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.
“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 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.
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.
The main character...
Life is a journey, enjoy it......because one day it will all end.
The way the book was written. So you were picked on in school. Instead of taking something from it and looking back on where it got you, it was written in a victim mentality. In this book the guy got accepted to Havard, Standford, Yale, and Brown on a swimming scholarship!!!!!! That is no small feat. The way the book was written there was zero excitement for even that. It was as if it was the worst thing on the world.
Disappointment. This could be a good story if it is re-written, not from a poor-me mentality.
Suck it up, you do extreme endurance events. We all get picked on in school, its part of growning up and learning how to overcome trials in life.
Since I finished this book last week, I've been recommending it to my friends who are endurance athletes as well as to people who complain about their diets. My friends who are endurance athletes may not care for Rich's stories of his struggles with addiction but I was fascinated. Roll was a Stanford swimmer then a champion drunk then a cheeseburger addict and then an Ultraman only because the Ironman races have a one year waiting list. An amazing story. He details his plant based diet (vegan w/out the politics, I guess) and I was interested in this too, though I could see how someone interested in the book for the addiction stories could get bored through these descriptions. I liked all of it. I liked his narration. It is his story and he is pretty straightforward. He comes off as a jerk in some parts, even after his transformation from alcoholic to athlete, but I get the feeling he's pretty self aware. His honesty beats excuses any day. I've also listened to Chris Macca's "I'm Here to Win" and while both are good, I'd rather spend time with Roll than Macca. Roll has a podcast that I'll be looking up. His story does not cease to amaze.
Personality: Intellectually Driven
As I was aware by the title this is a entertaining story and for sure an example of the human spirit. It will not be so great for people looking to emulate the authors process as perhaps you will need to become an alcoholic before living out the drink for 10 years (yeah not a great idea!). As for the reference to the foods and drinks used, I found that the best is to buy the hard copy (which I haven't done) but took it out of the shelve and look decent enough and worth buying (if you are not poor as me).
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 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.
I loved how Rich turned his life around from drinking and then from poor diet near his 40's and then went on to become an ultraman on a plant based diet. His determination and perseverance was truly inspiring! Listening to this has truly continued to motivate me to want to achieve my greatness in life and my fitness goals. Thank you!
A credible story would have made this book better. A highly skilled athlete, the author's continued surprise at his own success strained credibility. And did so over and over.
This book would have been more enjoyable had the author not pretended to be an everyman, average Joe, but owned up to his athletic prowess.
Each and every time when -- "Wow, really?" the author happened to win a major athletic competition. I just didn't buy his schtick.
I am an entrepreneur in the finance industry and a prolific reader, being a serious listener since 2001
I have listened to this book, time and time again. It entertains me,It motivates me and it teaches me. Rich captivates the audience by portraying his life, in its highest and darkest moments. What did it for me was his honesty in sharing his information and insights from his unique perspective. Don't hesitate for a second, in buying this book. It has positively changed my outlook on, sports, endurance and health forever.
Born to run, and Eat and run, they share similar characteristics as this novel, however out of the 3 Finding Ultra is by far my favourite
Rich, acts out in different voices to better portray the characters in his story. Even Rich's colloquialisms allow the audience to really get a feel of who he is. After reading the book, I felt as If I knew Rich, despite never meeting him in my life.
This book has released my ignorance of the foods I eat, after reading this I realized how many processed junk food I actually consume. Although I am not vegan, I take Rich's underlying principals to better my current diet.
This book is incredibly: powerful, entertaining and informative. So if you want to be swept off your feet and be taken on a journey, plug it in and read it !
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