Riders pooled at the bottom of the famed Kamikaze Downhill on Mammoth Mountain in California. Excitement and race anxiety lingered in the air as I made my way through the sea of pads, full-face helmets and DH rigs. My gaze dropped and I noticed one rider who was beaming, kicked back in his race machine looking 100-percent content and downright happy.

I moved closer. Aaron Baker has a way of drawing you in by simply being. You can’t help but feel inspiration, awe, gratitude, and of course you hear that inner whisper, “What if that were me?”