- Hey guys, welcome to another episode of Life in Motion.
I am here with my beautiful Nastia.
Yes. (Nastia laughing)
We're gonna be dancing through this whole situation.
My friend, Nastia Luikin.
She is an Olympic medalist, gold medalist, I might add.
Amazing human being.
Also, a past Dancing with the Stars partner.
Let's reminisce, let's go back.
We'll have a wavy moment, ready?
Doodleoo, doodleoo, doodleoo, doodleoo, doodleoo.
We danced with each other,
season 20 of Dancing with the Stars,
but this was kind of a unique situation
because one, I wasn't doing Dancing with the Stars.
- Okay, so they reached out and they said,
"We're kinda of in a crunch,
any chance you could do this season?"
I was like, "No chance.
I'm living in New York, going to school at NYU."
Obviously the show's live in L.A.
I was like, "I can't be in two places
"on opposite coasts at once."
They're like, "Well the person that we have in mind
"is actually also in New York,"
not telling me that it was you.
I was like, "Okay well that's interesting.
"So then we would just like fly for a day and fly back?"
And they're like, "We'll make it work."
I've always wanted to do the show, but them I'm like,
"I don't think this is the right time."
I'm going to school full time and that was hard enough.
I was like, "You know what, just do it."
- Just do it, just jump in.
- I remember walking in and seeing you
and I was like, this is the way to do it.
If you're gonna do it, you're gonna be partnered with you.
- Well, I was doing this show in New York at Radio City.
Nobody knew Nick Doss, who was doing the show,
and then when they were announcing the cast,
they all, we all, like this surprise announcement,
like, "Hey!" - Well we also weren't there.
They were, everyone was here in LA and we were in New York,
and so it was like this like this--
- Reveal, we're like-- - Huge reveal.
- Hey, we're here guys!
I'll never forget Mark texted me, my best friend.
He didn't even know and he was like, "What the heck man,
"you didn't even tell me?
"What's wrong with you?"
Well first of all, when I knew that I had
to do 13 shows a week at Radio City,
and then I was like,
but I'm also gonna be doing Dancing with the Stars.
I was like, fingers were crossed.
When I found out I was dancing with Nastia Liukin,
a female gymnast, I was super stoked,
obviously, because I knew that she would
have the flexibility, the athleticism.
We're doing great, things are happening, it's like awesome.
- Then I'm at the airport boarding for my red eye.
You weren't going back because you had rehearsal.
- A rehearsal.
- I'm literally in line to board.
I have my boarding pass up here.
Oh, Derek Hough, click.
"So, I'm at the hospital."
And I'm like, "What do you mean?"
- Oh my gosh, I can't believe.
It wasn't even cool, too.
I was doing 13-- - You were doing flips.
13 shows a week at Radio City,
Dancing with the Stars full out,
and then rehearsal after Dancing with the Stars.
I was dancing and I just kicked my leg,
and I kicked the light and I broke my big toe,
which I didn't know was broken
cause I had never broken a bone in my body.
I was like, "Oh that burns, that doesn't feel great."
Instead of just sitting down like a normal human being,
I was like, let me run and get ice on my broken toe.
I'm like, "I'll be right back."
And so I'm running and I'm like ha ha ha ha,
and then I fall down the stairs
and sprain my left ankle terribly.
Torn ligaments, the whole thing.
I knew it.
I was like, this is bad.
And I'm like, I just remember screaming going, "No!
I just kept screaming no because I knew--
- Everything, like all these things were just like, yeah.
- I knew that I couldn't do the show in New York,
I couldn't dance with Nastia anymore,
I had to pull out of the show,
and then I had a tour coming up.
I was like, this is like the worst thing ever.
I've never had this before, ever happen to me before
where I got injured.
- That last week, though, you were able to dance.
And that was like, we got eliminated,
but it was one of my favorite,
every single dance was, every week,
I was like this is my new favorite,
this is my new favorite.
But like, that one was so special and emotional
and then just being able to go out
and have that one last dance with you, too.
It was special.
- It was awesome.
It was awesome and it's interesting.
When people ask me, what are my favorite moments
from when I was on Dancing with the Stars,
one moment that I actually talk about
is a moment that I had with you.
It was a moment, kinda like I was trying to break through,
and kinda get to something else, get to another side.
I was like, "What's your real name,"
cause I don't know if people know this or not,
but Nastia isn't your original, given name, right?
So, what was it?
I said, "Well when did you start calling yourself Nastia?"
It was when you started competing, right?
And I was like, "Wow, that's so interesting."
We all have these names, these characters,
these people that we give ourselves,
these almost personas, in different aspects.
Before it was about competing, it was about winning,
it was about being the best,
it was just about being a little girl.
- The whole experience was so cool,
and I got to learn how to dance, kind of, and do something--
- Yeah, she was awesome. - Do something
that I was afraid to do and step outside my comfort zone.
I feel like what I continue to say is
you just taught me that it's okay to just be yourself.
I always was trying to be perfect.
I was trying to be the best.
I was trying to win.
That's what I went into Dancing with the Stars
trying to do also and I feel like I,
something clicked and I was like,
"Wait, he's right, you're just like that little girl again."
I'm forever proud of the moment that I had
of winning an Olympic Gold medal,
because it's something that I dreamed about for so long,
but it made me also realize that
life isn't defined by being the best,
by winning a gold medal,
or by a mirror ball, or you know whatever it is.
You get caught up in those kind of moments
and you sometimes forget to take a step back,
and to remember why you're doing it,
and to do it for the love and for the passion,
and I needed that because I had
just retired from gymnastics,
and so I hadn't found myself.
- That's crazy.
All that time, all those years of preparation.
- Everything comes down to like that one moment,
that one day, it was like--
- That gives me so much anxiety because I--
- Me too-- - I have that ah--
- Thinking back at it now,
when I look at the videos
or someone tags me on Instagram in a video,
I'm like, how did I do that,
cause physically, we were all prepared.
Your training is done.
You're as strong as you'll ever be.
You're as fit as you'll ever be, all of those things,
but it becomes whoever wins
basically is like, who's mentally--
- Who's clutched, ready. - the strongest, yeah.
It's like that day, that moment.
You can't just say, "Okay another take.
"Judges, hold on, let me try that again."
- That, for me, is insanity,
but I guess that's what the conditioning is, right?
Where you can like tap into it, you can just--
- I think I was just so,
I've read so many books.
I had a vision board.
- It's gonna be amazing.
You did have a vision board?
- Oh my god, yes.
- So you foresaw it, you envisioned it.
- 1000 percent.
They had just released what the gold, silver,
and bronze medals at the Beijing Olympics
were gonna look like.
Printed them off, my computer and my little printer
in my home office at my parents' house--
- I love this.
- and I put that on my vision board.
My dad competed at the Olympics,
won two gold and two silver medals, also in gymnastics.
- No pressure then.
- My mom actually went and dug up
his Olympic medals that were in the basement,
and hung his Olympic gold medal on my board.
- That's awesome.
Wow. - It was this
real Olympic gold medal, not mine but his,
and a picture of the gold medal
that I was envisioning winning.
As soon as I saw that, weird things happened
and I was just like, I know what's going to happen.
It's just now a matter of getting
through this training and getting there.
I stuck my vault landing for the first time,
first and last time, in my entire life.
- That's incredible.
- Then I went on to bars,
took a step on my bar dismount,
stuck my beam dismount, went on to floor,
Went down the stairs, gave my dad a hug,
and held it there for a second.
The final standings came up--
- [Derek] You're like this is real, this is real.
- [Nastia] Wait, is it real?
You know it wasn't even about,
yes I wanted that gold medal,
but it was about the performance that I had, you know?
And creating that moment for yourself.
- There's something to be said about
having certainty and making it.
It's almost like making a decision.
I really believe that.
I really believe that when you've decided
you have complete absolute certainty about something,
that you have a really strong chance
of actually making that come to pass.
I've never heard that story before.
- I know.
- Speaking of triumphs, let's also think
about the moments that we fell.
- Yeah, so 2012, I tried to make my second Olympic team.
Going in, you know talking about pressure and expectations.
I had never felt more pressure
and expectation going into that Olympic trials
because I was the reigning Olympic all around champion,
and now everybody knew who I was.
- They're like, "Okay, what are you gonna do?
"Let's go." - Literally,
every step you take, you're being watched.
On my best event, bars, I came crashing down.
I missed a release move and literally face planted.
I think it was on ESPN's top 10 falls
for two weeks straight.
- Thanks, ESPN-- - Thank you guys.
- for showcasing that moment over and over again.
- No, watching it now it's a little funny,
but at the time it wasn't.
20,000 people in this arena,
and millions watching back at home,
literally just watched me fall on my face.
I'm the best gymnast in the world.
I'm not supposed to do that.
So I got back up, I finished that routine
knowing that that didn't matter, my score didn't matter.
I wasn't gonna make that Olympic team.
I landed on my feet on my dismount,
and for the very first time in my life and career,
I had a standing ovation for the worst routine of my career.
Then I immediately flash back four years prior
where I won the gold medal,
and nobody was standing on their feet.
- That was a cool moment to experience
where you think, everybody's against me.
Everybody wanted to see me fall, or that feeling.
Then also you're like, wait, actually no.
- They still love me-- - They still--
- and support me and I think that--
- That's a beautiful thing.
- That moment, to me, became the
defining moment of my career.
That's when I realized a gold medal
is not going to define my life.
Results don't define who you are as a person,
and it just made me realize that life is about the journey.
- You started at a very young age.
You peak in your gymnastic ability at a very young age.
- 16 basically. - Before you're even--
- I mean I was old, at 18 years old, I feel.
- Before you're-- - An adult.
- An adult. - It's amazing,
but it's scary.
There's so many different emotions,
because I remember going back to Beijing 10 years ago,
standing on that podium with a gold medal around my neck,
and the fear was I've achieved my lifelong dream,
and I'm 18 years old.
Now what? - Now what?
- It was like, but then I was like,
oh my god, I just won the Olympics.
- You keep going back-- - You keep going back,
you're like, "But wait, now what?"
This is, life to me, didn't go past 2008.
It was literally 2008.
The Olympics and then I don't know.
- We'll figure it out. - Yeah.
And so, the last few years I feel like,
have just been this discovery process
of truly who I am and what my passions are,
and what I wanna do, and your goals,
and you're not defined by medals or results,
or those types of things.
- You feel like everybody's just judging you,
and by the way, our whole lives we were judged.
We were judged, literally judged by a score card.
It bleeds through in life where you think
where everybody's just judging me.
Everybody's judging me.
Everything is being looked at, is being scrutinized.
It's so true.
I really defined a lot of what I did,
or who I was, based on what I achieved.
What I could actually do rather than
just who I was and who I am.
We're all just those little kids.
We all are.
We're still that little boy.
We're still that little girl.
They're not this distant memory, this separate person.
They're still who we are.
We just have to reclaim them.
One of the things I loved about Nastia's story
is how she visualized her winning the Olympics,
how she created a vision board and she saw it happen.
It was her destiny.
It makes me wonder, what's some of your passions?
What are some of your dreams?
I really strongly encourage you
to make some vision boards, to put it on paper.
Don't just keep it up in your brain.
Put it on paper, make it real.
Because listen, if you're a pilot and you're flying,
you need to know your destination.
You need to know where you're going
in order to find the path to where you arrive.
I would say, figure out what it is you want,
put it on paper, make a vision board.
Make it real, make it happen.
Also, I would love to hear about 'em.
I wanna hear what some of your passions are,
what some of your dreams are.
Guys, I hope you enjoyed this.
I've thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my girl Nastia,
getting to know more about her story.
It's amazing, it's incredible.
Don't forget to subscribe and I will see you guys next time.