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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.”

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.

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 (1126 )
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Performance
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  •  
    mel Surrey, BC, Canada 01-26-13
    mel Surrey, BC, Canada 01-26-13
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    "inspiring"
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    top 20.But I've got a lot so that's pretty good.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rich.It's about him so who else?


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    I can relate as I'm sure many can.Athletic talent taking a back seat to partying and drinking.Not saying that is bad per se as maybe partying is more gratifying to many.Athletic fanaticism has a high price too.Truth is,most aren't as lucky to do anything even close to this at a late age without debilitating injury.Still,it is definitely inspiring that Rich had enough of drinking(he was undoubtedly out of control)and despite the challenges,did a 180 with his life and did something truly incredible.How their bodies took that is amazing.If you're ripe for a change in your life,be it athletic or not, i am sure it will inspire you to act.It is definitely extremes in life and balance would be better imo but many,myself included ,tend to be all or nothing.Drink a lot,or not at all.Eat poorly or very disciplined.Exercise a lot,or not at all.I guess you could call that an addictive personality.It is what it is so you might as well accept it and work with it.I don't feel he was too self indulgent as some reviewers implied.Doing that would require extreme commitment and his family was behind him.I also believe you have to live YOUR life and while you shouldn't shun your responsibilities,you have to do what is right for you,and also allow others to do what is right for them.Living someone else's life or wanting them to live your life ain't cool.


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

    yep.I did it in 2 days which is rare for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I would buy it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kyle rome, GA, United States 01-25-13
    kyle rome, GA, United States 01-25-13
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    4
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    "Changed my life"
    What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

    I am middle aged and a want to be healthy. After listening to this book I have become a vegan and have lost 30 lbs in 2 months. I ran marathons before but now I run with purpose.


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

    Everything! changing what you eat changes what you can become. It's all about discipline and direction.


    Which character – as performed by Rich Roll – was your favorite?

    He was great as himself. Wouldn't have worked if he hd someone read it for him


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

    It motivated me to be self centered about my health and who I really am


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fiona harvey, Australia 01-21-13
    fiona harvey, Australia 01-21-13
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    "Amazing vegan life style book"
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    Yes but it would be helpful to have the charts in the end of the book that allows you to see the nutrients in the diet.


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

    He uses great expression when reading that allows you to feel like part of the story


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

    Yes defiantly


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Willa Tijeras, NM, United States 01-05-13
    Willa Tijeras, NM, United States 01-05-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Awesome!"

    There is no other way I can rate this audiobook. The book itself is life transforming, and read by the author takes on a depth of sincerity that brought tears to my eyes more than once. Time limits my ability to write a review lengthy enough to do "Finding Ultra" justice. Suffice it to say that if you are looking for a book to inspire you and possibly guide you to a quantum leap in athletic performance and a transformation into a better human being, this is one that you'll be reading or listening to soon. I highly recommend the audiobook version.

    In addition to this are two others that I have begun to listen to that are beneficial in similar ways, they are "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall and "Eat and Run" by Scott Jurek.

    I hope you all find that 'something' we are all looking for.

    Sincerely,

    Pista Brandauer

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet E. Frick Athens, GA, United States 01-03-13
    Janet E. Frick Athens, GA, United States 01-03-13 Member Since 2012
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    4
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    "Inspiring and encouraging"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Highly recommend if you enjoy inspiring autobiographies. The book is read by the author and his delivery style is occasionally a little dry, but other times his wry humor comes through in a really funny way. I've enjoyed it and it certainly makes you feel like its never too late to get fit!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  •  
    Melissa 12-17-12
    Melissa 12-17-12 Member Since 2015
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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 Rae Standridge 12-06-12
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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
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  • Lee
    Colchester, United Kingdom
    1/7/13
    Overall
    "Fantastic"

    I came to the book looking for a guide to get me off the couch and running.. I didn't get that at all, what i got was far more. If this guy can turn his life around then anyone can. It's about human spirit and the love and support of others. I lost 20lbs while running and listening to this book as i just didn't want to stop running as it meant my time with the book for the day would be over.



    Highly recommended.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • N. Hodgson
    Uk
    8/26/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow... This is an incredible listen. I loved it!"
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    I have recently listened to Rich Roll's book on Finding Ultra and it has been an inspiring and incredible journey for me to listen to the down's then up's of a man who conpletely reshaped his life. I am trying to emulate only 1% of what this book oozes and that should really improve my life. It is amazing. I have recommended it to so many people I know. Even my wife wanted to listen to it after a couple of days. A great read and even better to be narrated by the author himself. A great true story which will inspire the near 40 man to get off the idea that he is past his best. I hope to improve myself after this. Thanks Rich. Rock and Roll


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The college years are funny and I thought how much it affected his life. The transformation into an Ultra athlete has been inspiring.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Think your'e over the hill? Life's only just begun. Get on your bike...


    Any additional comments?

    Brilliant, loved it. A superb read. Rich made a brilliant contribution by reading the book himself. It made such a difference.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. G. Richardson
    UK
    6/12/13
    Overall
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    "Great running partner...."

    found myself listening to a few extra minutes of Rich's inspirational story whenever i had a few minutes free. Great story, well read and a great accompaniment to morning runs.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • JAMES
    United Kingdom
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "Inspirational, even for non-runners"

    I'm not a keen runner, never have been and I might never be. Nor am I a vegan and probably never will be. Doesn't sound like much of an advert for a book about a vegan ultra runner, does it? But whilst Rich makes it clear how he's benefited from heading what can only be described as 'all the way' down both of those paths, he doesn't force either of them on the listener. He's very honest about the stark realities that led him to make those choices and he describes, with retrospective passion, how the changes he made to the way he fuelled and strengthened his middle-aged body have improved his overall health and well-being. Oh, and they have helped him to achieve feats of epic athletic prowess that only handfuls of people will ever come close to. So while neither long distance running (cycling or swimming) nor giving up steak are for me, listening to this book did help inspire me towards making some significant lifestyle changes. Putting my head back in charge of my diet - a key message I took from this book - helped me to lose 40% of my bodyweight and become a healthy weight for the first time in my adult life. And for that I'll be eternally grateful to Rich and his inspirational story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • heather
    Manchester, United Kingdom
    11/15/12
    Overall
    "great"

    A lovely book, i found at times it could be a little slow,however did enjoy the last parts immensly where Rich was undertaking the ultra triathlons. i would definitely recommend this book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • MR
    london, United Kingdom
    7/12/12
    Overall
    "Inspirational"

    This is an incredible, inspirational book.

    The author is refreshingly honest and 'puts it all out there'. You feel involved and as though you are on the journey with him.

    A great read/ listen!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    Leicese, United Kingdom
    10/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tedious"
    Would you try another book written by Rich Roll or narrated by Rich Roll?

    No. I had been wanting to read this book for a long time as my husband has been wanting to get fit and I thought it sounded inspiring. However I felt the narration was monotonous and boring. I stuck it out until the end but it was a hard slog a bit like Rich Rolls ultra man challenges. There seemed to be a lot of unnecessary detail about his school days which seemed to go on and on until I got to the information I wanted to find out - how he got fit, what he ate etc. But it was all read with such a dull voice, even when he had achieved his goals there seemed to no excitement in his voice. I do admire his achievements though they were very impressive. I would have liked to know how his wife felt being stuck at home with the kids on a budget while Rich Roll continued to seek the next challenge, never seeming to be satisfied.


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

    Relief


    What didn’t you like about Rich Roll’s performance?

    Narration


    Did Finding Ultra inspire you to do anything?

    Eat more healthily


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • CK
    Surrey, England
    6/6/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Addictive!"

    Rich Roll has an addictive personality ...... for swimming, then for alcohol, then for fast food and then, finally, for immense physical challenges and uber fitness... along with an almost religious-like conversion to a plant-based diet. However, all of it is credible seeing as he comes from the land where you can find extremes of anything. My daughter is a competitive swimmer doing hours of training each week, so I could really relate to the beginning of his story when he spent hours in the pool each week. I'm not quite a couch potato but I do have food issues and I found this story compelling listening. I listened to this book when I was out on a power walk, or on one of my early morning bike rides and it really inspired me. Rich has also made me want to take a step towards a meatless (or rather less meat) lifestyle and I do believe it is going to be one of those books that will change my life.

    The narration (by Rich himself) isn't the best, but it isn't irritating either.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • andrew
    Himeji, Japan
    8/23/12
    Overall
    "Excellent"

    Excellent book, I was initially put off by the remarks about product placement, but he just mentions his vitamix blender a few times and some other brands, but it`s more like if a friend casually mentioned them to you than selling them. Certainly inspirational and some excellent information about a subject I thought I knew a fair bit about, but he`s certainly done more research into the field than most people.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dogma
    Scotland
    5/29/12
    Overall
    "Enjoyable, Despite the Product Peddling"

    While I did enjoy this book it was nearly spoiled by some really clumsy hawking of products, both the authors own and some of his sponsor's. We get it, Vitamix blenders are amazing!

    Despite the product placements and a slightly jumpy narrative I do recommend this book to anyone looking for an inspiring story or a motivational kick to their own health and fitness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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