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)
I think the print version would be equally good. One might move through some spots a little quicker
The trip through the addiction.
He does a great job with the expression. You do get to know the partners.
It is a miracle
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.
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.
Any professional actor. He had no emotion, no inflection, nochange in timbre , nothing to pull the listener in.
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.
I was expecting to be motivated to further my fitness dreams. Instead I got 9 hours of talking about what a alcoholic the author was earlier in his life...
I don't know yet.
His voice lacked any expression, totally monotone, almost unbearable and I was unable to listen through to the end of the book.
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.
Never allow this man to narrate a book again. Money should be refunded for such dreadful reading.
No, not unless it was ghost-written.
No, forced emotion and misplaced emphasis was annoying.
Yes, on many levels.
Disappointment at how such a great story fell flat.
About as painful as an ultra event was listening to the empty whining that littered this book. Although I eagerly anticipated the story of a cheeseburger couch potato turned vegan ultra athlete, the book was an "epic" (you'll understand that reference if you make it through the book) failure. His story, which as all the underpinnings of a great tale, faltered chapter after chapter with self-indulgent writing only exacerbate by an awful choice of narrator ... the author. At least Dean Karnazes (Ultramarathon Man) was an engaging narrator as he read his own story of his "personal greatness."
Ironically, the real hero of the book was Roll's Epic5 partner, Jason Lester.
Sadly, the book may give the impression to the uninitiated that all ultra athletes are such self-absorbed, vacuums of attention and need. Quite the opposite is true. The ultra community is "normal" people who just enjoy endurance events that, at first glance, seem crazy.
The ability of someone like Rich Roll or Scott Jurek to be at the peak of ultra endurance competitiveness on a plant-based diet is nothing short of astonishing. The only bright spot of this book is that it gives a glimpse into the diet of a vegan ultra athlete. That almost makes the book worth a listen.
I wanted a book that would inspire me to run and stick with a healthy vegan diet. This book does that. Rich Roll's story is very inspiring. I took off a few stars because Rich Roll sounds a little bit like a bored teenager when he reads. I was able to get past it and enjoy the story, but for his next book, he should consider hiring a professional voice actor.
Rich's story is very inspiring. Not only his late journey to a plant based but his College experience. Made me think about my teenage son. I'm beginning my own journey and this has given me lots of material to consider. Thank you Rich.
I enjoyed the content, but I had a hard time getting used to the speaker. He is not a professional reader and comprehension suffers.
"Interesting but flawed"
It grew on me this book. It's an interesting tale, and I found some bits genuinely riveting.
I've also got no problems with veganism, but I hadn't been ready for the extent it was going to try to convert me. Especially given the strange mix of good science and downright laughable science - all jumbled together to leave it unclear what's true.
Still fair play to him for turning his life around and it is an inspiring story.
An inspirational account of Rich's mid life enlightenment and mind-altering series of incredible achievements. I have recently become very interested in health and vitality, barefoot running and a bunch of other alternative health pursuits in my late 30s and have begun wandering what is possible at my age. Rich has confirmed that it is possible not only to excel, but to truly become a world class athlete. Learning of his dedication, progress and challenges has been very encouraging. I even ran my fastest 5k while during the period I was reading the book. Coincidence? :)
I have given the book 4 stars. It would have been 5 but for the following reasons:
- The author mentioned his own product, and the vitamix blender quite often.
- Although Rich makes it clear he is not a militant vegan there are a couple of instances where he seems a little condescending toward meat eaters.
- There are many studies that point toward saturated fats from healthy animals actually being very good for you, and the studies linking SF to clogged arteries, high cholesterol and heart disease are outdated and poorly undertaken. The studies mentioned in the book appear to have been cherry picked to suit the vegan agenda while conflicting studies exist. While I don't doubt that the vegan diet and lifestyle is incredibly healthy (I'm certainly not averse to trying it), many other studies claim that a diet that includes meat can also be very good for you. The level of certainty presented here was a little jarring.
"The most inspirational of all our lives"
I enjoyed the humble honesty and reality of Rich's story. Especially his effort in putting it down in a way that allows me to understand the importance of life itself.
Rich wrote this book in a clear, down-to-earth and engaging way which I could identify with.
I cried at the point which Rich spoke about his realisation of what changes he was prepared to make to give his kids a great life.
I recommend this book to anyone, even people who aren't interested in the kind of sports Rich has chosen, it doesn't matter. This story will grab your heart and your brain and shake them both up for a realization towards a way to be a better person. That's what he has done for me, give it a chance. I normally would steer clear of the kind of mindset towards health he has shared. Now after reading this book, I'm training to achieve a lot more, and dedicated to improve. Thanks very much Rich.
I primarily purchased this book because I'm looking to enter my first ultra marathon later this year and am looking for anything in the way of advice, tips and coping strategies. Whilst it has been useful there is a lot of the book where Roll talks about cycling and other pursuits which I appreciate are a part of his journey, just not so pertinent to running alone.
Roll's accounts of his Ultra marathon and marathon exploits of which I would've liked more of.
I did find Roll's narration quite hard going, his voice tends to stay flat and monotone throughout regardless of which accomplishments he talks about achieving. I wonder if he should've gotten someone else to record it.
I think Roll has given a detailed account of his exploits but I'm sure he could carry on writing about everything he has got up to since.
"Rich is the man!"
First read this book on holiday a couple of years back, since then I have been a subscriber to the RRP used this Audio book for commuting to work wasn't disappointed! Life changing!
"Brilliant story, well read too!"
Absolutely fantastic, truly inspirational, a worth while read for anyone! A fascinating account of how someone was able to completely turn their life around in their 40's, and it's incredibly motivating without being too preachy.
Yes. Its a good illustration of how someone can go from rock bottom to competing as a world class athlete. Anyone can do it if he can.
While a good listen, there are some great bits of advice and some nuggets for someone trying to do similar
Generally a good listen with an entertaining story. There are some really good tips in here too for someone thinking of doing something similar. The fact that everything he did was on a vegan diet also go against the grain.
"I'm so inspired"
This is an astonishing listen that can motivate anyone to achieve greatness no matter what place they are at. His Vegan message just makes it all the more fantastic but regardless of your goals this is a Must Read book.
"Interesting, Though Padded"
An interesting listen.
Perhaps the content doesn't justify the length. Some padding of content.
I couldn't sit still when Rich was describing his races - I want to run endurance!
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