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Josh Perry helps people optimize their mindset and health so they can increase their performance, personally and professionally. Josh's passion for helping others was born during his experiences battling brain tumors over his career as a pro BMX athlete and his pursuit of helping himself survive, and continue successfully living his dream. Josh believes he is alive to share his story and help others with all that he has gained. Josh retired from his sport in 2017 to start a speaking and coaching business focused on empowering others to see beyond their circumstances and equip them with the tools, knowledge and strategies to create momentum towards their desired outcomes in life. Josh's mission in life is to inspire new perspectives in others to begin taking congruent action in their lives.
Follow Taylor @JoshPerryBMX on all social media platforms and https://www.joshperrybmx.com/
Key point topics and studies mentioned:
Josh shared his struggles, battles and triumphs over his 5 brain tumors
Josh's mission to help others, his first book & his coaching platform.
Overcoming adversity to accomplish a desired outcome.
Our reality is a manifestation of our choices.
Fear is just a thought, health is internal, perspective is essential, and Empowerment=C>e.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Hi, this is Dr. Latt Mansor, your host at H.V.M.N. Podcast. In this episode, I interviewed Josh Perry, a pro BMX athlete who had to battle and overcame five brain tumors. Now, he is determined to help people maximize the mindset and health in order to increase performance both personally and professionally. In this episode, he shared his inspiring story, his struggles, his perspective of adversity, and also his mindset transformation in order to overcome the anxiety, the desperation, and stress throughout the years while battling his brain tumors. So I can assure you that this is a great episode to listen to. So stay tuned and enjoy. Hi, Josh, welcome to the H. V. M. N. Podcast. Thank you very much for being here.
Josh Perry:Thank you. I always appreciate our conversations, again, to chat with someone like yourself and you specifically. You were on my podcast originally, and then here we are so I'm grateful to be
Dr. Latt Mansor:The honor is mine. And I would love our listeners to find out more about you. And you have got an amazing story. You survived what? Five brain tumors. And let's start with introducing yourself like who you are to our listeners.
Josh Perry:Yeah. My name is Josh Perry. I love helping people optimize their performance and all the different aspects of being a human. And my love for that really started in my BMX career, living my dream as a professional BMX athlete, doing the crazy tricks on little kids' bikes. And throughout my journey of really just succeeding in that, and then overcoming multiple brain tumors that came along the way with injuries and other just challenges of being a human. And it was the first brain tumor when I was 21 that really got me started on this sense of I can do something about my situation, my circumstance, and it just led me down this path of auditing who I was, the choices I was making, the reality I was creating subjectively and just all those things. And it just allowed me to really build an arsenal over the last 12, 13 years of what helped me and why that was so. And then I just really wanted to help people, and it allowed me after the third brain tumor diagnosis in 2017 to really see that path and say, "All right, BMX served me in these different manners and for so long, and there's something more to my life." And I discovered what I refer to as my calling in life was to help other people with what I'd been gifted of all these experiences and learnings.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Great. Can you tell us more about your brain tumor journey? How did it begin and how you overcame it to be where you are today?
Josh Perry:Yeah, so I'll start with the second question, how I overcame it. I was just speaking with someone earlier about this, and in the moment it makes so much sense, but then reflecting, I'm like, "Man, that was really crazy." And it makes sense that BMX conditioned me to this to look at it as another injury. I was given essentially a death sentence. My one option was surgery. It had gotten that large, that severe that my surgeon was like, "Man, if you hadn't fallen hit your head, which is how we discovered it with an MRI post-concussion, you may not woken up in another two, three months after suffering even more."
Dr. Latt Mansor:And that was the first one?
Josh Perry:The first one. That was in 2010 when I was 21 years old and I was on top of the world living my BMX dream and more than I ever fathomed and I treated it like an injury. I was like, "I got no other options. I can do nothing and just see how long till I potentially die and suffer along the way or go through surgery." So of course, a lot of fear, a lot of doubt, a lot of worry, stress, anxiety, a rollercoaster emotions. And I decided somehow, some way just to treat an injury. And that perspective shift, that framing of it, allowed me to feel more confident and just treat it like anything else I'd done in my life. Focus on the process. What are the steps I got to take to get ready for surgery? And then rather than thinking about what if I don't wake up, I just kept focusing on what am I going to do when I wake up from surgery that'll allow me to get back on my bike in the most efficient manner possible and the strongest way possible? And so that's how I overcame it. And the way it came about that we discovered it was a year and a half of me suffering of debilitating headaches, migraines. It got so bad that my vision was starting to come and go certain days. And the way I describe it, how it initially came on is some days you wake up and your eyes are a little foggy and you rub them and then you're clear. It was like that all day sometimes. It was just this blur, this fog on a windshield type visibility that would come and go. And so one day I was training and I had been learning a new trick, a variation of a trick in the foam pit, which is just a big tall ramp and a long wooden box full of foam blocks. We stole that idea from the gymnastics community, and it's a safe way to learn tricks on a 20 pound bike. And I was trying a variation of a trick. So to keep this very simple, the trick was a back flip on your bike and then a tail whip, which is you hang onto the handlebars, you jump off with your feet, and you kick the back end around as you're flipping, so that was a trick. And the variation was adding a rotation of 180 degrees to it so that way I could do it on a quarter pipe and not land backwards. I could just flip, do the tail whip and then spin. And I was doing it so well in the foam pit. I think I did it 10 times in a row after I really got it. I was like, "All right, next step is the ramp." Because I had a contest the next month later I wanted to do that and I was like, "I need to get it dialed in on the ramp." And the ramp I went to do it on was a foot shorter than the ramp I was practicing into the foam pit. So in my mind, I had to flip harder and rotate harder, and I did too much. And so I actually over-rotated and then got ejected off my bike to the ground, and then whiplash hit my head with a helmet, but still got knocked out. And that's what finally deemed me worthy of an MRI because that whole year, year and a half prior to that moment, I'd gone into the emergency room, the urgent care with these headaches and asking for a scan of some sort. I didn't know, CAT scan, MRI, X-rays, something, because I had always believed that there was something wrong. And despite having health insurance and these symptoms, they would, as I say, judge me by my cover. No blood work or anything showed anything abnormal. They'd send me on my way with pain pills. And lo and behold, I didn't have a pain pill deficiency, I had a brain tumor that was discovered from hitting my head.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That's the problem with the healthcare system. It's like you have to be really, really sick to be eligible to have some form of diagnostics done on you to make sure that you are not really, really sick. But then by that time, most of the people, it's a bit too late to make the changes and it's sad. So that was your first tumor and then you had surgery and then you recovered, and then what happened after for the second, third, fourth, fifth?
Josh Perry:Yeah, so the timeline was pretty profound to me. My mind was blown. I thought best case scenario, I'd be back riding competitively in a year. I didn't know the skull only takes about four to five weeks to fuse back together. And so I went in that four week mark, got another MRI, the four titanium screws I had had all healed well. The bone had actually fused back together. And my surgeon said, "Just take another week off, just precautionary, and then gradually get back into riding." So I actually got back on my bike on a ramp five weeks later, and that wasn't going full on out back flipping and going 10, 20 feet in the air. That was just getting on my bike and on a ramp, just feeling what that was like again after thinking that this could potentially be taken away from me. Everything at that point that I devoted my life to, that moment was like a little kid again. I was just riding my bike for the first time again. And I think it was another eight weeks later, so 13 ish weeks from surgery, I was back in England competing, and I think I finished seventh place. So I made the top 10, made the finals, and I was like, "Man, this is crazy." I had a whole new outlook on life. And then things just were progressing nicely, just going through the contest circuits, traveling the world and filming video parts and getting sponsors and working with them and just continuing to live my dream, training with Dave Mirra, a hero and friend of mine at the time, just everything that I had worked for, I was living it out again. A. Nd then it was a routine MRI in 2012, I think at that point I was every six months, that revealed two new brain tumors had shown on the mri. And my surgeon suggested that it was just residual cell growth from the original surgery and the tumor because it was so large. When they got in the first surgery, it had been wrapped around the optic nerve, which made sense to the vision issues I was having towards the end of just how much pressure it was creating and then wrapping around it and all that. And it was wrapped around the main artery in my brain. So they couldn't risk hitting either of them for the host of different risks that came with that, at the top, death and paralysis. And so they suggested just residual cell growth and suggested radiation and I hated that term. And I just had so much ignorant understanding of it. And so I went to Google and a friend of mine at the time helped me find Gamma Knife radiotherapy. And I looked into it and despite the name, there's no surgery involved. It's like an MRI just without the sound and it does its job of the cobalt radiation, I believe it is, 180 degrees of radiation beams that they can target with a computer. And it's very precise. It's not damaging the surrounding tissue. And I went through that in November 2012 for the second form of treatment. And for four years, we tracked the tumors, the two that had grown or grown back, I should say. And little by little, they started to decrease in size and then stabilized. Until 2017, the third diagnosis came in February, and that's where they found two other tumors on the opposite side of my brain. So this is when they started to suggest that maybe this was a genetic issue and they suspected neurofibromatosis. And when they said genetic, I remembered Dr. Perlmutter's work and Grain Brain the first time I ever got exposed to the word ketones, epigenetics and all these things. And so I just put all these things together and I was like, "Well, why don't I get really serious about my metabolic health and try this ketogenic diet full on for a year." And then I slowly started adding in fasting and then supplements came in. And so that was the third round. And that really got me passionate about metabolic health because I saw so many benefits, subjectively, body composition change, endurance, all these things. And then it was May 2021, I had a seizure in my sleep one night. Thankfully, my fiance is a sports medicine professional, and actually she was my athletic trainer in my competition days when we first met. And she just took care of me and all that. And that's when a fifth brain tumor had revealed itself in the frontal lobe to the left a little bit, which is what they suspected why I had the seizure. And that's what led into the second surgery of August 2021, 11 years from the first surgery. And I was awake for that one, which was really an experience. And so that's, I guess, the journey of the different diagnosis and the different treatments that I went through.
Dr. Latt Mansor:I'm getting goosebumps just hearing your story here. It's an amazing journey and it's amazing that you are the person you are, how strong you are. And I want you to tell us what your thoughts are during the whole journey? I mean, you talked about a little bit of stress, not a little bit, a lot of stress and a lot of anxiety, the fear, especially, when you first got diagnosed with it, and most people would. And the fact that you survived and then get rediagnosed with additional tumors. What was your thought process and how did you deal with it? Because that was a long time and that accumulated, I can see myself, I have that thing lingering at the back of my head and inducing stress and anxiety over that amount of time, surely it can't be good for your metabolic health. How did you deal with it?
Josh Perry:So it was a really interesting, and to reflect on it now, 33, about to turn 34 in six days, at least from today, the 14th.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Happy early birthday.
Josh Perry:Thank you. It's been a wild progression to reflect on and to understand about being a human and trauma and the central nervous system and all these different components of being a human being. And so in 2010, 21 years old, when I got the news, I was alone. I drove myself to the urgent care to get the results of what I thought was just a post-concussion MRI and being told, worst case scenario, two more weeks off my bike and I was given a death sentence. I was by myself. So when the doctor told me, I just shut down. It was one of the first times I had an out of body experience where reality just wasn't there. I was watching the life of my movie play out. And as I came back into my body and reality smacked me in the face, I was like, "Man." I literally just started breaking down. And I was like, "Why is this happening to me? Am I that bad of a person? What do I do to deserve this?" And then the fear of brain tumor. They were like, "We don't know if it's benign or cancerous, but we do know you have to have a surgery to remove it, otherwise you may die soon." It didn't matter if it was benign or malignant. I just heard brain tumor and I had never ever thought of having a brain tumor or that being possible. So being ignorant to it, I just right away, assumed I'm going to die. And when you have a life experience of that real thought of actually dying in a moment, that does so many things to your mindset and the thoughts that come up, and I just started just losing it. And I ran out and just tried to collect myself the best I could in the car. And again, I was by myself, so I didn't know what to do. I was 21. I barely even knew who I was, let alone how to cope with such information. And so that was the first experience, just this debilitating fear and anxiety and just playing the victim card, of course. Why is this happening to me? And then overcoming it with the help of BMX conditioning me, very painful sport to learn a trick. And then to go through all that willingly over and over and over again, that instills things in you to get up and try again and not even think about it. And so that makes sense now why I looked at it as an injury, but then also my mom's story battling colon cancer successfully being alive and well today. And then remembering Lance Armstrong, another cyclist, very different objective with the bike staying on the ground, but him, in my mind, going through brain, lung, testicular cancer and it being cancerous and those three elements, I was like, "Here's someone who's who went through something three times as bad as I have it right now, and I don't even know if it's cancerous." He went through brain lung, testicular cancer, overcame it. And it was a model of success to me, someone that did something that I'm faced with this challenge now and that rode a bike. And I was like, "I can do that too then." And so I was taking all these elements. And then the second time around in 2012, there was the shock of it, it hit me. And I was actually on a train in India going to the airport to come back to the states by myself. I just got the information when I was there performing, I had a day left. My surgeon was like, "Now, no rush, just come back home. Let's get it addressed." And I just remember being on that train by myself just breaking down again and just a little bit of why? Why is this happening? And then I started watching videos of me riding and some edits that we made competing. And then a video we did, half riding, half documentary style talking about the first time, and it clicked. I was like, "I did this once. This isn't even a 10th of severe or as severe as the first one in terms of size and location. I can do it again." And then the third one happened in February 2017, right after my last year competing. At the time, I didn't know it was going to my last year competing, but it was my best year competing ever, taking all these principles and applying it. But I was doing an ESPN article about my story when we were in the middle of it, when I got the third diagnosis. And they quoted me in it, and it was another BMX writer that was doing the article. And I told them, I was like, "Hey, Brian, I just got a third diagnosis." And it was interesting because that time I instantly thought, "How can I use this to serve myself and help other people?" And it was a combination of that and meeting a good friend of mine, Isaac, that he was like, "Josh, your story, your journey is one of off self on purpose. All the things you've been going through have been teaching you these things, and you've been unknowingly maybe or deliberately sharing these things. And now you're in a position to where you're getting asked to talk more about these things." And in that moment, it helped me understand that there was more to life than riding my bike. And when people saw me as successful, it wasn't because of my accomplishments on the bike, it was my willingness to pick myself up and go after my dreams again and then help other people.
Dr. Latt Mansor:It is exactly that. You could have given up at any point in time, even from the first diagnosis, you could have just given up and said, "I'm not going to do anything. I'm just going to accept my fate." And you didn't are here. Well, that's why I'm so excited to interview you and share your story with the world, because I think it's definitely a story worth listening to. It's a story worth learning from. And it's definitely a story that is inspiring. In this case, brain tumor is just one of many predicaments that we face, and it's just a curveball that life gifts to us and that life throws at us that we don't have any control over, or what we think we don't have any control over. But there are other aspects of life that we do have control over, like our feelings, how we overcome it, how we deal with it, how we interact with our loved ones around us, while we are facing with all these anxieties, uncertainty, fear, and stress. So you are the example, the prime example, of how you can actually come out of this victorious. Sorry to cut you off, but I had to make that point.
Josh Perry:No, it's perfect.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah.
Josh Perry:No, it was a good point. And that's something that I love about having conversations with people outside of my life and of course, my own personal experiences because it allows me to see other things about my life because they're not in it like yourself. And I've had those experiences. So I always appreciate those insights because it allows me to reframe my life in another way that I never thought. But to your point, at that time, that's what I acknowledged because the feedback I was getting from people wasn't about my riding. They were saying, "Thank you for sharing, and it helped me do X, Y, and Z." It had nothing to do with BMX. And at that time, I'd been three, four, five years now, getting really into health holistically and empowering myself to learn and to implement and to make wise decisions based upon what I was learning. And then labeling as good or bad or harmful or healthy. And so that was that progression there. It was just the third diagnosis was like, "How can I help people?" And I could go all in on sharing my story. And then 2018, I first started speaking on stages. And then it was 2020, I decided that I would experiment. I had not been competing anymore. I had started my coaching business. I've been speaking and I wasn't working with sponsors in the BMX industry anymore. I had $0 coming in from the BMX world, as opposed to since I was 17, supporting myself from that career. And I decided to take a step off of the bike. The longest amount of time I had spent off my bike was three months, three weeks for ACL surgery, which was a crazy progression. We can talk about that another time. But I was back on my bike in three months, three weeks, so just shy of four months. And since I started riding my bike, I had never taken more than two, three weeks off from being sick or another injury. And in January 2020, I was like, "Man, let me just experiment with not riding because I don't know who I am without BMX after my name." From the age 13 to, at that time, 29, 30, I had always identified as a BMX athlete. But now I was doing something completely different. I was speaking, I was a coach, I was a professional in a whole different site, but I was dealing with severe imposter syndrome, not worthy, all these things, even though everyone around me was telling me I have no evidence of that besides the story I'm telling myself. And it clicked through a lot of different books I was reading and people I was talking to that I was still dipping my toes in the past, literally and figuratively speaking. And so I was like, "Well, let me just take it away. I have no ties to it, no responsibilities to it." I'm just doing it because I truly loved it and I was still pushing myself, so I was still getting injured and all that. And I started to feel better, of course, a couple months out because I was like, "Man, I've been riding with a sprained ankle or a swollen elbow," or all these different things that we just dealt with. And then I started to realize, "Man, there's so many insecurities I have that were being covered up with my success on my bike." And so I just continued with it. Pandemic happened two months later. In North Carolina where I was living at the time, I think it was middle of March that shut down started happening. I was like, "Oh, that's interesting because I don't have anywhere to train right now if I still was riding." And so I picked up golf and that was cool. But then May 2021, I had the seizure in my sleep and seeing my fiance walk into the emergency room where I was in that room and seeing her face, I just broke down. It just clicked for me. I was like, how much of... This was the meaning I was making when friends and family have tried to convince me otherwise, but I just felt like such a burden to my friends and my family. I wasn't riding anymore, but just the things I was going through. That's how I was internalizing it, seeing the worry on her face. So that also helped me solidify, I don't need to ride anymore. It wasn't worth the risk, especially after going through SPECT imaging with Dr. Amen in Amen clinics and learning that you don't need to get knocked out to get a concussion. You can just hit your head and a concussion. And November 2017, I slammed my head from 10 feet off the ground. I have a video of it just bouncing what the helmet, but I didn't get knocked out. I pissed blood for two days after that because I hit my stomach or something. But I was just like, "I'm making a choice to put myself in my brain in this high risk and for what purpose? It's not serving me anymore." And that was another moment I just let go more of that identity. I shed more of that BMX identity. And then to your original question, the transition from the first tumor diagnosed 2010 to August 2021, going into awake surgery, I was excited. I chose to be excited. I was super anxious and afraid, but I chose to be excited. And I remembered in 2010 there was a chance I found out that I'd be awake and I was petrified. And now this time I was hoping I'd be awake. To me, it was an experience that 99.9% of people, even if they paid for it, wouldn't be able to do. Here I am with an opportunity to experience something that most people will never experience. As a human being, that's a crazy level of consciousness to experience, actually being awake and participating in your surgery. And number two, I had felt like I'd been telling my story for 11 years. That didn't even feel real to me because you look at me, you see me lifting, you see me golfing or at the time riding still, you would've never known. And I saw it as, number two, an opportunity to remind people of the things I share, how real it is, how much of my life I live, what I talk about. In BMX, you couldn't just talk a big game and then show up and win the contest. You had to be putting work when people weren't watching, when cameras weren't on you, when lights weren't on you. And I felt like a lot of people were creating this disconnect of like, "Oh, he's just saying this and that." And I started to think that myself. I was like, "Does this even really happen?" I mean, I have the videos, I have the scar, I actually have the staples and the stitches all saved. But I was like, "Here's an opportunity to remind people how meaningful this work can be to you and how empowering it can be." And so I had a great surgeon, Dr. Quinones at Mayo Clinic, and that was his specialty, awake brain surgery. And the transition of my mindset was excited. But then on the backside, six months later, Jackie, my fiance asked me a question very simply put, "Hey Josh, do you remember before your surgery you gave me the login info to all of your things? You told me how to access your book writings and your work with the client, where did that come from?" And I thought about it. I was like, "Oh, I was afraid of dying." And then it clicked. I took on a persona that I'd be excited and I would not allow people to tell me that they were sorry. I wouldn't allow people tell me they were sorry for me to have registered. It pushed a lot of people away. But I was like, "I'm not going to let that information come in because it's not going to serve me. I'm going to be strong, optimistic, positive, and I'm going to be excited." And then I learned that that was creating a lot of trauma that I suppressed, so now I'm working through all that. But that was the transition of my mindset. So now coming out of that, my mindset is to stay focused on the goal, build a belief in yourself, but also feel what's coming up. Don't suppress it, feel it because that allows you to learn what's going on. And then also that creates more healing and less chronic stress, which as we know, stress chronically creates a whole bunch of other dysfunctions and all that. So yeah, this is a crazy progression.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That's an interesting thing about our brains. We feel that we have to repress, we have to suppress our feelings in order to feel better. But over the long run, we actually feel worse. And there are the aftermath that we have to deal with afterwards. And by the way, thanks for introducing us to Dr. Q. I can't wait to have him on the podcast. He agreed to be on the podcast as well. So we can talk more about neurology.
Josh Perry:He's a special human. I'm excited for that. Yeah, you will enjoy that.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Absolutely. And then I think they're doing a research around cancer as well, using ketones. So that's super interesting with this postdoc.
Dr. Latt Mansor:So you mentioned a bit you coming out with a book. Can you tell us more about that?
Josh Perry:Yeah, yeah. I'm in the editing phase right now, which it's crazy. People that have written scientific books, I have so much respect of how much research they'd have to do because I'm just telling my story. It's just my research is going back over old blogs or videos, interviews and talking to family and friends. So during the pandemic, I wasn't traveling. I wasn't at an event every other weekend or something like that. And I just decided to start writing. I've been told for years, "You're speaking, you don't have a book?" "No, I just got asked to speak and started speaking." So I just sat down and started writing and I ended up writing a little over a hundred thousand words. I built a framework of life events, pivotal life events. And I go by years because I remember the contest and that year and all that. So I just wrote, and then a good friend of mine who's helped me edit it, he was like, "Man, you have two, maybe three books worth. We do obviously have to add some stuff in there, but let's do this." So we decided to break it all down. The first book is going to be just storytelling, me telling my story, and we're going to end it right around the seizure of 2021. And then the idea for the second book is to take the story and the learnings that aren't in the first book, all the learnings that I applied and integrated my life, getting ready for awake brain surgery and then coming out. So mix of storytelling and perspective and integration of all these different things. So that's what we're working on right now. It's a process. So like I said, anyone that's written a book, I have so much respect for them of just what I've been doing with that. So it's been fun because I've been learning a lot about myself and I look at old writings and I was like, "Man, that was an interesting perspective. I had them. I don't even agree with that now. I've learned so much." So it's been fun. So I look forward to getting that out. When? I'm not sure. We're just doing our best to get it done.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, well good luck and I better get a signed version of it.
Josh Perry:Oh yeah, for sure. I appreciate that.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, no, in retrospect, it's really amazing, whenever we look back, especially when we have documentations either in written form or recorded form and look back how we were in the past, what we've talk about, what we believed in, and see how far we've come because we don't realize that because it's such a gradual process and such a gradual growing process. And then we look back at over the years what we have done and how we see life, how far we've come, and we're like, "What was I thinking?" Do you know what I mean? You just asked yourself, it's like, "Was I even in the right state of mind when I said that?" So that's great. And I know you have a coaching platform as well, so I can feel that passion of yours to really want to help people out there and really want to empower people with your story, with what you've learned and how strong you have become as a human being, not as a athlete, not as a speaker, not as a writer, but as a human being. Tell us more about this, on this coaching platform. How can people find you and what encompasses it?
Josh Perry:Yeah, so it started out organically. An opportunity came to me and I said yes. And that's what started it. And then I went all in on it. And like I said earlier, I just really love helping people optimize their performance as a human internally and externally. And so what I really focus on is optimizing your energy, what you can do to preserve energy, to push the boundaries of your capacity and build the strength and resilience. But it's focused on the brain and the brain runs everything. And so I loved getting into the physical, the mental, the emotional and the spiritual aspect of a human being and just really being that guide for people and helping them sort out what's going on. Because as you know, we're biased to what we experience and interpret in our lives and having outside perspective, it allows us see our blind spots. And so I love tying in the mental and emotional with the metabolic and just optimizing because as you know, this culture, it's just like go, go, go, go. People don't even sleep enough, let alone understand how to eat properly per their goals. And so it's evolved over the years. But the most simplistic form, I just love helping people go from feeling drained and stuck and maybe overweight, that's obviously a common thing that I help people with, but it's really just overcoming their circumstances. That's what I boil it down to. And I've been there, I've been in circumstances I could have never have fathom getting over and I did. And so that's why I love bringing the holistic aspect of being a human, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually in one platform. And the beauty of it is it's not a framework that I just plug people into. I start with where they are and where they want to go. And we build the program together. And that's why I called it do with process. I used to have super anxiety and imposter syndrome of I don't know the answers, and I had a coach help me. You don't need to know the answers because they have the answers in their unconscious mind and you have the expertise to fill in the gaps. You're just going to lead them like a tour guide, like a GPS system. So I love what I do because I was able to do something extraordinary at a young age and provide for myself for a good amount of time, 10 plus years, and I learned a lot. And I love helping people learn in a more proactive manner to become empowered, to become really passionate about the life that they want to create and why that's important to them and the people that they surround themselves with. And that's why I think building values into goals is so important. That's another thing that I love doing. And really ultimately, it's just helping people see beyond their circumstances rather than identifying with where they are. We can choose to do that or we can choose to create a vision that we want to experience or create or something we want to do. And I just love being a support system for the people that want to do that.
Dr. Latt Mansor:I love that you mentioned that you are like a GPS guiding people to the answers that they already know. Because in my personal life, just helping friends who are in need, friends who are having some difficulties or predicaments and they don't know what to do, and just me offering the advice or offering my opinion, not even necessarily advice because I may not have experienced what they experienced. And then they overcome it and then they say, "I couldn't have done it without you." And I always tell them, "It's actually all you because you have to put the work in. It's your actions and your mindset. What I've done is just simply open up some pathway that you never considered or seen and you take the first step and you follow through. So kudos to you more than anything." And I always believe in I will help people who want to help themselves. It's very difficult if they don't want to help themselves to begin with. No matter what you do, it's just going to be a hard block as to how much they can achieve. So since we were talking about optimization and marrying both metabolic health and mental aspect. Let's go back a little bit on your story. I wanted to find out more around your experiment with ketogenic diet and the whole different metabolic health aspect, because I know that there are research out there which are using either exogenous ketones or ketogenic diet to increase keto levels, blood keto levels, to treat cancer either in conjunction with chemotherapy or as a driven treatment to decrease the side effects of chemotherapy. What have you found in your research and what have you learned in your experiments?
Josh Perry:Yeah, so it was almost like I wish I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor because I could have gone down that path. But thankfully, it was benign. But it also put me in this position of, well, all the research I was coming across with ketogenic diet was about cancer. I don't technically have cancer, they say, but I have tumors. And so when I first started learning about metabolic health, it was in the end of 2013 when I read Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter and then was like, "Oh, your blood sugar levels correlates directly to the health and resilience and function and performance of your brain and the rest of your body, and who knew? And then inflammation creates all this and epigenetics." The ketogenic aspect didn't really catch my attention the way it did a couple years later probably because a lot of it, it's been a while since I read it, but maybe I'm thinking because it was related to cancer and then a tool for people being overweight. So that's another thing that I was like, I wasn't overweight. A lot of people get into the ketogenic diet for weight loss, and here I am just trying to optimize my brain health abstractly. I don't really know. So that was really what did it for me. It was just learning about how just eating lower carb and eating a paleo style and getting rid of gluten and processed sugars and processed food and all these things and alcohol and adding in some fasting and some purposeful exercise and things like that, that's what really started it. And then it was 2014, I was in a health coaching program that Dr. Mark Hyman and Mark Sisson and Dr. Amen were all guest speakers of. And so I had Dr. Perlmutter's work laying the foundation for me, and then I had these three gentlemen that were just building this base and I was like, "Oh, this is the path I need you to go. This all makes so much sense." Burn fat either through your body or the diet and then help your brain and then just cut out the junk food and all that stuff. And it was just a paradigm shift for me. And then it just turned into the third diagnosis, 2017, when they told me, "Hey, we think it's a genetic disorder." I was like, "Oh, okay, well if that's the case, let me just experiment on my own." I wasn't working with any doctors. I was just like, "Let me go all in on a ketogenic diet and add in some fasting and stuff like that." And I think it did well for a couple years, but that's the challenge with even just recently, I haven't really formally put this out there, but I'm happy to share, but even six weeks ago, a one year post-op MRI revealed that I have two new brain tumors now again today. They did a whole genome sequencing on me. There's no even correlation of even a group of genes or mutations that link to any causation of what I'm going through. So they're saying we don't know what the root cause is. And so it still puts me in this situation where I'm like, "I don't know." Now I'm in the place though with doing all these things, it's based on the faith and the understanding that the science shows this. And I don't fit into that world per se because of my unique situation, but I know I've been feeling better. I've been tracking various biomarkers, like my A1C and stuff like that. I wish I had data from 2010 when I was drinking a two liter Dr Pepper a day and eating two boxes of Kraft macaroni cheese and a foot-long subway sub for lunch, and then Sonic milkshakes and all that processed... And then washing down with alcohol every night, partying, and then going out and training the next day. I wish I had blood markers from back then to compare, but I don't, thankfully. I don't do that anymore, but that's where I am now. It's like, man, if they're saying they don't know the root cause based on all these tests and labs and all this stuff, and then I'm doing all these things to the best of my ability, now I'm getting into the world of trauma work and Dr. Gabor Maté and Bessel van der Kolk's work with The Body Keeps the Score. And I'm like, man, if they're saying that they don't know the root cause, and I'm just hypothesizing here putting all these worlds together, I'm like, I wonder if it's chronic low grade inflammation, stress, inflammation from things in my childhood, even my mom telling me when she was pregnant with me got trapped in a car accident against the glove box and had to get broken out. And I know from what I've been learning how stress actually genetically is passed down and we're wired for stress. And then the more I keep learning about trauma, I'm like, "I'm a poster boy for trauma. I'm like the model that they're talking about." Childhood abuse from a bipolar, alcoholic, stepfather, car accidents, head injuries, brain tumors, all these things, action sports was a path that they talked about as an example that childhood abuse leads to. And I was like, "I wonder if it's that?" So now I'm considering if I should be looking into the organization maps and psychedelic assisted psychotherapy to release central nervous system trauma that I haven't been able to access. And I've been doing all these different modalities. I'm like, "Well, there's some that I haven't tried." And I don't know if you know this, I think it's about 66% to 68% of cure rate for PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to the point where they're trying to change it to PTSI, posttraumatic stress injury, emotional injury imprint on the brain. And I think they're in phase three clinical trials to hopefully release MDMA as a therapy modality here soon in the states. So that's some interesting work. And the organization MAPS is the one spearheading all that. So that's where my brain is now. I'm like, "I'm doing all these things that I can do the best of my ability. I'm tracking all these different things. I'm eating this way as non-negotiable. I'm working out. I'm taking care of my mind. I'm studying, I'm learning, I'm helping other people. I'm fostering gratitude." I'm very, very grateful the life I live and this is still occurring. And now I'm at the point where I'm like, "There's probably something that I haven't tapped into yet to release that's trapped inside." And I don't know if you've read the book, The Body Keeps the Score, but reading that, I'm just like, "That all makes sense." So that's where I am with that. Of course, still got the Ketone-IQ, got my way of eating and moving my body or non-negotiables for me, and I can't do more than what I'm doing. I'm like, "Man, maybe this trauma work and psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is the next step for me." And it makes sense. All of the severity of all the diagnoses over the last 12 years have been less and less with all the work I'm putting in and changes I'm making. So I'm like, "Maybe this is the last piece."
Dr. Latt Mansor:Well, this is amazing and I truly wish you all the best in your journey and in learning all of that and learning about yourself and can't wait for you to share more on this with the world as well because undoubtedly, when you go through on that journey on the psychedelics and the different modality to treat PTSD, I mean that is something that a lot of people are facing, whether they know it or they don't. And it does bring forth certain type of risks of either cognitive impairment or even metabolic health problems that comes later in life. So I'm sure whatever insight that you find for yourself, it's definitely easily applicable to other people as well. So I can't wait to see what your results are and going out, so all the best on that. This is a question that I ask all my guests on the show, and I think you have explained quite a bit as well in your interview so far, but what is health and modern nutrition to you? What does that mean to you personally?
Josh Perry:Health Via Modern nutrition to me, I mean, the words say it, so it's hard to add to it, but I think it's just taking what we know now, thanks to modern technology and the ways that we didn't know we were harming ourselves because of other technology, and just putting into an easy way to move through life and to empower ourselves, to take our health back into our control to a degree and be the best versions we can inside and out. Because I firmly believe the better you work to become, the more you directly indirectly impact other people and inspire them to do the same. So I think that Health Via Modern Nutrition, H.V.M.N., the brand and yourself, me, people... I think that that is just a testament to what it means. It's just being the best we can and inspiring other people to hopefully take the actions to be the best they can and making an easy path to implement.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, thank you. Is there any other opportunities of you speaking next? If people are looking to hear you speak, any upcoming events that you're speaking at?
Josh Perry:Not at the moment. I'm not sure. I mean, opportunities always come up, but at the moment, no, I'm not aware of any, at least.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Heads down working on your book.
Josh Perry:Yeah, honestly, just working on growing the business now, obviously navigating this next step with my health journey and trying to get the book out. My family and then my work and the book, that's been my priorities. And then golf on the side is my physical activity that I can progress with and I can train for in the gym. And then also, 99% of the time I have no risk of getting concussion or broken leg golfing, and I can push myself as hard as I want. So that's been a real big focus that's mentally been helping. But yeah, I wish to get out and speak some more, and I look forward to that time and I'm just looking at those as an opportunity, as a bonus if they come up. So I have no doubt that when the book comes out... That's the plan, get the book out and then get out there and start speaking again. But as opportunities come up, I'll take them. But right now, it's just not a priority I should say, but it's definitely of interest and I love it. It's another form for me performing that, again, pretty much no risk of concussion or broken legs, unlike BMX. So I like that.
Dr. Latt Mansor:That's fair. That's fair. And so closing remarks, what can you tell our listeners who are facing life challenges like you have or even more or less, what advice can you give them and what closing remarks can you give them?
Josh Perry:I think the first thing is just to not try to deny your reality, not try to be positive because being positive is going to help. It most certainly can, but I've also found that suppressing the negativity that we have coming up is to deny reality because we live in a duality of life as a human being. We have dark, we have light, we have cold, we have hot, we have good, we have bad. So I think the first thing is whatever's coming up for you, feel it. Don't try to push it away. And then when you can do that, then you can start to be curious about it. And I think that's the second step that's really helped me the most is not judging things as good or bad, but just being curious about it, asking yourself what is there to learn from this? Because emotions are signals and experiences can be signals too with the right frame of mind to look at it with curiosity to say, "What is going on here? What am I missing? What am I not doing? What am I doing that I shouldn't be doing?" And beyond that, it's a choice in perspective. And we can choose to be defined by our circumstances, or we can choose to be defined by a vision that inspires us, and that is going to bring up those positive emotions that allow us to act in a congruent manner based upon what we want. So I think it's just keeping it simple. And most importantly, don't deny your reality. Whatever's coming up from you, it's not right or wrong, it just it is what it is. And you can look at it with curiosity and then that will help you move through it rather than suppressing it. And then that'll help you also see beyond your circumstances. And I think to tie a bow on that, what's really helped me is we hear the word role model. I love the phrase virtual mentor. So for me as a child, that was Dave Mirra, literally had posters of him on my wall. I just surrounded myself every day the best I could with that vision of becoming a BMX rider one day. And then I became friends and competitors with him and training partners with him. And then now I have other people in my life that I look at as virtual mentors. And so to me, finding people that could be a model of success to the things that you want to do in your life, whether you look like them or not, whether they come from a place like you or not, most importantly, it's people that are doing something similar that you want to do and then studying them, studying their mentality, their emotional state, their story, what they've gone through, what they've overcome, what they've learned, and use that as a roadmap. Just reverse engineer, like Stephen Covey says, "Start with the end in mind." See them, and then work your way back to where you are. I think all of those things, they're so simple to apply that it took me years of suffering to finally implement them in a conscious manner. And I think that that's just, at the end of the day, it's just a very simple equation to get where you want to go because that encompasses all the things, humility, curiosity, support from other people, and inspiring yourself, not waiting to be inspired by something or someone else.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Thank you so much. That was such good advice to people who are both facing the life challenges, but as well as wanting to grow and be bigger than who they are at the moment. And that's great advice as well. So you are a very unique and inspiring individual, Josh.
Josh Perry:I appreciate that and I appreciated our relationship and getting to chat with each other. I know we got another one or two episodes to do on my podcast with yourself, so I look forward to it.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, no, looking forward to it. Looking forward to it. Well, last but not least, I want to open up the platform, obviously for our listeners to know where to find you, social media, all of that. So the floor is yours. Please let them know where can they find you.
Josh Perry:Yeah, it's pretty simple. My website's just joshperrybmx.com. All my social media, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, all that, @joshperryBMX. The story behind that is the Instagram account Josh Perry has been inactive and private since 2013 and won't respond to me. And then the URL, joshperry.com, they want five grand for it, and I just can't get myself to pay that. So I've just embraced the BMX and I just keep it streamlined across all platforms. And it's 15 years of branding and embedded URLs and all that stuff. So just, I don't know, I've accepted it, but my website's probably the best place you can find all the things, the podcasts and all my socials.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Hey, ultimately, BMX, even though you've left, it still was a big part of your life, right?
Josh Perry:Yeah, a hundred percent. It saved my life literally and figuratively.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Yeah, there you go. Exactly. So there you go, guys. Go ahead and follow Josh who's got really good inspiring content and can't wait to see what you bring up next.
Josh Perry:Thank you. Yeah, I appreciate it, man. I appreciate the opportunity to share and the time. And like I said, it's always a pleasure to share some time with you, and I'm super excited about H.V.M.N. And Dr. Q and his team doing some work together. That's a dream come true collaboration for me, so I'm so excited for you guys.
Dr. Latt Mansor:Thanks to you, literally thanks to you. You were the connecting dot. So yeah, we're looking forward to it. Thank you so much for being on here, and we'll chat soon. If you have enjoyed this episode, please like, share and subscribe, and we welcome any comments or feedback in either the comments section or you can fill out the Google form provider in description. You can find us @hvmn or @lattmansor for myself on all social media platforms. Both H.V.M.N. podcasts and myself are powered by Ketone-IQ, the most efficient way to elevate your blood ketone levels for optimal cognitive and physical performance, as well as metabolic health. Thanks again for listening. Until next time.
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