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)
The narrative was fine. It brought a real life struggle to the book. I loved the honesty that came from statements of self-realization. "I live my life in the excess, it's the only way it works for me." And of course, " I was acting like a jerk, totally exhausted and thinking only of the goal and myself as I broke the #1 rule and left my partners." I felt as though I was brought along with him during his whole life, through the good and the bad. Great listen, when I had to stop, I couldn't wait to get back and hear more.
Rich's description of his transformation from cheeseburger connoisseur to plant powered athlete is a great moment that shows the possibility of any life and that even those plagued by seemingly unshakable demons can improve their situation.
Rich writes well. And, for an audio-book read by the author, this is one of the best I've listened to. However, he could have made it better if he would have hired a professional narrator.
Finding Ultra was enjoyable to read. Rich writes in such a way that the reader can see the sprawling vistas of Hawaii and the dirt trails of California. I found value in the transformation that took place over the course of the book.
This book was not only entertaining, but made me examine how I eat, and while not an all in one guide, provides a great base line for eating better and living better. Thank you Rich!
It captures everything from health, inspiration, food, lifestyle, motivation, to adversity.
This book moved me to make changes in my own life.
What a journey! Comprehensive nutritional and fitness information. A great kickstarter for anyone looking to inform themselves about superior nutrition.
I always love to read a story of an underdog turning into a superstar. It's my type of stories.
Great story, inspiring, personal and heart-touching
In my opinion the narrator (also the author) is not good at telling the story, even though he is a lawyer. His tone and voice sound boring and plain, not do the justice to his own story. I wish it would be read by someone good at delivering inspirational speeches.
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.
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