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)
This is a tremendously inspirational book for everyone, particularly those of us staring down middle age...
It was the moment he realized that he HAD to change his life.
Commuter with lots of time to listen to audiobooks to keep from road ragin'. Not that I would ever endorse or have been guilty of road rage.
pretty darn impressive
overcoming alcoholism and becoming a vegan ultraman.
i listen to books on my 45 minute commute.
it can be too much to listen to his life story in one sitting. i had to go run after hearing him talk about exercising.
he reads slow but you can speed up the reading speed.
I have listened to it twice so far and I wouldn't rule out listening to it again. Rich gave a wonderful uplifting story of his life. This story was educational on his ideas and actions of changing his life, passions and diet. With his story I believe anything is possible. To date I have changed my own diet dramatically to a more plant based diet and have felt healthier, leaner and stronger. You don't need to be a runner to get something out of this book.
No. I liked the first half but got tired of listening to him go on about all of the obstacles he had and overcame even small ones. I admire the author's persistence and journey but just did not enjoy the second half.
None - it was a true story
I was disappointed that Roll did not discuss nutrition more.
The author read the book so it was as if Rich were reading the story directly to the reader.
I don't want to give away the story but the author captured our attention immediately with the opening story.
My extreme reaction is that it motivated me to try becoming a vegan and to purchase a Vitamix. Its been four weeks but so far, so good.
The only reason I gave the audio book four stars rather than five stars is that I needed to also obtain a printed copy of the book to retain the information in the appendices. These chapters contain the specific foods to include in your vegan diet.
The story itself was fastinating, especially hearing it directly from Rich.
In the format of inspiration memoir, (but there’s also quite a bit of how to that’s both woven into the narrative of the book and with about 55 pages of appendices on nutrition and training) is an amazing inspirational book for most readers.
Telling the story of how an ex-college swimmer, goes from an over-weight un-fit 40 year old to one of the 25 fittest people on the planet in under 3 years, all on a plant based whole-food diet, got me back on the training bandwagon.
Having completed marathons and ironman distance triathlons myself, I'm sure it didn't have the same type of impact on me as it has for older (fatter) readers, but the story of Rich's journey and his experience with a vegan style diet is what really grabbed me.
I actually listened to this audiobook twice as I started to hit the pavement again for my next ironman, and also purchased the eBook version so I could begin to incorporate more raw into my diet.
If you've seen the documentaries 'Food Inc' or 'Engine 3 Diet' this would will complement that education, with a great narrative of application and achievement.
A must read for all sports fans, and for anyone who needs to here a real life story about doing hard thing and finding joy in hard work and determination.
Right around the time that Rich Roll was about to turn 4o, he took a good hard look at his life. Nearly 50 pounds overweight he wondered if this was his future… more and more tired, no energy and unable to climb a flight of stairs without stopping to catch his breath.
Rich describes himself as having a very addictive personality… he never did anything half way. If he sat his mind to something, he was going to do it… in his younger years he learned that the hard way when he decided if he was going to have one beer, he might as well have 10…. (but that is another story….)
Rich immediately took inventory on what he had been eating and how he had been washing his years. He changed his eating habits overnight, making all processed foods off-limits and made plant nutrition and working out part of his daily plan. In a few months he had turned himself completely around, now fit and a drive that was unstoppable.
Finding Ultra is all about Rich’s change in his eating and the way he thought about food and exercise. Once he conquered his eating habits, he then challenged himself by running and biking and eventually the Ultra Man World Championship Competition, which is by invite only, 320 miles of running, swimming, and biking.
Finding ultra takes you through Rich’s life, his strong desire to succeed at a young age, to his fall into alcoholism and out again. Rich’s story in one of never giving up on your dreams.
Why did I want to listen to this book? I am fascinated with people who turn their lives around for the better. Always searching myself for the next big thing to try, Rich’s story was right up my alley.
I really liked that this audio book was narrated by author Rich Roll himself. After all, who better to tell his story? Rich’s narration of his life is well told, starting out wanting to be a swimmer even when his school did not have a swim team. What you learn quickly is once Rich sets his mind to doing something it more than likely is going to happen.
Rich lays it all on the line, leaving nothing back as he shares his battle with alcohol and what it cost him. I enjoyed most his story of how he became fit again, how he tossed out all foods that were processed from his diet and never looked back. In the very end chapters Rich goes into great detail about what he ate and how he prepared it, which I found very interesting. I even tried the coconut water which he swears by for putting electrolytes back into his body after a work out. He said to freeze it so during your work out you can drink it as it thaws.
Uh yeah… more power to you on that one Rich, I could not choke down the funny tasting coconut water. :D
I enjoyed this audio version of Rich’s story and found it inspiring to see that is really is never too late to make positive changes in your life. I understand that what Rich did was extreme, but even small changes can make a difference. I picked up some good tips on ordering out and work out habits.
Yes, I've recommended it to just about everyone I work with, as well as my entire family, and all my friends. I even bought a copy for the impressive library of my CEO.
Rich is the best, but he's also surrounded by amazing athletes, so it's a close one.
This is the only one I've heard. He is perfect, because it's HIS story. I wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if it were read by anyone else!
I did. I listened to it in less than 3 days. I will listen to it again soon!
Keep up the great work, and I hope there is a 2nd book! I'm now training seriously for my first tri. Something I thought before that I could never do. Now it's a goal I have in sight, and I'm doing it.
Hi, I'm an alumi of NYU and I'm also huge into MMA. I love books I read a lot and review the stand outs. I'll give you guys the goods.
I'm really into MMA and other combat sports, so I was a little hesitant to buy this book. I mean what could a triathlete possibility teach me about getting into shape? Long story short I couldn't have been more wrong this book really opened my eyes to how to eat and train differently. Me and Rich might be into different sports, but the man will teach you how important a diet is to your training. In addition, another bit of gold I learn from this book was how an Alkaline diet can reduce your stress levels. Is this book a BUY , TRY, OR PASS? This Book is a solid BUY.
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.
"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.
"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.
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!
No. I had been wanting to read this book for a long time as my husband has been wanting to get fit and I thought it sounded inspiring. However I felt the narration was monotonous and boring. I stuck it out until the end but it was a hard slog a bit like Rich Rolls ultra man challenges. There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary detail about his school days which seemed to go on and on until I got to the information I wanted to find out - how he got fit, what he ate etc. But it was all read with such a dull voice, even when he had achieved his goals there seemed to no excitement in his voice. I do admire his achievements though they were very impressive. I would have liked to know how his wife felt being stuck at home with the kids on a budget while Rich Roll continued to seek the next challenge, never seeming to be satisfied.
Eat more healthily
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.
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.
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