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.
“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)
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.
His determination to conquer during challenges.
Hard to say I liked the whole book. Fascinating.. that someone can turn their life around and reach such fetes.
Look forward to future books by Rich!
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.
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.
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.
Winning the struggle to survive.
I liked them all. Great job.
Look at me now!
I just hope I can find another book as informative and told as well.
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!
Words are cool.
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.
Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!
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.
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.
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!
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.
I think the print version would be equally good. One might move through some spots a little quicker
The trip through the addiction.
He does a great job with the expression. You do get to know the partners.
It is a miracle
This is a great guide through the addictive state and back to health. Rich shows his absolute focus along with a passion and capacity for how and why in becoming the Ultra. He really takes you through what it is like to hit a bottom and find yourself on the journey back.
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.
"Wow... This is an incredible listen. I loved it!"
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
The college years are funny and I thought how much it affected his life. The transformation into an Ultra athlete has been inspiring.
Think your'e over the hill? Life's only just begun. Get on your bike...
Brilliant, loved it. A superb read. Rich made a brilliant contribution by reading the book himself. It made such a difference.
"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.
"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.
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.
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!
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.
Eat more healthily
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.
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.
"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.
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