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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.”

©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 (970 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Michael 12-27-12
    Michael 12-27-12

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

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    "Inspirational"

    If you serious about fitness, performance or just getting your act together, this book will help. Rich Roll is an inspirational man who with the help of his family and friends achieved what I would say is unbelievable. Great book even if you are not into ultra performance sport. As for the vegan diet, that is not me, but his case is compelling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Melissa Silver City, NM, United States 12-17-12
    Melissa Silver City, NM, United States 12-17-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspiring"
    What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the way that he read it.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I like the story but was most interested in the "how to". At times i thought the story went on a bit long but it was probably to get part of the point across.


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    Great voice and inflection to keep me entertained


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

    Inspired me to eat better and keep exploring ways to follow my passions while balancing the rest of life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jessica San Diego, CA, United States 12-11-12
    Jessica San Diego, CA, United States 12-11-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Inspiring Read"
    Any additional comments?

    This book was recommended to me several times (probably because I choose a vegan lifestyle) and I found it to be an inspirational book. It was an easy listen and is a story that will hopefully solidify the fact that we need to take better care of ourselves.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tani 12-06-12
    Tani 12-06-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Inspiring but a bit slow"
    Would you try another book from Rich Roll and/or Rich Roll?

    Maybe


    Would you be willing to try another book from Rich Roll? Why or why not?

    I would if it were specific to physical transformation and not so much an autobiography. His feat is amazing and should be acknowledged, but better writing would have made the story more gripping.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    His voice was a bit deadpan.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward 12-06-12
    Edward 12-06-12
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    "Made me finally take the plunge."
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Near the top


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

    I didn't read the book so I don't know but I did listen to it and it was inspiring.


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

    No, I needed to break away and find out how I was going to make the changes in my life I had to make. I was not very far away from it though.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved it. It finally got me off my duff and showed me how to change my 70 pound, overweight, sedentary self into someone who now feels much better physically and great mentally (lost 25 pounds and can actually run a mile.) Thanks Rich Roll.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elad D.N. Hevel Eilot, Israel 11-26-12
    Elad D.N. Hevel Eilot, Israel 11-26-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Inspirational, even if you don't intend to push..."

    the limits of human endurance. The one annoying thing, which I put on Audible, not the author, is that one should be able to download and print the appendixes. I've run into this before with Audible, and it definitely detracts from books that contain maps, charts, recipes, lists, etc. Audible should take it under advisement.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 11-25-12
    Mark Lakewood, CO, United States 11-25-12 Member Since 2013

    I spend 90+ minutes a day in my car, Audible makes it enjoyable regardless of what's happening in traffic. My taste varies from endurance fitness to economics and from to combat stories and romance novels.

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    "Narcissism, Alcoholism, Veganism and Extremism"

    It seems like Rich has had an amazing life, but I wouldn't want to walk a mile in his shoes. His self-centric universe, starting with his high school swimming turned to alcohol-infused blur and was only replaced by an addiction to endurance sports in a life horribly out of balance. While his new addictions seem a lot healthier and safer (for the rest of us on the road), his life is a story of the extremes that had me cringe at both ends of the spectrum. I can see why he turned to alcohol; there were times when I was listening that I thought I could use a drink, too.

    Maybe an alcoholic in early recovery looking for a role model would get more out of this book, but I can't even imagine a life lived at his extremes. Coming from a rather middle of the road, middle-aged athlete who occasionally likes a good audiobook for inspiration and motivation, this book wasn't the ticket for me. I found a lot more pleasure reading Born To Run, Ultramarathon Man, Wild (Cheryl Strayed), and even The Art of Racing In The Rain (albeit, I never did develop a taste for kibble). There are plenty of books that inspire me and get me high that don't require me to live at the extremes as the bipolar necessities of life.

    I won't argue with him that a plant-based diet can extend life and give you greater health over the course of your life, but sometimes there's no sin in a nice juicy steak and garlic mashed potatoes. If you want a more complete version of the benefits of a plant-based, vegan lifestyle, the documentary, Forks Over Knives is about as good as they come. It's not for everyone, but then again, neither is this book and I'd happily sit through Forks Over Knives over listening to nine hours of Rich Roll talking again.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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    Howard PLANO, TX, United States 11-16-12
    Howard PLANO, TX, United States 11-16-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Wonderful Read!"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    It is a humble look inside yet shows great strength!


    What did you like best about this story?

    It is told in a great time line...


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

    Have you listened to any of Rich Roll’s other performances before? No
    How does this one compare? He is the Author and the Narrator ... Does a wonderful job with both. You can tell he is not a professional Narrator but it makes the experience that much more enjoyable! Rich does a terrific job!


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

    A kid pushed around to a man pushing forward!


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book that will help inspire you if you let it. Rich has a very strong will and story to share. This book is another push for me to go to a full plant based diet! My wife is on board and I am on board so we are making the transition slow but we are making it! Its not just about being a vegan this book is so much more his story is truly worth sharing...from a kid being pushed around to a man pushing forward!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Brighton, MI, United States 11-07-12
    Pam Brighton, MI, United States 11-07-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Just Okay"

    Unless you plan to become a vegan or an Ultra athlete, I would not recommend this book. Rich Roll narrates the book himself and his voice is very monotone. The very end was him reading lists of vegetables and supplements. I think when you buy an audio book there should be a pdf included of the recipes and or food list recommendations. I was not going to write down everything he was reading to me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary BRISTOW, VA, United States 11-06-12
    Gary BRISTOW, VA, United States 11-06-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Alcoholism and Running."
    If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

    Alcohol, running and health...


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The author...


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

    No


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

    N/A


    Any additional comments?

    My only thought was that the book went on a bit long on the alcoholic years. I realize that his diet was a footnote, but I would have liked him to put more about what he eats... I think for the money, it was a good well rounded book...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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