SALT LAKE CITY — Jenn Drummond struggled to find meaning after she was injured in a car crash three years ago.
It was a wreck that the Park City athlete and mother of seven believes should have killed her but "miraculously did not."
"I was physically OK but mentally at a point like, 'Why I am still here? What is my purpose and where can I add value to society?" she recalls.
As she toiled with those questions she remembered her love for the outdoors. Outdoor recreation became something she and her family learned to enjoy after they first moved to Park City in 2015. At the same time, she was working hard at parenting.
On one particular day, she urged her son to continue working on a homework assignment he wanted to give up on because it was important to take on difficult challenges. So he responded: "Then why haven't you climbed Mount Everest?"
So she did.
Three years after that car crash, Drummond found herself standing at Utah Capitol where she was honored by Gov. Spencer Cox for her most recent achievement: climbing Mount Everest. The tallest summit in the world, which she completed on June 1, was actually more of a training exercise ahead of her next summit, Mount Everest's neighbor: K2.
That climb is next on Drummond's list as she attempts to become the first woman to ever climb the "Second Seven" summits, which are the second-highest summits on all seven continents. While the summits aren't as high as the first "Seven Summits," they are considered by many experts as technically harder.
"What you're doing — your bold, brave and beautiful initiative — is really incredible," Cox said, before presenting Drummond a commendation letter and a celebratory coin. "Your story is so inspirational at a time where we really need some good news and some inspiration."
Drummond's journey started with Ojos Del Salado in South America, which she completed in December. She's also summited Mount Kenya in Africa before she climbed Mount Everest.
She said the journey has been "extremely rewarding." In many ways, it's answered the questions she dealt with after the car crash.
"I'm learning a lot of little lessons on how to show up, how to balance, how to be present and how to use my life as a gift," Drummond said. "I'm hoping it inspires others to climb their Everest or to go through their mountains in life and know they have support from this amazing state we live in and the people we share it with. If we all share our journey, we can help each other through those moments."
Her plan is to travel back to Asia next week to climb K2. After that, her plan is to climb Gora Dykh-Tau in Russia, Mount Tyree in Antarctica, Mount Logan in Canada and Mount Townsend in Australia, in her attempt to scale all seven.
"We wish you the very best with the (rest of the journey)," Cox said. "We will all be following along."