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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.”

©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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1036 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Joe Newcastle, OK, United States 10-31-12
    Joe Newcastle, OK, United States 10-31-12 Member Since 2014
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    2
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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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    8
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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
  •  
    Corey B. Provo, UT 10-29-12
    Corey B. Provo, UT 10-29-12 Member Since 2015
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    8
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    "Inspiring!"
    What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely, in fact I could not press the pause button without longing to continue listening. It was captivating.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pedro United States 10-29-12
    Pedro United States 10-29-12
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    "Awesome and Inspiring"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rich Roll, the story was about him


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    He is the author and the narrator of his own book so he gave it a special touch that only he could give.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Recommend this book to all. If you need some motivation to get off the couch, this is the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Manon Charpentier-Simon 10-29-12
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    "Motivational reads for your runs and workouts"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    I listened to it during my runs and found it entertaining and very motivational.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole "Epic 5" chapter was interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jory 10-29-12
    Jory 10-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    4
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    "Rich Roll shows how to overcome."

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Jordan Great Falls 10-29-12
    Chris Jordan Great Falls 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Why Ultras Run"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Finding Ultra to be better than the print version?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. G. D. Gaughan-smith Berkshire, UK 10-29-12
    Mr. G. D. Gaughan-smith Berkshire, UK 10-29-12

    GaryGaughanSmith

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    "Good but too many product placements"
    What did you like best about Finding Ultra? What did you like least?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    What three words best describe Rich Roll’s performance?

    Inspiring, Mad, Preaching


    Was Finding Ultra worth the listening time?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arcadia Sancrox, Australia 10-29-12
    Arcadia Sancrox, Australia 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic & Motivational Story"
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    Yes, the book wants to make you change your life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rich Roll just his sheer determination, courage and stength


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

    Just hearing him speak his own story is motivating


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Totally fantastic if you want to change your life just go for it and listen to this amazing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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