Updated: Sep 10, 2019
FULL SCRIPT: What's up, everybody? Welcome to JG on the Move. I'm really excited about our special guest today. This guy inspires me on a daily basis at the gym. This is Jesse Sink, AKA Bionic Jesse.
This guy has an incredible story. It is a story of tragedy to triumph. You know, he was a fitness model in New York. He was working for Tommy Hilfiger. He was an underwear model.
He was doing a lot of amazing things. And then at 21, tragedy hit. And I wanted you to come on my show because, number one, you inspire me.
And number two, I just-- you know, I hear people bitch and moan and complain about their circumstance, their situation. And I really think sometimes we need to keep things in perspective in life, that how amazing we do have it, and that we need to change our mindset with things, be grateful and thankful, number one, but also just change your mindset with every situation that you have, what you-- work with what you've been given and go be amazing. Go walk in your greatness. Go walk in confidence with what you have.
Tomorrow, it can be gone.
Yeah. That's something I had to figure out too.
Tell us your story.
So I was out. I had a couple of drinks at a bar. I was probably there for about 30, 40 minutes, not very long. I was hanging out with some friends.
And I got ready to go. And I think it was about a 15-minute-- probably-- run from Penn Station. And I told the guys bye and ran out the bar and headed up to get my train. And it was probably about five minutes into my walk. I-- there's like having too many drinks, and then there's delusional.
Just-- oh, [INAUDIBLE], you know, just gone. And apparently, somebody roofied me. I got to the Penn Station in New York, read the wrong train track. I couldn't even see the monitor, couldn't walk straight, couldn't talk.
And you know, you're [INAUDIBLE]. 45 minutes later, I wake up on the cat walk of the train. So after I woke up, I went to get off of the car. And I saw a rod beside my right side about the size of my pinky.
And I was like, you know what? I'll grab hold of this so I don't fall off and just swing around, because I saw some steps. I'm like, apparently I have to crawl down these steps to get down, right?
So I grabbed a hold of the rod, and that was it. It was 13,800 volts-- it was 3-phase-- to the tracker line. It ran the whole train.
I have chills thinking about that.
And so when I grabbed a hold of that, it was about right at 1,000 degrees going in my arm, just boiling my blood. I mean, it just turned into the 4th of July, you know? My modeling career was gone!
You were a firework, man.
Yeah, I was.
I was cooked.
So let's see that arm. Look at that.
Yeah, that's what we got.
This is the bionic arm right here, man.
We have totally customized this thing.
It's really amazing actually.
Yeah, it's computerized. It's got a glove on it. I do have my elbow.
How is it computerized?
So it's just got an Autobot computer system in it.
And it senses off of sensors inside my arm that lay on top of my skin. So it's muscle twitch. All I do is twitch my arm.
And so what does it do? So if you twitch it, what does it do?
Yeah, you just open and close it.
So I just open and close like I normally would. Because your muscles twitch.
It's still twitching.
Yeah. So it runs the same sensors. So it's really easy.
I had no idea that that had that.
Yeah. But I still think the same thing.
Wow. OK, so let's go back to this. You were a firework. You were a total display on fire. What happened from that point?
I died. I had a vision when I died. And I'm giving you guys-- because I can talk about this for 45 minutes. But I'm giving you--
The short version of it.
Yeah, a shorter bullet point. So I had a vision. I died. I came back. And this is two, three seconds. I mean, this is fast. This is in moments. And I realized that I was still on the wire. And so Basically at 13,800 volts, that's a pretty big defibrillator.
So it killed me and then, boom, restarted my heart.
So you're talking a one, two second count, right? So I wasn't out long, because it defibrillated the shit out of me. So I wake back up, and I'm engulfed in flames. My shirt's on fire. My nylon backpack is melting down my back. And if you've ever burned your finger or anything, it hurts.
And 60% of my body was engulfed in flames and just burning. So you know, I don't have words for that pain. It was excruciating.
But I grabbed hold of the side of the train because I was starting to black out from the pain.
They say childbirth is bad. I don't know. This is bad too. But I grabbed a hold of the edge of it and pulled myself off.
Because you can't let go of 3-phase. It won't release you. And so I pulled myself off of the wire. I don't know how I-- you know, I was conscious enough to know, dude, you're going to die or you got to pull off.
So I end up in a coma for two months. They gave me two days to live. And they said, if he does live, he's going to be a vegetable, a drug addict, or something else.
And I'm all three. It's great. No, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. That they told me that gives me that like, no, I'm not going let that happen.
Right, right, right.
You know, I've had my ups and downs. I've have my moments I'm not proud of. But I know where I need to go.
You wake up and you realize what has happened.
Sort of. I was in a coma for two months with about five different drugs inducing me into that coma. So when I came out the coma, I had withdrawals. And that's the moment that I involuntarily realized what a drug addict has to go through. It is way, way, way, way worse than what it sounds like.
It's horrible. Dude, you want to die. You want to die because it's so bad coming off all that drugs and stuff. You're just-- you-- it's terrible.
And so, you know, coming off of that-- and then I was so exhausted from coming out of the withdrawals. It took me like three days to come out of withdrawals after they brought me out. And then I'm trying figure out what is going on.
That's my problem. I had been sleeping for two months. Truth is, I thought I was out for three days. I really didn't think I was out for two months. But I wasn't strong enough.
And I didn't have enough like-- I couldn't put the [? strolls ?] together. I don't how to explain it. I just--
I woke up. And I'm like, where am I? It was just-- you're just with the worst hangover and anything you think of--
--to compare it to, times 10. You just have no idea where you're at.
And so when do you start realizing your arm was gone, that there was any issues?
So I spent like two, three days trying to lift my head. It took me that long to get the strength to lift my head to look.
And then once I looked-- they didn't tell me. I had to look. And then I saw I was burned. I didn't even know I was this burned. So I had to slowly absorb these things. And they meant for that to happen. Because they said if they had told me in a bit, I'd--
You would have freaked out.
Dude, I lost it. They said, he needs a little at a time. Let him get up. Let him see his burns. Let him see his arm gone. And then see what happens. They thought I was going to lose my shit.
I did, mentally.
I turned angry. I turned crazy. People didn't like me.
Well, I mean, here's the thing. Your whole career and dreams were being built on being a model. And I know it seems vain, but anybody that understands that when you have a dream and you're going for something and you work so hard for it, and for all of it to just be gone, it seems like all your dreams or hopes, but then also now you're missing an arm.
What happened? How did you figure out you were missing your arm?
I think on about day seven or eight after waking up out of the coma, they pulled enough of the drugs off me to where I could actually start to feel some things.
And it felt like somebody had took my hand and wrapped it up in a ball of tape really, really tight. It didn't hurt. It was just--
And I was like, why can't I open my hand? And it's like you couldn't open it. And I couldn't figure it out until I sat up. Because I couldn't move it. I couldn't move my arms and stuff.
And so I sat up, and I realized it was gone. And my heart rate went up so high when I saw that that it went off and three nurses came in. So you can already know what it did. When I saw my arm gone, I panicked and almost had a second heart attack.
That's how hard it hit me. I was like-- I don't have words for it. I just know at that moment, what went through my head is, somebody pull this cord and kill me. That is exactly what went through my head.
I was like, somebody pull this cord and chop me off right now. Right now. I don't even want to see this.
So anybody that's listening can only try to imagine what that would be like. But the true story comes in, is your triumph and where you are now. I mean, now you're competing.
You're winning competitions. You're still going at it. You're working hard. You're here today, great mental, great mind, great attitude, living life.
You have a beautiful girlfriend. I mean, you're in Los Angeles now. Let's talk about that journey. Because getting well and getting healthy had to take so much mindset.
And you know, we all sit around in pity parties, feeling sorry for ourself. We're bitching. We're complaining.
We're griping because of this and that. And our mindsets are so off the wall. Your mindset must have been so incredibly strong.
So it is. I am very hard willed. If somebody tells me it can't be done, that's like to me-- I'm like, yes!
Yeah, yeah. Tell me no, I'm going--
I'm going to prove you wrong.
I'm like, you tell me no, and you watch me for two months.
You know, that's the type of person I am. Somebody's like, you can't. You can't lift that. You can't jump that. I'm like, hold on.
And so it starts upstairs. Because I do have a strong will. But it also is very, very, very hard even-- I don't care how strong willed you are-- to be positive through something like that.
So I had-- my family was supportive. I tried to surround myself with people that make me laugh, that made me happy. So for me, it was a support system, mental strength. And then I was very angry. I was very, very angry at what happened. I mean, I think anyone can relate to that.
So you had to go through a lot of anger issues.
Yeah, yeah, for about a year.
But you probably put the anger behind. The anger probably drove you a lot too.
It drove me. So I had two options, either go to jail because I was mad and do something stupid, or turn that and put it into energy and fuel myself.
So anger can be a good thing.
It can be a good thing if fueled correctly.
And it drove me, dude. It put me in places. I'm like, I didn't even know I could do this. Because I was mad. And I'm like, if you're-- don't mess with someone that's pissed off. You know what I mean?
If someone's mad, it's like that's another level of adrenaline.
But I tried to learn to shape it. OK, I did some dumb stuff. You know what I mean? And I'm like, this didn't work, and I need to figure out how to funnel this.
And time heals. That's another thing. Time took care of it. And then you become acceptable and normal in your new lifestyle. And this whole other blueprint of life becomes beautiful, if you choose to see it that way.
There are a lot of people that this happens, and they never accept it. And they won't accept it. And it's a shame to them.
They're shameful of it. It's like having a scar on your face and trying to makeup on it everyday, like, you can't see me like this. That's you, man.
Why do you want to be like everyone else? Be you.
That's what makes you you, man.
That's so awesome.
And once I learned that, I'm like, I actually like all this [INAUDIBLE].
Yeah. I mean, you're always wearing your tank tops. It's just like you own it.
Yeah, I'm like, I don't care. I'm like, you know what? This is me. This what's going on.
You know, your girlfriend is beautiful.
I mean, she is. Obviously you work out together at the gym. And you know, she's so fit and she's beautiful. And you guys just like-- it I mean, it's sexy. You know what I mean?
And to see the confidence that you have, that you carry yourself with, it's sexy, you know? And people are drawn to that. And your girlfriend is just drawn. I mean, it's just a prime example of what happens when you accept something. Everything starts in the mind.
Everything starts in the mind. And the fact that you are here now-- and the photos probably don't even do justice to really how things looked, the amount of surgeries. You went through seven surgeries, did you say?
Good grief. So 14 surgeries to try to just fix. I mean, you had zero muscle left on your shoulder. You know, your scapula was showing.
Scapula, shoulder blade, yeah.
And now, I mean, it's amazing to see the mass that's on your body, and the fact that you've figured out how to train your body even with this.
That had to fuel the anger. You know what I mean?
And so I'd go to gym. And if you're frustrated, you'll figure something out. Do you know I mean? Has not every crackhead come up with 10 bucks somehow?
That's right. That's right.
Am I making a point?
Yeah, that's right.
And so if I have an arm missing, if I want it as bad as I want to breathe, and it's got to keep me alive, I'm going to find a way to do it.
And it's like you succeed when you want it bad as you want to breathe.
And if you don't want it that bad, you may not and probably won't get it.
It's all about drive. It's that drive.
It's not about motivation or inspiration or being inspired.
It's a drive, wanting something so much.
I think that's why this happens to certain people and the world. Then this happens so that all of us can learn off each other, so that we can live better here.
You better believe it.
I got to. And I wish it wouldn't have happened to me. But you know, I was chosen for this.
And I accepted it. And it's honestly freaking awesome, if I look at it right.
It really is. I'm happier than I know a lot of people are, people that I see have everything and they hate their life.
They have everything that we as humans kind of drive for, an American dream, and they're miserable.
And I've literally had talks with them, and they almost cried to me. Because they're like, I feel like shit now. I'm like, no, no no, don't--
Right, yeah. We should be ashamed. [INAUDIBLE].
I'm like, don't feel bad. I'm like, that's the past. I'm like, just don't spit in those people's faces that don't have what you have.
Be grateful for that shit, man.
Yeah, that's amazing. And you know, that's the reason why you're an inspiration to people. That's the reason why you've turned to speaking and being a motivational speaker and being an inspiration to the world.
And if you could say anything to the people that are listening and watching this, what would you? What's the last thing you'd leave with us, Jesse Bionic words of wisdom?
I think one of the most crucial things that we need as humans is good peers. Because even though I am where I am-- I'm going to admit this right now-- I couldn't have done it by myself. I had some good people around me. I had a family that loved me to death. Even though we didn't get along, they loved me. And they still took care of me and helped me through some really rough shit. And if I can tell anybody, just surround yourself with people that support you in where you want to go.
Oh, man, yeah.
Because you can't do that shit by yourself.
That's just my advice.
Yeah, you got have the right people around you.
You got to have a team. You do. You need someone to keep you accountable, someone to help you, you know?
You got a [INAUDIBLE].
Tiger-- every major star has a manager usually.
So my point being, we need accountability. We need good influence. And we need people that are really going to help us, push your buttons in a good way.
The people that kind of piss you off are the ones that you actually need. Because they're going to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. And then you'll go back to appreciate that.
And that's something I had to learn. When somebody irritates me, I listen to them. Because I probably need that.
If it's irritating, then it might be something I need.
Because if it doesn't hit you, you're like, meh.
Well, then you stay just kind of just calm and normal, you know?
You don't push yourself to change and be better.
Guys, go look up this guy on social media. You've got Instagram, yeah?
Yeah, @bionicjesse on Instagram. Twitter is jessesink.
And it's J-E-S-S-E Sink, just like the kitchen sink, right.
Yes. Yeah, you wash your hands in me.
Show us that muscle, man. Give us the--
Look at that muscle. Look. Oh. Oh, my god. See? That's what I'm talking about. Look at that.
But you guys, you can do anything you set your mind to. It just starts up here.
And don't try to do it by yourself.
All right, we're going to go hit the gym. Peace out.
Peace out. Love.