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Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself | [Rich Roll]

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

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.

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

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  •  
    Elad D.N. Hevel Eilot, Israel 11-26-12
    Elad D.N. Hevel Eilot, Israel 11-26-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Inspirational, even if you don't intend to push..."

    the limits of human endurance. The one annoying thing, which I put on Audible, not the author, is that one should be able to download and print the appendixes. I've run into this before with Audible, and it definitely detracts from books that contain maps, charts, recipes, lists, etc. Audible should take it under advisement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 11-25-12
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2013

    I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.

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    "Narcissism, Alcoholism, Veganism and Extremism"

    It seems like Rich has had an amazing life, but I wouldn't want to walk a mile in his shoes. His self-centric universe, starting with his high school swimming turned to alcohol-infused blur and was only replaced by an addiction to endurance sports in a life horribly out of balance. While his new addictions seem a lot healthier and safer (for the rest of us on the road), his life is a story of the extremes that had me cringe at both ends of the spectrum. I can see why he turned to alcohol; there were times when I was listening that I thought I could use a drink, too.

    Maybe an alcoholic in early recovery looking for a role model would get more out of this book, but I can't even imagine a life lived at his extremes. Coming from a rather middle of the road, middle-aged athlete who occasionally likes a good audiobook for inspiration and motivation, this book wasn't the ticket for me. I found a lot more pleasure reading Born To Run, Ultramarathon Man, Wild (Cheryl Strayed), and even The Art of Racing In The Rain (albeit, I never did develop a taste for kibble). There are plenty of books that inspire me and get me high that don't require me to live at the extremes as the bipolar necessities of life.

    I won't argue with him that a plant-based diet can extend life and give you greater health over the course of your life, but sometimes there's no sin in a nice juicy steak and garlic mashed potatoes. If you want a more complete version of the benefits of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle, the documentary, Forks Over Knives is about as good as they come. It's not for everyone, but then again, neither is this book and I'd happily sit through Forks Over Knives over listening to nine hours of Rich Roll talking again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard PLANO, TX, United States 11-16-12
    Howard PLANO, TX, United States 11-16-12
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    "Wonderful Read!"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    It is a humble look inside yet shows great strength!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is told in a great time line...


    Have you listened to any of Rich Roll’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Have you listened to any of Rich Roll’s other performances before? No
    How does this one compare? He is the Author and the Narrator ... Does a wonderful job with both. You can tell he is not a professional Narrator but it makes the experience that much more enjoyable! Rich does a terrific job!


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    A kid pushed around to a man pushing forward!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book that will help inspire you if you let it. Rich has a very strong will and story to share. This book is another push for me to go to a full plant based diet! My wife is on board and I am on board so we are making the transition slow but we are making it! Its not just about being a vegan this book is so much more his story is truly worth sharing...from a kid being pushed around to a man pushing forward!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Brighton, MI, United States 11-07-12
    Pam Brighton, MI, United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Just Okay"

    Unless you plan to become a vegan or an Ultra athlete, I would not recommend this book. Rich Roll narrates the book himself and his voice is very monotone. The very end was him reading lists of vegetables and supplements. I think when you buy an audio book there should be a pdf included of the recipes and or food list recommendations. I was not going to write down everything he was reading to me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary BRISTOW, VA, United States 11-06-12
    Gary BRISTOW, VA, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Alcoholism and Running."
    If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

    Alcohol, running and health...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author...


    Have you listened to any of Rich Roll’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    My only thought was that the book went on a bit long on the alcoholic years. I realize that his diet was a footnote, but I would have liked him to put more about what he eats... I think for the money, it was a good well rounded book...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. McManus Chicago 11-05-12
    J. McManus Chicago 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Not what I expected...but a great book and story."

    I had expected a book that was more into the workout regimen of a middle aged man and how he came to run the Ultraman. Although that is part of the book, it is much, much more than that. It does a great job of describing the struggles he overcame without making excuses. He does cover his diet and exercise, but the personal struggles is the more interesting part of the book in my opinion. Having him tell the story made it that much more impacting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Bartlett, TN, United States 11-05-12
    Pat Bartlett, TN, United States 11-05-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Should have been read by someone else."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The book should have been narrated by someone else. I was wanted to read this book as encouragement for running a 1/2 marathon I am training for. His voice was very monotone and boring. I wish I had just bought the book to read instead of audible.


    What could Rich Roll have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Had someone narrate for him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Newcastle, OK, United States 10-31-12
    Joe Newcastle, OK, United States 10-31-12 Member Since 2014
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    "I appreciate the journey but..."
    Would you try another book from Rich Roll and/or Rich Roll?

    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.


    What could Rich Roll have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Mr. Roll appreciated the support of his sponsors for his endeavors understandibly but, he unabashedly promoted their products. Again, he should use another narrator.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Perhaps he should have taken time off of his narration to refresh himself.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Finding Ultra?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Wellington, New Zealand 10-30-12
    John Wellington, New Zealand 10-30-12 Member Since 2015
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    "Interesting story throughout"
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best audio books I have listened to.


    What does Rich Roll bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Having him tell his own story adds another dimension to the book


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    It is never too late to change.


    Any additional comments?

    Recommend this book to anyone who is interested in changing their life for the best

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristen P. Constant Ames, IA USA 10-29-12
    Kristen P. Constant Ames, IA USA 10-29-12
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    "Pretty cool"
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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