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)
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.
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.
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.
If a book Spurs me to action it is a winner. I had a hard time putting this one down. The whole plant powered paradigm as related simply and passionately by Rich is worth the price of this book alone.
Had a hard time listening to Rich's voice. Seems like even he wasn't excited about the book. also, the fact that he was a division 1 swimmer makes his transformation less amazing. Would recommend to take a pass over this one for other ultra books.
"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!
"one of the best books evee"
the info in this book is gold. better than any other book on health and fitness
"Got me running again"
Top 10 for interest. Top 3 for motivation. No. 1 for results
Corey's 7 Habits. Completely different subject and approach, but similarly influential for me.
The honesty in the delivery. The way you could feel the pain he faces and how he expresses what drives him.
The realisation he is not the greatest swimmer ever when he steps up a league, and how that then plays out.
This was the best audiobook I have found yet for running to. Just one motivational episode after another. I may not follow the diet Rick swears by or be prepared to go to the extremes he endures; but I am on the road to longer distance training after a long lay off, spurred on by his story.
"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
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.
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.
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