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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

4.1 (851 )
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4.0 (772 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Manon Charpentier-Simon Toronto, Ontario Canada 10-29-12
    Manon Charpentier-Simon Toronto, Ontario Canada 10-29-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Motivational reads for your runs and workouts"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    I listened to it during my runs and found it entertaining and very motivational.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The whole "Epic 5" chapter was interesting.


    Any additional comments?

    I also liked his information on a vegan diet. While I am not a vegetarian, I found it very informative and have incorporated more of the protein-rich vegetarian suggestions into my diet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jory South Jordan, UT, United States 10-29-12
    Jory South Jordan, UT, United States 10-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    1
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    Story
    "Rich Roll shows how to overcome."

    Rich Roll's willingness to share his own personal struggles in such an open way allows the book to serve as a means of uplifiting encouragement in the face of challenges. If I could use two words to describe this book, it would be "human element." He does a fantastic job of capturing the struggles of human nature, the pain associated with those struggles, the joy (and even the humor) of the challenges presented by our nature, and the satisfaction and happiness that comes from triumph. A truly uplifting and great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Jordan Great Falls 10-29-12
    Chris Jordan Great Falls 10-29-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
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    Performance
    Story
    "Why Ultras Run"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Finding Ultra to be better than the print version?

    I always favor listening to the author in a biography. They often articulate their story well. Rich is a good speaker and comes across warm.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I was once told that every ultra-athelete is dealing with the demons of their past. These demons make Rich's story strong. One might look at RIch's story as being one of living with the demons and another without them. Rich, however, makes the connection clear and puts a significant amount of personal exposure to explain his past. Listening, you hear the train wreck coming. It was comforting to know who Rich becomes, or the stories would be too difficult to be an observer to.


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    I enjoyed his rawness. Sometimes first books have an unrefined feel that makes them feel more honest. I appreciate that feel to a book. The sentences are not works of prose, but instead are short and meaningful. He has a tendency of dropping names, sometimes as appreciation and others as remembrance. It not a description, but it leaves you knowing that this is a person, not a character. Not to say Rich Roll is John Grisham, but I think "A Time to Kill" is a good example of rawness. If you like that feel, this is a good book for you to listen to.


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

    I listened to this book quickly. Often, there are books that I listen to some and come back to. I strangely listen to this while going on a couple of long runs.


    Any additional comments?

    The book is centered around Ultras only in the second half. "Discovering Myself" from the title is more important than the fact of running Ultras in this book. There is a good portion of the book set aside to how Rich lost himself in the first place. To me, this made the book significantly more interesting than stories about a person dealing with the physical pain of an Ultra.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. G. D. Gaughan-smith Berkshire, UK 10-29-12
    Mr. G. D. Gaughan-smith Berkshire, UK 10-29-12

    GaryGaughanSmith

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    2
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    "Good but too many product placements"
    What did you like best about Finding Ultra? What did you like least?

    Rich is obviously a driven individual and his story is encouraging to those of use who have let ourselves down in our forties. However, it preaches vegan ruthlessley and the product plaements are all too obvious.


    What did you like best about this story?

    If fact it's more about his running mate than him. Without his training partner he would have given up several times I reckon. Still, he manages to pull through several sticky moments by himself.


    What three words best describe Rich Roll’s performance?

    Inspiring, Mad, Preaching


    Was Finding Ultra worth the listening time?

    Yes


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arcadia Sancrox, Australia 10-29-12
    Arcadia Sancrox, Australia 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Fantastic & Motivational Story"
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    Yes, the book wants to make you change your life.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rich Roll just his sheer determination, courage and stength


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

    Just hearing him speak his own story is motivating


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

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    Totally fantastic if you want to change your life just go for it and listen to this amazing story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernest DEAKIN, Australia 10-29-12
    Ernest DEAKIN, Australia 10-29-12 Member Since 2007
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    "An interesting perspective of health and running"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Finding Ultra to be better than the print version?

    each has advantages and disadvantages. The lists of foods etc is more accessible in the kindle version as search in the audio book is too hard.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    There is only really the one character as its an autobiography.


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    Willingness to break with the traditional nutrition ideas.


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

    No - too long to really do this.


    Any additional comments?

    another example of the need to sell a bundle consisting of the ebook(kindle) and audible edition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    victor beijing, China 10-29-12
    victor beijing, China 10-29-12

    designer

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    "great story with a poor narrator"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    it motivates me to start running. It moves.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    feel great and go out to run a mile at once.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    very poor narrator. terrible.I almost quit during the first ten minutes.


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

    yes.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Vancouver, BC, Canada 10-29-12
    Daniel Vancouver, BC, Canada 10-29-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Great and inspiring read"
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Its up there among the books I have listened to. I do listen to a wide variety of stuff and this held my interest all the way through.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Finding Ultra?

    How Rich turned himself from an excessive drinker, over weight and lazy into such a great runner.


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

    no


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

    no. I like to listen to this when I am trail running.


    Any additional comments?

    Inspirational and real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Asael Moshe Sunnyvale, CA USA 10-29-12
    Asael Moshe Sunnyvale, CA USA 10-29-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    3
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    "Boring"
    Would you try another book from Rich Roll and/or Rich Roll?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Rich Roll again?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rich Roll’s performances?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    It was just boring. I discovered the world of audio books a few months ago and loved it. This book is the first I could not listen to all the way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Pennsylvania 10-26-12
    Amazon Customer Pennsylvania 10-26-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    33
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    "Drones on"
    What disappointed you about Finding Ultra?

    Rich was not the person to read this. His voice was a bit monotone and began to irritate me. Also, while ultra books usually are motivating, the only motivation I got from this one was to finish.


    Has Finding Ultra turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, I love inspirational books and am seldom bored or disappointed.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Rich Roll’s performances?

    No


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Finding Ultra?

    Not sure what would help. It was just boring...


    Any additional comments?

    Get a new narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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