Jenn Drummond: Journey Beyond Mount Everest

Jenn Drummond Exeleon Women Magazine

Having spent her earlier years in the labyrinth of finance, helping individuals save and manage their wealth, Jenn Drummond realized the interplay of health and wealth. For her, if health failed, all the amassed wealth would inevitably be channeled towards its restoration.

Hence, the philosophy she adopted was simple yet profound: a healthy body nourishes a healthy mind, allowing one to present their best selves to the world.

However, Jenn’s story is no linear narrative. From the world of finance, through the tragic wake-up call of a car accident, to the dizzying heights of Mount Everest and becoming the First and ONLY Woman EVER to complete the Seven Second Summits, her journey has been a rollercoaster of pursuits, setbacks, victories, and self-discovery.

Through her various challenges, including earning a world record title and becoming a successful entrepreneur, she showcases the universality of human experience. In this Interview Jenn Drummond talks about her journey, philosophy, and her vision going forward.

How would you describe your philosophy on health and fitness?

I believe that a healthy body gives you a healthy mind, and so by taking care of our body, we’re taking care of who we are as a person. I think that I was in finance if this makes sense, to cooperate in this.

I was in finance, and I would help people save money, and then if they didn’t have health, it didn’t matter how much wealth they had, because all their money would be spent on taking care of their health. So, I think it’s critically important. It’s the one thing that we can control, and it’s the one thing that allows us to show up the way that we want to show up for ourselves and for others.

What has been the journey like for Jenn Drummond thus far – from your car accident to hiking Mount Everest, from earning the world record title to becoming a successful entrepreneur?

My journey has been a lot like everybody’s journey. I think I wrote in a speech this morning, its pursuit, setbacks, struggles, overcoming, becoming, summits, and then something else lures us into that cycle again.

If you think of the Joseph Campbell story of the Hero’s Journey, it’s been that in all different ways. I got out of college and took a job in finance. I loved working with people and helping people manage their money because that eased their brain, which then allowed them time to do things that they enjoyed. And I liked being a part of that story for them. I liked finance. I liked the puzzle of it. I liked just learning about it and understanding the time value of money and how compounding works and all that kind of stuff. Then when I had kids, I liked being home with them and looking at the world from their viewpoints and understanding that new challenge and that new summit.

And then I had the car accident, which woke me up to the fact that we don’t live forever, and we only have so much time. So, what are the things that I want to do with this time, and how do I want to make my life count? Life experiences change us, and that was an experience that changed me to want to show people, like, hey, life isn’t forever. Climb your Everest or do whatever your big goal is. Don’t wait for it. Just go for it. And if you want to change, then change.

Climbing Everest was cool. Setting a world record was way cooler because it was bigger than Everest. And there’s something about us that likes to evolve and push forward and go beyond.

Talk to us about the record title being the First and ONLY Woman EVER to complete the Seven Second Summits. What does it mean to you?

Being the first female and the only woman to complete it means I’m the person that brought that story to life, but it’s society that made it possible. It’s the community. It’s all of us that made this pursuit within reach.

It makes me excited because it shows how far we’ve come. It shows the prejudices that we’ve let go. It shows what we’re capable of, what technology is produced, what communities produced, where women if I had been born in another era, it wouldn’t have been in the realm of possibility. And it makes me excited for what’s next to come.

What’s going to be possible for my daughters and even their daughters? It reminds me of the Mayan ruins in Mexico – they took like 500 years to build, so the people who built them never got to see the finished product. It’s mind blowing to me that they built this thing, and they had all this stuff going and all this kind of stuff, and it’s like they died, and they only got a couple layers of bricks. And it’s so inspiring for that generation that gets to see the final product, and there’s certain things that I get to see the final product on, and there’s certain things that I’m the first bricks on.

It’s interesting to me how life evolves and becomes in the stories that we get to be a part of the stories that we get to finish, the stories that we get to start.

How are you helping and empowering people master their own summit in life?

I’m sharing my journey. I’m answering questions. I’m giving speeches. I’m writing a book. I’m doing coaching programs. I am trying to make this intangible thing tangible because we all plant our flags in our own corners of the world. And when we stand on top of mountains, we’re, like, quick to wave our flag, but we have to wave our flag the entire time we’re on our journey because that flag lets other people know, hey, here’s where I’m at. It lets them know how they can help, and it lets them know how you can help them.

If I wasn’t waving my flag that I was going to go climb Pakistan and go back a second time, no one would have been able to reach out to me and say, hey, can you help? So, we have to wave our flags. We have to do things that allow people to know where we are. Even if our journey is in the middle of failure. Even if it’s just that just means your story is not done.

What would be your advice for someone just starting to lead a healthier lifestyle and incorporate fitness?

You need to make it easy on yourself. If you’re trying to incorporate a healthier lifestyle, don’t go down the candy aisle at the grocery store. Don’t have temptation around. You’re going to have to be conscientious of when it is that you snack? I snack at four in the afternoon. I have a bowl of ice cream every day. It’s terrible. The only time I don’t have a bowl of ice cream is when I’m not in my house and if it’s 07:00 p.m, I don’t want a bowl of ice cream. The moral of the story is I’m not allowed to be home at 04:00 p.m. You need to know yourself and you need to know your patterns. You need to surround yourself with people that will help you make healthy choices. Every time I go on a podcast, every time I give a speech, every time, everywhere, everybody’s like, man, it feels like I need to go for a walk today.

With your book and documentary coming out next year, what is your vision going forward? What are you most excited about?

I’m most excited about when I get done with the speech or I get a text message on one of my channels or something, and someone tells me about what they’re going to start doing, like how my story ignited something within their story and gave them permission to do the thing they’ve been desperately wanting to do. I’m most excited about the action that comes from bumping into those that I get the opportunity to bump into.


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