SNU student Mitchko jumping on two wheels through life


Courtesy Alex Mitchko

Alex Mitchko journals during a spontaneous bike trip to Chugach State Park in Alaska.

Kayla Heidenreich, Editor

It’s an average day. Alex Mitchko is out the door at 9 a.m., and on his way to High Altitude Fitness. He’s starting his day with a nice little training followed by manning the front desk, guarding the gym from the criminals trying to sneak their way inside the iron temple.

“Living in Lake Tahoe has given me every opportunity for exploration of different outdoor recreations,” Mitchko said. “I often find myself sweaty for more than half of my day.”

Mitchko is a 2020 graduate of Sierra Nevada University’s first lonely virtual graduation. Trying to lock down a job in a field that is currently on hold, Mitchko is making the most of his life in Tahoe, by playing in the outdoors. Many days, that means jumping off piles of dirt on his mountain bike.

“Mountain biking allows me to stay focused and excited about new adventures and what is really important in life,” Mitchko said. “I never take life too seriously and biking brings back my inner child.”

Mitchko lives for physical exertion. When he’s not at the gym, he can be found at the bike park, on the rock wall or even sometimes journaling on top of a mountain in Alaska.

“I decided I wanted to go to Alaska, so I simply bought tickets to Alaska for the next day,” Mitchko said. “The prices were hard to beat, and I had to capitalize.”

A man of many trades, Mitchko aspires to work in the rich man’s playground of Aspen, Colorado. The self-proclaimed meteorologist anticipates winter will flourish in the Rockies. With hopes to conquer Pyramid Peak, Mitchko stays focused in the gym.

“Alex is a very inspiring person,” Emily McCusker, Mitchko’s roommate, said. “He is always planning out the next big mission, the next mountain.”

Trying to survive in the real world as a new graduate, Mitchko keeps a positive mindset and outlook through feeling alive in the outdoors. While he is very organized and attentive in the backcountry, he lacks some useful skills in the front country.

“Alex is a dirty human,” former roommate and SNU grad Kelly Sharp jokes. “He does not believe food goes bad, nor that doing the dishes is a normal thing people do.”

For Mitchko, cleaning a kitchen is less important than helping clean our environment. He is a true environmentalist, and he believes his generation will change the world through the power of outdoor experiences.

“My chakras are all aligned,” Mitchko says with a smile. “I will be transcending into pow town soon.”