Tiger Talk: Getting Uncomfortable Brings Opportunities

Tiger Talk: Getting Uncomfortable Brings Opportunities

Welcome to #TIGERTALK – a SweetwaterNOW exclusive series where Rock Springs High School Tigers inspire our community by telling their stories in their own words.

My name is Colton Carlsen, I am currently a senior at Rock Springs High School.

I have participated in football, track, and baseball since my youth. I was awarded All-State and All-Conference Offensive Lineman for football. I am currently in baseball as well as outdoor track. I hit new personal records (PR) in indoor track and am excited to have begun my final year competing at the high school level for outdoor track in shot put and discus.

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I have really enjoyed getting into track and field. I am a bigger boy and honestly thought I would pursue playing football at a collegiate level, but our football coach, Coach Lenhardt, always encouraged the team to play multiple sports and to be involved and conditioned.

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I set personal goals for myself, and at our Bingham, UT meet I surpassed my discus goal and threw a 154.4 and took first place.

If there’s a sport that demands the utmost self belief and inner confidence in yourself, it has to be track and field. In a sport where you and only you can affect your performance, a great deal of responsibility and pressure can weigh on your shoulders. 

I have had some pretty supportive coaches who have really pushed me, encouraged me, and had faith in me when I doubted myself. When someone pushes you outside of our comfort zone, we tend to think they are telling us what to do, when in reality, they are helping us to reach our potential through challenging our own fears. Both Coach Lenhardt and Coach Walker have done that for me.

Motivation and Believing in Yourself

Choosing to participate in track and field three years ago, did just that and put me outside of my comfort zone. Since then, I have gained self confidence in knowing that I am the only one that I can rely on to succeed. It’s the same mindset I must have after graduation. It has taught me to have dedication and commitment, but also to have fun.

The competition is great and allows me to set more PRs, but as my parents have always said to my brothers and I, “There will always be someone better than you.”

I hear that in my head, and it gives me motivation.

Staying motivated really comes down to being patient, staying grounded and putting everything into perspective. Just like training, motivation isn’t one-size-fits-all. You must dig deep and find what makes you tick — and don’t get hung up along the way.

Another thing my Mama always says is, ”All speech is vain and empty unless accompanied by action.”

In track and field, you have to show up, focus, have determination, as there’s no one else to rely on. If I’m having an off day, just like in shot put and discus, you throw all the heavy stuff away from you, and when life’s hurdles knock you down, you get right back up, never giving up.

Staying motivated and determined is key! You have to have drive, never be satisfied with your last PR or performance, and always push yourself.

Another key is believing in yourself, have confidence that you’re a winner, but stay humble and not boastful.

My parents always had my brothers and I in sports and it has taught us life lessons that we can apply in other areas of our lives. Even though discus and shot put is a single-man sport, I am still on a team. Team always takes precedence over an individual. I am just a contributor to the Rock Springs Track and Field team.

Opportunities Ahead

After high school, I would like to go into Criminal Justice or major in medicine. I have a passion to care for others as well as protect our laws, rights, and freedoms. My parents and I went on a road trip after narrowing it down to some colleges that had reached out to me. After taking all my options in, and writing down the pros and cons, I made my decision.

I remember going into my mom’s room after practice and sitting on her bed and saying, I think I made up my mind. We then did a Facetime call with my dad and both my parents were so proud and supportive and are very excited for me.

I then called my good buddy, Smandy, AKA, Andrew Skorcz. He has been my constant and always encouraging me and pushing me to succeed.

I have been offered an opportunity to attend The University of Providence in Great Falls, Montana, where I will compete at the collegiate level in my field events and hopefully get into javelin. I am looking forward to learning more, gaining more perspective, and improving technique. Montana is beautiful country. I really felt welcomed, and I felt the environment best suited my hobbies and interests. The community, athletes and coaches were down to earth, kindhearted people.

To all my future Tigers, always take pride in yourself, take pride in your team, and take pride in your high school. Your actions, language, and attitude reflect not only on yourself, but also on this team, this school, your coaches and your family.

Take pride in what you do, how you practice, and how you present yourself to others. Be proud to be a part of a team that is well respected for its character. When you do something, you are signing your name to it. Whether it’s good or it’s bad, you are signing your name, your family’s name, so make it good!

Finally, have fun!