indoor National record in high jump at nearly 6’7”. The family talent – Hooker calls it “God-given” – along with a healthy lifestyle that includes being a “home-body” is what she attributes to her success. When track-and-field runs in your blood, healthy might come naturally. Yet, Hooker, who’s training for the Olympic Games in London this summer, says she works hard at keeping her mind, body, and soul in shape for the long haul.
On New Year’s Day, Hooker passes along some wisdom, knowing the Hip-Hop community has experienced far too many preventable illnesses and deaths lately. And although 99 percent of us (rappers included) will never, ever be Olympic athletes, there are still plenty of jewels in Marshevet Hooker’s “Top 5 Not Dead, So Stay Alive” Tips for 2012:
#1 – Eat Better!
I know [rappers] are on tour – same thing with athletes – and they’re so busy. It’s a lot easier sometimes just to grab something fast, something greasy. So, sometimes even if you have to prepare your food in advance, or have somebody prepare your food in advance, it’s time to eat a little better. When you’re on the go, your body gets tired and everything – fuel the body!
#2 – Exercise!
I know sometimes [rappers and others] stay kind of busy, but at the same time, get out, even if it’s taking a walk or a light jog, do something to keep your body active. If you are having bad eating habits, you can kind of burn that up a little bit! [laughter]
#3 – Watch What You Put In You!
Take better care of your body. I know sometimes with the partying, you get into drinking and other activities. The lack of rest that you get already has an impact on your body, so what you put into your body, you’re going to get out. Be mindful of what you put in your body.
#4 – Rest!
Rest. Try to fit it in some way. I know they get busy, but you’ve got to rest some way. Your body, through resting, sleeping, that’s how your body recovers. So give your body time to recover. Sleeping is good, but then sometimes so is just staying still. You know, you just get so busy – separate some time out for just sleep or to rest your body, period.
#5 – Seek Happiness!
I think happiness is key. Sometimes you get really, really busy and caught up in doing things for everyone else. Just like I said take time to take care of yourself, do what makes you happy sometimes. I really think in that industry, it’s all about the fans sometimes, but sometimes you have to do things to make you happy.
AllHipHop.com: Is there a rapper you’d find “happiness” in shouting-out if you could?
Awww, man, there are so many, but I’m really, really loving Nicki Minaj a lot right now. A lot of her stuff I listen to a lot. She represents independence. She stepped in the game, and just went after it. You can tell she put a lot of hard work in, and we’re seeing the outcome right now. I mean, she’s killing it!
Check for Marshevet Hooker representing Team USA in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London! Visit her new website debuting this week at www.vethooker.com.