Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself Audiobook | Rich Roll | Audible.com
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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 (691 )
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Performance
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  •  
    J. Camara Takoma Park, MD, United States 05-23-12
    J. Camara Takoma Park, MD, United States 05-23-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Insightful conquering life's challenges"
    Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book is great. It starts you off right in the moment of the race. It is read by the author himself which leaves it more genuine. Full of great information on finding ways to change your life for the better through understanding Rich's life story. If you love running or find yourself at the a fork in the road you might like this book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    His determination to conquer during challenges.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Hard to say I liked the whole book. Fascinating.. that someone can turn their life around and reach such fetes.


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

    Inspiring!


    Any additional comments?

    Look forward to future books by Rich!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Lee Scottsdale, AZ 09-26-12
    Chris Lee Scottsdale, AZ 09-26-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Helped Change My Life!"
    What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

    While his semi-nasal, dispassionate voice drives others that happened to hear some of it crazy, I really liked the fact that this was read by Rich Roll himself.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd already committed to my program of getting fit and healthy prior to listening to to this. Listened to some books like It's Not About The Bike (Lance), I'm Here To Win (Macca), read Iron War and been working out consistently and changing my diet. That being said, I took a lot from Rich's book and applied it to my life.I could relate to Rich's journey as I'm a similar age and was even more unfit. I never dealt with the addiction issues (closest would be food for me) that Rich had to and remember feeling like that section was pretty long but I related to or hope to relate to the rest of the book. The story was quite enjoyable and kept me listening and interested. I loved the further insight into ultra endurance events. And my family has adopted many dietary changes that Rich mentioned. We haven't gone vegan (and probably won't) but are still feeling much better from eating more in line with his philosophy. I liked that these details, as the other technical information, were shared in context of his story rather than a non-fictional guide.I do admit that I regret not having the appendixes and access to some of the reference data that is mentioned.All in all, transformational book for me.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Saint Louis, MO, United States 09-21-12
    Charlotte Saint Louis, MO, United States 09-21-12 Member Since 2012
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    "Amazing!"

    So inspiring it makes you want to pull off the road while listening, strap on some running shoes and take the highway on two legs! Rich Roll honestly narrates his own book and has amazing depth and emotion throughout. We experience his awesome highs and his tragic lows. We cheer him on as he completes the Epic 5, and feel his wife's support and his resolution to stay sober. What an amazing book! I'll listen to it again if I start to lack gym motivation and I'll always here his voice in my head when I want to quit. "When you think you're done, your body is only at 40%, it's your mind that's holding you back." (or something to that effect). Absolutely incredible!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hill 05-26-12
    J. Hill 05-26-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very Interesting"
    What did you love best about Finding Ultra?

    The struggle of a lost soul, to a man who survived and soared!

    Because I could relate to Part 1, I really enjoyed the whole book. I learned quite a bit.


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

    Winning the struggle to survive.


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

    I liked them all. Great job.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Look at me now!


    Any additional comments?

    I just hope I can find another book as informative and told as well.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Stanfield 06-11-12 Member Since 2009
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    "incoherent melodrama"

    I have done several ironman triathlons & marathons and I have been interested in doing ultras so I was looking forward to this. The story line of a talented elite athlete squandering his talent because of alcohol then turning his life around (partially) through proper diet and sport is an inspiration. The story as written inspired me to turn it off. His musings are contradictory and idiotic. In one statement, he will claim that his time away from work to train didn't affect his family's finances. Soon after, the attorney with a rich client base states that he couldn't buy food during a long ride as his bank account was overdrawn. To make the tale even more illogical, he then claims his out of body experience was not the result of low blood sugar (an experience that many an athlete has experienced) but rather an epiphany or other mystical event. When he started in on the spiritual gods of the Hawaiian volcanoes, I just could take any more and had to cut my loses.

    76 of 90 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Houston, TX, United States 06-04-12
    Jerry Houston, TX, United States 06-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Inspiration blended with education= Transformation"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This story is for anybody who wants to unlock their own inner potential. There are elements of Rich's story that each of us can relate to and find inspiration within. I am an 18X marathon finisher, after tearing my Achilles tendon a couple of years ago, I lost my desire to run. Now I'm running again and learning to eat healthy (and this book) are my catalysts to change. Thank you Rich Roll!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rich Roll


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Adam Bailey Tehachapi, CA, United States 05-31-12
    J. Adam Bailey Tehachapi, CA, United States 05-31-12 Member Since 2008

    Words are cool.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding!!! Rich Roll is my new hero."

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Finding Ultra is an inspirational and moving account of a man not only facing his addictions, middle age and personal fears, but conquering them as well. Mr. Roll has become a role model (pun intended, ;o) for me. This is a true mid-life coming of age story that proves anything is possible if we are willing to do the footwork.

    The author holds nothing back as he explains, in detail, how he eats and why. The appendices -- especially -- are filled with copious amounts of information and resources that will get anyone started in the right direction towards better health. I can’t wait to start my new Plant Power Diet.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keven Savannah, GA 04-28-13
    Keven Savannah, GA 04-28-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "It's not what you think it is..."
    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    I was expecting to be motivated to further my fitness dreams. Instead I got 9 hours of talking about what a alcoholic the author was earlier in his life...


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mercedes Quilmes, Argentina 08-13-12
    Mercedes Quilmes, Argentina 08-13-12 Member Since 2011

    Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightfully impressed! So real it inspires..."

    How Rich guides you into his journey is both intimate and plain realistic. His amazing true on every stage, his own old food beliefs demolished; is really great and non apologetic at all. He does not preach for veganism, just tells you his story, is up to you then.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan United States 01-12-14
    Ryan United States 01-12-14 Member Since 2012

    Life is a journey, enjoy it......because one day it will all end.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Made me want to slit my wrists"
    What was most disappointing about Rich Roll’s story?

    The way the book was written. So you were picked on in school. Instead of taking something from it and looking back on where it got you, it was written in a victim mentality. In this book the guy got accepted to Havard, Standford, Yale, and Brown on a swimming scholarship!!!!!! That is no small feat. The way the book was written there was zero excitement for even that. It was as if it was the worst thing on the world.


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

    No.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. This could be a good story if it is re-written, not from a poor-me mentality.


    Any additional comments?

    Suck it up, you do extreme endurance events. We all get picked on in school, its part of growning up and learning how to overcome trials in life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 103 results PREVIOUS1211NEXT
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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
  • 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 2 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. G. Richardson
    UK
    6/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 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
  • 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.

    2 of 2 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • andrew
    Yashiro Miya Mae, 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
  • 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!

    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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