By Sam Jorgenson, The Program
When I was asked to participate in this campaign about “What empowers me?”, it was clear — Survivors! For those of you just reading this, I previously wrote a few blog posts for The Sweat Life about my story of being diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer last February, and the recovery process. This coming February marks one year since being diagnosed, and what a year it has been.
Being a survivor means a lot to me, and without question has shaped the way I feel, act, and most importantly look at life. However, I view the word in a much different light after finding hope while connecting with ESPN anchor Stuart Scott and other cancer survivors. His famous quote about “just living” and “beating cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live” is the truth. No matter the outcome, anyone who battles cancer is a survivor in my eyes. We survive things with our attitude, mental strength, and how we impact others. I often talk about being my own cheerleader first and finding strength on my own, and how that allowed my pack of supporters, doctors, and others to give me even more strength. That was the difference maker in my battle. I found out how undoubtedly mentally tough I truly am.
I will always, always be a cancer survivor. That is part of my story. It is not something I am ashamed of, but rather, something I am proud of and I talk about openly. I talk about it to educate people, give people hope, and to show people that you are stronger than you ever thought possible. Enduring three surgeries has left physical imprints on my body, but I’ve come to love and embrace them as reminders — to literally love life, to fight for what I want, and to never forget about my fellow survivors.
I am now following my dreams and goals by building a company in the health and fitness space with two very close friends, Daniel Giordano and Philippos Kyriacou of Bespoke Treatments. (More to come on this, so stay tuned.) I have always had an entrepreneurial mindset, and have struggled with working as a cog in a wheel. While battling cancer, I told myself many times that I would not be going back to corporate America and would rather do something I’m passionate about, that would help people. Why was I going to battle and fight like hell, only to go back and do something I couldn’t stand? That made zero sense. Life is too short to wake up, for even a single day, and hate what I was doing. I believe it was Gary Vaynerchuk who said, “Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself ‘What do I want to do everyday for the rest of my life? DO THAT’.” So here I am, doing just that.
I have always loved fitness and being active, but I have a newfound passion. I have now taken on a more holistic approach and view, thinking of fitness in terms of the mind and body as one unit. This fitness approach is my own way of doing a daily check on myself, like a daily doctor’s appointment with myself. “How we doing today Sam?,” as I sprint my ass off in one of Niv Zinder’s Barry’s Bootcamp classes, or lift with my good friend Tony Richardson at Equinox. I did this even while I was going through chemo, working out in my apartment and running the West Side Highway. I was checking in on myself for the day, telling cancer that it wasn’t going to change how I live my life. Then it dawned on me: I was doing this for others too, survivors.
That’s where I am at now. Whether someone uses the product we create, or finds a little piece of something in my story — it reminds me that there is a bigger message in what we all do, every day.
Born and raised in Wisconsin, Sam Jorgenson has now lived in NYC for 4 years. He graduated from the Edgewood College with a degree in Communications, and moved to NYC to help build a company in retail analytics, Things took a big turn when Sam was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in February of 2015.
Sam has always been very active with sports, working out, and just full of energy. Being diagnosed and battling cancer was one of the worst things and best things to happen to him. He now knows the value of life and lives everyday with the mindset of “be happy and follow what you’re truly passionate about.” He says, without question, being active, healthy, and clear-minded are the most valuable things we can have.