Aaron McGovern was known for sending it. Violent crashes were known as “McGoverning.” In the bar, he was known for getting wasted and picking fights. McGovern was constantly flirting with “the edge of destruction.” Sometimes it worked—he filmed over 20 segments and appeared on 15 magazine covers. And sometimes it didn’t—he has a long list of injuries and arrests. Now sober for 10 years and a freeskiing coach at Squaw Valley, McGovern has a newfound joy of coaching, which he says gives him as much happiness as anything. On this episode of the “Sponsored” podcast, Aaron McGovern shares his never boring story with host Mike Powell.

McGovern is candid about his past. The two talk about why he was always pushing it.

“You really can’t learn unless you’re there, on that edge of destruction,” says McGovern. “Anyone can ski down a groomer, but to learn what you can possibly handle and ski through and live, you have to send it. If you’re not falling, or not on the edge of destruction, you’re not learning.”

Powell and McGovern also talk about the state of professional skiing and McGovern’s love of working with kids.

“I just love coaching. I get the same feeling when a kid makes the podium doing a freeski comp than if I was on the podium,” says McGovern. “I’ve banged myself up so much doing this stuff that at least I can pass it on to someone else hopefully.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.

“Sponsored” is a weekly show hosted by Mike Powell that goes deep into the lives and stories of professional skiers. For more Powder Radio, check out “The Storytellers” podcast, which goes behind the scenes with POWDER.

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PHOTO: Hank de Vre