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.
"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)
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.
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.
Father, Husband, Teacher. I have a house in the north of England, I enjoy travel, sport and making things. I teach design technology
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
A real person overcoming life's problems and excelling!
The final Epic 5 event and what he put himself through is mind numbing!
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.
"An Inspirational Transformation"
Rich's description of his transformation from cheeseburger connoisseur to plant powered athlete is a great moment that shows the possibility of any life and that even those plagued by seemingly unshakable demons can improve their situation.
Rich writes well. And, for an audio-book read by the author, this is one of the best I've listened to. However, he could have made it better if he would have hired a professional narrator.
Finding Ultra was enjoyable to read. Rich writes in such a way that the reader can see the sprawling vistas of Hawaii and the dirt trails of California. I found value in the transformation that took place over the course of the book.
"Changed the way i think about food and exercise"
This book was not only entertaining, but made me examine how I eat, and while not an all in one guide, provides a great base line for eating better and living better. Thank you Rich!
This book opened my eyes to the possibilities of what a healthy body can do! I feel that there is no excuse for me not to become healthy.
"Amazing and inspiring"
It captures everything from health, inspiration, food, lifestyle, motivation, to adversity.
This book moved me to make changes in my own life.
"Informative and inspirational!"
What a journey! Comprehensive nutritional and fitness information. A great kickstarter for anyone looking to inform themselves about superior nutrition.
"Inspiring story but the narrative ..."
I always love to read a story of an underdog turning into a superstar. It's my type of stories.
Great story, inspiring, personal and heart-touching
In my opinion the narrator (also the author) is not good at telling the story, even though he is a lawyer. His tone and voice sound boring and plain, not do the justice to his own story. I wish it would be read by someone good at delivering inspirational speeches.
"Such an inspiration"
I love Rich Roll. Him and his wife Julie are so amazing and I wish I could have then as my friends!!
"Returning to Super-Athleticism"
First off, the author narrates the book and whilst he has a clear voice, the pace is slow and the intonation is sombre. I listened at x1.25 which made it bearable.
I think Rich Roll is a bit disingenuous in the title he chose. I took it to mean he was finding himself athletically at age 40. But actually he was re-discovering his former awesomeness! He was a super successful competitive swimmer as a youth. So if you're an overweight couch potato, you may be looking for inspiration to go from where you are at today, to Rich Roll levels of fitness. Perhaps it is possible, but this is not such a story in my opinion.
I furthermore think that Rich Roll is a bit of a self-promoting brand. He has nutrition products that he regularly pushes (albeit gently) throughout the book. When I googled him, it took me to a web site where you can buy his nutrition program!
Having laid out all the negative stuff, I did find it inspiring in that he is a successful competitive athlete on a wholly plant-based diet. And he gives some useful recipes and menu suggestions for anyone wanting to go plant-based. I have leveraged some of them myself, such as avocado sandwiches and almond butter on no-flout toast - delish!
This book is quite similar to Eat & Run by Scott Jurek. That book also has plant-based menu suggestions and so on.
This is a story of true grit and overcoming adversity at an age when most would have thought they are 'past their prime'. Very inspiring and motivating!
Rich Roll brings a 'realness' to the reader that is tangible. Its not a story about some gifted athlete who achieved what was to be expected. Rich's story is hard showing that he's just another guy but one who decided to swim upstream, put in the hard yards and achieve what most would call impossible.
I love that Rich Roll failed his first 70.3 triathlon and went on to become an ultra athlete. So impressive.
The climb by Chris Froome.
A tad monotone, but the story more than made up for it.
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