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)
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 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 !
This book is the most single piece of inspiration I hadn't listened so far, he made sense of everything and i would said most of us become RIch Roll after college not matter is you are alcoholic, drug addict, lazy, TV monster, etc..
Of course RICH, without him it wouldn't be any story, but dont get me wrong the other guy that did the EPIC challenge with Rich is amazing too.
He is the best and I wish the best to him and his family, I wish he would go to public TV and talk about his Journey. make sure he shows videos or photos of how he look before and after
Yes I am eating or drinking more veggies than ever and of course because the book now I know how coconuts, avocado, algae, Brazil Nuts and mixed with sport can dramatically change your life.
Buy the audio book, is very inspiring specially for people after the 40' like me with a family, he made a point and that the real deal "I want to see my little kids growing and enjoy them" and they are a lots of work and energy consuming, so here we go change your diet workout and you will do it.
I enjoyed listening to his story and the changes he made in his life; specifically going to a vegan diet and finding how it benefits his performance as an athlete. I am an ultra runner who is a vegetarian and moving towards vegan each day.
I don't want to give away my most memorable moment, might spoil it....
His expression is very flat! It was distracting at times and I had to really ignore his voice and listen to the story he was telling. I have listened to it twice, so it must not have been too awfully bad though!
I don't think so.
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