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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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Inspiring

A friend recommended this. I'm glad I got it. As an aspiring athlete this book is truly inspiring...helping me believe I can be a triathlete and breaking my paradigm about how to eat.

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Read out of curiosity, ended up trying began

Amazing inspirational book... I am now on my third week as a vegan and really living it!

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Great book. A true inspiration

Loved it. Narrated by the author bringing a true engagement.
It inspired me to take better care of myself. Highly recommended

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don't have to be a fitness junkie to enjoy

This is not a typical book for me. I still don't know why I picked up this book. I am glad I did. I have learned the pain of having the demon of alcoholism and learning it can be subdued, I have learned the power of self perseverence, and most important what to consider for a healthier food and nutritional intake that is based on results from an everyday person point of view. If you want to learn about this without being bored out of your skull, pick this book up

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  • MT
  • 06-16-16

An insipirational story steeped in pseudoscience

I loved Rich's story of becoming an endurance athlete and it certainly gave me inspiration to keep going with my own endurance athlete dreams. I see myself in him a bit as I too "go all in" but can only hope for his staying power.

Unfortunately his views on nutrition are somewhat questionable. Some of what he says is good - veganism and how to get there (little by little) but a lot of it is not supported by science or our best understanding in nutrition. I also hoped he would've touched upon the possible mistakes new vegans might make and how to avoid them.

Still I enjoyed my time with Rich on my long bike rides.

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inspiring

I like memoirs in general, and this one did not disappoint, although it was a bit of a treatise on veganism. To do what he did after 40 is quite inspirational. The narration was a little slow, but I listened at 1.25, problem solved. The last chapter where he's outlining his specific diet and petitioning the reader (once again) to give up meat and dairy and what to replace it, and not replace it with, within a whole-foods plant-based diet, got a little long and recipe sounding. Although if I were to adopt his plan, it would be valuable to have a hard copy of the book, so as to be able to use some of these recipes. That part went on a little too long to remain interesting to listen to, but overall, the book is inspiring simply for the feats he is able to accomplish in mid-life, and I didn't feel that it came across as too self-aggrandizing.

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Practical, helpful dietary advice

I'm giving this book 4 stars, mostly because at the very end he gives some very specific and practical nutrition information and advice. He even mentions some brand names, which a lot of authors seem hesitant to do, but which I find very helpful.

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  • VG
  • 05-29-16

Inspiring to transform one's life...

Where does Finding Ultra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The book ranks very high for me because it is a very interesting story and listening to stories is always fun. In this case, it is both informative and inspiring to know what is possible.

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

There is a part where Rich talks about surrendering to something greater, at the moment when continuing seems impossible. Wow.

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

No, this is my first.

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

Rich doesn't know that you can't turn world class athlete from a couch potato in your 40s, so he does it anyway. His secret weapon? Grit and plant based food.

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Great life story

I don't agree with everything the author wrote, but his message is a healthy one and very compelling. Then again nobody agrees about everything. Great listen and very well narrated. Great job.

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Honest inspiration

I was sad to part with this book, it kept me company for many miles and has advanced my vegan curiosity into a grounded commitment.