FORT COLLINS, Colo. - "It's all about moving forward, you just kind of got to get over that. I don't want to not live a teenage life, where I can't go to movies anymore because that's what teenagers do," said Zachary Golditch, shooting survivor and CSU football player.
The daily grind and lessons about overcoming hardships on the gridiron have been useful to Zack Golditch off the field.
"The mentality is don't complain about what you can't control and move on the best you can," he said.
The incoming freshman Ram offensive tackle says it's been a year of highs and lows since July 20, but it's his family on the field that helped him through it all.
"I always kind of go back to the football team because that's what truly developed me. Coaches from Justin Hoffman and just the entire Gateway staff and continuing with the CSU staff," he said.
The 6-foot-5, 260-pound student athlete says his routine helped him come to grips with his experiences.
"Wake up, eat, go to a study session, eat again, go to school, lift and then run," he said. "Go to sleep and then do it again the next morning."
Golditch was shot in the back of the neck. The scars of the entry and exit wounds remain, but he's lived a fairly normal life on and off the field, he said.
"In the beginning I had to sit out because of obvious reasons. But once it was able to heal, I just said, 'I'm not going to let this hold me back,'" he said.
Since the shooting, he's won MVP honors for his team and graduated from Gateway High School.
"Everyone can see the scar," he said. "It doesn't define me as a person because it hasn't really changed me that much."
Golditch has been back to the movies since the shooting, but says it isn't quite the same.
"I find myself always looking at the exits and feeling a little bit uncomfortable," he said.
While the memory of July 20, 2012 will always be a part of him, Zack says he doesn't want it to define him. His goal is to define himself in the halls at Colorado State University and on the football field.
"Just kind of grow into the community and build a reputation of not 'the guy got shot and survived a tragedy' but become someone in the community that has an impact to the university,"Golditch said.