Finding Ultra (book review)…

Or to give it its full title… ‘Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself’.

I came across Rich Roll and his exploits through my wanderings around the internet looking at all things triathlon and ultra athletics, which is my current ‘thing’ in case no one’s been keeping up lately.

Rich lays out his whole life from high school, college swim champion, heading for international sporting star only to discover a love for alcohol and drugs and parties, wrecking all hope of sporting glory forever. Then his continued destructive, choatic, drunken lifestyle through to his battle to get clean. And then his descent into junk food fueled, overweight, middle age from which he finally wakes up and becomes one of the world’s top ultra athletes, as a vegan, in his 40’s. It really is an inspiring book for anyone who has been through the chaos of addiction and has come out the other side with a new found desire for a healthier, fitter life – even if you don’t want to be an ultra athlete.

Rich also describes, fully, his experiences through his first two ‘Ultraman’ races (a double length Ironman), and also his adventure with Jason Lester in creating and completing the first ‘Epic 5’ challenge (5 Ironmans in a week), now a staple on the ultra athletics calender. It’s astounding to realise just how much the middle aged human body can do and to hear it all from inside the mind of one of these competitors gives a whole new view of these extreme sports people.

And there’s certainly lots of food for thought also, literally, for anyone who is vegan, or is considering or training on a vegan diet. It’s certainly changed my diet as i recently went back to being a vegan half way through reading this and yesterday ran 15km at 50 years old, the farthest i’ve ran since i was in the army in my 20’s.

Worth a read!

Best wishes.