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)
First off, the author narrates the book and whilst he has a clear voice, the pace is slow and the intonation is sombre. I listened at x1.25 which made it bearable.
I think Rich Roll is a bit disingenuous in the title he chose. I took it to mean he was finding himself athletically at age 40. But actually he was re-discovering his former awesomeness! He was a super successful competitive swimmer as a youth. So if you're an overweight couch potato, you may be looking for inspiration to go from where you are at today, to Rich Roll levels of fitness. Perhaps it is possible, but this is not such a story in my opinion.
I furthermore think that Rich Roll is a bit of a self-promoting brand. He has nutrition products that he regularly pushes (albeit gently) throughout the book. When I googled him, it took me to a web site where you can buy his nutrition program!
Having laid out all the negative stuff, I did find it inspiring in that he is a successful competitive athlete on a wholly plant-based diet. And he gives some useful recipes and menu suggestions for anyone wanting to go plant-based. I have leveraged some of them myself, such as avocado sandwiches and almond butter on no-flout toast - delish!
This book is quite similar to Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. That book also has plant-based menu suggestions and so on.
This is a story of true grit and overcoming adversity at an age when most would have thought they are 'past their prime'. Very inspiring and motivating!
Rich Roll brings a 'realness' to the reader that is tangible. Its not a story about some gifted athlete who achieved what was to be expected. Rich's story is hard showing that he's just another guy but one who decided to swim upstream, put in the hard yards and achieve what most would call impossible.
I love that Rich Roll failed his first 70.3 triathlon and went on to become an ultra athlete. So impressive.
The climb by Chris Froome.
A tad monotone, but the story more than made up for it.
The details behind the author trying to complete the Epic5 triathlon challenge!
The life-steps the author had to go through to get to where he was ready to make a substantial change in his life.
No. I wish the author would publish more books. If he does, I will definitely read them!
This books has both moments of laughing and crying!
This is a great story, and anyone interested in motivation to make real life changing decisions should listen to this book.
It's inspiring and impressive to see how someone can turn their life around and achieve remarkable feats. There is also some very useful dietary information.
He's very good at reading his own words and I find many authors should leave the reading up to the reading pros. Taken as a whole though I found the book got to be a little too much of an ego trip. While he has plenty to be extremely proud of I felt a little more of a sense of humour would have gone a long way to making this book more enjoyable and the author more likable. Although of course he is no doubt perfectly likable in reality, he just comes across as a bit of a *%^! in writing.
Keep on running and being weaning myself off all the foods I love, cheese and bread in particular.
I absolutely LOVE Rich Roll and this book. I bought it on a recommendation from a triathlete coworker and I was so impressed, I bought the hardback. I can't say enough good things. This is about his transformation from an alcoholic, out of shape lawyer who ate trash to one of the fittest men in the world who cleaned up his mind and lifestyle. It's a perfect book to inspire you to become more. I can't even imagine doing the Epic 5 - 5 Ironman triathlons on 5 Hawaiian islands over 6 days. Insanity. He has a podcast and sells a few nutritional products on his Jai lifestyle website. This is a must read for every fitness advocate.
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.
Rich Roll is such an amazing and inspiring athlete and individual. Loved his story! Appreciate all the info he shares about his diet, etc in the appendix.
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...
A great story. Uplifting and real. Inspiring for my own life, especially diet.
I slowly began eating more of his diet as I read and now I am vegan. The fat is leaving my body in sheets. I bought new jeans to replace my fat pants after a month and now they are falling off of me, too.
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