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Lisa Tamati is many things. She’s Maori [m-ow-ree] from Aotearoa [ah-oo-tay-uh-row-uh], or as settlers call it, New Zealand. The Maori use the word iwi for band or tribe, meaning bone. It signifies a lineage and ancestral connection, but that metaphor communicates strength and resilience to me across language barriers, and I still see that strength and resilience today in communities continuing to survive colonialism and find ways to thrive. Lisa is from both the Te Āti Awa and from the Ngāti Raukawa. For settlers, one might just say “around Wellington” but it doesn’t mean the same thing.

She’s also the first woman from New Zealand to do a lot of things. If I described them all, the podcast would be over before the intro had finished. Instead, I’ll just say she’s an incredible writer and ultramarathoner who brought her mom, who she describes as the very best mum, back from the verge of death with an intense amount of grit and some help from hyperbaric oxygen therapy, a recognized medical treatment for some forms of brain injury.

If you want more about that after the podcast, you can always pick up her book, Relentless, in which she imparts her mindset as an extreme endurance athlete and the wisdom such a life can bring. Go to and find it there. You can also check out her podcast, Pushing The Limits, where she documents running techniques and interviews experts on elite athletic strategies. She also does coaching and corporate speaking arrangements on her website. But without further ado, let’s go to our first session with Lisa Tamati, here on Intimate Interactions.

Pushing The Limits (Podcast) (“Relentless” book)