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Finding Ultra Audiobook

Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself

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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

4.3 (2148 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ikandi 05-31-16
    ikandi 05-31-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    VG 05-29-16
    VG 05-29-16 Member Since 2015

    “Five years from today, you will be the same person that you are today, except for the books you read and the people you meet.” C. Jones

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Riaan J. Vanrensburg 05-14-16 Member Since 2016

    vooma books

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    martina plag 04-27-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda C. Bergstrom Northern California 04-18-16
    Linda C. Bergstrom Northern California 04-18-16

    malnpudl

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A mixed bag"
    Any additional comments?

    There's a reason that professionals are paid good money to narrate audiobooks. It's very hard to do well, and most authors who have no training or experience in voice work don't do a very good job of it. Rich Roll puts a great deal of sincerity into his reading of his own book, but he lacks fundamental skills so the listening experience is decidedly uneven. Thus my 3-star performance rating.<br/><br/>On the other hand, for the most part I very much enjoyed the story that Rich Roll told about his own life. I've had my own lifelong struggles with a brain wired for addictive behavior, and though I've been clean and sober for decades, the brain wiring is still there and the work never ends. I got a lot out of listening to Roll tell of his own experiences with alcohol and his journey toward sobriety and recovery, and how becoming (once again) physically active was a powerful force in steering his life onto a healthy and fulfilling track and keeping it there.<br/><br/>Roll's actual ultra experiences made up only perhaps a quarter of the book (not counting the appendices), but it's a rewarding subset and worth waiting for. As this is more the story of his life and how he became the ultra athlete that he is today than it is a strictly ultra-centric book, I had no problem with that and do not see this as a flaw. And when he brings you along on an ultra experience, it's absolutely riveting.<br/><br/>I will mention that while I was intrigued by Roll's choice to eat an entirely plant-based diet -- vegan, though he prefers not to use that term -- the chapter about this got long and started to feel like a slog, and also more preachy than I liked. But it wasn't enough to make me skip to the end of the chapter, so in the end it was forgivable. I also did a fair bit of eye-rolling as his frequent product name-dropping stacked up -- not just brand names but model names, over and over -- a pattern that got very old by the end. Still, this is a nit-pick.<br/><br/>In all, a good book and an adequate listen. I got a lot out of it and am happy to recommend it, with only the minor reservations noted here.<br/><br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shelly 03-28-16
    shelly 03-28-16
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    "Excellent"

    great and informative read for anyone beginning a journey of fitness and plant based nutrition

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa 03-21-16
    Lisa 03-21-16

    hawkswind

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    "Not what I expected"

    I had assumed that this book was about some regular Joe who had an epiphany and changed his life. I was surprised to learn that the guy had been a top ranked athlete before his becoming a couch potato. With that fact aside, it was a very interesting journey that he had and one has to respect someone who can do endurance sports.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RT 02-26-16
    RT 02-26-16 Member Since 2014

    Movie Maniac

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    "Finished reading another good motivational book"

    Great book about the struggles of middle age and very similar to Dean Karnak esquiche book Ultra Marathon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jdc 02-25-16
    jdc 02-25-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Awesome story. Bad Performance."
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    It was a good story, but once was enough.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    i couldn't wait for the story to end so i didn't have to hear him anymore. <br/>he was overly dramatic and despondent. It was clear that the mood was lighthearted and he ruined it. he also ended sentences at the wrong times.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    radnad 01-21-16
    radnad 01-21-16
    ratings
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    6
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    "Should be a movie or documentary."
    Would you listen to Finding Ultra again? Why?

    Absolutely. A story of triumph, every high school kid in America should listen to or read this book.


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

    The whole thing, I enjoyed it from start to finish.


    Any additional comments?

    My 78 year old father recommended Rich's podcast. I very much enjoyed what I listened to so when I found this book on audible I figured I'd give it a shot. After reading one particular bad review I almost decided not to download it. So glad I took a chance, my favorite book on audible.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • 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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • 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.

    6 of 6 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
  • 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.

    4 of 4 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
  • John Burns
    England
    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
  • James
    Ireland
    11/25/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inspiring, truly inspiring!"
    If you could sum up Finding Ultra in three words, what would they be?

    A real person overcoming life's problems and excelling!


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    The final Epic 5 event and what he put himself through is mind numbing!


    1 of 1 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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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