I couldn’t even stand up properly. I was on such an adrenaline rush..
In fact, in many ways Aimee seems wise beyond her years. Her easy self-confidence and her choices both on and off the hill indicate a savviness that you wouldn’t expect to find in your average 21-year-old. At the same time, she’s still a child of her generation: A keen blogger who makes witty video edits, Aimee also tweets and updates her Facebook regularly. But while she clearly does this for the love, Aimee is also conscious of the value (both for her and her sponsors) of getting her name out there. “It’s part of the job nowadays and part of moving with the times. I’m so thankful for what sponsors are doing for me, I guess having a twitter feed and Facebook and a blog and stuff is something I can give back. But I really enjoy doing it, it’s nice for me too, documenting what I’m doing so I can look back. I think even if I didn’t have sponsors I’d be doing it for my friends and family to see anyway.”
This is something that seems to happen a lot with Aimee. She’ll do something because she loves it, and it’ll turn out to be exactly what her sponsors want. That might sound too good to be true, but it’s pretty clear from chatting to her that she wouldn’t do anything just to please them. In fact she says, “I’m very lucky I think with my sponsors, I don’t really feel pressure from them at all.” She’s clearly smart enough to realise how the game works, but she’s not playing it for anyone but herself. The thing is, she doesn’t have to – because when Aimee plays for herself, she plays to win. We’re not talking purely in terms of results here – in fact she says at one point “the result doesn’t really matter at the end of the day.” No, winning in Aimee’s book is all about being the best you can be – riding to the very best of your ability. “If you’ve landed the best run you could do you’ll be on more of a high than if you win. That’s the best feeling,” she explains. “I think it’s quite easy to get into the trap of doing it for the wrong reasons. But if you’re thinking about incentives like the prize money, and you’re not focused, you’re going to do rubbish. [At the Pleasure Jam] I was just buzzing just ‘cos I’d landed that run, I was so stoked.” Snowboarders of all ability levels will appreciate this sentiment. Whether it’s learning a new trick, riding a technical line or even tackling a tricky piste, there really is no better feeling than coming off the hill at the end of the day and feeling like you’ve absolutely smashed it.
Obviously the long term goal is to end up at the Olympics, hopefully with a bit of bling round my neck!
But while everyone can relate to the idea, very few have the natural talent to take it as far as Aimee has. Even fewer have the drive to keep pushing it when they get there. But Aimee’s always had that desire, that innate will to succeed. From taking the punishment dolled out by her fellow motocross riders as a kid to learning the double backflip, her determination has been evident in everything she’s done. This is a girl who kept pursuing what she loved even though “it was hard” at school “cos what I was doing was so different to what my mates were doing”; who kept going even though teachers were “completely unsupportive”; who even now pushes herself to ride hard whatever, even if she has to break through the pain barrier.