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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1106 )
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Performance
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    Bookworm 05-12-14
    Bookworm 05-12-14
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    "OMG - My new hero"

    I absolutely LOVE Rich Roll and this book. I bought it on a recommendation from a triathlete coworker and I was so impressed, I bought the hardback. I can't say enough good things. This is about his transformation from an alcoholic, out of shape lawyer who ate trash to one of the fittest men in the world who cleaned up his mind and lifestyle. It's a perfect book to inspire you to become more. I can't even imagine doing the Epic 5 - 5 Ironman triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 6 days. Insanity. He has a podcast and sells a few nutritional products on his Jai lifestyle website. This is a must read for every fitness advocate.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Meg Ryan La Londe Montana 04-14-14
    Meg Ryan La Londe Montana 04-14-14 Member Since 2015
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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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 03-18-14
    William 03-18-14
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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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-13-14
    Kevin AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-13-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Inspirational read from a humble guy"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    A very honest account of someone who has hit the highs of physical fitness followed by significant lows, concluding with the climb back out to incredible levels of fitness and wellbeing.


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


    Dean Karnazes - Ultramarathon Man. Similar in the sense that it is not just a dry book on fitness, but is written against the backdrop of personal struggles and how fitness played a big part in the comeback.


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

    Rich reading it conveyed a real sense of sincerity and honesty.


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


    Road to Redemption


    Any additional comments?

    Great read, but the product placement references were a bit over the top at times (e.g. wearing my Oakley Jawbone XL etc...")

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Balwyn, Australia 03-12-14
    Sarah Balwyn, Australia 03-12-14
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    "Fantastic book for any keen runner!"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    I loved how inspirational it was and I learnt a lot about running and nutrition.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It was easy to relate to, even if you're not an ultra or even marathon runner. I liked getting running and training tips from the book. I like how he describes how he thinks about running at the beginning and then how that changes compared to (now) when he knows a lot more.


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

    Rich Roll.. main and pretty much only character.


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

    No crying, but there were a few laughs here and there.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is part autobiography, but also a good introduction to plant based and nutrition diet introduction and manual.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Butler, Australia 02-07-14
    Michelle Butler, Australia 02-07-14 Member Since 2014

    Just love books.

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    "Excellent Biography"
    Any additional comments?

    This is a great listen. Rich Roll's journey from alcoholism to endurance athlete at the age of 42. He accounts some great stories and offers listeners a glimpse into his ultra healthy lifestyle, determined discipline and the rewards that has brought him. Worth the listen for sure.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean COLUMBIA, MD, United States 01-14-14
    Sean COLUMBIA, MD, United States 01-14-14
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    "Inspiring and full of useful information"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    The details of his diet. He summarized well including scientific reasoning for what he eats and why. I took long notes about his food and drink choices and did further research about it on my own. While the story was inspiring and fun to hear, it's the diet information that I've continued to put to work each week.


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

    I'd slightly compare this to Scott Jurek's book Eat & Run. Mainly because of the blend between his personal life and his eating life. Both overcame some heavy life stuff to become awesome athletes and both espouse similar healthy eating plans.


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

    No. I can't offer comparison here.


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

    No. It's plenty long enough to listen to over days. Plus I waned to think about what he did before continuing so I could wrap my mind around his accomplishments. In addition, taking notes and doing follow on research about his diet assertions was helpful to me getting the most from this audiobook. This required time and I would have missed much by cranking through it in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    Humble and filled with details. This was well worth the money and time. In fact, I bought a Vitamix blender after hearing what Rich could do with one. Next to entering an Ultra-man race I'd say this book was very impactful on me and could be for others.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    JoAnn Boston, MA, United States 12-15-13
    JoAnn Boston, MA, United States 12-15-13
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    "Impressive man, impressive story!"

    This was a very nice autobiography/memior, made more special because it was narrated by the author. Did I leave it thinking "well if he can do it, I can too?" No. But am I impressed with him? Yup!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    hilary San Francisco, USA 10-13-13
    hilary San Francisco, USA 10-13-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Self-Aware & Honest - perhaps some bad science"
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed Finding Ultra. Unlike many of the other reviews, I did not find it self serving and egotistical. Rather quite self aware, open and honest. The description of the ultimate challenge (5 iron men in 5 days) was particularly self-aware and quite inspiring. Rich had no problem delving into his failings in some detail, concentrating however, on how he had found ways to struggle past them.
    Rich Roll talks about finding his way out of alcoholism with some "belief" and this, along with some (though not all) of the "science" behind his diet choices is a bit jarring for me. As a dedicated rationalist, I find these things do not mesh with my world view, however, it is clear that they have worked for Rich and helped him fight and vanquish his demons. So they add value to the book - despite my discomfort :)
    A life-long vegetarian/almost vegan, Finding Ultra and Eat and Run have helped me get back into long distance running and concentrate more closely on my fuel. Including learning to eat real food during a run.
    All and all a good listen, inspirational and Rich's performance reading is very well done.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 08-19-13
    James 08-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Worth reading!"
    If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

    Motivational Fitness Journey


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author gives a first hand account of how he transformed his life from an overweight middle-aged ex alcoholic, to one of the fittest men in the world.


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

    Rich


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

    Yes, it definitely hits you when you realize the personal sacrifices made in not only transforming oneself to over come alcoholism, but also the training and discipline needed to be a world-class athlete.


    Any additional comments?

    I almost didn't get this because of mixed reviews but I am glad I did. I would consider this a must-read for an endurance athlete but it's also very motivating to most people, I would think. Rich takes us through his personal journey from being an alcoholic slacker in college and how that nearly ruined his life, to a world-class athlete.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • James
    Ireland
    11/25/13
    Overall
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    "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
  • H. Bacon
    UK
    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 4 people found this review helpful
  • Simon Nunn
    6/29/15
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    "plant power baby"

    It has changed my life. simple. very inspiring rich. I do not want to become a vegan but it really has made me change my eating habits

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Kelman
    Paris
    5/28/15
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    "Fantastic"

    This book is truly gripping. What an amazing story of sporting achievement along with modern day problems. Read in such a believable manor. A forever classic. I was hooked.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    5/23/15
    Overall
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    "Inspirational."

    Has to be the best book I have listened to in years.

    I am 41 years old and ovetweight. I will be following Rich Roll's example and see where it takes me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Josh
    5/19/15
    Overall
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    "Immersing and enthralling"

    Massively inspiring and informative. Great narrating aswell from the man himself. Something about richs voice somehow manages to capture my attention and always leaves me feeling on a positive high.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Em326
    4/16/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very inspiring"

    I found this book very inspiring and will recommend it to everyone with even the remote interest in health - excellent read

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darren - UK
    4/15/15
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    "An amazing tale of an enduring spirit."

    An extraordinary book that would be interesting even to people with no interest in endurance sports.

    The narrator and the quality of the recording were very good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dan
    3/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Habits"

    Amazing transformation. I do think Rich found a new drug only this one will keep him alive. Well done Rich.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • andrew4998
    3/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring"

    Very interesting listen. Sometimes a little too far out there for me but it's his account and not forcing his thoughts/beliefs on you. Very good. And certainly food for thought!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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