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.”
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©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)
It's inspiring and impressive to see how someone can turn their life around and achieve remarkable feats. There is also some very useful dietary information.
He's very good at reading his own words and I find many authors should leave the reading up to the reading pros. Taken as a whole though I found the book got to be a little too much of an ego trip. While he has plenty to be extremely proud of I felt a little more of a sense of humour would have gone a long way to making this book more enjoyable and the author more likable. Although of course he is no doubt perfectly likable in reality, he just comes across as a bit of a *%^! in writing.
Keep on running and being weaning myself off all the foods I love, cheese and bread in particular.
I absolutely LOVE Rich Roll and this book. I bought it on a recommendation from a triathlete coworker and I was so impressed, I bought the hardback. I can't say enough good things. This is about his transformation from an alcoholic, out of shape lawyer who ate trash to one of the fittest men in the world who cleaned up his mind and lifestyle. It's a perfect book to inspire you to become more. I can't even imagine doing the Epic 5 - 5 Ironman triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 6 days. Insanity. He has a podcast and sells a few nutritional products on his Jai lifestyle website. This is a must read for every fitness advocate.
Inspiring, touching, moving
Rich Roll. The book is his personal experience
His emotional connect
Never too late
Very inspiring story of Rich Roll. I am going to run my first full marathon soon. The story has acted as a dose of motivation.
Rich Roll is such an amazing and inspiring athlete and individual. Loved his story! Appreciate all the info he shares about his diet, etc in the appendix.
I saw the reviews and thought it will be a great book but I couldn't get pass a couple of chapters. It's extremely hard to relate when this guy was already an excellent athlete, destined for greatness and because of bad decision he slip from his path. Even though he tries to make you feel bad about him being a little antisocial or awkward, the story still makes me feel that he has it everything, he's spoiled and he doesn't realize it until he turned 40 (what a pity). Given that I'm not from the US, my background it's different where people almost never have this type of opportunities and if they did, they wouldn't let them go as easily. It almost makes me mad just listening to the story that I had to stop.
The narrative doesn't have a lot of impact. Even though he's telling his own story, I can't fell any of the emotions he's trying to convey.
He's not so bad, but I can tell this is the first time he does something like this. Like I said before, he's not good at conveying emotions, even though it's his own story.
The main character...
A great story. Uplifting and real. Inspiring for my own life, especially diet.
I slowly began eating more of his diet as I read and now I am vegan. The fat is leaving my body in sheets. I bought new jeans to replace my fat pants after a month and now they are falling off of me, too.
A very honest account of someone who has hit the highs of physical fitness followed by significant lows, concluding with the climb back out to incredible levels of fitness and wellbeing.
Dean Karnazes - Ultramarathon Man. Similar in the sense that it is not just a dry book on fitness, but is written against the backdrop of personal struggles and how fitness played a big part in the comeback.
Rich reading it conveyed a real sense of sincerity and honesty.
Road to Redemption
Great read, but the product placement references were a bit over the top at times (e.g. wearing my Oakley Jawbone XL etc...")
Life is a journey, enjoy it......because one day it will all end.
The way the book was written. So you were picked on in school. Instead of taking something from it and looking back on where it got you, it was written in a victim mentality. In this book the guy got accepted to Havard, Standford, Yale, and Brown on a swimming scholarship!!!!!! That is no small feat. The way the book was written there was zero excitement for even that. It was as if it was the worst thing on the world.
Disappointment. This could be a good story if it is re-written, not from a poor-me mentality.
Suck it up, you do extreme endurance events. We all get picked on in school, its part of growning up and learning how to overcome trials in life.
Since I finished this book last week, I've been recommending it to my friends who are endurance athletes as well as to people who complain about their diets. My friends who are endurance athletes may not care for Rich's stories of his struggles with addiction but I was fascinated. Roll was a Stanford swimmer then a champion drunk then a cheeseburger addict and then an Ultraman only because the Ironman races have a one year waiting list. An amazing story. He details his plant based diet (vegan w/out the politics, I guess) and I was interested in this too, though I could see how someone interested in the book for the addiction stories could get bored through these descriptions. I liked all of it. I liked his narration. It is his story and he is pretty straightforward. He comes off as a jerk in some parts, even after his transformation from alcoholic to athlete, but I get the feeling he's pretty self aware. His honesty beats excuses any day. I've also listened to Chris Macca's "I'm Here to Win" and while both are good, I'd rather spend time with Roll than Macca. Roll has a podcast that I'll be looking up. His story does not cease to amaze.
Personality: Intellectually Driven
As I was aware by the title this is a entertaining story and for sure an example of the human spirit. It will not be so great for people looking to emulate the authors process as perhaps you will need to become an alcoholic before living out the drink for 10 years (yeah not a great idea!). As for the reference to the foods and drinks used, I found that the best is to buy the hard copy (which I haven't done) but took it out of the shelve and look decent enough and worth buying (if you are not poor as me).
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