Press the Flesh: A Wrestler’s Mentality to Beat Cancer

This is a must-listen-to episode with one of my best friends in the world. I’ve known him since 1998, and he helped name my gym Fitness Quest 10. But, unfortunately, he is also in the fight for his life. On December 31st, 2020, Joe Pangelinan was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer. What he thought was walking pneumonia turned into his worst nightmare; a PET scan and brain MRI showed that cancer had metastasized to his abdomen, pelvis, spine, and brain. To think that a healthy, vibrant, fit, non-smoker could face this diagnosis seems so unfair, but wait until you hear Joe’s mindset and outlook. 

This interview is real, raw, and authentic. You will probably laugh, cry, & smile all within the first few minutes. You will definitely think deep, appreciate life, and get some serious perspective and gratitude by the end of today’s Show. 

Specifically, here is what Joe and I cover on today’s episode:

  • How and why my gym, Fitness Quest 10, was named and how Joe helped in the process.
  • Joe was a standout D1 wrestler at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He shares a hilarious story of UFC Legend Chuck Liddell from his college days.
  • Joe shares his cancer story and how he was on New Year’s Eve of 2020.
  • His mindset after cancer diagnosis and the roller-coaster of emotions.
  • Fighting to be on the tail end: treat cancer and hope the research catches up.
  • Joe’s top Life-Lessons learned in the past year.
  • How the wrestler’s mentality helps his fight, tenacity, resilience, and perseverance. 
  • Joe shares the many blessings in his life, his bucket list, and what makes him so optimistic these days. 
  • Joe shares what IMPACT means to him and what his legacy is all about!

This was one of my favorite interviews to date, and I believe it will speak to anyone who is in a battle of any kind: big or small. I also believe it will reinforce not living in fear, doubling down on gratitude, and having hope and inspiration for what is still to come.

Please do Joe and me a favor. Please share today’s episode with your family, friends, colleagues, and anyone who has cancer or is going through a tough time in life; this is a MUST-LISTEN to episode. 

Please share on your social media & please tag me at:

IG/Twitter: @ToddDurkin
FB: @ToddDurkinFQ10

More on the episode:

:32 – Intro – How Todd and Joe met.

3:50 – Sitting around a card table naming Fitness Quest 10.

5:52 – Stand out Division 1 wrestler at Cal Poly.
Chuck Lidell was always looking for a scrap; wrestlers meet the rugby team!

9:36 – Joe’s story…10 days after Thanksgiving, my life changed!
December 31st, 2020, Diagnosis stage 4 lung cancer

17:35 – The mindset after being diagnosed.
What does stage 4 mean? Being in shock, family carried me through.

19:28 – At what point do you decide to fight?
Everyone has a different fight in them; I’m fighting to be on the tail end!

23:45 – Joe shares lessons learned in his journey with cancer.
Live with HOPE. Keep things in PERSPECTIVE. Be PRESENT. Stay FOCUSED.

26:28 – Joe shares the wrestler’s mentality and how it is helping him with his fight.
It has shaped who I am. Fight-Tenacity-Mental Game. Don’t think about what is not good; focus on the good things in life.

30:11 – Joe shares what’s good in his life now.
My cancer diagnosis was a blessing. My relationships with family and friends have sharpened.

34:56 – Joe’s Bucket list.
Living my best life now, in the moment, and spending as much time with family and friends that I care about and that care about me.

37:05 – Joe shares who inspires him today.
Anyone who is fighting a similar fight, connect with people.

40:00 – Todd asked Joe, What can I do for you?
The connection with Pete Twist, Joe shares the lessons learned from Pete’s story. Press the Flesh!

48:28 – Final words from Joe.
Keep a good perspective and move forward in a positive light.

53:45 – What’s Joe’s Legacy?
Follow Joe’s story at the and search “Big Man Joe”

57:00 – Todd’s close – Wow-o-Wow!  

Are you a Trainer, Coach, or Fitness Business Owner ready to FINISH 2021 STRONG and prepare for an iconic 2022?

NOW is your time to JOIN MY Todd Durkin Mastermind!

You are only as good as the people you surround yourself with. Level up today with my “Best in Class” MASTERMIND program for fitness professionals. I invite you to connect, share, and grow with the fitness industry’s top coaches, trainers, and entrepreneurs. My MASTERMIND is for passionate and purpose-driven fitness professionals who want to create success & significance in their personal and professional lives. 

If that sounds like you, visit: to enroll or apply today. If you do so within the next 24 hours, you will receive a FREE video of one of my recent “ALL MASTERMIND” coaching calls. There are so many lost souls right now that need “our” LIGHT.  Let’s make a difference together, one life at a time! 

Please keep your questions coming so I can highlight you on the podcast!! 

If you have a burning question and want to be featured on the IMPACT show, go to, fill out the form, and submit your questions! 

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Don’t forget that if you want more keys to unlock your potential and propel your success, you can order my book GET YOUR MIND RIGHT at or anywhere books are sold.

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About the Author

Todd Durkin, MA, is a world-renown trainer, coach, author and motivational keynote speaker who trains dozens of elite, high-profile NFL, MLB, and MMA athletes, including two Super Bowl MVP’s, one NFL League MVP, Olympic gold medalists, Heisman Trophy winners, and MMA champions. Todd is a 2-Time Trainer of the Year, the 2017 Jack LaLanne Award recipient, the 2018 Canfitpro International Presenter of the Year, a member of the Under Armour Training Team, and a Top-100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness.

Todd was a featured trainer on the popular TV show, NBC STRONG, which is now airing on Netflix. His award-winning gym, Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, is a Top-10 Gym in America and his 3 best-selling books, Get Your Mind Right, The WOW BOOK, and The IMPACT Body Plan, have both changed thousands of people’s lives. If you would like to get motivated and inspired now, you can pick these books up at, or if you would like a signed copy, please purchase at
TD Mastermind Coaching Program for Trainers & Fit-Pros

If you are a trainer, coach, or fitness pro, you need to check out Todd’s Mastermind Coaching Program. It is designed to help you create excellence in your business & life. It consists of 2-live retreats per year, monthly coaching, access to Todd and his team of coaches, select and unique opportunities within Todd’s network, weekly motivation, and a whole lot more. This is all primarily virtual so you can be located anywhere around the globe and you can join at any time.

Here are all the details:
IMPACT Coaching for High-Performers & Growth-Minded individuals (Primarily NON-fit-pros)

If you are NOT a fitness pro, but a person who seeks high-performance and growth in business and life. There is a unique opportunity to work directly with Todd in his brand new IMPACT Coaching program. It’s only 60-Days long, but it’s an intense immersion in personal coaching (body, mind, AND spirit) and business coaching. There will only be 12-people in this program—one might as well be YOU.

The IMPACT Coaching Program is currently closed for registration but you can stay updated at
New Podcast

Lastly, Todd’s new podcast (“The Todd Durkin IMPACT Show”) just dropped, and we would love for you to listen. It’s designed to motivate and inspire you to live a life full of passion, purpose, and IMPACT, and it’s guaranteed to Get Your Mind Right. Check it out and subscribe today at We also have a part of the podcast where we take your Q&A, so please send us your questions through the weblink.

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