Mentally, dealing with contracting COVID-19 was a whole different story. Wilson was constantly battling feelings of guiltiness, anxiety and self-blame.
It was hard not to think it was all his fault. He felt that everyone was shaming him for getting the virus. People were quick to blame. Wilson tried to focus on what he was able to control and worked on mindfulness during isolation. His goals on the track, however, helped keep Wilson motivated during his time away from practice and training.
“Obviously, since there was an outbreak at school, I felt like I was one of the drivers in it. I just had to tell myself it could have happened to anyone,” said Wilson. “Once I kind of came to terms with it, I knew it was in the past and I couldn't do anything about it now and then I was able to move on.”
Sophomore Aidan Harmer, one of Wilson’s best friends at Springfield, also came down with the virus shortly after Wilson had tested positive. He had similar feelings of shame and guilt, but was able to see testing positive was out of his control.
“He was one of the first people I knew to get it, so I made sure he did not feel upset or guilty that he gave it to other people. You can’t really control how it happens,” said Harmer.
Wilson took his 10-day quarantine as just a bump in the road. It was a time when he could rest and recover before heading into his next training block.
He knew that getting COVID during the fall was not the end of the world since no competition was being held. He was confident in his overall training and knew he had the ability to come back even stronger.
“I feel like it was a wakeup call for me,'' explained Wilson. “I have been working harder and it motivated me to take every opportunity I get. I have made the most of every practice, even if it is just a recovery day. I just give my all every day.”
“Going through that experience makes someone more patient,” explained Harmer. “It helps them understand how to be one on one with yourself.”
After quarantine ended for Wilson, he was required to complete a week-long testing regime before jumping back into normal practice, as well as seeing a cardiologist for some chest pain he was experiencing because of his COVID-19 diagnosis.