DAYTON — It took Tongue River’s Kayla Stimpson a good amount of thought to recall the last time she had a bad day. And upon closer examination, she couldn’t clearly define any as a day to forget.
Stimpson approaches every moment of her life with an open mind and overly-positive attitude. She sees no reason not to. It doesn’t matter if she’s throwing shot put during a gloomy day of practice, participating in FCCLA or just going through a normal mundane school day, Stimpson finds enjoyment in every aspect of her life.
“When you meet her, you kind of think this has to be an act,” TR head track and field coach Steve Hanson said. “There’s no possible way this is a genuine thing. But it absolutely is. She’s that genuinely kind. She’s caring and compassionate to others and a very personable young lady.
“She’s one of a kind.”
There isn’t much to Parkman, Wyoming. However, seven years ago, it coaxed Stimpson and her family back. After bouncing around from homes in Watford City, North Dakota, and Sheridan, Stimpson’s family relocated to its roots in the small town situated just a couple miles south of the Montana border.
Only a few homes make up Main Street, which boasts a post office, a bar and grill and not much else. But for Stimpson, it’s home.
It was there in those humble roots where Stimpson developed her daily mentality.
“I would have to say my attitude comes from my mom and my family members,” Stimpson said. “Ever since I was little, they’ve always helped me become positive. There was never a day to be sad.”
She’d help out her mother around the house or out at her aunt and uncle’s ranch. The positivity branched off, and a competitive limb blossomed.
Stimpson decided to take up track and field during her middle school years and landed on the shot put and discus as her events of choice.
It was in those events where Stimpson met Hanson for the first time. Hanson coached throws at the middle school level and as luck would have it, he moved to the high school just as Stimpson made her way there, as well. The two have traversed through track together, and a strong player-coach relationship established itself.
“I love Mr. Hanson as a coach, honestly,” Stimpson said. “He has always been there for me and I really think … he is considered family to me. That’s how important he is to me.”
Stimpson has improved each and every year on the track team, tossing a new personal-best shot put throw of 23 feet, 1 inch in the first meet of the 2018 season.
The track season eats up a lot Stimpson’s time, but no matter how jam-packed or overwhelming her schedule can appear, she just takes it all in stride.
“She’s a tremendous hard worker in the classroom,” Hanson said. “It’s not like every thing comes super easy. But the positively she approaches every situation with is pretty incredible. When kids get slammed with homework or testing, they kind of tend to complain. She doesn’t complain. She just shakes her head and says something like, ‘Boy, I’ve got a lot of work to do,’ with this positive outlook.
“I don’t understand how she does it.”
Simpson is set to graduate this spring and plans to attend Sheridan College. She has goals to someday practicing nursing — a career path many would say fits her positive personality perfectly.