American Aaron Colton isn’t one to sit still for very long, putting in at least 75,000 miles (120,000km) on the road every year travelling to sport bike freestyle events and demos all over the US. However, a nasty tibia/fibula fracture back in September put his travel plans on hold for a spell, and it’s given him some time to put together a killer programme for 2010.
With high school graduation and a new training regimen on the horizon, there’s no telling what Aaron’s going to accomplish in the new year. We checked in with him recently to see what he’s got cooking…
So, how did you break your leg?
I was practising like any other day. I was really trying to hammer down some new stuff I had been working on, getting a little faster and more aggressive with it. I kind of high-sided a 180 stoppie that I was trying to bunnyhop – one foot got caught on the seat, so I could only get one foot on the ground and all my weight went on that one leg. It just snapped under pressure. I ended up flying out to California the next morning to see Dr Arthur Ting, and I had the surgery before 5pm that day. I think I made the right choice by going to him.
Is this your first major injury?
I hate to say it, but it was kind of a long time coming. I’ve had injuries that have taken me out for a week or two over the past five years, but this one was kind of a serious one. Obviously, in a sport of this nature, injuries happen, and they happen frequently. I’ve broken ribs and bones in my hand before and had some sprains, but nothing like this where the doctor’s telling me that it’s going to take five or six months to recover and get range of motion back.
'I plan on entering next season in the best physical shape of my life'
We hear you’ve been healing up in record time – how are you managing that?
I think that as far as physical injuries go, a lot of it is mental. If you think you’re not healing, you’re not going to heal. I knew that I was going to recover faster than most, so I just decided that I didn’t need the crutches and didn’t need the air boot any more. I plan on entering next season in the best physical shape of my life. I’ve been kind of clearing my winter schedule so I can enter a hardcore training regimen. There are a lot of little injuries I’ve had that I’ve never let fully heal, so it’s going to be really good. I don’t want to come back at 90 per cent – I want to make sure I’m fully healed.
How long was it from the time of the injury to when you got back on the bike?
I actually rode two weeks after the injury. I had a Red Bull event that was too close to cancel, so I decided to invite another rider to help me. I rode a lot better than I thought – I had the air boot system on. After that, I figured it really wouldn’t be worth the risk of doing that, so I started clearing my schedule. I’ve been riding my trials bike lately because it’s a little bit lighter. I’ll be able to get a feel for how much strength I have in my ankle to see if I’ll be ready to compete in January.
Since you couldn’t ride, what were you doing to pass the time?
It’s been nice to catch up on school, and I’ve been dialling in my race and freestyle bikes, ordering and selling parts and making sure I’m set for next year. I went to California to follow up with the doctor and made some sponsor visits. When you’re in and out of your room just two or three days a week for months at a time, it doesn’t stay clean. Little stuff just gets set aside. I’ve also been learning a lot about viral media and website stuff that’ll help me out in the near future.
You’re in your last year of high school, aren't you?
Yes, I actually graduate in mid-January. For the last two years, I’ve been doing an online programme. I tried to attend school for as long as possible, but eventually the state said I was gone too much. Even though my grades were still high, I was just missing too many days of school.
How stoked are you about being done with school?
It’s pretty sweet. School is hindering my riding because it’s very time-consuming.
What are some of your plans for next year then?
There’s a lot of stuff I want to do for 2010. As far as road racing goes, I’d like to participate in the SuperSport East Coast season. Obviously I have the lay of the land on the freestyle side – I’ll have a full stock of exhibitions and different competitions across the US. No matter where I go, I need four bikes – two race and two freestyle. Up to now, I’ve always had to go back home between events to pick up the right bikes, so I want to have more garage/trailer space and feel more at home when I’m on the road. Overall, I’m just working on getting my website and Twitter stuff dialled so I can keep up with the fans. I’d also like to do a lot more shows for the military – it’s something I did a couple of years ago and a little bit last year. Hopefully I’ll be doing a video project with Red Bull; there are lots of different things coming up.
Look for a redesigned AaronColton.com in 2010, where you’ll be able to stay on top of what Aaron’s up to, including info on his many freestyle demos.