Jenn Drummond is an accomplished mountaineer, adventurer, inspirational speaker, podcast host, and author. She holds the World Record of being the first —and so far, only—woman to complete the Seven Second Summits challenge, which she began in December 2020 and completed on June 1st, 2023.
Prior to conquering seven of the most dangerous and difficult summits on our planet, Jenn faced her share of adversity. After struggling with fertility issues, Jenn sought assistance from her doctors and now is a mother to seven children. In 2018, she was involved in a very serious, life-threatening car accident when a semi collided with her vehicle. The near-fatal collision reinvigorated Jenn and has given her a completely new outlook on her life.
For those seeking motivation, insight into overcoming challenges, and a fresh perspective on goal-setting, this conversation between Jenn and Christina is a must-listen. Her remarkable story resonates with the theme of balancing ambitious pursuits with the responsibilities of daily life, offering a wealth of inspiration from her amazing adventures!
Living Life to the Fullest
Jenn Drummond, a remarkable woman in her 40s, shares her truly inspiring story. She is not only the mother of seven children but also the only woman to have conquered the second-highest summits on all seven continents—also known as the Seven Second Summits challenge.
From running a successful wealth management business to taking on the challenge of climbing these formidable peaks, Jenn’s resilience and determination to live life to the fullest is evident throughout her journey.
After running her own company, and then overcoming fertility challenges, Jenn eventually became a stay-at-home mom to her seven children. Then, in an unexpected turn, Jenn survived a life-altering car crash in 2018 that shifted her perspective on life. She realized that she had no control over how she died, but she absolutely could decide how she lived.
As Jenn reflects on her identity as a mom and the challenges of finding fulfillment, she discusses how the car crash became a turning point in her life. The year 2019 became a journey of self-discovery for Jenn, prompting her to explore and redefine who she was beyond the role of a mother.
Letting Go of “Their” Opinions
As many women have experienced, Jenn shares her journey of navigating identity, guilt, and the pursuit of her authentic self. From empty nesters to mothers with a full house, many women find themselves reflecting on their lives and wondering if they may have lost a part of their identity along the way.
Jenn opens up about the universal experience of mom guilt, irrespective of the paths chosen—whether it’s being a stay-at-home mom or pursuing a career in entrepreneurship. The life-altering car accident in 2018 was a turning point for Jenn—it granted her the permission to prioritize what felt right for her.
Much of the guilt moms feel comes from the societal expectations placed on women. The liberating realization that the opinions of “they” don’t ultimately matter is a game changer.
Jenn shares her journey of self-discovery, questioning her legacy, and creating a master bucket list. As she approached her 40th birthday in 2020, Jenn decided to embark on an epic adventure—climbing a mountain named Ama Dablam.
Of course, everyone remembers what 2020 brought the world. For Jenn, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to her unexpectedly homeschooling her seven children. Despite the challenges, she remains resilient, emphasizing the importance of doing hard things.
7 – 7 – 7
In an amusing homeschooling anecdote, Jenn tells us about her son’s misunderstanding of the mountain’s name, mistaking “Ama Dablam” for “I’m a dumb blonde.” Undeterred by the mix-up, Jenn decides to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Everest, inspired by her son’s innocent question. She enlists the help of a coach who suggests a book about becoming an uphill athlete.
Feeling defeated as a homeschooling parent during the challenging times of COVID, Jenn found a healthy outlet by focusing on her desire to achieve a world record. Her coach proposed the idea of climbing the seven second summits—the second-highest peaks on each of the seven continents, a feat that only one man has accomplished. With seven continents, seven mountains, and seven children, Jenn’s coach said that it sounds like a jackpot.
Despite her lack of experience in mountain climbing and camping, Jenn embraced the challenge and said yes to the opportunity.
Embracing the Unpredictable Journey
Offering a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and triumphs, Jenn shares her incredible journey of mountain climbing. The unique training regimen required for such daring expeditions is extensive, and includes activities such as Jenn’s use of an oxygen deprivation tent to simulate high-altitude conditions.
Balancing her already full life, Jenn’s training routine was unconventional yet effective. She tells Christina about how she used a treadmill during Zoom calls and incorporated exercise into everyday activities like attending soccer games. Jenn emphasizes the importance of making the most of available time, especially for those juggling multiple roles like being a mom and a business owner.
Jenn faced unexpected challenges along her journey, such as lost luggage in Russia and climbing in unconventional attire. She learned the valuable lesson that adapting to unexpected circumstances is part of the process. Embracing the journey and keeping a flexible mindset is imperative when conquering huge goals such as hers.
In this episode, Jenn shares a vivid description of summit experiences with listeners. She highlights the unique aspects of each climb and the unpredictable nature of mountain weather. Jenn’s reflections on the brevity of time spent on the summit compared to the extensive preparation resonate, leading to a powerful message about savoring life’s ordinary moments amidst extraordinary events.
Big Mountains Take Big Teams
These incredible experiences inspired Jenn to write a book. Insights shared in her book, “BreakProof,” encapsulate the many life lessons learned from conquering the second-highest summits on each continent. The title, “BreakProof,” signifies the resilience needed during challenging moments and emphasizes the significance of breaks as opportunities for reflection and learning.
Jenn outlines one of the seven strategies discussed in the book— “big mountains take big teams.” Drawing parallels between climbing Everest and pursuing ambitious life goals, she highlights the importance of assembling a supportive team. Jenn’s experience on Everest serves as a powerful metaphor for the collaborative effort required to achieve significant aspirations. The lesson resonates with the idea that success often involves collaboration and not solely individual efforts.
No stranger to the importance of teamwork, Jenn and Christina discuss the team dynamics involved in mountain climbing, specifically addressing the number of people required to assist one person on a mountain. Jenn explains that the team size varies depending on the mountain’s characteristics and requirements. For instance, Mount Kenya had a team of two for efficiency, while Mount Logan had a larger team for the first attempt but reduced it to three members for the second attempt due to logistical considerations.
Many people contributed to Jenn’s successful climbs—from hands-on members involved in climbing to those managing responsibilities at home and in business.
As individuals pursue their dreams, the practice of sharing goals and progress with the world can lead to something even bigger. Jenn cites personal experiences where her pursuit of a world record led to collaborations with charities and positive impacts on communities. Self-promotion can be a powerful tool and can bring unexpected positive outcomes that make the journey even more rewarding.
Christina shares her own experiences with self-promotion in her PR work and the importance of being one’s own advocate. Jenn adds that stepping into one’s authentic self, even in perceived selfish pursuits like mountaineering, can lead to meaningful contributions to society and humbling experiences.
Inspiring the Next Generation
As women pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve big goals, the children in their lives are watching. Jenn and Christina reflect on life lessons and the impact on children, acknowledging that while kids may not always express it, they observe and absorb valuable lessons about determination, sacrifice, and enjoying life.
Modeling a fulfilling and exciting life provides children with the permission and courage to pursue their own aspirations.
Living in the Present and Looking to the Future
Christina wraps up the episode by posing the question about where Jenn sees herself in 10 years. Jenn humorously envisions a future without children at home, anticipating a time of less laundry and a cleaner house. Despite the challenges of the current teenage phase, Jenn emphasizes the importance of savoring the present moments and acknowledging that she will eventually miss the chaos and excitement of family life
As a mother who has already gone through the chaos of raising children, Christina shares her perspective and expresses how she now cherishes those memories and the lively atmosphere in the house.
Jenn’s journey is full of courage, resilience, and inspiration. For more indispensable lessons and information on Jenn Drummond’s incredible journey, check out her book “BreakProof” to learn about the seven strategies Jenn details to help you build resilience and achieve your life goals.
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