She is one heck of an inspiring mom, so I’m excited about this Mother’s Day feature! Meet Jenn Drummond, a mom of seven, who is out to break the Guinness World Record as the first woman to successfully climb the Seven Second Summits (the second-highest mountain on each continent). She has one summit left! In this exclusive interview with Jenn, find out what inspired her to go after this world record, what summit is left, her favorite Mother’s Day memory, and more.
Disclosure: This sponsored interview may just have you reaching for a new goal, wowing your kids, or finally putting yourself first. Maybe it’ll do all three.
Interview with mountaineer Jenn Drummond
I think about Jenn high up in the mountains and what compels her to keep climbing. So here is what I asked her to kick off the interview:
What do you love the absolute most about the mountains?
I love how small I feel when in the mountains. I love how mountains are these big huge land masses that the weather affects the surface layer of them but not the structure. Much like how in life we are who we are at our core, there can be good days and bad days, but it doesn’t change who we are as people.
There is something about climbing a mountain, it is intentional, and every step is against gravity. At the top, you get to celebrate all the times you could have turned around and didn’t, all the things you overcame, on the journey up you have so many thoughts that you ponder and process through that no matter what you are a different person on the way down.
Beautiful. I’m curious why you set the goal to be the first woman to climb the Seven Second Summits?
This goal, like most, was an evolution of sorts. I survived what should have been a fatal car accident. That incident woke me up to the fact that while we may not get to determine when we leave this planet, we sure get to determine how we live while here.
I thought about what I wanted my life to mean; what would my obituary say? I wanted it to stand for moving humanity forward, making the most out of each day, breaking up with our limiting beliefs, and encouraging people to experience all this planet has to offer.
When the accident happened, I broke my life into decades; what could I accomplish in my 40s that would be harder to do in my 80s? Climbing a Mountain was on that list.
So, in 2020, when my 40th birthday was coming around, I asked a few friends who are into mountaineering if there was one mountain to climb in the world what would they pick. A few times, the name of the Mtn. Ama Dablam came up, which is a beautiful mountain located in Nepal. (It is the paramount pictures logo). I was training for this adventure when COVID struck and shut the world down.
When I was homeschooling my children, one of them was struggling with his math homework. I said, we do hard things… He looked up at me in his frustration and said if we do hard things, why are you climbing a Mt. called “I’m a dumb blonde” and not a real Mt. Like Mt. Everest… First, I said, it is AMA Da-blam, not I’m a dumb blonde. And get your homework done; then we can look at Everest. I thought, why not climb Mt. Everest if that was the perceived harder “real” mountain I should do it, and prove to my son that we can do hard things, even climb Mt. Everest.
I hired a coach who helped me train for Everest. He told me to buy a book about training. In that book, a female had won a Guinness World Record (GWR) for skiing across the Alps. Joking, I told him in a call that I could have done that. And if I got a GWR, my kids would think I was cool as they learned to read, reading those books. He said he would find me a good record to go after, and we left it at that.
I kind of forgot about it, and then a few months later he said, Jenn, I have the perfect GWR for you. You should be the first female to climb the 7 2nd Summits. They haven’t been done by a female before, they are harder than the more popular 7 Summits, and you love to travel. I have 7 kids, so the 7’s just felt right.
And now, here you are with one summit left! What one is it, when do you go, and how excited are you?!
I have one Summit left! Let’s hope Mother Nature plays nice and allows us to summit. I leave May 16th, 2023, and hope to return the 2nd week of June successfully.
The idea that this goal is coming to an end is both amazing and a bit saddening… At a point in all of our journeys, we wonder if it is ever going to end, and then as the end nears you kind of hold onto every bit of it knowing that someday it will be done and a part of your history. Pursuit is something I think we crave as humans, when one is done we will find something else that inspires us and begin again.
Wow, you’re only days away! And right after Mother’s Day too. Can you share a special Mother’s Day memory with us?
Mother’s Day of 2019 was extra special; really, everything that year was… It was a year of “firsts” for me. The car accident was really a line in the sand, anything that happened after that was a bonus experience that I almost never had a chance to experience.
I just remember hanging in the backyard with the kids, hanging out doing everyday things… Watching them, jumping on the tramp, fighting with one another, playing cards together as a family…
Those moments I almost never got to savor. We all think we have so much time, but really we are only promised this moment. When you can get into the present moment, it truly is a gift to see the people you love most do life.
That’s an excellent reminder to live in the here and now. When you feel overwhelmed – you have 7 kids! – what is your go-to for centering yourself?
I love to spend time outside. I will go for a walk and just take a break from whatever is causing me stress at the moment.
My kids are older now, so if I say I need to take a walk for 20 minutes around the block they all know it is in everyone’s best interest that I do that.
What would you say to moms who put their own needs low on the priority list?
Remember that your children are watching you. You are showing them what it means to be an adult, a parent, a mother.
If you want them to take care of themselves as a parent, you are the best demonstrator of how that is and what that looks like. I always think to myself, if my daughter was a mother today, how would I want her to handle this situation for herself?
To those who continue to apply gender stereotypes to moms, what do you want them to know?
We are all here with our own combination of experiences, views, and desires. What calls to you is unique to you.
When we honor that in ourselves it is easier for us to honor it in others. If something is bothering you, take the time to sit with it and see what you can learn about your life in its reflection.
Why is it important for us to challenge ourselves, whether it is trying to break a World Record or anything else?
When we challenge ourselves, we learn about our limits and expand what is possible in the future. Success starts with failure.
There is so much available to us at all times, complacency comes from comfort. When we challenge ourselves, we push out of our comfort zones and experience a deeper connection to what it means to be alive.
Your online platform inspires! What do you hope others will take away from connecting with you and following your journey?
I want people to look at me and think, wow, look at what she made possible, what is possible for me? We are a social species that learn from one another. I am the same as you, so let’s both do what excites us and make more possible for all.
Yes! Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I am writing a book and working on a journal that will be out in the fall of 2023. I love being a motivational speaker and taking people on experiential adventures to connect to their power within.
Connect with mom and mountaineer Jenn Drummond online
We will be cheering you on as you go for the seventh peak to get the world record! Go, Jenn, Go!
Follow Jenn Drummond on her self-titled website as she aims to break the Guinness World Record! Reach out to book her as an inspirational speaker, and find her blog and podcast through the site too.
Wishing you all a beautiful Mother’s Day!
Top photo via Jenn Drummond.