Hey everybody! Welcome to Conversations with Doc Martin, where we talk to extraordinary people doing extraordinary things!
In today’s interview, we continue on from last week in Part 2 with Sean Swarner!
Sean is a philanthropist, author, and public speaker. He’s a two-time terminal cancer survivor who’s dedicated his life to helping others reach their full potential. He and his brother created Cancer Climber in 2001, which is a non-profit that pays for, and travels with, cancer survivors to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Sean’s passion for climbing and adventure blossomed when he was the first cancer survivor to ever summit Mount Everest. Since then he’s climbed all seven summits, and skied to both north and south poles, making him the first cancer survivor ever, and one of only 56 people in the world, to have completed the Explorer’s Grand Slam. This led to his final trip in the Explorer’s Grand Slam, the North Pole, being followed and filmed by a team to create the documentary called True North.
Finally, and far from least, Sean has also completed the World Championship Iron Man in Hawaii and was voted one of the top 8 most inspirational people in history, for which he was the recipient of the Don’t Ever Give Up Award presented by the Jimmy V Foundation and ESPN.
In the beginning of today’s interview, Sean starts out by telling us a little fun fact related to how (and more importantly, where) he proposed to his wife! I’ll give you a hint — Santa!
As we continue our conversation, I ask Sean about what was going through his mind as he made those final steps coming up to his destination, and the answer he gives is definitely not what I expected! During this trek, because of his feats thus far (and the fact that this was his final requirement needed to complete what’s known as the Explorer’s Grand Slam), he was being followed by a film crew and shooting the documentary True North.
He had been given a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue that was engraved “Sean Swarner, True North, Best Served on Ice.” – Well, the day before, he had realized that it had frozen! Concerned that he wouldn’t be able to have it “on ice,” he put it in a sock with a couple of hand warmers.
So, what was one of his thoughts as he was approaching his final destination?
“I hope my alcohol thawed out.” — Too funny!
Sean continues on to talk about some of the other things that crossed his mind, to include thinking about the names of the people on the flag he carried with him, which were the names of other people who have also fought cancer. He reflected on his core values, and thought about what he wanted to continue doing with his life after completing this journey.
One thing was for sure: he knew he wanted to do more for those he represented, and didn’t want to disappoint anyone who’s name was on that flag.
His biggest goal was simple – he wanted to inspire others to go after and overcome their limiting beliefs and conquer whatever they perceived as “holding them back.”
I asked Sean to tell us about the process it took to get started on his journey to complete the Explorer’s Grand Slam, and he pointed out how so many people wake up everyday and are immediately just overwhelmed thinking about all the thousands of things they need to do for that day. For him, it was all about just starting with one.
He talks about when he went to climb Mount Everest, how he knew if he had gotten there and looked at the entire mountain, it would have been overwhelming! But instead, he knew they were going to focus on going from camp to camp versus base to peak. With this thought process, it was a lot more manageable.
Sean talks about looking at many life obstacles in this same way, from doing his monthly challenges (currently 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups a day for 1 month, which will total 3,000 at the end of the month!) to one of his favorite questions which is: Would you rather have one million dollars up front today, or would you rather have a penny that doubles every day?
As he says, “It’s all about the compound effect!”
Eventually we finish up with Sean telling me all about his Summit Challenge, and how it’s being used to help people start making personal life changes and overcome their own fears and limiting beliefs.
We talk about all of this and so much more in the full interview on Conversations with Doc Martin!
Hope to see you there!
You can watch the full interview on my YouTube channel, Conversations with Doc Martin.
Find More of Sean’s Work and Platforms Below:
The Summit Challenge: http://www.thesummitchallenge.com/
Cancer Climber Non-Profit: https://www.cancerclimber.org/
Sean’s Website: https://www.seanswarner.com/
Sean’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seanswarner/
Books and Movies