Britton Wilson, an American track and field rising star, recently discussed the emotional impact of coping with injuries. Wilson’s career has had its share of ups and downs, placing her under significant stress, particularly when she has had to confront injuries herself.
“Many of you know this year has been full of many ups for me but that also came with lots of downs,” Britton Wilson said. While she empathizes with other injured athletes, her own experience brought a different set of emotions. “I often see other athletes getting injured and feel so sad for them and pray for them and wish them the best,” she continued, “but when it was myself, all I did was blame myself and be angry and undermine how much pain I was in.”
Heading into the Budapest 2023 World Athletics Championships with high expectations, Wilson failed to advance past the first round of the women’s 400m and had to be taken off the track in a wheelchair.
According to Wilson, her battles are both physical and mental. She highlighted the difficulty of not extending the same grace to herself that she offers to others. “I was in pain. I never gave myself grace or applauded myself for how hard I was still working even when things got hard,” she acknowledged.
Challenges served as a learning experience for Britton Wilson
Nevertheless, these challenges served as a learning experience for her. “And when things got too hard and I wasn’t taking care of myself the way I should’ve been—I still learned from that experience,” she stated.
In 2023, Wilson competed in more than 30 races, clocking under 50 seconds eight times, both indoors and outdoors. She is the North American indoor record holder for the 400m dash with a time of 49.48 seconds, set on March 11, 2023, in Albuquerque. She became the first North American woman to break the 50-second barrier and only the second woman ever to go under 49.50 seconds in the indoor 400m.
Wilson emphasizes the importance of self-compassion and resilience, offering hope to other athletes struggling with injuries. “You will get through this! Be proud of yourself. Respect and protect your body and never forget that you are human,” she concluded.
In her journey, Wilson has not only demonstrated her athletic abilities but also served as a symbol of resilience and wisdom. She has been especially inspiring for athletes contending with the varied challenges that come with injuries.
After transferring from the University of Tennessee to the University of Arkansas, Wilson helped Team USA win gold in the women’s 4x400m at the Eugene 2022 World Athletics Championships.