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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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→ Instagram & Twitter: @ToddDurkin
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→ FB: @ToddDurkinFQ10

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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