Ep 115: Summit Your Everest – A CRNA’s Story of Peaks, Valleys, and World Records

If you’re in the need for inspiration, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better story than the one that Jeanne Stawiecki, CRNA, will tell on this episode. Thanks to the power of positive and determined thinking, she went from smoking two packs of cigarettes each day to setting two Guinness World Records for marathon running and mountain climbing. It’s an incredibly powerful and emotional story and one you don’t want to miss.

Click the timestamps below to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

On This Episode:

How many of us let past events or current challenges hold us back? Just about all of us battle negativity at different points in our lives but how you handle it is what defines you.

Our guest today is a great example of how your mind and the power of your thoughts can help you push through anything. Jeanne Stawiecki, CRNA, joins us on this show to share her powerful and emotional journey.

Jeanne has overcome a lot in her life from an early age, and it’s unbelievable to hear about how she went from smoking two packs a day to becoming a marathon runner. When she first began the hobby, just walking was a challenge. But the thing that kept her motivated when running long distances was the silence. Things that used to torture her were gone and her senses had come to life.

Her dedication to change her life ultimately led to two Guinness Book of World Records. The first was for becoming the oldest woman in the world to summit the highest mountains on all seven continents. The second record was for running seven marathons in the shortest aggregate time for any female.

Just hearing about her third and final attempt at Everest will be worth your time on this episode.

So as you get started, keep an ear out for these topics:

  • Growing up in a stressful environment, which led to smoking.
  • How she went from smoking to running long distances.
  • How long distance running really changed her perspective.
  • Changing her mindset from fear to confidence and determination.
  • Local marathons weren’t enough so she took on climbing and international running.
  • The story of climbing these extreme peaks.
  • The health challenges she was battling while trying to accomplish these physical feats.
  • Life after all the accomplishments.
  • The emotional she still feels when thinking about finally summiting Everest.

Check it out in the interview at the top of the page and use the timestamps to help you navigate through the many topics we discussed.

3:02 – Background on Jeanne and her accomplishments

6:35 – Her childhood

9:54 – Why she began smoking

13:04 – Marathon running begins

18:54 – Changing her thoughts and mindset

21:53 – The goal of 7 marathons on 7 continents

27:33 – Health challenges

30:27 – Second Everest attempt

35:23 – Climbing travel  

47:13 – What she’s doing now

48:52 – The incredible story of how she summited Everest

56:30 – Final message on being conscious every da

“The shackles that I made during my childhood followed me to adulthood so every time I tried to break into something new or attempt anything new, the fear would start. The whole feeling about, ‘No you can do that. Come on are you kidding me, that’s too much.’ But I was determined. I couldn’t live my life that way.”

-Jeanne Stawiecki, CRNA





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J. Cross CRNA
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This podcast is very well put together. I love the hosts Sharon & Jeremy, they do a fantastic job at presenting topics as well as getting great speakers on the show! This is my morning commute podcast everyday! Thank you for all that you do!
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I enjoy listening every morning. Great content and always a pleasure to learn something new.
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I started listening to this podcast religiously early on in my CRNA journey, a year before applying to CRNA school. The content in this podcast was one of my most helpful resources for getting into my first choice school, Wake Forest! It has also been a huge motivator for getting involved with the AANA now and throughout my career. I highly recommend this podcast to every prospective CRNA I meet.
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I appreciate hearing the latest and greatest in the world of Nurse Anesthesiology while also getting Class B credits. Just listen on your commute for a win/win experience. I love the perspectives from Jeremy and Sharon who both ask varied and insightful questions!
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If you’re a CRNA or any medical professional, I highly recommend giving this podcast a listen. Hosts have a great rapport.