Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself Audiobook | Rich Roll | Audible.com
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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

4.1 (691 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tracey Kew, Australia 01-04-13
    Tracey Kew, Australia 01-04-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Terrible narration."
    Would you try another book from Rich Roll and/or Rich Roll?

    No


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I don't know yet.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His voice lacked any expression, totally monotone, almost unbearable and I was unable to listen through to the end of the book.


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

    Shorten some of the descriptive elements. Individual stories, such as the long winded details of the run towards the end of the book were really tedious.


    Any additional comments?

    Never allow this man to narrate a book again. Money should be refunded for such dreadful reading.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brenda Gauteng, South Africa 12-03-12
    Brenda Gauteng, South Africa 12-03-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A self-indulgent story from a self-pittying brat"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    Probably not. It has some good information in it, but the overall feel is that he is a spoiled little brat wallowing in self pity.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    The Narrator!!!!! Uurgh. Rich Roll should NOT have narrated his own book. Major downfall for the overall performance.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His monotone, dreary, woe is me voice.


    Do you think Finding Ultra needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The world can only handle one of him. Rich Roll needs to get over himself.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 11-25-12
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2011

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Des Lake country, BC, Canada 10-29-12
    Des Lake country, BC, Canada 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "He is a Miracle"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Finding Ultra to be better than the print version?

    I think the print version would be equally good. One might move through some spots a little quicker


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Finding Ultra?

    The trip through the addiction.


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

    He does a great job with the expression. You do get to know the partners.


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

    It is a miracle


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great guide through the addictive state and back to health. Rich shows his absolute focus along with a passion and capacity for how and why in becoming the Ultra. He really takes you through what it is like to hit a bottom and find yourself on the journey back.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 06-06-12
    CBlox Las Vegas, NV 06-06-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SELFISH PURSUIT should be the title of this book"

    While I enjoyed the details of Rich Roll's training and healthy eating habits this book fails to deilver the power Born To Run gave its listeners. The author's own selfishness oozes out from your ipod as you listen, in rather overdramatic fashion, the length he went to fulfill his passion.

    12 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James SARASOTA, FL, United States 07-01-13
    James SARASOTA, FL, United States 07-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Ultra sleep inducing"
    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Rich Roll?

    Any professional actor. He had no emotion, no inflection, nochange in timbre , nothing to pull the listener in.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this book would be about how to achieve Ultra---in fitness and in life. Instead, it was a long, drawn out monologue of how great the author was, and how he was able to show up those who didn't believe in him in the past. A good book to listen to if you need to take a nap.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg Ryan La Londe Montana 04-14-14
    Meg Ryan La Londe Montana 04-14-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspiring"
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mooniac Houston, TX 04-14-14
    Mooniac Houston, TX 04-14-14 Member Since 2011

    Mooniac

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Useless if you won't go Vegan"

    The diet he pushes is Vegan. Nicely, he ditches the politics, but if you can't go that route, which the true believers just don't get everyone cannot do (soy is just terrible on many systems), it's not gonna work for you. He attributes his success almost exclusively to his diet. Which leaves the story.
    The publishers should really consider editing down the alcoholism part which is depressing, and way out of proportion to its value to the story. Yes, he abused himself, he is an addict, we get it. Now he is addicted to endurance sports...Surprise!
    Normally I hate abridged versions, but editing this down to a short sports adventure bio for would be Vegans would lead to better reviews.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Felipe Castillo Montreal, Canada 03-29-14
    Felipe Castillo Montreal, Canada 03-29-14 Member Since 2012

    Felipe

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    "Hard to relate when he was already a great athlete"
    What would have made Finding Ultra better?

    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.


    What didn’t you like about Rich Roll’s performance?

    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.


    What character would you cut from Finding Ultra?

    The main character...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William United States 03-18-14
    William United States 03-18-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Life altering"
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    A great story. Uplifting and real. Inspiring for my own life, especially diet.


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

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 103 results PREVIOUS12311NEXT
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  • James
    Ireland
    11/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring, truly inspiring!"
    If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

    A real person overcoming life's problems and excelling!


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The final Epic 5 event and what he put himself through is mind numbing!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Alan
    Huyton, Liverpool, United Kingdom
    1/19/13
    Overall
    "Didn't enjoy this one bit unfortunately"

    I really struggled with this one. I've listened to quite a few running books now and usually enjoy them, but this one I couldn't get through. I got used to the poor narration, but then struggled to buy in to what he was saying. He describes his life like a movie, with all the drama that one might see on screen. However, I've fallen off my bike several times and not once had the crystal-clear experience as he describes - neither for any of my mates. I'm also vegan and again, my experience really doesn't accord with how he portrays his. Finally, I simply couldn't buy **spoiler alert** that a fat man with only a few short runs under his belt (as described by him) then went out and ran 24 miles in 4 hours on a hot and dusty trail run, without any food/water and no ill effects or soreness whatsoever. Far be it from me to say whether he's embellishing, or not, but I simply couldn't listen to it. Either he's a fat couch potato or he isn't, but it is far from inspiring to hear stories I can't believe. If you like the Andy Holgate Ironman book, then this is that but with the volume turned up to 20. Not for me, but clearly has it's fans.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Kingston, United Kingdom
    2/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent book"
    If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

    inspirational, riveting, happy


    What did you like best about this story?

    the humanity of it, just kept me wanting to listen more


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

    na


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

    lots


    Any additional comments?

    Great Book. would like more

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • ganiyu
    manchester, United Kingdom
    2/16/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A catalyst for change"
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 10


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Finding Ultra?

    Epic 5


    What didn’t you like about Rich Roll’s performance?

    Dreary and unprofessional narration at times.


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

    This book has served as a catalyst for changing my life.


    Any additional comments?

    Buy it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ray
    Peterlee, United Kingdom
    2/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Main focus is vegan smoothies."
    Would you try another book written by Rich Roll or narrated by Rich Roll?

    Doubt it.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The whole book was quite disappointing in that the main focus was on calories and very little for the spirit.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Some personal events but these were few and far between.


    Could you see Finding Ultra being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

    No the title is misleading and was not the book I thought it would be so therefore would be a poor film if based on book and not title.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Kings Lynn, United Kingdom
    1/9/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Story"

    I can only have admiration for Rich Roll after listening to this great audiobook. If you're a runner or triathlete then this is for you. If you're a vegan, an alcoholic, ex druggie or whatever then this book is for you too. Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Neil
    BROSELEY, SHROPSHIRE, United Kingdom
    7/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "get up and change your life"
    What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

    enthusiastic narration, and an interestng story


    What other book might you compare Finding Ultra to, and why?

    Born to Run, by Chris MacDougal. Both are explorations of possibility.


    Which character – as performed by Rich Roll – was your favourite?

    It's an autobiography, stupid!


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

    Rich's cessation of his chemical/drink behaviours. Been there, done that. It resonates.


    Any additional comments?

    Think bigger about yourself: there's a lot to learn from this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lakeskip
    UK
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "Maybe a bit Hollywood..."

    I cannot deny I liked this book, his narration maybe doesn't suit as he does drawl a bit, but on the whole I had no problem finishing it and I do not regret buying it. My initial interest was the vegan athlete bit and it does read as it says on the cover. It is an interesting, if not a bit 'Hollywood' story. I'm still dithering over one of the super blenders he mentions.....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    La Nucia, Spain
    1/8/13
    Overall
    "Fabulous listen"

    Funny, heartwarming & intense. A great story by a very inspirational guy. Some motivational tips on both running and nutrition too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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