220: Frank Fumich – A Life of Adventure and Never Giving Up

October 29, 2021

In today’s episode of ‘Finding your Summit’ podcast, host Mark Pattison, former NFL Player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist and Mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits, talks with guest, Frank Fumich, a husband, father, business owner, and ultra-endurance athlete/adventurer. He shares his races and adventure experience. Frank talks about his life driven by adventure and how he challenges himself so that he can turn around and help the next guy in line.

Episode Highlights

  • 1:18 – Mark shares that Frank and he have been Facebook friends for few months and they have this common goal and interest that has driven their friendship.
  • 3:39 – Frank talks about how this drive of doing these different extreme races started.
  • 6:03 – “How do you spend three weeks on Denali if you hate cold weather?” asks Frank.
  • 8:07 – Mark enquires, “How do you start falling into these races? How would you even know about this race?”
  • 10:01 – Frank states that he went online searching for the hardest thing he could find, to raise money for a person, and that’s how he actually discovered RAM (Race Across America).
  • 11:51 – He points out that when we can get so many people motivated, then we should be inspired to help someone else; it’s such a special feeling.
  • 13:02 – Mark asks Frank: where did the bug in this thing about trying to take on the Seven Summits—where did that jump on top of him?
  • 14:52 – As per Mark, getting all seven done logistically is not easy, it takes a lot of time. Being on Mount Everest comprises almost two months of suffering.
  • 18:41 – Frank says he hit the pinnacle of his 100 Miles stuff but he wanted to experience what it’s like to hallucinate—what it is like to be up for 24-36 hours and basically not sit down—and just see what that felt like and see if he could do it.
  • 20:29 – As per Mark, it’s not about the shiny object, it’s about what it took to get to that point.
  • 23:47 – Frank describes the UTMB (Ultra-Marathon) experience; his buddy Alex and he ran together and that was probably his toughest 100-miler with that kind of elevation.
  • 25:30 – Frank shares his Denali Summit experience where he struggled a little bit and came back with some frostbite in his fingers.
  • 27:00 – He mentions that fortunately, his finger is 90% healed, though his fingernails are still a little funky, but they’ll probably be sensitive to cold going forward a little bit.
  • 29:15 – Frank points out that he’ll probably be running forever, but he can see a point where he’ll be slowing down. He also needs to concentrate on his business too.
  • 31:56 – As per Frank, if we also quit on a racer, or mountain, we don’t even know what we might be missing, so for those times that we’ve had to dig so deep, and we didn’t quit, we learn so much about ourselves. We open up so many doors that we wouldn’t have even known about.
  • 33:49 – Frank mentions the book written by Dick Bass which inspired him to do so much of what he does today.

Three Key Points

  1. According to Frank, when they started making friends and got into these circles, they learned about different races—and when they wanted to keep pushing the limits, they got to pick crazier, longer, colder or hotter races—so that’s how he found out about it.

  2. One needs to have such personal care during summit. They need to ensure self-management, and for those who aren’t careful about that, they can find themselves in a really tough situation.
  3. Mark highlights that there was a time that they too had to give up just to save their lives. But that doesn’t mean that they just gave up—sometimes it’s Mother Nature or external forces. According to him, we just need to reset our mind a little bit, but they learned from it. That’s the whole key to life and going forward and accomplishing big things.

Tweetable Quotes

I just always had a tendency to do everything—you know, to the level 10—no matter what I did, whether it was working or working out.” – Frank Fumich

I was not going to leave until—you know—we had our shot at the top.” – Frank Fumich

Raise money so that people can be inspired by all the torture that you put yourself through, right? Which are your words.” – Mark Pattison

So yeah, I don’t even remember where I made the conscious decision for the Seven Summits. It just sort of happened.” – Frank Fumich

Tons of people are stronger than me. Tons of people are faster than me, more talented than me, but I don’t know anybody that can outwork me. I mean—you know—I can outwork anybody. And—you know—to reach my goal. And that’s what I’m most proud of.” – Frank Fumich

I mean, imagine how many feet we climb in a day on Everest, or Denali is like 3000 feet—is about what we accomplish in a day. So this is basically running 30,000 feet, you know, in a couple days, up and down.” – Frank Fumich

I get a little pride knowing that I summited Denali on, like, a terrible day, which is kind of rare. But um, yeah, it was just by taking off my outer gloves. I had my liners on but, you know, it didn’t get bad.” – Frank Fumich

So, it wasn’t like days were going by and I’m like, wow, these fingers aren’t looking good.” – Frank Fumich

Yeah, seriously, how many emails have I gotten? What’s next? Well, right now I’m just—I’ve got 13 more states that knock off a marathon. So, it’s, I mean, it’s not like a crazy goal, but it keeps me busy. And it keeps me in shape.” – Frank Fumich

Life is a box of chocolates. You’re never going to figure out which one you got if you don’t go and try these different things.” – Mark Pattison

You know, three months ago on Mount Everest, it would have been the easy choice to quit, and the hard choice was to keep going. And yet, my life, as we had mentioned, there was a thin line between—you know—life and death at that point.” – Mark Pattison

Resources Mentioned:

Frank Fumich: Facebook | Website


Want to Advertise/Sponsor The Podcast?

Please contact Mark if you are interested in working together and sponsoring the Finding Your Summit podcast.