What was your physical background prior to joining Academy of Lions?
I recently saw a copy of my high school report card and saw that I got a D in gym, which is an indication of my “athletic background”.
What does physical exercise mean to you?
I’m no athlete. It’s taking me a long time to learn the correct form. I’m clumsy. There are a lot of people who are better suited than I to write about Crossfit.
What I can offer is that this exercise is my medicine. It’s helped me through darker times. It makes me much happier. It teaches me about resilience. The sum of all of this is that I am a better person because I show up and finish class.
I do want to thank each of my teachers who have been so patient and kind. I also want to point out that the community of this place is unlike anything that I’ve seen before. It’s a very supportive group. I was initially put off doing classes. I’m an introvert. This is one of the first experiences that I’ve had where I look forward to group activities.
You’ve done quite a bit of traveling. Could you please tell us one of your favorite moments when you traveled?
My Dad instilled a very deep love of travel in me. I’m extremely lucky that I have been able to travel. It’s a privilege. Random favorite moments: Lamu: A 14th century town off of the Kenyan Coast. Sticky, hot early morning. Being woken by the first Adhan…The Sahara: Camping. Lying on top of a giant sand dune tracing constellations. Egypt: Sailing in a Felluca along the Nile and getting lost in spice markets in tiny towns when the boat stopped to rest. Russia: White nights in St. Petersburg where the sun sets to a violet hue and the air is scented by jasmine…Impenetrable Forest On the Congolese border. Hiking with soldiers who cut through thick brush with machetes. Finding a Gorilla who was holding her infant tight to her chest. In that moment, I was struck by the way she looked at her baby. You could see this tenderness and love in her eyes that was profound.
You mentioned to me your joy for hiking and climbing mountains. What was your experience trekking Mount Toubkal (Morocco) like?
Wild. Quiet. Eye-opening. Our guide felt that It was inappropriate for a woman to do a hike like this. I eventually told him to fuck off and did the hike on my own. I got to the top. That felt good.
You mentioned that you have an interest in Law?
I do. I got into a great school and have deferred until 2017. I’m interested in going back to school for law and human rights.
Could you tell us more about the school you ran in Malawi?
This school was part of a two part project called I-live-here. The first part is a four volume anthology of books on human rights abuses all over the world. The second part of the project was the school.
We were able to start the first school for boys in a juvenile prison in Lilongwe, Malawi. The conditions in the prison are appalling. Most of those kids should not be in prison. Basic human rights are still not observed. Access to health care, hygiene and proper nutrition are a struggle. Prison guards are totally underpaid. It’s a petri dish of hardship and pain. No one should have to live in those conditions. That prison system needs to be overhauled. With that in mind, one of the boys in that prison wrote this. “My goodness is my wisdom which is my strength which is my future.”
Could you tell us something that we might not know about you?
I have dyslexia. I have to think of it like a gift. It enforces discipline, it makes me curious about my environment and helps me think creatively. The best thing about dyslexia is that we are able to see things from the perspective of a large picture.
What kind of goals would like to achieve at the Academy?
Retire that training bar. It’s time.
Learn to do DUs
Record my results after each workout
Push much harder.
Don’t ever quit
Mia and Friends are organizing a meet up at Dufferin Grove Park ( basketball court ) Saturday, August 20th at 7pm for some capture the flag , food and drinks! Everyone is welcome.