In this BITS post, we interview Dawn Richardson Wilson (@just_dawn98 on Instagram), a Canadian Olympic bobsledder. Her Olympic debut was in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. However, before then, Dawn won her first bobsledding race in 2019, and achieved a career-best fourth place finish in Innsbruck in 2021. Aside from training and competing, Dawn enjoys binge-watching TV shows, playing board games, and volunteering to help autistic children during the summer. Dawn shares her advice as a professional athlete, including how to keep going when things get tough and how to have a better day. As teenagers, we can often get caught up and focus only on the negative. Although negative things are often happening, is it important to shift our focus onto the things that are going well and make us happy, and keep pushing forward. With Dawn’s advice, we can discover how to make the best of a negative situation, and find happiness in our difficult days.
In this BIT: Discover advice from professional athlete Dawn Richardson Wilson. She shares her tips for a better day, and motivation for teenagers + more!
Dawn Richardson Wilson: In my personal experience, the older, not just an athlete, but in my everyday life, the more I learn about myself, and want to push myself to improve. Sometimes, it is easy to look at where you are now and only highlight the faults. On those days I try not to do is sit too long in those thoughts. I like to redirect my focus to what I have been doing now that I am proud of, what are parts of me that I love? Because no one is you and that is your power. Once you find your power, you should capitalize on it. It’s natural to go through these emotions; not every day will be your best day, but you have to bring your best effort each day.
Dawn: That was a tough time. I won’t sugarcoat it; there were days when I did nothing. Still, from doing nothing, I realized that this was my body letting me that know to perform and get back to chasing that dream, I had to allow myself to rest. That rest is also an essential part of training that many, including myself, overlook. From that rest, I was able to rediscover some of the hobbies I’d been too busy to do (baking, piano, learning new languages and binge-watching my favourite shows).
Dawn: Finding the positive in a negative situation is easier said than done. But, still, I will say that taking some time to really analyze the situation, and asking yourself questions can help. Such as: what are some positives that came out of it? What are you proud of about how you handled it? How did this make you a better version of yourself?
1. Find that music that brings out your best mood and get lost in that feeling.
2. Secondly, surround yourself with people who appreciate you and make you smile; build a great support system of people who have your best interest in mind.
3. Last but not least, find a hobby that you enjoy that gives you a break from the stress of growing and discovering yourself.
Dawn: Just chatting with my best friend. Even if our conversations don’t really lead anywhere, knowing that I can be my authentic self around her without fear of being judged.
Dawn: “Every Step is progress no matter how big or small they may be”. Another one is “Being yourself is never something you are ever going to regret”.
My favourite snack that brings me a bit of happiness is a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream.
*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
We hope that these tips give you a small bit of happiness and motivate you to keep going when times are tough.
For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.
Featuring quick videos created for teens by teens.
Want advice from professional athletes? Discover how to have a better day in this article!