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)
Reader / writer. @timosolo
I've listened to most of Rich Roll's podcasts, so it was great to hear his familiar voice reading his own book. I really appreciate writers who have the guts to read their own book, and in this case it makes the story much more personal and involving.
Well worth the listen!
I was a plant based believer and a iron woman want-to-be by the end of the preface!
as an athlete who has not always been an athlete - and who has overcome the marathon of life prior to falling in love with running/outdoor adventure sports - I felt like this was my story filled with hope and excitement!!
best quote: "my body was humming with excitement and possibility"
and that's how I felt every chapter...
he is genuine and practical.
I really found this book most enjoyable and inspiring. Being read by the author (who does an excellent job of it) also given credibility. It would be great, however, if the appendices with Rich's recipes etc could be made available as a pdf for download because those elements of the book don't lend themselves to audio.
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.
The Narrator!!!!! Uurgh. Rich Roll should NOT have narrated his own book. Major downfall for the overall performance.
His monotone, dreary, woe is me voice.
No. The world can only handle one of him. Rich Roll needs to get over himself.
So inspiring it makes you want to pull off the road while listening, strap on some running shoes and take the highway on two legs! Rich Roll honestly narrates his own book and has amazing depth and emotion throughout. We experience his awesome highs and his tragic lows. We cheer him on as he completes the Epic 5, and feel his wife's support and his resolution to stay sober. What an amazing book! I'll listen to it again if I start to lack gym motivation and I'll always here his voice in my head when I want to quit. "When you think you're done, your body is only at 40%, it's your mind that's holding you back." (or something to that effect). Absolutely incredible!
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.
Inspiring, touching, moving
Rich Roll. The book is his personal experience
His emotional connect
Never too late
Very inspiring story of Rich Roll. I am going to run my first full marathon soon. The story has acted as a dose of motivation.
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.
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...
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.
"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.
"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.
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!
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