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Daily CSR
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Dawson’s Peak: Inspiring Purpose, Giving Back - Matt Dawson’s Adventure Journey


Monster Energy is interested, Matt. Your CV is quite the narrative. You mentioned dealing with compartment syndrome in your 20s, hindering your mobility, yet you've since accomplished a staggering array of feats: scaling the seven highest peaks on seven continents in under a year, tackling the Matterhorn in record time, trekking solo across challenging terrains like the Mojave Desert and Death Valley, traversing the Atlantic by rowboat, skiing to the South Pole, and with ambitions to conquer the North Pole and circumnavigate the globe. Not to mention your diverse skill set, including turning down professional football contracts, holding licenses in motorcycle racing and aviation, proficiency in firearms as a Navy-trained expert, overseeing your own charitable endeavors, all while managing a top position in an investment banking firm.
Given this whirlwind of activity, where do you source such boundless energy? And, no obligation to credit Monster Energy, of course. Your response?
Your perspective on motivation intrigues—rather than focusing on the "why," you emphasize the inner compulsion, akin to an essential need. It's not merely about achieving tasks but about unearthing a deeper purpose, a driving force within that demands expression. Your philosophy, exemplified by Dawson's Peak, centers on living deliberately, uplifting others through purpose-driven action, understanding the impact you seek to make. Your insights on endurance beyond physical exertion, delving into the core of personal motivation, resonate deeply.

MEC: You bring a unique flavor to the Monster lineup; you're not the typical athlete, artist, gamer, or Monster Girl (at least, not yet). You're more of a Monster Adventurer. Do you think that title suits you?
MD: It's something I'm striving for. Honestly, I don't think I've quite reached that point yet. I've had some exciting and diverse experiences, but the more I do, the more I realize there's still so much more to explore. It's a continuous journey of pushing my boundaries beyond what I thought possible. Hopefully, it reflects well on the Monster brand, and it's been a privilege to collaborate with you all to embody that spirit.
MEC: How long have you been part of the Monster team, and what's your experience been like?
MD: My journey with Monster began just before my Everest expedition in 2021 when I met Dan McHugh, the CMO. Our connection was instant, like we'd known each other for years. From there, it's been a fantastic ride. I genuinely mean it when I say everyone within the Monster family has been incredible to work with. The sense of community and camaraderie here is truly exceptional. Coming from the world of investment banking, where I've dealt with numerous companies, I can confidently say that Monster's culture is something special.
MEC: That means a lot, Matt! So, how did your journey into adventure start? You were on a completely different path as an investment banking financial advisor...
MD: In essence, after over a decade in banking, despite financial success and outward comfort, I felt an increasing sense of emptiness for decades. It grew into a debilitating depression, despite outward appearances suggesting otherwise. Losing my mother and girlfriend amplified this feeling, prompting me to seek change. Alone in Nepal, surrounded by the Himalayas, I confronted these internal struggles. It was there that I realized two fundamental truths: I lacked a sense of purpose, and my life was too self-centered. The vastness of the mountains humbled me, breaking down my ego. This transformative experience led me to embrace a new path, from zero experience to scaling heights over 17,000 feet.
MEC: It's mind-boggling, really. You just... dove in headfirst, no prior experience or training. So, what was the toughest part? The most perilous? People perish attempting these feats all the time. Have you ever found yourself thinking, "Damn, I could die right here"?
MD: Not quite like that. I usually think, "Alright, it's getting real now."
MEC: Have you ever felt like you were staring death in the face?
MD: Oh, there have definitely been moments where my safety was a serious concern, let's leave it at that. You reach a point where the danger is palpable, your heart races, your mind whirls. But then, there's this shift. You realize that freaking out won't help. You need laser focus; distractions fade away, and you lock onto survival mode.
MEC: With all the insane challenges you've tackled, what would you say was the most treacherous?
MD: There are two sides to it: the toughest and the most hazardous. Surprisingly, the toughest part for me was the training. Every single day, without fail, since August 1st, 2018, I've been at it. Not a single workout missed.
MEC: No way!
MD: Yes way. But let me tell you, as much as I've embraced it, there are days I'd rather skip it altogether. Yet, fewer than 10 workouts weren't completed exactly as planned. Some days, dragging myself to a grueling leg session was pure mental grit, but I did it because that's what's required.
MEC: How often do you hit the gym?
MD: Seven days a week.
MEC: Every single day since August 2018?
MD: That's right. Only exceptions were travel days when it was physically impossible, or scheduled recovery periods, which were part of the regimen. I put in roughly 20 to 25 hours per week.
MEC: Absolutely astounding.
MD: It's all about that relentless consistency; showing up even on the days you'd rather not. As for the expeditions, Everest and high altitudes get a lot of hype, but the one that stands out to me is the 53-day row across the Atlantic. The monotony was crushing. We rowed non-stop for 24 hours a day, swapping shifts with our teammate every 1-4 hours. No breaks. When not rowing, we endured cold, wet conditions in a constantly rocking boat. It was relentless, like an NBA game stretched over 53 days!

MEC: Isn't that intimidating? Being out there in the middle of the ocean at night, enveloped in darkness with no lights, no land in sight... nothing?
MD: Surprisingly, I never found it scary, except for this one incident when I thought a whale passed beneath our boat... still not sure if it was real or my mind playing tricks. But yes, there are moments of concern. In those times, I find solace in appreciating the vastness of the moment, the sheer magnitude of the opportunity. It's about choosing your perspective; focusing on the uniqueness of the experience rather than dwelling on potential dangers lurking just feet away in the deep abyss.
MEC: Let's talk about the charities you're involved with — Hope for the Warriors, the Gary Sinise Foundation, LA Circle of Giving, LEAP Foundation, and your own charity, Dawson’s Peak.
MD: Dawson’s Peak is our flagship 501c3, aimed at inspiring individuals to discover and pursue their unique purpose. We believe everyone has something special to offer the world, and it's crucial to identify and nurture that gift. Through global expeditions, we aim to inspire viewers to find their own "mountain" or "ocean" in life and overcome it.
Our Seven for Soldiers project, where I aim to set 7 world records, donates 100% of net proceeds to the Gary Sinise Foundation and Hope for the Warriors, both highly respected veteran-focused charities. LA Circle of Giving works directly with families in need, providing tailored support, while LEAP Foundation mentors young individuals to help them thrive personally and professionally.
MEC: Finding the energy is one thing, but finding the time? You must be a master of time management!
MD: Efficiency is key! Before this journey, I was out socializing multiple nights a week. Since August 1, 2018, I've scaled back significantly. I've sacrificed vacations, dinners out, and social events to pursue my goals. It's all about priorities. I'm in bed early and up early, focused and driven.
MEC: No regrets, then?
MD: Happiness isn't my goal; it's contentment and fulfillment. I'm not naturally a happy-go-lucky person, but I find fulfillment in my actions and the impact they have. That's what matters to me.