Who are you and why are you in Nashville?
I'm currently a senior at Belmont University where I'll finish up with a degree in Philosophy. I came to Nashville from Kenya, where I was born and raised, but ever since I made it to the States I've guided in North Carolina, mountaineered in Patagonia, and spent the last summer working on the slopes of Kilimanjaro.
Why do you climb or how has climbing changed your life?
I learned to climb with a bunch of old British trad climbers when I was in high school, and then a friend of mine opened up a small gym in Nairobi where I started working. Climbing was the first sport that ever clicked for me; it demanded self-motivation and perseverance, pain tolerance and commitment. I consider climbing an essential physical metaphor for the strenuous life I want to pursue in anything that I do. That's why I like to teach it: climbing is about life skills. It's also fun to get those monstrous back muscles.
Do you have a favorite Route?
The first big alpine climb I ever did was the Southwest Face of Nelion (20 pitches, 5.8, ) on Mt. Kenya, which has been a testing ground for my climbing and is still my favorite place in the world to explore. I was 17 and climbed the whole thing in hiking boots with an Adidas cinch-up bag for my summit pack. Legit. https://www.mountainproject.com/v/southeast-face-of-nelion-/107995173
What's rad about your life right now, on or off the wall?
Well, I recently moved into the dopest old RV you've ever seen; keep a look out for the Strugglebus in your neighborhood (and feel free to cook me a meal)!
I'm in the middle of production of a low-budget documentary film about all the men I know who work as guides and porters on the mountains of East Africa. I hope to have that done by the new year, but in the meantime, you can check out my blog and photos from the summer here: http://blogs.belmont.edu/lumos/author/mixonj/.