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)
His open-hearted, unflinching honesty.
His narration was great, didn't hinder the story at all.
You will be inspired!
Yes - hearing the author read his own story provides much more insight as to what he deems as important in his journey.
When Rich almost had a heart attack going up the stairs in his house and decided it was time to change.
The reading was natural and smooth.
mlilllizard, 51 year old divorced female from OK
Yes, most of my friends would enjoy an inspiring story as much as I do, did!
Rich Roll! Close second is his support team, they were awsome as well.
No. I'd never heard of him.
No, but it did help me with my winter blahs...makes me realize how important finding ways to exercise is.
The passion and the mix of a story and dietary help.
His fight to finish.
Fighting back and finding peace
I have to agree with others that the narration left much to be desired but usually when confronted with this type of problem I find if the message is worthy then I can usually ignore any shortcomings in narration and that was the case with this book. But for some it may be too much.
Nevertheless the story is a sincere account of a man who lost his way during midlife but found it again through endurance sports. I am sure there are many similar stories but with different means to the same end. Autobiographies like this are often uplifting and this one is no exception. For sporty types it will certainly inspire many. In my case I was already well into much of what Rich Roll is advocating so the impact personally was minimal but it will be life changing for some.
Part autobiography, part endurance training manual and part nutrition guide I was a little surprised to see so many genres in one tome. I probably would have written three separate books and who knows Rich Roll may eventually do that?
I love a classic story of overcoming and this is such a story. Sure, he clearly had some innate talent but it doesn't diminish the accomplishments. The narration was slooooooow. I almost quit listening even though I was enjoying the book overall - and then I found the X2 button. Whew!
A very inspiring books initially and like many autobiographies a story of triumph over adversity. As the book progressed through to his veganism and his rational for choosing this lifestyle I thought I could see how this might work. The insights into his training were helpful and made sense. Then we come to the awful pseudoscience which was outrageously misinforming, followed by product placement of his and other products. This just destroyed any affinity I had for the guy. This book is a stage for the launch of Rich Rolls new career as the next smiley new celebrity diet fad guru. He may be a vegan but boy does he know how to promote cheese.
Yes to refocus on my priorities, balance my life and how lucky we are in life!
Even tough this guy is an obsessive, it permit to question myself.
This book is an interesting story of courage, strength, strong will, friendship, family, and triumph. Rich has taken a shaken past and turned his life around, doing what he felt was right to redeem himself. I am not sure completing 5 Ironman distance triathlons in 7 days is the ":normal" way of doing this, but it was an interesting experience. It was time well spent for myself, as I enjoyed his story and challenges he overcame to fulfill his dream.
I would only recommend this book to individuals who are thinking of training for an endurance event such as an Ironman or beyond. RIch has an interesting story and his adventures in ultras would on be helpful for those individuals.
I think that Rich Roll performed just fine since he was telling his story. However, I believe it would have been better to cast a narrator with more experience.
top 20.But I've got a lot so that's pretty good.
Rich.It's about him so who else?
I can relate as I'm sure many can.Athletic talent taking a back seat to partying and drinking.Not saying that is bad per se as maybe partying is more gratifying to many.Athletic fanaticism has a high price too.Truth is,most aren't as lucky to do anything even close to this at a late age without debilitating injury.Still,it is definitely inspiring that Rich had enough of drinking(he was undoubtedly out of control)and despite the challenges,did a 180 with his life and did something truly incredible.How their bodies took that is amazing.If you're ripe for a change in your life,be it athletic or not, i am sure it will inspire you to act.It is definitely extremes in life and balance would be better imo but many,myself included ,tend to be all or nothing.Drink a lot,or not at all.Eat poorly or very disciplined.Exercise a lot,or not at all.I guess you could call that an addictive personality.It is what it is so you might as well accept it and work with it.I don't feel he was too self indulgent as some reviewers implied.Doing that would require extreme commitment and his family was behind him.I also believe you have to live YOUR life and while you shouldn't shun your responsibilities,you have to do what is right for you,and also allow others to do what is right for them.Living someone else's life or wanting them to live your life ain't cool.
yep.I did it in 2 days which is rare for me.
I would buy it again.
"Inspirational, even for non-runners"
I'm not a keen runner, never have been and I might never be. Nor am I a vegan and probably never will be. Doesn't sound like much of an advert for a book about a vegan ultra runner, does it? But whilst Rich makes it clear how he's benefited from heading what can only be described as 'all the way' down both of those paths, he doesn't force either of them on the listener. He's very honest about the stark realities that led him to make those choices and he describes, with retrospective passion, how the changes he made to the way he fuelled and strengthened his middle-aged body have improved his overall health and well-being. Oh, and they have helped him to achieve feats of epic athletic prowess that only handfuls of people will ever come close to. So while neither long distance running (cycling or swimming) nor giving up steak are for me, listening to this book did help inspire me towards making some significant lifestyle changes. Putting my head back in charge of my diet - a key message I took from this book - helped me to lose 40% of my bodyweight and become a healthy weight for the first time in my adult life. And for that I'll be eternally grateful to Rich and his inspirational story.
I came to the book looking for a guide to get me off the couch and running.. I didn't get that at all, what i got was far more. If this guy can turn his life around then anyone can. It's about human spirit and the love and support of others. I lost 20lbs while running and listening to this book as i just didn't want to stop running as it meant my time with the book for the day would be over.
"Wow... This is an incredible listen. I loved it!"
I have recently listened to Rich Roll's book on Finding Ultra and it has been an inspiring and incredible journey for me to listen to the down's then up's of a man who conpletely reshaped his life. I am trying to emulate only 1% of what this book oozes and that should really improve my life. It is amazing. I have recommended it to so many people I know. Even my wife wanted to listen to it after a couple of days. A great read and even better to be narrated by the author himself. A great true story which will inspire the near 40 man to get off the idea that he is past his best. I hope to improve myself after this. Thanks Rich. Rock and Roll
The college years are funny and I thought how much it affected his life. The transformation into an Ultra athlete has been inspiring.
Think your'e over the hill? Life's only just begun. Get on your bike...
Brilliant, loved it. A superb read. Rich made a brilliant contribution by reading the book himself. It made such a difference.
Rich Roll has an addictive personality ...... for swimming, then for alcohol, then for fast food and then, finally, for immense physical challenges and uber fitness... along with an almost religious-like conversion to a plant-based diet. However, all of it is credible seeing as he comes from the land where you can find extremes of anything. My daughter is a competitive swimmer doing hours of training each week, so I could really relate to the beginning of his story when he spent hours in the pool each week. I'm not quite a couch potato but I do have food issues and I found this story compelling listening. I listened to this book when I was out on a power walk, or on one of my early morning bike rides and it really inspired me. Rich has also made me want to take a step towards a meatless (or rather less meat) lifestyle and I do believe it is going to be one of those books that will change my life.
The narration (by Rich himself) isn't the best, but it isn't irritating either.
A lovely book, i found at times it could be a little slow,however did enjoy the last parts immensly where Rich was undertaking the ultra triathlons. i would definitely recommend this book.
This is an incredible, inspirational book.
The author is refreshingly honest and 'puts it all out there'. You feel involved and as though you are on the journey with him.
A great read/ listen!
Excellent book, I was initially put off by the remarks about product placement, but he just mentions his vitamix blender a few times and some other brands, but it`s more like if a friend casually mentioned them to you than selling them. Certainly inspirational and some excellent information about a subject I thought I knew a fair bit about, but he`s certainly done more research into the field than most people.
"Enjoyable, Despite the Product Peddling"
While I did enjoy this book it was nearly spoiled by some really clumsy hawking of products, both the authors own and some of his sponsor's. We get it, Vitamix blenders are amazing!
Despite the product placements and a slightly jumpy narrative I do recommend this book to anyone looking for an inspiring story or a motivational kick to their own health and fitness.
"Inspiring, truly inspiring!"
A real person overcoming life's problems and excelling!
The final Epic 5 event and what he put himself through is mind numbing!
"Great running partner...."
found myself listening to a few extra minutes of Rich's inspirational story whenever i had a few minutes free. Great story, well read and a great accompaniment to morning runs.
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