Stranger 68, Day 68 – Meet Aiden, the “Exciting (and Dangerous) Brother”

Stranger 68, Day 68 - Meet Aiden

Today’s Stranger is a little younger. He’s the son of a colleague (/ boss) of mine, and though, I know of him, I wanted to get to know him from him. From what my colleague has told me and showed me, his son was a bit on the extreme side with sports. I was curious how his son would share and open up to me. Without further ado……

Meet Aiden, *young gun*

Who are you?

“That’s a hard question… who am I as a person?” He thinks for a while… thinks real hard — his eyes dart back and forth as he searches for an answer.

“Happy…?” He laughs. I laugh.

How would you describe yourself?

“Oh… fun! Exciting!”

What makes you exciting?

“I’m always trying new stuff even though it can be dangerous. Scary.”

What’s something you’ve done recently?

“I recently put two ramps (bike ramps) in my front yard, and I put my little sister in the middle laying long ways, and jumped over her on a bike.” Haha, nice. When he said he tried new stuff even if it was dangerous, I figured he meant for himself. I didn’t consider dangerous for another like his sister. I wonder if his sister willingly volunteered for this…

You made it?

“Yeah!”

Did she make it?

“Yes, she’s okay,” he laughs. “She was scared, but she made it.”

(Four years separate he and his little sister.)

What was the earliest stunt that you’ve done? (First stunt.)

“I don’t really know… when I was 6, I jumped over my mom on a bike. She was, not long ways, but sideways. I jumped over her on a bike when I was 6.”

Why do you like to do this kind of stuff?

“When I was really young, when I was 4, my dad got me a dirt bike. When I was 2, that was when I rode a bike for the first time without training wheels. I never used training wheels. My dad was like, ‘go!'”

“When I was 4, he got me dirt bike. He told me, ‘when you land your first jump, you can get a dirt bike.’ So I got a dirt bike, and he got a dirt bike.” Sounds like my colleague used his son as an excuse to get a dirt bike!

Aiden continued, “So we rode a lot up in a place called Durhamtown. I rode on a track for the first time when I was probably 10. I realized I was really into it. I was pretty good, so I started racing. That just really got me into it — started riding dirt bikes.”

Thinking about your memories so far (by yourself, with friends, with family), what’s a memory you’ve had that was really, really fun for you?

“When I was probably 12, I have a really fun memory — me, my little sister (she learned how to ride a dirt bike), my brother, my mom, and my dad… all of us got to go to Durhamtown, the riding place, and we all got to ride together. It was really fun.”

What about it was so fun?

“I could ride, and I would slow down, and I would let my little sister pass me. Seeing her go over jumps, and seeing my brother go over jumps, and just seeing my mom riding. It was really fun.”

I like to think of big brothers as people who look out for younger sisters and brothers. Is there anything you’ve done to look out for your little sister?

“When I was probably 7 or 9, and she was 5, there was this little kid — he was a boy. She didn’t want to play a game with him. He slapped her. And…” He pauses. “The kid ended up getting a little hurt.”

He smiles, “Like, I punched a couple of times.”

How would you describe yourself as a big brother?

“I definitely look out for my younger brother and younger sister. It’s a little bit different now because my brother’s an inch taller than me now. Looking out for him now is more like, ‘he’s kinda got himself.’ But I still look out for my sister a ton.”

Thinking about all the stuff you’re doing, you’re in military school, right? Do you have any thoughts as to what you want to be when you grow up?

“I’m not completely sure. There’s always that ‘I was to be a professional athlete’, but the chance of it, it’s probably not going to happen. I’ve been thinking about it. I was thinking about trying to major in business management, and trying to find something from there.”

“But, not really sure yet. Or major in finance management, and then, be a financial advisor or a sports agent.”

Thinking about being a professional athlete, it’d be fun, but you said “slim”. What would you like to be a  professional athlete in?

“My first pick would be a professional motocrosser and into supercross and stuff.”

Let’s say you have a chance to be that. What do you think are the qualities that will help you succeed in that?

“Always committing. Once I commit, not quitting, going for it, and all the way through it. Work and heart all the way through.”

Is that also how you would describe yourself? What do you love about yourself?

“Some of the humor, like the jokes I can make sometimes.” Sadly, he didn’t have a joke at the ready. He mentions how jokes come to him, but no matter what, it must come from the “situation”.

Do you plan on wreaking any havoc this Thanksgiving?

“Maybe a little bit. Me and my dad, every year, go and play football in the morning of Thanksgiving with his friend. I plan to wreak some havoc on them when I juke them out.”

No broken bones?

“Hopefully not!…”

Then he admits, “we’re not sure.”

Are you 100% happy with what you’re doing in life right now? If you’re not 100% happy, what will make you happy? And are you going to do it? (Thanks to Amy, Stranger 67)

“No… I mean, if I was 100% happy, I would probably not be at military school. For what I have to do and what I’m doing at school, I’m 100% happy with.”

I asked him what would make him 100% happy.

“I want to go to Wesleyan.” (A private school nearby.)

“So I want to go there. I want to be involved in sports there, but I also want to be racing dirt bikes on the weekends, and doing all I can with that. That would probably make me happy.”

Anything your mom and dad can do to help encourage you to keep pursuing your passions and your dreams?

“Yeah! Them sending me to [the military school] was definitely a big help. Last year, we had 100% acceptance rate to college, and over $5M raised in scholarships. Them doing that — sending me there — if I do the right thing and work hard, it’s basically a free ride to college. That’s something that they’re doing to help me.”

For college, where do you want to go?

“I’m not sure. If I was sure to major in business management, I would probably want to go to UGA because they have a really good business management program there.”

What would you like to ask tomorrow’s Stranger?

“Are you working, if you’re not 100% happy, to become 100% happy with your life?” Looks like I’ll piggyback with Amy’s question for Aiden.

After the handshake.

It was great to spend some time with my coworker’s son. He’s into his teen/ teenage years so he’s really becoming his own person. Yet, it was nice to hear how he involved his family in his interests including one of his most fond memories in addition to stunts with his sister.

What else I thought was interesting was the “slim chance” of becoming a professional athlete. I got the sense that his school was very much putting him on the path to pursuing business management. It makes sense, especially as Aiden spoke of the 100% college acceptance rate. However, it’s also not aligned to his passion and dream of being a professional athlete. I’m curious, then, how the school motivates its students to pursue education while also supporting the students in their passions. It’s an interesting thing being a part of the entrepreneurial circle and also meeting so may others who are seeking paths outside of the business world, and how they all buck the trends to pursue their passions. Or, how they can bring together passion with something less risky.

In any case, that’s great to hear Aiden is doing well in school, and he’s proud of what he’s doing there. I’m also happy to hear he’s still chasing and doing his passion often on the track on the weekends. Will be excited to hear how he continues to grow and shapes tomorrow.

Meet Aiden. No longer a Stranger.

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