BMX Superstar, Brain Tumor Survivor and Advocate: Josh Perry’s Amazing Story of Triumph – #421
By: Dave Asprey
Why you should listen –
Professional BMX athlete Josh Perry was just hitting his career stride when he was diagnosed with the first of three brain tumors at just 21 years old. But even after suffering through brain surgery and recovery, his spirit stayed strong, his resilience stayed intact, and he came out on the other side of his health odyssey with more fire and gratitude than ever before. Josh joins Dave to discuss how BMX saved his life, how he harnessed the power of holistic nutrition and new technologies like Gamma Knife radiosurgery to fight cancer, how to be your own best health advocate, and how he’s sharing his story of survival to advocate for brain health awareness. It’s an inspiring and cool story of triumph you won’t want to miss!
Enjoy the show!
Follow Along with the Transcript!
*See full transcript below Show Notes section
Josh Perry: Links and Info
- 00:34 – Cool Fact of the Day: The hippocampus…and shrinkage!
- 01:30 – BP Radio is LIVE in Chicago! If you enjoyed today’s episode, check out Dave’s book “Headstrong” and leave a review on Amazon!
- 02:30 – Dave intros Josh Perry, professional BMX athlete, brain tumor survivor and holistic brain health advocate
- 04:18 – Josh discusses his brain tumor diagnosis, how BMX saved his life, and how to be your own best health advocate
- 06:58 – Why Josh says you should trust your gut and find a doctor who believes you
- 09:00 – Josh’s diet then…and now
- 10:10 – Josh’s emotional reaction to his cancer diagnosis, and how it changed him
- 11:29 – The brain surgery experience
- 13:28 – Josh’s post-surgery gratitude
- 14:33 – And then the tumors came back…
- 15:28 – Why Josh rejected radiation treatments, and instead turned to holistic nutrition and Gamma Knife radiosurgery
- 17:50 – Why you should question your doctor, and be your own best advocate
- 18:25 – Listening to your body and your intuition – and the difference between intuition and fear
- 19:34 – Flow states…how athletes do what they do
- 20:33 – When and why Josh changed his diet for the better, and the impact it’s made
- 22:43 – Where Josh’s resilience comes from
- 23:56 – Josh recommends David Perlmutter’s “Grain Brain” + he discusses his interest in nutrition and how it impacts his gut and brain health
- 27:25 – What’s next for Josh…his bigger mission in life and his gratitude
- 29:25 – Josh’s three most important pieces of advice for performing better in all aspects of life
Narrator: Bulletproof radio. A state of high performance.
Dave Asprey: All right. Here we go. You’re listening to Bulletproof radio with Dave Asprey. Woo. Today’s cool fact of the day is that over time your hippocampus shrinks if you’re normal. Hippocampus is a part of the brain, it’s a relatively sizeable part of the brain, and as you age it naturally shrinks. But if you do it right, it doesn’t have to shrink and because of all the stuff that’s in Headstrong and all the stuff frankly that’s in the Bulletproof diet, and meditation, and just the entire lifestyle, I’ve actually got 86 percentile hippocampal volume for my age, which means in my n=1 study, you actually can keep your brain from shrinking as you age. And I would highly recommend that you start doing that because who wants a shriveled up old brain? That doesn’t sound like very much fun. Right? Your brain is kind of shriveled up anyway, that’s how they look, but anyway. We won’t go there.
This is an episode of Bulletproof radio, if you’re listening in your car, that we’re recording live in Chicago, which is a fantastic thing because you’ll hear the studio audience, which is awesome. Studio audience, thank you guys.
And as usual, if this show’s helpful, if you’d leave us a five-star review, that’d be cool. But to be perfectly honest, as I’m recording this show, literally a half-hour before, I just got the news that Headstrong, my new book, hit the New York Times bestseller list, making me a two times New York Times bestselling author. That means, whether you’re listening in your car or at work or here in the audience, your job is to go to Amazon and leave a review. Because if you leave a review on Amazon for the book, it’s one of the simplest things you could do to say thanks for the thousands of hours that go into writing it. Doesn’t cost you anything. But it really, really matters. I read every single review on Amazon. So if you take a minute to do that, I’d appreciate the heck out of it.
Now, today’s guest on the show is Josh Perry. Josh is a professional BMX athlete who’s currently one of three Americans in the top ten for … How do you say this Josh? FISC?
Josh Perry: It’s the Fisc in UCI BMX series.
Dave Asprey: Alright Fisc. Is that French?
Josh Perry: Yes. It’s actually originated in France.
Dave Asprey: See I live in Canada and I still can’t pronounce French words. All of Canada is now shaming me right now except the left half where they don’t know how to speak French anyway. Now I’ve offended the right half. Oh my God, what’ll I do. And the interesting thing about Josh, aside from the fact that he’s top in the world in his sport, or at least one of the top. I’m sure the top ten are always wrestling over who’s the real top right?
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: Alright. No ego among athletes. But, when Josh was 21, an MRI showed he had an eight centimeter tumor in his brain. And for non-Canadians, eight centimeters translates to big ass.
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: And you had the tumor successfully removed but two more grew back post-surgery. And then through your own research, you started looking at what health really is and what performance really is and you created a personal treatment plan with diet, mindset, lifestyle and a bunch of targeted medical procedures. So, what we’re gonna talk about is being a pro athlete and not just that, but an extreme sport pro athlete, and at the same time realizing that you have sort of a life threatening situation here. I want to chat with you in the show today about what that was like. So now that you’ve been properly introduced, guys, welcome to Josh.
Josh Perry: Thank you.
Dave Asprey: How in the heck do you find out you have an eight centimeter tumor in your head?
Josh Perry: So it was March of 2010. I was actually training and I tried a trick in the foam pit. That’s like gymnastics. We learn tricks in the foam pit and then we take it to the ramp. I did about ten in the foam pit, felt pretty good and then went and did one on the ramp and I overcompensated the rotation. So when I landed I had whip lashed my head and had to get an MRI just to make sure there was no swelling or bleeding. And that’s when they revealed the eight centimeter mass that actually was about four centimeters deep too pushing on my optic nerve. And definitely wasn’t what I expected.
Dave Asprey: Are you grateful for that wipe out?
Josh Perry: Yeah. Actually, BMX saved my life. And that’s what people tell me on the time, that’s gonna be the worst thing that’s ever gonna happen to you. It’s really not. It’s all about perspective and I’ve changed my life 180 degrees and been able to help people with my story and lead by example to the younger generation how to take care of yourself and proper helmets and mouth guards and the nutrition.
Dave Asprey: How far along in your career were you? How far back was this? How old are you now?
Josh Perry: I’m 28.
Dave Asprey: You’re 28, okay. And this happened … What year?
Josh Perry: 2010.
Dave Asprey: Okay so it happened a couple years ago, seven years ago. So you were 21.
Josh Perry: Yeah actually the 16th will be seven years from surgery.
Dave Asprey: Okay. And where were you in your career at that time?
Josh Perry: That was the year after I won my first pro contest. Beat one of my favorites watching growing up and I was pretty stoked about that. First year riding X games and continued on the Do Action Sports Tour. And it was about three years after I had moved to Greenville, North Carolina to train. I left home when I was 17 to pursue my dream of becoming a professional BMX athlete.
Dave Asprey: Now you’d had some stuff going on. Like you went to the doctor. You had migraines and throwing up, vision problems, which is sort of inconvenient when you’re on a bike, right?
Josh Perry: Yeah. Especially going upside down.
Dave Asprey: What did the doctor say?
Josh Perry: Well it was about a year prior that I’d been having symptoms of gnarly headaches and migraines and it actually got towards the end when I found out it was pushing on my optic nerve that my vision was going and I couldn’t see my hand in front of me. It was like five. And it was just, it was pretty surreal because they just kept telling me … I requested an MRI. I was pretty ignorant to it at the time but I was like, I don’t think headaches are something that someone should deal with just because. And they kept denying me scans, no you don’t need it. People just live with headaches and so they kept prescribing me pain medication. And I never took them. They don’t do well with me. And then one time it was that bad that I finally took some of the Percocets and it was the one and only time I’ve ever projectile vomited and it was not the best thing.
But yeah, now that’s why I’m a big advocate of if you think something’s wrong, you should definitely get it checked out. My situation would have been so much better had I got an MRI a year prior and might not have had the surgery and a different therapy.
Dave Asprey: Doctors are actually trained to, if you have more than a couple symptoms, to basically tell you it’s all in your head. And this is actually in the training. If they have more than three or four, it’s probably hypochondriac. More than ten, definitely hypochondriac. So did they blame you?
Josh Perry: No they just basically said there’s nothing wrong with me. Headaches are just something you’re gonna have to deal with. And I was like, I don’t think so.
Dave Asprey: You’re like, I’m a pro BMX rider and you’re telling me to man up?
Josh Perry: Yeah. Basically, yeah.
Dave Asprey: How did you feel when the doctor told you that?
Josh Perry: Told me …
Dave Asprey: Just deal with it.
Josh Perry: I was just … At the time, they’re like an authority figure to me not knowing really much about health and taking care of myself. So I just, oh they’re a doctor, they went to school, they learned all this, they know best. And my experience, if I had listened to them … If I didn’t fall and hit my head, I would’ve not woken up one day.
Dave Asprey: Wow. When you found out what it was, did you go back to the guy who told you it’s all in your head and did he apologize?
Josh Perry: He actually diagnosed me.
Dave Asprey: Okay. Did he apologize?
Josh Perry: No. And to be fair, he might have.
Dave Asprey: You might not remember?
Josh Perry: The midway of him telling me, it started, yeah, we got your MRI results. There’s something in your brain that shouldn’t be there. And it’s not … We don’t know if it’s benign or cancerous but it’s a tumor. And then when he said that, my everything just shut off. And then I remember, eventually I got up and walked out and some of the nurses tried to stop me and I was just focused on getting out. And at the time, I just ignorantly stopped, my life was over. And I was like, I just got diagnosed with cancer and at the time I didn’t know benign to malignant. I didn’t know the difference. But that’s just what went through my head. He might have said sorry but I don’t remember.
Dave Asprey: Would you describe yourself as health conscious or were you just sort of like french fries and hot dogs and beer?
Josh Perry: It’s so funny because when I tell people what I used to eat, they’re like no. No way. I used to go through a two liter Dr. Pepper a day just because it was cheaper than water. And I was in shape, doctor said I was healthy before the symptoms.
Dave Asprey: It’s all about calories.
Josh Perry: Yeah. You know, I was young, I was fit, I was active every day so I was healthy.
Dave Asprey: I might have had the same sort of thing happen when I was young. I was like, oh I can have a few cokes. It’s just carbs. But there’s a difference there and certainly my doctors weren’t the ones who told me that. My experience is that physicians are very well meaning. And they’re usually trained to not apologize also because they don’t want to get sued. But the bottom line is that they all want to help and they’re always doing their best and they’re always pressed for time and when someone comes up who looks really healthy but isn’t, I think it’s harder for anyone in the field versus someone who comes up who’s falling over all the time. Like, okay clearly something’s wrong here. So we’re all subject to that human error thing.
What did you decide to do when you have this, okay, I have cancer, I may die, I’m young but all of the sudden now I might have a very short life. What went through your head and what did you do?
Josh Perry: Well like I said, I walked out, sat in my car and called my mom when I could collect myself a little bit. She answered and I couldn’t speak for like five minutes. She knew something was wrong, I just couldn’t get the words out. And then what was going through my mind was, oh man, I’m not gonna be able to ride again. And that was the first thing. I didn’t think about my life at that point I was just like, I’m living my dream, I’m riding with my heroes, I’m a friend with Dave Miera, someone I looked up to my whole life growing up. I just won my first contest, Road X games and I’m done. And so I was trying to think of who I wanted to give my bike to, who I wanted to give my belongings to.
Dave Asprey: Wow.
Josh Perry: It’s just such a crazy experience.
Dave Asprey: Has that affected the way you think about your life now?
Josh Perry: Oh yeah. I mean through my experiences I’ve just become super grateful for being alive and progressing on my bike and just have a different perspective of life. I don’t really look at things as good or bad, I just kind of look at them as a learning experience. And your perspective on something can make something bad or good, it just depends on how you look at it. And so I just try to foster that positive mindset when things happen. I’m like, alright what can I learn from this?
Dave Asprey: When you decided to get surgery and you were laying there on the table, they’re about to put you under, what did you think about that?
Josh Perry: Well the experiences leading up to that, they put a camera up my groin in the vein to my brain to shut off one of the arteries so I wouldn’t bleed out. And when they told me what was gonna happen I was like, what? You can do that? From there? And they just progressed with different medications. They put a bunch of these dots to measure different things on my head. And then they were like yeah, say goodbye. My girlfriend at the time, that was the first time I said I love you to her. I was like, I don’t know if I’m gonna wake up. And I just prayed to God and I was just like, I don’t know what’s gonna happen. So I just tried to let everyone know that I loved them and kind of hoped for the best.
Dave Asprey: How were you when you woke up?
Josh Perry: It was amazing. The list of complications I had to sign the paper for was endless. Paralysis, stroke and death were among the top of them. And so when I woke up for the first time in about a year pain free, I could speak, I could see, I could move. I saw my family and my friends and I was just like wow. I’m awake. That was so crazy. And I had a catheter in. I had never had one of those.
Dave Asprey: Those suck.
Josh Perry: And I was like, mom I gotta pee really bad. She’s like, just go. You’re fine. And I was like, no I’m in bed. I need to go to the bathroom. I was a little drugged up at the time. And I tried to pull it out. And they were like, no don’t do that. Just go man, just go.
Dave Asprey: Catheter stories, my favorite.
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: Having had three knee surgeries before I was 23, I’ve experienced the mighty catheter myself and we just won’t go there.
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: So, you came out of this and you were grateful because things worked. I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this. My mom had brain surgery. She had seizures most of her life for epilepsy and eventually she went to Stanford and they told her, you might have some minor issues when you wake up and minor issues included needing almost a year of recovery, answering the phone with her stomach and just being really, really incoherent. So watching recovery from brain surgery can be just really a problem. And in your case, it sounds like you came through pretty quickly.
Josh Perry: The only negative problem I had was I couldn’t move my right big toe for two weeks and that tripped me out so much. I just was staring at it. I was like, move, move. Then two weeks later I saw it kind of move and then that was that. But it was just, you have to wait four weeks for the bone to fuse back together. And just being so careful. I bumped my head getting in my car like three weeks in and I’m just, I’m okay, I’m alright. Okay. And that happened twice and it just, it freaked me out. I came out pretty lucky.
Dave Asprey: How long was it before you found out that the tumors came back?
Josh Perry: So it was September of 2012. We were doing some BMX demos in India. And my mom emailed me from a scan that I had prior. Hey when you get some time I need to talk to you. I was like, oh obviously something’s wrong if you’re not gonna tell me what’s going on. And so I Skype called her and that’s when she told me. She refused to tell me as I got home and I was like, well you gotta tell me now. And …
Dave Asprey: Moms.
Josh Perry: Yeah. I was like, you shouldn’t have gone about it that way but you know. But I emailed my surgeon and I was like, should I come home? Should I book a flight home? I’ve got two more days left of this trip. And he said it’s not that big a deal. They’re small areas but they’re a result of the original tumor was located on a main artery in my brain and he couldn’t risk getting all the tissue and the cells because if he hit that artery I’d go into stroke or paralysis or have to have a shunt or could die and all these things.
Dave Asprey: He came to you and said, hey let’s use radiation on your brain. And you didn’t like that idea?
Josh Perry: No. He said that they were too small to have surgery and I was like, yeah I don’t really want to go through that again. I don’t want all the chemicals in my body. At this point I started getting into holistic nutrition and health and learned a little bit more. And yeah he just recommended radiation. And instantly, not knowing much about it, it just sounded horrible to me. And so I did some research on Google and then a couple hours later came across technology called Gamma Knife radiosurgery. And then that … At the time I found out I was like, well you said not to have surgery, this is Gamma Knife so not really sure how this is gonna work.
And the more research I did, it was just basically an outpatient procedure and great success rates and it just seemed like the best fit.
Dave Asprey: So you really went to Dr. Google?
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: Alright. When you went into your surgeon, who in his 12 years of medical school and 20 years of clinical experiences told you to do an old school treatment and you were like no I want to do something new, how’d that go?
Josh Perry: Well he had known about it I think. Because when I told him, I was like, I’m gonna go with this, he’s like, yeah that’s great. And I was like well …
Dave Asprey: I like this guy.
Josh Perry: And I was like alright well sounds good. I’ll go through that. And that’s why I try to be an advocate of promoting these types of technologies that aren’t very well known. And had I got an MRI a year prior to getting diagnosed, it would have been small enough that I could have had the Gamma Knife and not had to have my skull cut open and be exposed to all the toxins and everything.
Dave Asprey: One of the lessons there, and one of the reasons I wanted to have you on the show, is that when you are your own advocate and you accept the incredible experience and the knowledge that comes from being a medical professional but you’re also willing to ask questions and you find the kind of doctors who will answer your questions, you can oftentimes change your outcome. Or certainly just have more comfort there. And I’ve seen a shift in the bedside manner in a lot of doctors because, 25 years ago when someone would come in, there wasn’t Dr. Google. You couldn’t go learn about your condition. And it was like, you just gotta do what they say because they have this library of knowledge in their head. But now you’ve dug in and you said I want to do this and very cool your doctor said that.
And for people listening and people in the audience, it’s your right to ask as many questions as you want. Especially if they’re gonna open your head up or they’re gonna do something that could potentially end your life or leave you paralyzed. And you can ask questions until you’re comfortable right?
Josh Perry: Yeah. I mean I’ve always asked questions. I’ve challenged my parents and my friends growing up. So …
Dave Asprey: Well you are a BMX biker aren’t you?
Josh Perry: It wasn’t anything new to me. But I’m just a firm believer now that no one knows your body better than you. And if you have someone telling you there’s nothing wrong and you know there’s something wrong, the best thing to do is get it checked out just to cancel it out. Because in my case, if I hadn’t hit my head that day, I might not be here.
Dave Asprey: Okay. You talk about how your life lesson from this is listen to your body and your intuition. What does intuition have to do with all of this?
Josh Perry: Well, when you have a gut feeling, there’s a reason. And I knew something was wrong. And I could feel it, besides the headaches. But I just knew there was something not right and being ignorant to doctors and health and all that, like they know best. So I just, that’s what I went with. I ignored my intuition. And I noticed it with injuries on different tricks. If I had a gut feeling about something, and I went against it, I ended up falling and I got hurt or something.
Dave Asprey: How do you know the difference between intuition and fear?
Josh Perry: That’s a fine line. But from what I believe in is fear is just a thought. And that you can change your thoughts. And actually, the first tattoo I ever got it says, fear is just a thought, thoughts can be changed. And so, fear … And I’ve learned to assess, is that coming from me? Is that coming from a past experience or someone else? But if I got with my gut, my intuition, for the most part it’s usually right.
Dave Asprey: You’ve probably read some of the books about flow state and things like that and extreme athletes. There was Rise of Superman a while back. Do you use a flow state when you’re doing stunts?
Josh Perry: I’m actually not sure what that is.
Dave Asprey: So a flow state is this idea that when you get into an aggressive move or something where you’re pushing a limit, your mind goes somewhere else. Where instead of thinking about everything, you can’t think fast enough so you go into this state where you get kind of euphoria. Is that something that you experience when you’re riding or are you so technically precise that you’re sort of always in control?
Josh Perry: Well it’s pretty crazy. Because what we do in the matter of two seconds upside down, spinning our bike, twisting and all that, it just happens and you have to trust it. And you build it up over time. And so yeah, I guess so. It’s just something you feel. And that’s where the intuition comes in. You can feel it and you do it long enough, you practice long enough, just like meditation. You can start to get a better feel for it and better practice with it.
Dave Asprey: After your surgery, when did you stop the two gallons or two liters of Dr. Pepper? When did you change your diet?
Josh Perry: So after the first surgery, a friend told me to watch Food Matters on Netflix and that’s what sparked the interest in food for medicine and healing. And then I kind of got into it a little bit. Started taking some vitamins, which I found out were just a waste of money because I was just getting generic, synthetic vitamins. And then after the Gamma Knife, that’s when I really took note.
Because I went through a phase where the first time I got diagnosed I was scared, I thought my life was over. And the second time, I had a little bit of that and it lasted maybe a couple of hours when I was on a train ride back to the airport. And I just was determined to not let that affect me and not take over my life.
Dave Asprey: Alright. Now, we were looking at your diet and what happened to your tumors when you went on your diet?
Josh Perry: Well I think it was a combination of getting onto the more keto diet and then the Gamma Knife. You can’t … I don’t think you can tell which one did it because I had both of them. Or I had the treatment and then practiced the keto diet. And I really think that that’s … I did the math and I was eating so much sugar a day. And then I learned a little bit about blood sugar fueling different inflammation and infections and tumors and then I was just like, man this needs to stop.
And then I just started getting more into that. And I really think that’s what attributes to a lot of the shrinkage of the tumors. And then just my overall health and my ability to recover and my strength and my energy. It all just makes so much sense. If your body’s not stressed and in survival mode, then you’re gonna be more healthy.
Dave Asprey: That certainly has been my experience as well. Alright. You’ve had some other weird injuries. I’m always fascinated with people who are incredibly resilient. Psychologically and physically. So you blow out your knee a couple of years ago. And like you just keep doing this and you keep coming back. What makes that happen?
Josh Perry: It’s just the love for what I do. It just … I don’t feel as fulfilled in life with anything else. The feeling I get of just everything. And then when you work on a trick for so long. I mean, I’ve learned to accept failure as a part of life. You learn from it. And what I do, and people that do what I do, we fail more times in a day than people do in a month. And then when you can learn to excel from that and to move on and progress, that feeling is satisfaction of learning that trick or landing it. And it doesn’t … I don’t know. It’s just freedom. I’ve been able to see the world because of what I do on my bike. And if I lived my dream, or tried to live my dream of going to the NBA when I was younger, I don’t know if it would have worked out so well. I’m a little short.
Dave Asprey: Well, that willingness to fail is, I think, a hallmark of almost every great athlete. And pretty much people who succeed in all other things I’ve seen. What happens when you really started cutting out inflammatory foods? How did you figure out about that?
Josh Perry: A friend of mine got me Dr. Perlmutter’s book Grain Brain in 2013.
Dave Asprey: Alright. Love Dr. Perlmutter.
Josh Perry: And I became a big fan. And then the next year …
Dave Asprey: I think there’s this quote on the back of the book.
Josh Perry: And then the next year, I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition just to kind of learn more about all the conflicting theories of nutrition that I was learning and what works and what doesn’t. And a big term they use is bionivegulouti So like, what works for you might not work for them and vice versa. And then I got exposed to Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman and started really learning about protecting my brain with my food and then it just kind of kicked off from there.
Dave Asprey: So what do you do now for food? What are your food rules?
Josh Perry: I pretty much follow the Bulletproof rules. Whatever can help my gut and my brain. So a big change for me over the last year of being exposed to Bulletproof is, of course, the grass fed butter. And all of the conflicting things of that in the past I was like really? Grass fed butter, grass fed beef. You’re not supposed to eat red meat that much. And so things like that. And then experimenting with different vegetables and grains. And from Dr. Perlmutter’s work I learned a little bit about gluten and stuff like that I don’t do that. I cut that out.
I also went 100% on that recently. Because a friend of mine, his daughter has autism and when they take that out of her diet she does so much better. Her skin clears up, her speech improves. And I told her, I was like, alright, we’re gonna do this together. I’m gonna support you, you’re gonna support me and do 100%.
And then a new thing is coffee. And I started experimenting with coffee after reading Brain Maker from Dr. Perlmutter. And then I saw a video he did talking about Bulletproof. And then coincidentally you guys did an episode together and I was like I’m gonna give this coffee thing a try.
Dave Asprey: I’ve got to say, Dr. Perlmutter, if you ever get a chance to meet him, have you met him?
Josh Perry: I have not. Just the video that we did together.
Dave Asprey: Okay. Alright.
Josh Perry: He’s supposed to be in North Carolina this month, he said. So we’re gonna try and meet up.
Dave Asprey: It’s worth it. He’s one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever met. If you ever get a chance at a conference or whatever, to see him, just ten times more knowledgeable than I am and completely grounded and down to earth. And I think that the technical term, I’m still working on my millennial, but he doesn’t give AF about critics at all. And he’s triple board certified and completely willing to just go there and say the truth. So I have huge admiration for him. And I’m happy to see that his work helped you out because it’s cool.
Josh Perry: Yeah. Definitely learning all the nutrition theories and things kind of led me to the state of anxiety and depression for a while. I was scared to eat. And I lost 20 pounds because I was like, everything turns to glucose eventually. I can’t eat anything. What am I supposed to do? And then a friend of mine told me, you’re looking pretty skinny man. You’re usually not that skinny. And then his work and getting introduced to Bulletproof just seriously cleared all these things for me and I’ve never felt better.
And my mom’s like, you drink coffee now? I drink coffee all the time you always don’t want any. Well, you learn. That’s life.
Dave Asprey: I consider it to be a performance enhancing substance but that’s just me.
Josh Perry: Yeah.
Dave Asprey: And like 2,000 years of history.
Josh Perry: Yeah it’s funny I show up to the skate park with a coffee in the mornings.
Dave Asprey: Nice.
Josh Perry: It’s funny because everybody’s like what are you drinking? Butter and stevia oils and brain octane, coffee.
Dave Asprey: All the good stuff.
Josh Perry: No sugar.
Dave Asprey: What’s going to happen next? Like what are your plans now? You’ve sort of got this divided career where you’re still riding but you’re also starting to talk more about health and about this incredible odyssey you’ve been through.
Josh Perry: Yeah, so I’m in the beginning stages now of starting my foundation, the Josh Perry foundation. And working with the company that invented Gamma Knife. They’re named Elekta. And the project we’re working on is global BMX shows, like demos, around the world at different facilities to promote awareness of different technologies, food and health and BMX. Because BMX is fairly small so I want to use my experiences and my fortunate life to share more about the things I’ve learned. So that way people don’t have to have a catastrophic event like I did to open up their mind to different things in life. So it’s kind of my main goal.
And kind of branch out of BMX. Use BMX as my vehicle, but I ultimately want to share my story so I can help people. That’s what I’m really passionate about now.
Dave Asprey: There’ve been a few other people that have done that sort of thing. Thank you.
Josh Perry: That’s why, you, Perlmutter and Mark Hyman, they have these amazing stories of health complications they went through. Or Perlmutter has to look at his dad across the street with Alzheimer’s and they have a bigger mission in life than just to do the normal thing. They want to help people. So like I said, people tell me, it’s gonna be the worst thing ever. And it’s like not really. What I went through has really changed me and changed my goals in life. And I want to leave something behind when I’m gone. And I ultimately want to help people. And expose my sport to you. So I think it’s pretty cool what we do. And it’s not well known.
Dave Asprey: Well nice work on the gratitude there. That is really hard to do and there are a lot of people in your similar situation who would just be caught up in self-pity. And instead you’ve got this amazing mindset and an incredible resilience. So I admire that. Hats off, man.
Josh Perry: Thank you. Appreciate it.
Dave Asprey: Now, if someone came to you tomorrow and said, based on all these things that have happened to you, I want some of your advice. What are the three most important things you could offer me if I wanted to perform better at everything I do in my life? Not just a sport or anything else. What would you say?
Josh Perry: I would tell them first to think about their perspective on life. And life more in gratitude and positivity, most important. Because if you’re eating healthy foods but you’re living stressed out or angry and depressed, it’s not gonna do much. And then see where they’re at with their sugar intake and the foods they’re eating. And kind of see what changes we can make. And then drink more water and maybe have some coffee.
Dave Asprey: That was pretty good advice, I’ve got to say. Alright. Josh Perry, thanks for being on Bulletproof radio.
Josh Perry: Yeah, thank you for having me. It’s an honor to be here. I appreciate it.