An incredible but true account of achieving one of the most awe-inspiring midlife physical transformations ever
In October 2006, the night before he was to turn forty, Rich experienced a chilling glimpse of his future. Nearly fifty pounds overweight and unable to climb the stairs without stopping, he saw where his sedentary lifestyle was taking him. Most of us look the other way when granted such a moment of clarity, but not Rich. Plunging into a new way of eating that made processed foods off limits and prioritized plant nutrition and daily training, Rich morphed—in mere months—from out-of-shape midlifer to endurance machine. Ninety days into his physical overhaul, Rich left the house for a light jog and found himself running a near marathon. It was time to scale up his goals.
How many of us take up a sport at age forty and compete for the title of the world’s best within two years? Finding Ultra recounts Rich’s remarkable journey to the starting line of the elite Ultraman World Championship competition, which pits the world’s fittest humans against each other in a 320-mile ordeal of swimming, biking, and running. Following that test, Rich conquered an even greater one: the Epic5 Challenge—five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week.
This is more than an inside look at a series of jaw-dropping athletic feats or a practical training manual for those who would attempt a similar transformation. Yes, Rich’s account rivets and instructs, providing information that will be invaluable to anyone who wants to change their physique; but this book is most notable as a powerful testament to human resiliency, for as we learn early on, Rich’s life has posed numerous physical and social challenges, including a fierce battle with alcoholism.
Ultimately Finding Ultra is a beautifully written portrait of what willpower can accomplish. It challenges us to rethink what we’re capable of and urges us, implicitly and explicitly, to “go for it.”
©2012 Richard David Roll (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“You walk away from reading this book knowing you have the total power to transform your life on every level…Roll is immensely likeable, a most compelling storyteller, and a true shaman of health and fitness!” (Kathy Freston, New York Times best-selling author)
“Rich Roll’s Finding Ultra is a testament to the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle, break down walls, and redefine what's possible.” (John Brenkus, creator and host of ESPN’s Sport Science and New York Times best-selling author)
“I loved this. A rare book, unusual for its honesty and willingness to bare all, that really does deserve such superlatives as ‘riveting’ and ‘compelling.’ I was moved by watching Roll conquer his demons and felt privileged to share in his eventual enlightenment. By laying it on the line, Roll absolutely wins us over.” (Rip Esselstyn, New York Times best-selling author)
I probably wouldn't buy another book from Mr. Roll. Especially if he narrates it. His voice was pleasant at first but, he tended to drone on.
Mr. Roll appreciated the support of his sponsors for his endeavors understandibly but, he unabashedly promoted their products. Again, he should use another narrator.
Perhaps he should have taken time off of his narration to refresh himself.
While he promoted his "high power vegan diet", he never used it in his ultra-effort attempts. There was always some reason he had to use "junk foods" even for the completion of his "Epic5" which was to be the culmination of his efforts he had to use "junk". So, I kind of call his diet a bit of a farce. The last of the book could have been left off after the end of his "Epic 5", since the last was all about his diet.
I would have asked for a refund if I had been able to spend time with internet access. As it was, I downloaded the book at the begining of a trip and was unable to get internet until a week later. So, I ended up finishing the book, which became a bit of a slog.
One of the best audio books I have listened to.
Having him tell his own story adds another dimension to the book
It is never too late to change.
Recommend this book to anyone who is interested in changing their life for the best
Okay, so this guy was not exactly a stranger to the world of the elite athlete although he did have a substantial lapse. All in all, it was inspiring. I was especially interested in his take on being a Vegan athlete.
Rich Roll has such an amazing and inspiring story to tell. I don't even know what to say that has not already been said about this book. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone, especially those who have or are in the process of changing their life's direction to a more healthy way of thinking.
Absolutely, in fact I could not press the pause button without longing to continue listening. It was captivating.
Rich's story is one many people can identify with and the result of his decision to do something about his life was inspiring. He didn't wait for something to happen, he made it happen. It was encouraging to me and reminding me that with God's help and my actions and decisions I can do all things.
Rich Roll, the story was about him
He is the author and the narrator of his own book so he gave it a special touch that only he could give.
I have been running for several months now and taking my health more seriously, but after reading this book I was determined to take control of my health and do what I can to be better.
Recommend this book to all. If you need some motivation to get off the couch, this is the book.
I listened to it during my runs and found it entertaining and very motivational.
The whole "Epic 5" chapter was interesting.
I also liked his information on a vegan diet. While I am not a vegetarian, I found it very informative and have incorporated more of the protein-rich vegetarian suggestions into my diet.
Rich Roll's willingness to share his own personal struggles in such an open way allows the book to serve as a means of uplifiting encouragement in the face of challenges. If I could use two words to describe this book, it would be "human element." He does a fantastic job of capturing the struggles of human nature, the pain associated with those struggles, the joy (and even the humor) of the challenges presented by our nature, and the satisfaction and happiness that comes from triumph. A truly uplifting and great listen!
I always favor listening to the author in a biography. They often articulate their story well. Rich is a good speaker and comes across warm.
I was once told that every ultra-athelete is dealing with the demons of their past. These demons make Rich's story strong. One might look at RIch's story as being one of living with the demons and another without them. Rich, however, makes the connection clear and puts a significant amount of personal exposure to explain his past. Listening, you hear the train wreck coming. It was comforting to know who Rich becomes, or the stories would be too difficult to be an observer to.
I enjoyed his rawness. Sometimes first books have an unrefined feel that makes them feel more honest. I appreciate that feel to a book. The sentences are not works of prose, but instead are short and meaningful. He has a tendency of dropping names, sometimes as appreciation and others as remembrance. It not a description, but it leaves you knowing that this is a person, not a character. Not to say Rich Roll is John Grisham, but I think "A Time to Kill" is a good example of rawness. If you like that feel, this is a good book for you to listen to.
I listened to this book quickly. Often, there are books that I listen to some and come back to. I strangely listen to this while going on a couple of long runs.
The book is centered around Ultras only in the second half. "Discovering Myself" from the title is more important than the fact of running Ultras in this book. There is a good portion of the book set aside to how Rich lost himself in the first place. To me, this made the book significantly more interesting than stories about a person dealing with the physical pain of an Ultra.
Rich is obviously a driven individual and his story is encouraging to those of use who have let ourselves down in our forties. However, it preaches vegan ruthlessley and the product plaements are all too obvious.
If fact it's more about his running mate than him. Without his training partner he would have given up several times I reckon. Still, he manages to pull through several sticky moments by himself.
Inspiring, Mad, Preaching
Yes, the book wants to make you change your life.
Rich Roll just his sheer determination, courage and stength
Just hearing him speak his own story is motivating
Totally fantastic if you want to change your life just go for it and listen to this amazing story.
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