Can You Love & Accept Others For Where They Are In Life

Let’s say someone disrespects you, cuts you off, hurts your feelings, calls you a hurtful name, directly does the opposite of what you asked them for, walks into you at the store, etc.

Can you love and accept them for the space and energy they are in within their life, not judge, and not make it about your emotions? Think, “what is their story, what do they have going on in their life, what happened to them that day, etc.?

I myself have learned that when someone is treating me negatively, it is a mirror for either what I need to work on with my personality or it’s a mirror of what I don’t want to be. Always look deeper and see what I can learn from the situation.  How I can either improve how I react to those experiences, how I myself can improve those qualities of myself, etc.

I have got better at not making it about me and realizing that is where that person is at in their life and it’s not my place to judge. Now, I don’t need to tolerate or accept it, I can just choose to not jump into the energy and mindset while realizing that is their own shit, not mine.

Example: A woman almost hit me driving after she swerved over to me the other day. Instead of getting angry and saying “wtf, you asshole”, I remember what I have been practicing and then saw her screaming at her kids’ in the back seat. I said to myself, “Ah, there it is. She wasn’t being an asshole, she is probably stressed out with her kids and having a and day. I hope she is safe and finds peace.”

Now, that is a huge step for me and I am proud of how far I have come with my reactions to situations like that. It has been non-stop practice and will continue to be a practice.

What I want to get across is that we quickly jump to our conclusions and make things about us. If we slow down and look at the picture on a larger scale, taking our own emotions out, we can see that other people have their own shit going on and that it isn’t us and we can choose to not let it affect us.

We can accept and love people for where they are in life, the struggles they may be going through, and not making it about us allows us to not jump into that emotion.

I would love all your feedback on my sharing my opinion on this and how you can find ways to practice this more and just love and accept others for where they are in their lives without judgment, fear, or making it about the self.

-Josh P.

Authenticity

Authenticity 

au·then·tic: of undisputed origin; genuine.

Along with my journey in life, guys like Dave Mirra and Mike Laird have gone above and beyond to take me under their wing and teach me about BMX and life in general. The most important thing one can do is be authentic. Stand out and be true to yourself, on and off the bike. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m 100% authentic, genuine, and transparent. I don’t have anything to hide and I have embraced who I am and what I have to offer the world. 

This tattoo is a tribute to just that in the form of a story. A story that starts with where I come from, meeting my hero that sparked the drive and passion for the life I live now, and all that I’ve overcome along the way. The path to success isn’t as easy as most think. It involves lots of failures, heartaches, pain, sacrifices, and drive to succeed. 

Dave showed me what the inner strength to overcome anything life throws at me looks like and I’m forever grateful. Our mindsets our reality and is what allows us to push through when we want to give up. I’ve been in so many situations where I was broken, mentally and physically, and wanted to give up. A part of me wouldn’t let me and that part is in all of us if we want to believe in it. 

I have faith in everyone to succeed if they truly want to and my life is just an example of what’s possible. 💚✌️ 

📸 by: @bcookmedia

-Josh P.

Influencer Interview

As an influencer” I have a different way of approaching life, my sport, my career, etc. Here is some insight to my outlook as an influencer.

1) Tell us a little about yourself. What are you doing now and where do you come from?

I am originally from Cape Cod, Ma where I first learned to ride BMX. I moved out of my parent’s house at the age of 17 and moved 13 hours south to Greenville, NC to train with the best in the world, including Dave Mirra. I became a pro as a teenager, traveling the country on the Dew Tour before I moved to NC, but then improved my skills after moving to NC, got invited to X-Games, started traveling the world, obtaining sponsors, and so on.

At the age of 21, I fell training one day and hit my head, which led to an MRI that saved my life. The MRI showed a brain tumor taking up most of the left side of my brain. I returned to competition 10 weeks or so later and made top ten in the UK. While in India 2 years later I would learn a routine MRI scan showed 2 new tumors. They were treated with Gamma Knife Radiosurgery and I was back riding 7 days later.

I have progressed so much since the diagnosis but in March of 2013 I blew out my ACL and meniscus at a contest. I rode for 2 years without an ACL and in November of 2015, I had reconstructive surgery that put me out 4 months. I returned to competition 6 months post surgery and placed top ten overall in the world for the UCI BMX World Cup Series. After returning home from finals in China, I started the Josh Perry Foundation as a way to support others with brain tumors, injuries, and other brain disorders.  I recently was diagnosed with 2 new tumors now on the opposite side of my brain but am mentally at the place that it won’t affect me as long as I choose not to. I am preparing for this upcoming season as well as getting my foundation off the ground.

2) What are your topics of interest? What do you post on Instagram the most?

I have become passionate about nutrition, fitness, brain health and protection, the law of attraction and fostering a positive mindset, and reading books about nutrition, brain health, and other athletes that have overcome adversity. I post photos and videos to share my riding, inspirational stories/messages, fitness, healthy food, fashion/lifestyle, and anything relevant to my story.

3) How did your Instagram name come about?

It’s my name and my sport. There wasn’t much thought put into it. “@JoshPerry” was taken so I added “BMX” to it.

4) What are some apps you use to edit your photos? Share with us your photo-editing routine!

I use “Snapseed”, “Phonto”, “Square App”, and the tools in Instagram. I don’t get too crazy with editing and try to keep it as clean as possible.

5) Any Instagrammers whom you really like? Which Instagrammer inspires you the most?

I don’t really look for Instagram for inspiration. I mostly follow my friends, brands I support, and other athletes I like. I use Instagram to promote myself but also to quickly look through for updates on events and athletes, as well as entertainment.

6) If there’s one thing your fellow Instagrammers just gotta try now, what’s it gonna be?

Whatever it is that they are most scared of but want to do in their life. I find people are too afraid of doing what they truly want because they think they need to do what society dictates rather than what they are drawn to. My life to get to where I am now was very unacceptable in terms of not going to college, getting a job, getting into debt, having a family, etc. I instead went after my dreams and something that was fulfilling and challenging. I want people to be happy and the truth is the majority of people hate what they do every day for work. I find the most common reason is fear. Fear of failure, criticism,  hard work, the unknown, what others will think, etc.

7) What’s your favorite part about being an influencer?

Sharing my passion for life and perspectives with others is my favorite part of being an influencer. I get to share my passions, experiences, perspectives, and knowledge to help inspire others to follow their dreams, live a healthy life, and do what makes them happy.

8) What are some of your top tips to brands for running campaigns? How do you maintain authenticity?

Everyone has a story and reason as to why they do what they do. Being authentic is easy, just be yourself. Don’t try to please others by what you think they want to see, post what you want in a way they may be attracted to it but is still true to you and your brand. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.

9) What would your advice be on the importance of quality and original content?

I suggest people understand their goal with their content, why they are posting, what story they are trying to tell, and what they are trying to influence. You don’t want to flood people with irrelevant content and content that is low-quality just to post something.

10) What do you like best about partnering with brands?

I like the mutual passion towards something that I and the brand share. I don’t support brands that don’t support the same goal, vision, or passion. Being able to partner together to reach more people helps both parties accomplish their goal of spreading their message. Brand awareness is key.

-Josh p.

A New Trick For Brain Tumor Survivor & Pro BMX Rider, Josh Perry

July 21, 2016

“My experience led me to become a Holistic Health Coach – focusing on nutrition as the path to better health and well-being”

Thrilling ups and downs, rapid turns and hard crashes are all part of life. Sometimes things take a smooth, predictable approach and other times you get caught in a tailspin from out of nowhere that slams you hard on the concrete. It’s not really about how hard you fall, but more about how quickly you are willing to get up and take another shot. Just ask Josh Perry…

Today Josh is a happy, healthy 27-year-old man with his whole life ahead of him. Six years ago, shortly after achieving a lifelong goal of becoming a professional BMX athlete, he received his first brain tumor diagnosis.

Josh had a meningioma, a benign tumor that caused intense headaches and significantly impaired vision. His tumor was successfully removed through an open craniotomy, an invasive surgical procedure that requires an opening of the skull. His recovery was slow but complete and within two months Josh was back on the BMX circuit. He felt he’d been given a second chance and took advantage of every opportunity to compete, travel, perform and give back to the community.

Two years later during his yearly check-up, an MRI showed two new tumors at the original cancer site. Josh felt his world grind to a halt for the second time. The optimism he’d built following his first diagnosis, surgery and recovery were squashed. Josh knew that there had to be an alternative to invasive brain surgery and after the harsh reality of a second diagnosis set in, he committed to finding another way. Following extensive Internet research and discussions with his surgeon, Josh learned about and decided on Gamma Knife® radiosurgery. With this non-invasive approach, beams of radiation are precisely delivered to specific areas of the brain without surgically entering the skull.

“The kind of SRS that I had is called Gamma Knife and it can be used treat areas deep areas of the brain or areas that are close to critical parts of the brain that control the spinal cord and our ability to see and hear.”

One week after Gamma Knife radiosurgery Josh was once again at the helm of his BMX bike. He reported the procedure to be painless and similar to getting an MRI, only shorter. In addition to continuing to compete on the BMX circuit, Josh is channeling his experiences and his newly earned certification as a holistic health coach towards broad-scale health awareness programs and campaigns.

As one of a handful of people to have survived three separate brain tumors, Josh believes it is his mission to help educate people with brain tumors about their options. Nearly 78,000 new cases of primary brain tumors (including cancerous and non-cancerous tumors) were diagnosed last year, and nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. alone are living with primary brain and central nervous system tumors.

Check out Josh’s blog Daily Brainstorms to read more about his story, see some cool BMX videos and read about his newfound love for sauerkraut and kombucha.

Tips from Josh: never take your life or health for granted

  • Despite the challenges of my brain tumor experience, it taught me an invaluable lesson: Just because I am young and athletic doesn’t mean nothing bad can’t happen to me. Life and health are precious and you can’t take them for granted. This new mindset led me to think more and more about healthy living, and more specifically, healthy life choices, healthy nutrition and a positive mental attitude.
  • In February 2014, I enrolled in the world’s largest nutrition program, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. A year later, I completed the program to earn a certification as a Holistic Health Coach, enabling me to help others achieve their goals to improve and maintain their health and wellbeing.
  • I want to live the life I dreamed of while helping others to do the same and to become as healthy as possible. I also wanted to show others I’m no different than them – in the sense that we all possess the power to overcome adversity in our lives. I am living proof that anyone can achieve their goals when they put their minds to it, nourish their body and think positively.

-Josh P.

ESPN & X-Games Feature

Friday, March 3, 2017.

“Tufts Medical Center in Boston just called with my latest MRI results: There are two new masses on the right side of my brain the size of peas (about 8mm in size from residual growth), where the surgery was done. My options are to follow it and see if it changes in growth, MRI no sooner than six months, Gamma Knife radiosurgery or full-on open cranial surgery. Haha, yay.”

Written by, Brian Tunney

http://xgames.espn.com/xgames/bmx/article/19197792/josh-perry-quest-progress

“The message arrives in text form from Josh Perry, a 27-year-old professional BMX rider about to enter the 2017 competition season. A week before, we had spoke on the phone for an hour about his life as a professional BMX rider currently living and training in Cary, North Carolina, and how he was aiming to push himself into a larger role as an advocate for nutritional health and positive thinking, working with brands outside of BMX to help expose larger audiences to the passion that he’s devoted his life to.

A week later, the above message arrives. Ordinarily, the news has the potential to derail an entire day or year, let alone positive ambitions for the future. But Perry isn’t like anyone I’ve ever met before. On top of all of the common injuries that accompany the life of a pro-BMXer, this isn’t Perry’s first experience with masses in his brain. In fact, this is his third time.

Perry quickly follows up with another text message: “Just rode a morning session and rode just as well as I’ve been riding. Nothing has changed if I don’t allow it to.” This from a guy who has already had his skull cut open to remove a large tumor, while doctors stopped the flow of blood to his brain through an artery in his groin.

“If I didn’t hit my head riding, I’d be dead.”

Perry’s history with brain tumors began in March of 2010.

Perry was attempting to learn a new BMX Park trick on a quarterpipe when he over-rotated and landed off the bike, crashing down on his shoulder and head. Although he was wearing a helmet, Perry decided to undergo an MRI because of the fear of traumatic brain injury. But this wasn’t Perry’s first bout with injury as a BMX professional. There were lingering, unanswered issues in his recent medical history. Throughout that past year, he had been experiencing periods of intense headaches coupled with bouts of temporary blindness. After repeated doctor visits and an attempt by doctors to get Perry on pain killers, nothing had been diagnosed.

Essentially, it took a BMX crash (the exact outcome Perry aimed to avoid) to get him to undergo a brain scan and discover the source of his symptoms.

But the outcome of the examination was not anything that he had expected. “I wanted to get an MRI to make sure my brain wasn’t swelling and the doctors told me ‘Yeah, you have a large mass that shouldn’t be in your brain and it’s a tumor, and we’re not sure it’s cancerous or benign but it needs to come out.'”

Perry was 21 at the time. Afraid and alone, Perry’s mind began to race. “First thing I thought of was ‘I’m dead.’ The second thing I thought of was riding BMX,” says Perry. With the doctor still speaking to Perry, he stood up and walked out of the office. “I remember them trying to stop me. I wasn’t running or anything, I was just zoned out, dealing with that thought of fearing for my life, and also sad that I wasn’t going to be able to ride anymore. All I thought about was riding.”

Perry was diagnosed with a meningioma, a tumor that forms from the meninges layer of the brain. His brain had two of them, growing around the main artery on the left side of his brain. The tumor was also pushing down against his optic nerve, causing his vision to blur. He was given two choices — have surgery to remove the tumor, or die. “The tumor was too large, and growing too fast, that any other treatment wouldn’t do the job,” says Perry. “It wasn’t a choice.”

At the time, Perry was coming into his own as a respected and renowned BMX Park professional. He was sponsored by BMX brands such as Eastern Bikes and Demolition and was riding in national competitions such as ESPN’s X-Games and Mountain Dew’s Dew Tour. After moving to his adopted hometown of Greenville, N.C. several years earlier (legendary BMX home to Dave Mirra, Ryan Nyquist and more), Perry was beginning to court media interests and bigger opportunities within the realm of professional BMX riding. “I was living my dream,” he says.

“That crash changed everything.”

Immediately, doctors scheduled surgery for him to have the tumors removed on April 16, 2010. And in the days that followed his diagnosis, Perry experienced a range of emotions that dealt with his own mortality and approach to life. “I felt so fearful, sad and alone because I had no one to relate to,” says Perry. “I was never going to ride again, and if I did, I figured I wouldn’t be able to get back into it fully for a year, and then, I was also thinking, ‘Oh, I might die, this is crazy.'”

Then, almost as if Perry’s inherent BMX thought process kicked in, a change occurred. In the same way that he had tackled and mastered infinitely impossible BMX tricks over time, he was not going to let his diagnosis hijack his life. Fear and sorrow took a back seat as a sense of positivity overwhelmed himself. “I started to shift my mindset,” he says. “I looked at research, statistics, rehab and it pushed me to be positive. I kept visualizing riding, I soaked it all up and turned that negativity into fuel for me to be positive and believe that I was going to ride again.”

Days later, Perry entered Duke University Hospital to undergo a four-hour craniotomy to remove the tumors. He was required to sign legal paperwork stating that the hospital was not liable for his death, additionally acknowledging the dangers that came with the surgery, including stroke and paralysis.

“The last thing I remember when I was falling asleep was telling my friends and family that I love them, but I was just thinking about riding again and being alive,” says Perry. Over six hours later, the surgery was completed, and tests on the tumor later revealed that it was benign. But the surgery was not without complications. Because of the location of the tumor, the surgeon needed to invest extra time into precisely cutting it out from the artery it was embedded around.

Later that day, Perry awoke following surgery. “I came out, I could see, hear, move, and thought, ‘Alright, I’m not paralyzed. Alright, cool.'”

The surgery was a success. And three months later, Perry flew to the U.K. to compete in an international BMX Park competition dubbed NASS. He placed ninth in the Pro class. “I was pretty pumped,” he says.

“It’s a miracle that I also didn’t get diabetes.”

At the end of 2010, with checkups still underway, a BMX friend recommended a Netflix documentary to Perry entitled “Food Matters.” It clicked for him, linking diet and fitness to the loose approach of BMX professionals, which inordinately involves unhealthy doses of late nights and partying punctuated by fast food meals and heavy amounts of sugar. Again, Perry’s mindset began to shift. By definition, professional BMX riders are almost encouraged to avoid being termed “athlete,” invoking lifestyle over the sport and a no-rules approach to riding/training. But Perry was beginning to connect the dots, identifying how intrinsically linked his diet, fitness, and riding were. Slowly, he began to wean himself off soda and fast food. “I don’t eat that much sugar in a month now compared with what I was eating in a day,” says Perry. “I was partying a lot, eating fast food, drinking soda, young and living on a budget, all of it was horrible.”

Two years later, following scores of follow-up exams, healthy BMX competition placings and the chance to design a signature product with then-sponsor Eastern Bikes, Perry was in India performing BMX demonstrations when his mother reached out to him. A recent MRI had revealed two new masses growing in the front and rear of his brain. “I talked to my surgeon, and he recommended Gamma Knife Radiation treatment,” says Perry. “But after that second diagnosis, that’s when I really got into holistic health and nutrition, the biology of food and how it interacts with your body. And how your mindset can change the chemical makeup of your body and your brain.”

Perry’s first Gamma Knife Radiosurgery happened on Nov. 22, 2012. The process, which Perry likens to an MRI, is a type of radiation therapy used to treat tumors in the brain, using specialized equipment to focus about 200 tiny beams of radiation on a tumor or other target with acute accuracy. “The radiation doesn’t damage the tissues it’s going through, but when triangulated, it’s powerful enough to make an impact, like the Power Rangers,” says Perry.

He drove home that same day, a month after winning the annual Trans Jam Pro BMX contest in North Carolina.

“Living with three brain tumors, overcoming brain tumors, being positive and healthy and fit, all of these things are so much bigger than BMX.”

In 2014, following a run of respectable contest placings, the opportunity to design a signature bicycle with Eastern, and a run of healthy check-ups, Perry enrolled in a course with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a holistic health coach, completing the course a year later. “It was a lot of understanding that there’s a good, better and best approach to everything,” says Perry. “But the most important thing I learned was how high blood sugar levels, or consuming sugar at all … how toxic it is for your brain.”

In a sport surrounded by athletes endorsed by energy drink sponsors and processed food brands, Perry’s approach to nutrition is unique, but he aims to change that perception. “I wish more health-oriented companies would get involved in BMX and that more riders would take their health more seriously, and also realize that they have a responsibility to kids to show that,” says Perry.

Through BMX clinics, a website dubbed Daily Brainstorms, and social media channels, Perry is doing all that and more. He added new sponsors to his list of endorsements, including Garden of Life Whole Food Supplements, and he is helping to change the perception of the BMX pro as a lazy, junk food-fueled party animal. He’s starting a new YouTube series titled “Quest To Progress.” And when fellow BMX pro Scotty Cranmer suffered a traumatic brain injury in October of 2016, Perry was one of the first to reach out and send him literature concerning brain health.

In a sport mired by concussions, injuries and shortened careers due to lack of care for the body, Perry has emerged as one of the sport’s first advocates of brain health, while continuing to advance his own riding and goals both in and out of the sport. Following the completion of the 2016 competition season, Perry finished 10th overall in the UCI x Fise World Cup Series and is preparing to take on the 2017 competition season across Europe and the U.S.

But first, he’s scheduled for another round of Gamma Knife Radiotherapy. “The new brain tumors make me a little uneasy, seeing as I was told the original tumor was benign, yet new masses are appearing in other areas,” says Perry. “But I see things different now. I’m trying to help people, by sharing my experience and what it’s led to learning about nutrition and fitness and positive thinking.”

“And, more than ever, I’m still living.”  Perry’s second round of Gamma Knife Radiotherapy begins later this year, and he’s begun to take on speaking engagements to discuss his life experience. He’s also now rounding the seven-year mark since his initial diagnosis and surgery.

Josh Perry isn’t just living, he’s seizing.”

-Josh P.

If It Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It

I used to think of my “dreams” as something I aspired to obtain “when I was older” with little consciousness to the option of it being a reality for my life. The truth is whatever we feel deep down inside that we are capable of doing, no matter how much of a “dream” we think it really is, it can be a reality if we focus all our energy on making it a reality.

Whether it’s overcoming injuries, setting fear aside to progress on my bike, waking up at 5:45 to train, struggling financially to pay bills and travel for events, battling life-threatening brain tumors, escaping limited beliefs set on me from negative people in my life, or any obstacle life throws my way, I keep that focus and energy to fuel obtaining my dreams and creating the life I envision. 

No matter what success anyone reaches in life, it’s tied to a story of challenges in life that they had to bust their ass to overcome. Then you add the added task of training to the mix…For me, fitness has really changed my body, and to a degree, I never fathomed, my mind. Being completely ignorant and stubborn to the concept of training at 7 in the morning, it’s really taken a 180 in my life and I’m truly grateful. 

The most obvious change: my body. I work hard to fuel my body with nothing but the best food possible at the time and train on top of my riding schedule. I’ve spent all the money in my bank account to enroll in a holistic health program to learn what foods fuel me the best and how to implement them into my diet. Most recently, I’ve hired a personal fitness coach to help me train in the gym as a supplement to my riding. 

The less obvious change: my mind. My confidence in my trick consistency, my ability to push myself on my bike and in the gym, and my confidence with business has truly progressed positively. I didn’t realize how much of an effect building physical strength would increase my mental strength. It’s allowing me to create the life I truly believe in and share it with others. 

It’s not easy. But that’s not where I set my focus. I set my focus on obtaining that feeling I dream of and work hard towards. When you’re set on something, it’s not about if it’s easy or not. It’s about doing whatever it takes. 

-Josh P.

1 Year ACL Post-Op

About a year ago (November 10th, 2016) I had my knee operated on for an injury report consisting of 10 issues, 2 of which were ACL/Meniscus tears. I’m grateful for the experience because it taught me a lot about myself and fitness, fueled my drive to beat the odds and return better than before, and allowed me to acquire a new perspective on my life and the path I want to take.

-Josh P.

How Stereotactic Radiosurgery Saved My Life

I had the recent opportunity to share my story in my local home paper, The Cape Cod Times! This is so special to me and I am excited to share with all of you.

Eight years ago, at the age of 18, I reached my goal as a professional BMX athlete. I had won my first pro contest, I had ridden in the X-games for the first time, I was approaching my third year as a professional on the Dew Tour, and I felt as though I was on top of the world. And then my world turned upside down.

I hit my head while riding one day and had to get an MRI, which revealed a benign, meningioma brain tumor that had invaded the left side of my brain. It was growing into my brain from a layer of my skull called the meninges and it was pushing down on my optic nerve. As it turns out, the tumor was the cause of the debilitating headaches – which my doctors and I thought were migraines – that I had been suffering from for some time. In the spring of 2010, I had to have my skull cut open to remove it. The six-hour surgery was successful, and five weeks later I was well enough to get back on my bike. And for almost two years, my life was back to normal.

In the fall of 2012, though, I faced a setback. An MRI showed two tumors the size of blueberries growing back. Because they were located in a very dangerous spot close to my main artery, surgery would have been too risky. I knew there had to be an alternative, and after the harsh reality of what I was facing set in, I made it my new goal to find another way. Through research and close consultations with my surgeon, I learned about a form of radiotherapy called stereotactic radiosurgery.

This cutting-edge technology – the concept for which was developed nearly 50 years ago and which has treated more than one million patients afflicted with brain tumors, vascular malformations and functional disorders – has a high success rate for tumors like mine. In this approach, beams of radiation are focused precisely on small targets in the brain, which means that the beams converge on the diseased tissue or tumor without harming healthy tissue around it.

I decided to go for it. In my case, the treatment, which was silent and practically painless, involved a machine that looks similar to an MRI machine and involved three sessions at 15 minutes, 10 minutes and 15 minutes. No time in the hospital, no side effects of note, I was back on my bike in a week, and I felt like nothing ever happened. A follow-up MRI scan in November 2013 showed a slight decrease in one of the tumors. The following year’s MRI showed even better news, with both tumors now decreasing. Subsequent MRIs have continued to show progress, and while I may never be tumor free, the treatment I received not only means I am alive, but that I can keep on living the life I want to live.

 If I had been diagnosed with this condition 20 years ago, I probably would not be alive today. Instead, I am living a physically, mentally and spiritually fulfilling life because of the innovative advances in medical technology.

Radiotherapy’s reach and effectiveness have grown by leaps and bounds, and it can now be delivered with previously unimaginable precision, reducing side effects while minimizing the time patients like me spend undergoing the procedure. As a result, radiotherapy is one of the most effective treatments for tumors of all types, both cancerous and noncancerous.

I am a true believer in the power of positive thinking, and I would say my journey is the epitome – literally and figuratively – of the theory of “mind over matter.”

Josh Perry, formerly of Dennis, lives in Cary, North Carolina.

-Josh P.

The MRI That Saved My Life

 

The MRI That Saved My Life

Josh Perry, Pro BMX Rider

It is said—mostly to scare young riders into taking appropriate safety precautions—that the likelihood that a motorcycle rider will have an accident is 100 percent.

In my career as a professional bicycle motocross (BMX) bike rider, I can tell you that not only is there a 100 percent chance you will fall sometimes, but there is almost a 100 percent chance that you will fall every time you ride. Sometimes, though, falling can be a good thing. It was only after a serious slam that I received the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that detected a brain tumor and saved my life.

I grew up in Massachusetts, where I first started riding bikes with my friends. We used bikes for more than just transportation, and soon I was learning how to do jumps and other tricks. By the time I was 17 years old, I had grown comfortable doing backflips out of quarter pipes and over box jumps. I needed to be closer to the best riders to continue to progress in the sport, so I relocated to Greenville, North Carolina, where I had access to the best BMX training facilities.

No matter how good you are, you always fall. At 17, you can bounce back from a fall that would take you out for weeks at age 37. Constantly being plagued by minor injuries forces you to learn to be in touch with your body—for example, knowing whether you have to favor one leg over the other to absorb the impact of a jump. When I started having migraines, it was only natural that I would attribute them to riding However, I didn’t know how to compensate for this degree of pain.

In October 2009, the headaches became severe. I am not a medical professional, but I had done some research and decided I would need an MRI or a computed tomography (CT) scan to determine the cause of my headaches. Unfortunately, the doctors told me multiple times that I did not need a scan and gave me painkillers instead. I knew they were merely a mask and that my body couldn’t handle the drugs, so I never took them.

I had to take many days off because of the pain, but I never stopped riding. That all changed in March 2010, when I hit my head and was knocked unconscious. It turns out that I really did need an MRI, which I finally got, only much later than I wanted it.

The MRI results showed one benign meningioma tumor taking up the entire left portion of my brain. Bingo! Now I knew why I was getting those headaches. Upon receiving the diagnosis, I was afraid. The doctors explained to me that if I wanted to live, I would have to undergo surgery. Later, I would find out that if I had been given an MRI a year earlier, my doctors could have performed gamma knife radiosurgery instead of a much more invasive surgery.

I had surgery on April 16, 2010. The procedure that was supposed to last 4.5 hours actually lasted for six because the tumor was located near the main artery and my optic nerve, in the area that controls motor skills. Fortunately, the surgeon did a superb job.

To this day, medical imaging remains essential to my quality of life.

Six months after the initial surgery, an MRI showed that two areas of the tumor had started growing back. In November 2012, I underwent gamma knife radiosurgery. Six months after that, another MRI showed that the tumors were stable. In November 2013, an MRI showed that one of the tumors was slightly decreasing in size, and by October of the following year, both were shrinking. Today, I continue to live with two brain tumors and undergo annual scans; most important, I feel good and am back on my bike.

People often ask me whether being diagnosed with brain tumors is the worst thing that has happened in my life. It was certainly one of the most shocking and scary experiences, but not the worst. To the contrary, in some ways, it was one of the best things that could have happened to me because it taught me to be more in tune with my body. As a result, I am now healthier than I have ever been. I just wish I’d had a scan earlier.

At the time of my diagnosis, I appeared to be the pinnacle of health and wellness, but medical imaging helped my doctors detect the invisible. Thanks to the benefits of medical innovation, I have a new lease on life and am able to compete at the highest level in my sport. People should not have to face a catastrophe to get the right scan at the right time.

-Josh P.

Time & Money Are Not Real

I don’t know how many times I say this… time and money are just made up ideas we humans give energy to, thus giving them power.

Meet Dave Goodall, 45-year-old father of 2, husband of a beautiful and loving wife, and has a “big boy” job. The whole family lives the bike life. They also practice positive energy, meditation, fitness, and nutrition lifestyles. Dave has been riding with us for maybe a year now on the BMX bike and is killing it! He and his wife have also transformed their bodies and health via a nutritional and fitness program this last year and look fantastic!

Use this man and his family as an example that we create the lives we want. Dave has always told me to drop my story and rewrite it today. So true. So many times we go through life with the beliefs (subconsciously and consciously) that were passed on to us from our parents, their parents, the news, school, society, etc. rather than make up our own beliefs. What we think, we attract and create.

Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t make you happy, fueled, and fulfilled. we all posses the ability to create our dream life. It just begins with a thought and the manifests with faith and action. What are you waiting for?!?!

Dave was 44 when he decided he wanted to ride BMX and change his life. Now we’ve traveled across country for contests so Dave could live his childhood dream through my eyes and be apart of the energy we all in BMX yield and share with one another. Dave is now one of my best friends.

We push eachother on and off the bike to be the best we can be and to achieve our goals. I’m grateful for this man and his family to have come into my life but he reminds me we attracted this to one another and it’s so true. Think of what you want in life, visualize it, believe you can and do already possess it, and act in a way that will attract it to you. Why not?!

And don’t be afraid.

-Josh P.