Relentless: Lessons on Family, Badwater, and Racing the Sahara with Lisa Tamati

Boomer Anderson
January 22, 2020
Listen this episode on your favorite platform!

Discussing endurance with one of the most badass women on the planet. Lisa Tamati and Boomer talk about ultramarathons, extreme conditions, how much suffering can you take, overcoming obstacles, dealing with fear and how to manage yourself. Lisa shares a powerful story about her mom.

Who is Lisa Tamati?

For the past 25 years Lisa has competed in the world's toughest endurance events clocking up over 70,000km, racing everywhere from the Sahara, to the Gobi, to Death Valley to the Himalayas, Australia and Europe. She has pushed her mind and body to the limits, has both succeeded and failed and learned many lessons along the way.

She has also had to overcome many obstacles in her personal life from losing two babies to bringing back her mum after an aneurysm left her with major brain damage, to getting through divorce, financial ruin to rebuilding her life.

She knows what it takes to overcome obstacles, to chase massive goals and face your fears and now she lives to teach, coach and inspire people to reach their true potential through her programs and courses. We would love you to be our next success story.


[2:09] Why run an ultra marathon?

[3:43] What it takes to finish Badwater - Twice

[11:46] Mindset for discipline

[15:57] Crossing the Libyan dessert

[21:16] Push yourself over a breaking point

[25:07] Preparing for an ultra marathon

[29:14] Helping her mom deal with aneurysm

[36:30] Reversing brain damage with Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy

[40:36] Lisa's book


Badwater - The World’s toughest foot race

Can't Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds by David Goggins

Dr. Harch’s Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

The Brain That Changes Itself by Dr. Norman Doige

Pre-Order “Relentless” by Lisa Tamati

Running to Extremes by Lisa Tamati

Running Hot by Lisa Tamati

Badwater - Where are they now? Feature

Episode Transcript

Boomer Anderson 0:08
Superhumans I just got done speaking to one of the most badass women on the planet to me just be one of those badass people on the planet. My guest today on this podcast was an absolute joy to speak to and I think my jaw was just on the floor the entire time. Her name is Lisa Tamati and Lisa is an endurance athlete with over 25 years experience racing, completing races that David Goggins even struggles to finish. She’s done Badwater. She’s done races across the Sahara Desert. She’s gone across the Libyan desert with a couple liters of water a day. Yeah, she’s crazy. But she turned that craziness, that mental toughness into really a very interesting story regarding their mothers. So I’m just gonna leave it right there. We’re going to jump right into the episode because I’m sure your jaw will be on the floor, just like mine. The show notes for this one are That’s L-I-S-A.

Enjoy my conversation with Lisa Tamati.

Lisa, the badass Welcome to the show.

Lisa Tamati 1:27
Awesome to be on your show. It’s such an honor. Thanks. Really.

Boomer Anderson 1:30
So, you know we were connected through a mutual friend Roy, who does a lot of work on on my show, but also, I heard your story and I was like, just shit. I need to get this woman on the show. Like you’ve done so many amazing things in the endurance world. Mind just giving us a little bit of a recap here.

Lisa Tamati 1:51
Yeah, so, uh, yeah, my background is in what they call ultra marathon running, which is can we

Boomer Anderson 1:57
do let’s just define ultra a marathon and it I you know my story, it was not the most successful thing I’ve ever done in my life. What do you mean by ultra marathon?

Lisa Tamati 2:09
Oh, congratulations for status discipline to do a bloody out to do a marathon because it takes a lot of dedication. So ultra marathon is basically anything over the marathon distance which is 42, K’s and yellow metrics. So, typically these are races from 50 kilometers, hundred k hundred milers 200 300 and there are even races that go across entire continents or racers like a New York City that go 3100 miles around a half mile block. You know, this is different levels of crazy and different types of races. So this is the sort of thing that I’ve done for a quarter of a century because I’m quite old. And I’ve had some amazing experiences I’ve run over 70,000 K’s in that time, done over 2000 K’s and the Sahara desert and the Moroccan Sahara twice too busy in the Arabian Desert the Libyan desert Niger Jordan Gobi Desert Death Valley in the USA times different parts of

Boomer Anderson 3:11
the stubble click on the Death Valley race, so I think I’m familiar with that one. Yeah. Wish Death Valley races it or is it though? Is it bad? Bad water is bad water ultramarathon. That’s the one and then epic race. So can you describe that race for us? Because I know somebody famous who we may or may not mention here has recently not finished that and written a book. But let’s talk about Yeah, let’s talk about Mr. Goggins but since you actually finished bad wireless get into that,

Lisa Tamati 3:43
yeah, so I yeah, I’ve done it twice. Now, and this is 135 mile or 217 k race that takes place in Death Valley every year. And there’s about 90 odd crazy idiots who sign up for this in the middle of summer. And if anyone knows that this valley is it’s the hottest place on Earth. So temperatures get up to I don’t know in Fahrenheit was about 170, I think in Fahrenheit about 55-56 in Celsius. So bloody hot, really hot. And then you’ve also got deciding below sea level and you’ve got these two massive mountain passes that you have to get over and at the end you’re climbing up Mount Whitney, halfway up there, so it’s, you got distance, you’ve got the heat, and you’ve got the, you know, huge amount of mountains to climb as well. That’s pretty epic and think.

Boomer Anderson 4:38
Wow. Okay, so let’s compare and contrast that versus running the Sahara, right? Like I’ve ridden a camel in the Sahara. That was difficult enough as it is that running on sand doesn’t seem to be that easy. Is there like an actual trail that they lay out for you or is it just sort of like going out goes you man,

Lisa Tamati 4:59
you just got So the every you might be surprised at how many different types of deserts the era of the Sahara is a massive place obviously and there are you know all sorts of some of Stoney summer same during summer you know cliffs and rocks and climbing up things and so is everything so it’s very very different terrain so you you typically in the races that I’ve done in the in the Sahara have been what they call multi day stage races. And these are like usually 250 K’s over seven days as you sort of average and these ones are you self supporting so you carrying everything on your backpack except you water so you get given you water every day. And you have to have all your food with you so you carrying 10-12-14 kilos on your back while you’re trying to

Boomer Anderson 5:51
run this is this is sand right and so I yeah, I’ve tried to climb dunes, much to my dismay yeah in places like Namibia and stuff like that and it wasn’t easy and you’re running How long was this race?

Lisa Tamati 6:07
Well so 250 K’s are sort of your your typical run and I’ve done some non stop races like nijo which was 333 kilometers I actually failed and that one got to the 222 k mark and had food poisoning so that was the end of that one but yeah generally you you you are you are in whatever is coming at you so it can be foot deep saying that you’re going through it could be rocky you know flat terrain could be climbing up mountains that you’re you’re very much exposed to extreme conditions in it’s all in the funny thing is you know, like I’m not even a good runner. You know, you know, people have this conception that you’re probably like a you know, a Paula Radcliffe or something. And I’m not I’m so not no genetic ability whatsoever. Just a very, very stubborn Mind in with ultramarathons is very much about just how hard can you push? How much can you how much suffering can you take? And how much can you overcome the obstacles that come your way. And the fear dealing with fear. And, you know, because you can be in really scary places alone. You know it as a whole lot of things that can happen to you. And so it’s managing yourself. It’s more of a survival thing really then, you know, then racing in the normal sense of the word.

Yeah. So,

Boomer Anderson 7:35
Lisa, if you don’t mind like, because all of this is just so cool to me, right. Like you did Badwater twice. You can just do it once you did it twice. You race in the Sahara, you’ve gone to Niger, which is a place that I’ve never even been to before. And you don’t all these really cool things. I want to dive a little bit into like what your training regimen looks like. This and then after that, I want to talk about mindset. Yeah, but your training regimen for, because one of my complaints about marathon training is the amount of time that it takes. What is your training regimen look like for something like Badwater or one of these other races.

Lisa Tamati 8:17
So, in the beginning, when I first started out doing this, you know, 25 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. And so I was doing huge mileage, which was, you know, hundred and 5200 K’s a week. And I didn’t do anything else but run and that was a completely wrong way to do it as I got me to the finish line when I was younger, and then I started to burn out and just blow up and having a wall and problems with my hormones and you know, a whole lot of physiological problems came from that approach. And then I met my my coach, because back then I just was a pioneering guys in the sport to we didn’t need lights properly. You know, there wasn’t all the fancy gear that is now. And then. So about 15 years ago, I met my coach who’s now my business partner in error company or running company. And he chopped my mileage in half. He built on strength training, he built in mobility work daily. He changed my diet, he changed the supplements that I was on a basically revolutionized the way I was training. And I’d been really broken at that point I was, and that was just before the failing. So he saved my bacon really, because this was my most important race that I’d done. You know, as soon as I heard about this belly, and I had the best results on that regime. So the mileage was cut in half, you know, so typically, I was only running hundred kilometers a week, 110 – 120 depending on the week. And you know, you saw, which

Boomer Anderson 9:49
just to give some perspective, because I know there’s a significant amount of the audience that’s from the US 100 kilometers a marathon is 42 point something right? Yeah. So you’re running Multiple marathons per week, obviously not all at once, but this is still a significant amount of mileage right?

Lisa Tamati 10:06
It is but it isn’t that much you know, considering that you’re running being 217 K’s or hundred and 35 miles in one go, you think that you have to in my mindset at the beginning was it I have to do you know, a huge amount of mileage? So, I mean, there were there were weeks and depends on where you are in the program and the buildup so you would not it he would have me starting on some weeks at 60-70 K, which me at that stage was like, Oh my god, I’m going to be so unfit. And actually what happened is that I actually had time to recover and my body sort of came back online and I you know, got better. And then building in the strength training, helped my body stabilize, you know, because I was very weak in the upper body. I had really strong legs obviously. But I when you’re running, it makes your upper body very festive, you know, and you don’t have a strong back in your hips start to get lucky No, not so strong and, and so booting in that strength part of the regime was crucial. And then building in the mobility so that you had good range of motion you good posture, so that you’re more upright. I remember the first race he saw me Run was 100 miler in my local town. And I was been driving like a staple at the end of it. And he was like, Oh, my god, she’s got no core, you know? Yeah. And he, you know, then built that up, and I have a really strong core now. And all those things are really important pieces of the puzzle. So it’s still a big time commitment. But not as big as what it used to be in my early days, where all I did was wicked rotten. You know, and you work full time. And I was gonna ask, were you working full

Boomer Anderson 11:43
time or is this

Lisa Tamati 11:44
your full time job? No, no full time work.

Boomer Anderson 11:46
Wow. Wow. Okay, so a training regimen like this. And, you know, I’ve done powerlifting competitions. I’ve done marathons. Well, I’ve done a marathon. It didn’t really do go so well. And I’m done a few things in my life and all of them require a certain amount of discipline but nothing to the extent of like bad water for instance. Let’s talk about your mindset because Have you just like beating yourself up so much that you’re you can do anything? or How did you build this determination? I would love to just get here some insights on how

Lisa Tamati 12:22
I think you know that you’re on TV genetics, and my epigenetic type is that like I want my dominant hormones is adrenaline and dopamine so I’m very much mission driven by nature in a risk taker by nature and someone who comes to limits and often jumps in without any idea of what they’re getting into. And then just went for a swim along the way you know, runs to run along the way you relate to Yeah, so very much a dive in and see how it goes. Sign up in the excitement into the moment and then go, Oh, shit, what was I thinking, you know? So that’s my personality point of view. And I was like that since I was born, I think I remember mom telling me at three, you know, just run off and dive into the water when I couldn’t swim and things was just in my nature. Then I also grew up in a family where physical and mental toughness was a prerequisite to be accepted in the family. So come up with a really loving, caring, awesome, amazing mother. And my dad was also an awesome dad, but he was a hard ass. And he he put a lot of pressure on us as kids to performance sport, especially in I was first born and I wasn’t a boy. So major disappointment, I think, thank goodness I had two younger brothers to share the load after me but he would if he had headed his way I should have been like a, you know, a Special Forces soldier, a career woman within you know, 10 degrees and I shouldn’t be, you know, an extreme sports person as well. You know, he’s like, And as a child, that was tough because I wanted to please my dad, his little girls do. And so I did my best. And I was very much trying to prove and wanting to be accepted by my dad, you know, and I was never quite good enough. So in my, my childhood, I was a gymnast. And I was quite good until I got to puberty. And I, you know, grew too tall and too, so leave it to you know, it wasn’t the tiny little build, you need to be for a gymnast. And so I was a major disappointment for Dave when I, when I pulled out of that at 15. And he thought that I was about to represent my country and, and I knew that I wasn’t, you know, I knew that and that caused a hell of a lot of self esteem problems. So as a young girl, especially in the gymnastics world, I was dealing with eating disorders and I’m very bad self esteem, considered fetch. You know, by my coaches when I was not fed, was just a healthy young girl, you

Boomer Anderson 14:59
know, for that. gymnastics in particular quite a bit.

Lisa Tamati 15:02
Very, it’s very much there’s in ballet really can be horrific if you’re not built that way. You know, and now I know I understand up genetics, I’m not built for that. So then I tried other things, and I just failed and failed. And then I got into the running and I had in my early 20s, a boyfriend from Australia, who was an extreme athlete, and I was attracted to men who were hard assets again, because that’s what my dad has been, I think when I look back from a psychological point of view, with hindsight. And so he was never happy, and I was never good enough. And he would push me to the absolute limits. And we spent years cycling around the world climbing mountains, you know, and this is where I started to learn what I was actually capable of. But there was a lot there wasn’t a lot of enjoyment. It was more about trying to please somebody and prove something to someone. Okay. And that relationship lasted five years and ended up you know, quite an abusive relationship. And my self esteem was even a lot lower than, you know, it could possibly be. And then in, we were doing a crossing of a Libyan desert as part of a four person expedition. So I wasn’t even into offers at the stage. But this was my first major encounter with a desert. And in the middle of this, so this was an illegal crossing of the Libyan desert with

Boomer Anderson 16:22
this is obviously a few years ago before Gadafi went Bye bye.

Lisa Tamati 16:27
Right? Absolutely. Yeah, long time we were talking 1997 here.

Boomer Anderson 16:33
Come on.

Lisa Tamati 16:35
I’m certainly not in my head, but you know, apparently, according to my birthday.

And so we were in this extreme situation that we had only two liters of water a day, which was in those temperatures, you know, insane. And the reason we only had the two liters was we couldn’t carry any more than that, because we had, we had to cover 250 odd kilometers. And we had to Heaven ordinary backpackers there was no so

Boomer Anderson 17:02
hold on. Do I have to double click on that? 250 kilometers in one day in the Libyan desert?

Lisa Tamati 17:08
Is that right? Not even seven days, seven days? Okay, fine, fine. Okay.

Boomer Anderson 17:11
Because I was gonna like one day is that that’s pretty impossible.

Lisa Tamati 17:16
Yeah. Impossible. So seven days, but we had to carry 35 kilo backpacks. Wow, I had five. And I only weighed about 40 or 59 kilos. And this was more than two, you know, nearly two thirds of my body weight or not almost. And so I could, I couldn’t I couldn’t even get up off the ground without the guys putting my feet and we were covering 45 kilometers a day with these backpacks and only two liters of water and so we were extremely on the edge of what’s possible as far as dehydration Yeah.

Boomer Anderson 17:50
So is that all salt water at that point, or like what you have to have some other things besides just water to keep yourself hydrated, very

Lisa Tamati 17:57
know. So you have electrolytes. We hit salt pepper. That was about back then we didn’t have anything fancier than that. We didn’t understand anything about potassium and magnesium and all those other things. Really, we didn’t, we had no idea. And in the middle of the desert, which we are all suffering dreadfully from the suicide, you know, you can imagine the boyfriend has a major domestic with me and leaves me. It says after the four days of being in the desert, and this has been a rocky hard relationship, and this is the first time we’ve ever done anything with anyone else. And now looking at this guy going you can’t treat her like that. And I’m starting to realize this isn’t normal. And you know, he was trying to do a book for the for the expedition and he wanted to photograph and he wanted me to help him and I literally was on the edge of my capabilities I was unable to do running around taking helping him set up photos. Yeah. And and so this came to a head and on day four, he said right bits at the relationships over I’m leaving you guys too slow. I’m out of here. I’ll actually leave me in the middle of Living Desert with the two other guys. I didn’t know whether he’d survive, I didn’t know whether we’d survive, we were an edge of what was, you know, possible, the dehydration was really starting to get to us so, you know, body shutting down basically. And to be fair to him, you know, we were an agony infested with short cinema he left and that was a real crux point in my life where are we and that’s it. I’m not taking this shit any longer. And and and I realized I had to compartmentalize because I wanted to fold a pieces, you know, I wanted to cry and be a mess as you are when you have a breakup of a relationship. And I couldn’t because I’m in the middle of the desert, I’ve got to survive and these two other guys are relying on me to you know, get my stuff together and get through. And so I had to learn to really put all that aside and just keep moving and in the three of us we did this you know, did an amazingly had major problems on day six, with my body just shutting down starting to shut down. I was holding the water because I was so terrified of running out of water that I’d actually only been having a liter and a half of the day, and my central nervous system was starting to shut down and also hallucinating. I was all over the place. Anyway, long story short, we got to the end of that, and that will change my life. So I it took me two years to physically recover from that I had kidney, kidney problems after that. And, you know, in the aftermath of the psychological stuff to deal with, but that experience, I loved the desert. I actually love the desert. And it took me two years but I was reading in a magazine about this ultramarathon in Morocco. And I thought I could do that because it was terrible at that time was the toughest race on earth. And I was comparing it to what I’ve just done in the Libyan desert. And I thought I could do this. This is the same distance. We’ve only got to carry fo We don’t have to carry a water. We get nine liters of water a day and these doctors and his, you know, airplanes and these people that can save us. And there’s 700 runners. And so I signed up on that. And that was my very first ultra, and I never looked back. I loved it.

Boomer Anderson 21:16
A marathon before that, no. Your first race was your first race was 200 200 plus kilometer in the desert, Sahara Desert, which again, like I’ve done the Sahara Desert, but on the back of a camel on the Algerian border. But this is incredible. Wow. Okay, so essentially, you just push yourself to a breaking point and said that nothing will break you ever again.

Lisa Tamati 21:46
You can actually compete when you when you push yourself outside your comfort zone and you you lift your horizon of what you’re capable of. Yeah, that’s the beautiful thing about this because people often ask me, what the hell would you do that You know, like, it’s obviously not a lot of fun, it’s painful and the discipline required and the money it costs a lot of money you go to these events you don’t get, you know, you don’t get paid, you have to usually search for sponsors for a year and so on. But the, the the real value lies and what you learn about yourself and how you overcome obstacles in the character building side of it, and the mental toughness that you get out of it. And this is the way the real value, it doesn’t lie in the value of running from A to B, which is some arbitrary thing that some humans come up with, you know, it’s really the journey that you go on on the inside as they say, you know, and and it really is because you, you push yourself to places you can’t imagine. And when you go beyond those and you still standing, that gives you strength for life. That gives you an ability to persist and overcome things and to try things and to never be limited again. You know, and especially when you do this repeatedly over and over over again. And there were some downsides to that as well, you know, there’s some post traumatic stress that’s going on, you know, yes, some physical damage that I’ve done to my body unknowingly, because I didn’t have all the information, you know, back then now we know a lot more. And so there’s downsides of it as well, but it’s stood me really in good stead for the obstacles and the challenges that I’ve had to face in my life which have have also been numerous, shall we say?

Boomer Anderson 23:30
Yeah, it’s it’s incredible. I want just like to give a couple of people takeaways on this because if you’re going to do an event, like let’s say you wanted to do an ultra, and after my first marathon, I said, I’ll never do one again. And now I’m like, maybe if you wanted to do an ultra, what are kind of what are three things people should think about first before doing an ultra whether it be tips, you have a mindset or just how to get themselves into a position where they can make an informed decision on whether or not they’re ready.

So one of the devices that both Lisa and I love is the Vie light, and she uses it for intranasal, photobiomodulation, with her mother. But there’s also the effects and we’ve had Dr. Lew Lim on the show before of transcranial as well as intranasal photo bio modulation, I say that one five times fast that I absolutely love. I use my neuro alpha every other night per Dr. Lim suggestions to help me sleep better. And I must say it’s extremely effective. In fact, right when I put this bike down, I’m going to go and use mine. And so if you want to give that a try, or if you want to get perhaps the neuro duo which also has the neuro gamma effects, or one of their other devices, head on over to and use the code SUPERHUMAN for a nice little discount.

Back to an epic discussion with Lisa Tamati.

Lisa Tamati 25:07
Yeah, yeah, yeah, it was that good a good coach. Obviously a good plug for us because that’s what we do is your day job. But it’s it’s about having the right information in understanding that your body is capable of so much more than you are able to understand right now. And that goes for everybody. And you don’t need to be a super fast, you don’t need to be super talented. You just have to want to do this and be willing to go through this transformation. And when you have a bad experience, like you sound like you had a bit of a bad experience at the marathon. There’s just a learning curve, you know. It’s just like there are so many races bomer where I’m not telling you where I failed, you know, where I you know, absolutely but the dust and failed miserably and I’ve learned more from those ones than I actually did from the successes in And you know, it’s not just a cliche, it’s real. And so, understanding so having a good structure is really good, you know, good program. And having a holistic program that builds in your strength work and your mobility work that works on your nutrition, your supplementation and your mindset, not just running miles. All of these things are part of doing an ultra marathon and a marathon, in fact. So you need to have that good in you need to be surrounded by people that are doing this. Because if you’re just surrounded by, like 99.9% of the population don’t know what the hell ultra marathoners. Yeah. So you need to be surrounded by people who get those who know the problems that come up who can guide you through that and you can also because people are going to come up to you and go, what are you doing? Why are you doing this? I don’t get it. No, my brothers still say to me, I’d rather poke my eyes out with needles and do what you do. I don’t get it. You know, people don’t get it until you will have a lot of negativity in your life. vironment, possibly about you doing this and then people that believe that’s not possible. You know, I just had it. We trained a lady recently who just did a 200 miler, that is a real life. And she’s a mom of three and she’s not a spelt running, you know, looking elite athlete. She’s a full time position. And her daughter went to school and said, My mom is running a 200 mile race and the teacher told the daughter often lying to you. I just,

Boomer Anderson 27:35
I mean, I would guess it’s possible. I have so many questions there, including like, how much time you have to dedicate per day your training, but

Lisa Tamati 27:44
wow, not as crazy. Not as much as you think. Yeah. No more than you would for an Iron Men, you know? And we do it the way we try and say it it’s a minimum effective dose as far as your mileage is concerned. Yes. You don’t need to be putting in junk miles, which was the old way where you just ran and you run and you’re in. Now, you know, like we have a lot of our programs is this take 100 K, for example, you’re running 100 k event. So most of the trainings weeks will be enough 40 just 60 kilometer range. And then a couple of strength training sessions in the gym or at home with bodyweight exercises, and then daily little mobility workout. So that’s 10 minutes on the foam roller or stretching or yoga or something of that nature. So that’s not a huge time commitment for a pretty serious race. Yeah, but that net will get you there. That won’t get you there to the podium, but they will get you through the race and some good, decent shape prepared for the actual challenge that you’ve got. The highest amount of kilometers you’ll be doing for a beat like this and my husband’s doing well at the moment we’re doing for charity running at 4k when no his biggest training Is 40 k? So you don’t need to go, you know, and that’s once you know.

So it’s not hurry this is no hurry. No, with 10, 10 hours a week, you can do that you can do it.

Boomer Anderson 29:14
So let’s talk because the last time you and I spoke was when I was in Seoul, and I got to meet your mom. And I wanted to talk about that transition and how that worked. How did you go from doing all of these ultra marathons around the world to what what’s going on with your mom, which is fascinating.

Lisa Tamati 29:36
Yeah. So this is we, these lessons that I’ve been talking about really come into play. So four years ago, my mom who I see this most amazing, incredible woman had an aneurysm which is a bleed in the brain and subsequently a stroke as well. When this happened, they didn’t think she would survive. It was massive, severe, you know, hanging on for dear life situation was in and out of a coma. Four weeks in ICU, we had a medical blunder from the very get go as an emergency where they thought she was having a migraine and ignored it for hours on end, took six hours for them to finally do it to CT scan and see that blood rock was right throughout the brain and it took them 18 hours because she had to be flown somewhere. So before they got into surgery for to take the blood off the brain and get us a stent put in. So all of these medical blunders that happened along the way really made me hyper vigilant. When she survived that then I was like, I’m not going to be caught short again. Because I had not knowing what to ask for at the very beginning. And I’m going to research the hell out of this and I’m going to help my mom come back so she was three weeks in and out of a coma. And when she was losing more and more of your brain is that time went on because of what they call vasospasm which is when the blood in the brain don’t make mix, and they cause spasms and you lose different parts of the brain, which he eventually stay realized and woke up, she had basically had any higher function. So she was unable to move anything in it in a coordinated fashion. She had no spatial awareness, no, no ability to even sit or she had no memory she had no she had a couple of words. That was it in and she, you know, after a months and rehab and I was just studying hard at everything I could about brain injury and brain function and how I could get his brain back on track. And the doctors were telling me Look, she’s 74 she’s not gonna do anything. Again, there’s no hope. There’s mess of brain damage, make it comfortable. And there’s one thing I don’t do comfortable, you know, I’m not about comfortable. I’m about overcoming and challenges. And so I had a hell of a battle on my hands in the hospital itself, where they wanted to just, you know, put her away in a age care facility after the rehabilitation and so on. and be done with it. And I was like, No, I’m going to get on. She’s coming back. I’m getting my money back. And I started studying now I’ve done a lot of races at altitude in the Himalayas as well. Yeah. I’ve worked so well with altitude training. So I had a tent at one stage where I slipped in a quarter hypoxic, whoa, Tina, and it takes a part of the oxygen. And the reason you do this is to adapt to up to altitude so that when you go there, you can hopefully run right. So I have one of these and I win in this four months, and the build up to 222 k race in northern India, in the Himalayas, and I went up too fast, too quickly. So it was 6500 meters that I was sleeping in every night. Yeah, which is about a third of the oxygen level that we normally have on this. And I didn’t follow the instructions, which was really stupid, because that was an impatient running at a time. gotta hit me quicker. Yeah. So what happened is I ended up with a hypoxic brain concussion. Wow. And I started to have infections. Also when you don’t have enough oxygen in the body, the infections start to proliferate in going, you know, you start to have real big problems with infections. And I was seeing these things in my mom. I was seeing the infection, so I haven’t had that experience. And then I was in the hospital and she had these infections in her mouth and other you know, places we won’t mention in I was saying, this is a lack of oxygen that’s going on here. Yeah. If she if she was sleeping 20-21 hours a day.

I think she’s got sleep apnea. So I, the doctors wouldn’t listen to me. And I saw I bought in an outside consultant. We did a sleep apnea test came back with severe severe sleep apnea. So she was stopping breathing many hundred times a night. Yeah. And this was a course knocking off whatever brain cell she had lived in killing in a I hadn’t picked that up, then, you know, essentially the long long run. Yeah. So we put her on a secret machine. So that was my first win if you like, and then she started have a little weeny bit more function because she was having the oxygen. And then I thought, what else can oxygen and I discovered something called hyperbaric oxygen therapy? Yeah. Which is used extensively around the world. Not not enough, but as it is an amazing therapy that hyper oxygenate the body in can be very, very beneficial for brain injury. But in my country, it’s not accepted as an evidence based therapy. We have it and now Auckland and Christchurch hospitals, but they only use it for wound healing and gangrene and boons and so on. So I could not get access to it. So I studied a Dr. Hatch’s work who’s in America and he’s one of the world’s leading experts on it, read his books, read everything I possibly could about hot bear and go. I’ve got to give you the sixes. So when I finally came to leading around the hospital and they were wanting to put her in a home and I said, No, I’ve got to take her home, I’m going to look after her. And they said, there’s no way you can 24 hours around the clock, you know, seven days, there’s no way you’re going to cope as a family. And I believe that, and when she’s in her own environment, and she knows on some level that she’s loved and wanted and surrounded by by her things that this will help her memory and I felt felt it very, very important that I take it home, and I had a real battle with it. And they would not give me the resources, which is just like a caregiver in the morning in the evening to help with personal kids. So I got my very big brother whose looks like the rock. And he came with me to the hospital one day and we suddenly got the resources we needed. Yeah.

Without saying too much more. And, you know, that really makes me angry that people have to go to that sort of unable to get help. Absolutely way. I got your home and I had x, I had found a dive company that had one of these hyperbaric chambers, who was literally down the road, which was just a miracle. And I went to these people, I said, Can I use your chamber and they see this sign a legal waiver, take full responsibility medically, no doctor would give me sign off. So I took responsibility. I signed the legal waiver. And we went down there every day. And these incredible people gave us access to this, this machine, five days a week for two hours a day with a heartfelt technique. Amazing. After 33 treatments, taking this very frail, you know, very fragile, sick mom, putting her on a forklift in a commercial factory into the mess of big what looks like an LPG cylinder. And people thought I was completely nuts. But after 33 sessions here, she started to wake up. And she started to have little bits of words, little bits of memory, in started to trying to try to move around and things like this, and I was like, Oh my God. is working. And then the champion got taken off on a contract and I lost access to it. So then I mortgaged the house and I bought a chamber, you know, put her through the next three years, I put it through another 250 sessions. In is she she started to come back. And she started to come back I had more to work with. And so I developed my own protocols and my own therapies. And I had a bit of an eight hour program a day for the past four years. And it covered off everything from Functional Neurology to things like nootropics, a radical change in diet. physiotherapy, of course for hours on end speech, therapy, everything that I could learn. So I just went into full research mode for four years, basically, and I’m still in there. And on this journey, I learned just so much about the human body. And if I brought up a head and a head that background as an ultramarathon runner, who knew that the mind and the body are capable of what far more than what anybody believes. So When a doctor says to me, there is no hope your brain your brain is too old. It will not change. It will not. You know, I found doctors like Dr. Norman Doidge, you said, neuroplasticity happens from the cradle to the grave, you know, and I found people that told me I could, instead of listening to the ones who told me and I just persisted, and I and I had a hell of a lot of pushback from the medical community, also from my family and my friends who were just go, Why are you torturing your mother every day? Yeah. Why putting her through because they couldn’t see the end goal that the vision that I had, and I had no background in this, but I believed with all my heart and I was desperate because love me, you know, when you love someone, you pull out all the stops. Yeah, at this point, I stopped running myself the longest and stuff because I had to fully focus on here and I’m still running two businesses as well. So I work all day with her and I’d work all night on my businesses and bring myself out completely, but that’s another story. But now four years later, My mom is completely normal again, she is. Talks normally reads reading writing her intellect is completely normal. She’s at pre aneurism levels for all who tests, she has a full driver’s license. And she walks a couple of K’s today, we go to the gym every single day. She’s, she’s my walking miracle, you know. And then at the age of now 78 years old. And so this story is a combination of bringing together the fact that we live in a time where we get access to podcasts like this, we can learn from doctors and scientists at the cutting edge of what is out there. We don’t have to take what the local doctor sees as the gospel anymore. And then combine that with the fact that I have a background in pushing the body in the mind to the absolute limit, and you get a good combination. And then I also had the, the perfect storm and that once my mom started to wake up as to what happened to you, which took about nine or 10 months before she had any sort of memory or coherent You need, you know, consciousness. When she started to wake up, she fought as hard as I did. And that was the key factor. Because if I had someone that pushed and didn’t want to, and it was lazy and didn’t, you know, wouldn’t cooperate and wouldn’t go through this, you know, very arduous routine every day, and still does, then I wouldn’t have been able to do that. So the combination of her willingness, my background, in the time and age that we’re living in, has meant that we’ve created a miracle and that she’s back to normal now. And so I’ve just written the book. Wow.

Boomer Anderson 40:36
Yeah. Let’s talk about the book. When’s the book come out? The book

Lisa Tamati 40:39
comes out in March. So March the 11th, in New Zealand, and it will be available in America and places like that, and in overseas on Amazon. And it’s called relentless and entitled. Yeah, it’s a cool site. But that’s exactly what we needed to be relentless. It’s a story about love. Hope and overcoming the odds, and it’s a very powerful and I’m really passionate about getting this book out into the entire world if I can have my way, because I want people to have a guiding light no matter it doesn’t have you don’t have to be going through a brain injury. But it’ll help. There’s a lot of therapies lifted in the air and little things that I did. I know you’ve done a Vie light, for example, that was one of them, you know, she’s still got an intranasal infrared thing up a nose every day. There’s a whole raft of therapies that I mentioned and talk about and the resources are in there. But more than that, it’s about the mindset and the ability to walk in faith when everybody is telling, you know, in to walk into the darkness, with the belief that you can do it in overcoming the odds.

Boomer Anderson 41:47
This is such a powerful message. Lisa, I could talk to you for hours about this because I want to pick apart your training programs and all this stuff. And I’m sure we’re going to have another conversation but let’s Let’s, we need to wrap this up for now. But Lisa, where can people find out more about you?

Lisa Tamati 42:08
Yeah, I’d love people to reach out to me. Um, my website is So that’s just is my website that’s the best place or you can find me on Instagram and on Facebook, I’m very active, @lisatamati. And yeah, I’d love people to reach out to me if you’ve got any questions around all this, these sort of topics if you need help with running, if you need help with brain injuries or anything like that, please reach out to me I’d love to help.

Boomer Anderson 42:42
Awesome. There’s this North Pole marathon that I’ve been like I and you know if I do decide to go ahead with it, I’m totally going to reach out to

Unknown Speaker 42:52
you. But Lisa,

Boomer Anderson 42:55
and I hope I hope I actually didn’t just get myself pregnant by minute mentioned On the show, but Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time it’s been absolutely incredible. And guys for the show notes on this one which will include all the races, the crazy things that Lisa has done, go to is L-I-S-A, thank you so much.

Lisa Tamati 43:19
Thank you so much Boomer in North Paul’s waiting for you My gosh.

Boomer Anderson 43:25
Have a great day everyone.

Okay, hopefully I didn’t get myself pregnant during that show with the idea of an ultramarathon or another endurance race because I’m still reeling from my experience with a marathon but Lisa just does these things for fun. It’s amazing, right? And her story about her mom, how powerful you guys are want to check out her book Relentless, which will link to the presale or the sale in the show notes and you’re going to find all the show notes At, if you enjoyed this conversation, share it with a friend. Share it on all the social networks, whether that be the Gram, Facebook, Snapchat, if you’re still on it, tick tock whatever it is, share it tag me, let me know that you’re listening and of course head over to iTunes and leave us a five star rating. Thank you all. I appreciate you have an epic day.

Lisa Tamati
social media youtubesocial media linkedinsocial media website

Our Sponsors

No items found.