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!
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.
Casino Table Games Supervisor. Big Packer fan. Living in SE Florida. Married.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I don't know yet.
His voice lacked any expression, totally monotone, almost unbearable and I was unable to listen through to the end of the book.
Shorten some of the descriptive elements. Individual stories, such as the long winded details of the run towards the end of the book were really tedious.
Never allow this man to narrate a book again. Money should be refunded for such dreadful reading.
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.
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.
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