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Josh Jespersen – Navy SEAL, Mission Memorial Day, World Record Holder

Big Wheels, Big Mountains

Sometimes you just have to ride a big wheel in a combat operation. That’s exactly what Josh Jespersen did one late evening in Baghdad, Iraq as a Navy SEAL. His former and currently retired platoon chief just learned of this speed racing adventure a couple of weeks ago, so Warrior Mindset podcast needed to get the full story. Josh Jespersen holds the world record for climbing AND snowboarding down all of Colorado’s 14 thousand foot mountains. While summiting any one of Colorado’s peaks that top out at over 14,000 feet in winter is an accomplishment in and of itself, Jespersen’s tag of Capitol was more momentous: it was the culmination of a 138-day effort to skin up and snowboard down all 54 in the state. And to do it faster than anyone in history. In doing so, the unimposing 30-year-old contract security worker snagged the fastest known time record from big-mountain skier Chris Davenport. When Davenport completed the same journey in 2007, in 362 days, he commemorated the accomplishment with a documentary and coffee-table book. Jespersen took a photo, shared it with his 500 Instagram followers, boarded down, drove to Denver, and hopped on a plane to the Philippines for work less than 12 hours later.

Big Goals

Jespersen is the founder of Mission Memorial Day. In their continuing mission to return Memorial Day to its original meaning, they have carried the names of the fallen on the flags to the top of Denali, the tallest peak in North America, and five other peaks. This year the team proudly marched the flags along the original Bataan Death March route in the Philippines to pay tribute to the WWII veterans who gave their lives for our freedom on Memorial Day. They recreated the Bataan Death March by marching the 66 miles that the 76,000 prisoners of war had to endure under extreme conditions 75 years ago. They ate half military rations, drank limited amounts of water, and slept on the ground.

What Mission Memorial Day Has Achieved

  • In 2015 they climbed with 4 flags with over 400 names of fallen comrades to 18000′ on Denali.
  • Receive national coverage of their climb in 2015 on CNN
  • In 2016 they returned to Denali, successfully summiting with the names of over 500 fallen comrades.
  • Was followed by several news outlets for our 2015, 2016, and 2017 climbs, for more info follow this link
  • In 2016 MMD had Ambassadors climb 5 different peaks around the US for Memorial Day
  • MMD has received support from WWII family members, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
  • Successfully Marched the Bataan Death March in tribute of the 76,000 POW from WWII

Living Like Josh Jespersen

That wasn’t the only occasion J.J. slept on the ground. In the podcast, we discuss his time in remote Afganistan. “It was truly like cowboys and Indians,” Josh said. They were out there for so long without communication at times he had thought they were forgotten about. They lived in mud huts which they took extra care of. It’s a hell of a story so I won’t give too much out in this post.

Josh is a hell of a guy. Living to the fullest extent of the word. Once in a while, we run into people who do things so close to the edge we count them out as “just being crazy.” But Josh doesn’t see it that way, and it’s important to point out. You know those moments when you see your son or daughter for the first time? Maybe the first time you went skydiving. Or pushing your body beyond your wildest imaginations. That’s living. The point is to have these experiences as much as possible. Hike all 54 of the highest peaks in Colorado. Get your ass kicked in BUD/S and become a Navy SEAL. Walk to Bataan Death March to see what so many men went through and died. When you finally grasp that life is all about experiences, and short-lived, you may finally call your friend you haven’t spoken to in years. You may put down that phone and refuse one more pointless stupid video. Josh has figured this out and can be an influence to all of us so we can finally say “fuck it, let’s do it.”


Thank you as always to all of our sponsors.

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