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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

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Performance
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  •  
    Adam Bailey 05-31-12
    Adam Bailey 05-31-12

    Words are cool.

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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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 02-11-14
    Roger Smith Orlando, Florida United States 02-11-14 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Two Different Books"

    The first half (first file of the download) focuses on the authors struggles with alcohol. The real story of the ultraman begins in the second half. It is a fantastic story of what a person can accomplish and endure at any age. I was inspired to workout harder and eat different. Beginning with vegan dinner and we will see how it goes from there.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Lee Scottsdale, AZ 09-26-12
    Chris Lee Scottsdale, AZ 09-26-12 Member Since 2016
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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.

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mercedes Quilmes, Argentina 08-13-12
    Mercedes Quilmes, Argentina 08-13-12 Member Since 2014

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

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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.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Javier X Takoma Park, MD, United States 05-23-12
    Javier X Takoma Park, MD, United States 05-23-12 Member Since 2016
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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!

    16 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Su McConville 06-01-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Motivating story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Especially because my friends and I are about the same age as Mr. Roll.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author made it very easy to identify with him (despite the fact that his meteoric rise in his particular sport started on third base; not a criticism, just a truth).


    What does Rich Roll bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Rich Roll tells the story of his life, keeping it interesting throughout. I found myself identifying with him and cheering him on. I'd never been exposed to his story, so it's unfurling was a pleasure.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. It was tough to step away from it. That surprised me.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jerry Dilliard 06-04-12 Listener Since 2008
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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


    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Hill 05-26-12
    J. Hill 05-26-12
    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.

    12 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Stanfield 06-11-12 Member Since 2015
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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.

    108 of 141 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DannyB 06-29-14
    DannyB 06-29-14
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    "Changed my life. Literally, not figuratively."
    What made the experience of listening to Finding Ultra the most enjoyable?

    Rich Roll's story is amazing. I didn't even know people could do what he did. I am a well educated man about everything. Jack of all trades, master of none. He taught me that there is always something new to learn, and this time it was about myself.
    This book was educating, thrilling, and emotional. His story is a roller coaster of ups and downs, but the end result is outstanding.


    Any additional comments?

    Will change your view of the world and yourself. It helped me to not diet, but to completely change my eating lifestyle.
    Honestly just wanted to say thanks to the man.
    So thank you Rich Roll for a new perspective.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
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  • YorkshireVegan
    9/20/16
    Overall
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    "A great story and an inspiring read"
    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to Rich Roll's podcast for quite a few years, but to hear his own story in full has been both enjoyable and inspiring. The lifestyle tips in this book are also very good and he supports a great cause (veganism) through his athletic achievements. His story is rich (ahem) and engaging, taking various twists and turns but arriving at a satisfying conclusion that makes you want to put your trainers on and get outside, get it done, and keep improving every day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel
    8/19/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Inspiring Story"

    I'm a big fan of Rich Roll podcast and I knew most part of the story before listening the audio book. However, it is a very well told story and it hasn't deceived me. It also gives very helpful tips for sport endurance performance whether you are vegetarian, vegan, or meat eater. Finally, the fact that Rich himself reads it adds an extra bit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    8/4/16
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    "Great book !!"

    Really enjoyed this book and would definitely recommend and also Rich Roll's Podcasts and website.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    6/23/16
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    "Interesting but flawed"

    It grew on me this book. It's an interesting tale, and I found some bits genuinely riveting.

    I've also got no problems with veganism, but I hadn't been ready for the extent it was going to try to convert me. Especially given the strange mix of good science and downright laughable science - all jumbled together to leave it unclear what's true.

    Still fair play to him for turning his life around and it is an inspiring story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. J. Alliban
    5/17/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Inspirational"

    An inspirational account of Rich's mid life enlightenment and mind-altering series of incredible achievements. I have recently become very interested in health and vitality, barefoot running and a bunch of other alternative health pursuits in my late 30s and have begun wandering what is possible at my age. Rich has confirmed that it is possible not only to excel, but to truly become a world class athlete. Learning of his dedication, progress and challenges has been very encouraging. I even ran my fastest 5k while during the period I was reading the book. Coincidence? :)

    I have given the book 4 stars. It would have been 5 but for the following reasons:
    - The author mentioned his own product, and the vitamix blender quite often.
    - Although Rich makes it clear he is not a militant vegan there are a couple of instances where he seems a little condescending toward meat eaters.
    - There are many studies that point toward saturated fats from healthy animals actually being very good for you, and the studies linking SF to clogged arteries, high cholesterol and heart disease are outdated and poorly undertaken. The studies mentioned in the book appear to have been cherry picked to suit the vegan agenda while conflicting studies exist. While I don't doubt that the vegan diet and lifestyle is incredibly healthy (I'm certainly not averse to trying it), many other studies claim that a diet that includes meat can also be very good for you. The level of certainty presented here was a little jarring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Pecko
    5/9/16
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    "The most inspirational of all our lives"
    What did you like most about Finding Ultra?

    I enjoyed the humble honesty and reality of Rich's story. Especially his effort in putting it down in a way that allows me to understand the importance of life itself.


    What about Rich Roll’s performance did you like?

    Rich wrote this book in a clear, down-to-earth and engaging way which I could identify with.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I cried at the point which Rich spoke about his realisation of what changes he was prepared to make to give his kids a great life.


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book to anyone, even people who aren't interested in the kind of sports Rich has chosen, it doesn't matter. This story will grab your heart and your brain and shake them both up for a realization towards a way to be a better person. That's what he has done for me, give it a chance. I normally would steer clear of the kind of mindset towards health he has shared. Now after reading this book, I'm training to achieve a lot more, and dedicated to improve. Thanks very much Rich.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • CriticalMass
    United Kingdom
    4/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Story"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I primarily purchased this book because I'm looking to enter my first ultra marathon later this year and am looking for anything in the way of advice, tips and coping strategies. Whilst it has been useful there is a lot of the book where Roll talks about cycling and other pursuits which I appreciate are a part of his journey, just not so pertinent to running alone.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Roll's accounts of his Ultra marathon and marathon exploits of which I would've liked more of.


    What didn’t you like about Rich Roll’s performance?

    I did find Roll's narration quite hard going, his voice tends to stay flat and monotone throughout regardless of which accomplishments he talks about achieving. I wonder if he should've gotten someone else to record it.


    Do you think Finding Ultra needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    I think Roll has given a detailed account of his exploits but I'm sure he could carry on writing about everything he has got up to since.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    3/7/16
    Overall
    "Rich is the man!"

    First read this book on holiday a couple of years back, since then I have been a subscriber to the RRP used this Audio book for commuting to work wasn't disappointed! Life changing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    2/29/16
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    Performance
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    "Brilliant story, well read too!"

    Absolutely fantastic, truly inspirational, a worth while read for anyone! A fascinating account of how someone was able to completely turn their life around in their 40's, and it's incredibly motivating without being too preachy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Brendon
    LEATHERHEAD, United Kingdom
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Story"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. Its a good illustration of how someone can go from rock bottom to competing as a world class athlete. Anyone can do it if he can.


    What did you like best about this story?

    While a good listen, there are some great bits of advice and some nuggets for someone trying to do similar


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

    Rich Roll


    Any additional comments?

    Generally a good listen with an entertaining story. There are some really good tips in here too for someone thinking of doing something similar. The fact that everything he did was on a vegan diet also go against the grain.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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