Several days ago (June 19, 2017) I finished reading Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for several years.  Just never could find the time.

Then, when my son, Jackson, wrecked in Colorado, I suddenly found myself with the time.

I had moved my family to Athens, Greece while I studied Greek.  Jackson’s accident brought us back to America.  We ended up in Aurora, Colorado for nearly two months.

While there, I stopped studying Greek as my wife and I struggled to take care of our son, and help our daughters adjust to the transition.  I also struggled to keep my site alive, my classes on, and my blog active.  And, my wife and I just struggled.  Tough times.

To keep our sanity, I bought a family membership to the Central Park Recreation Center.  While my girls played in the lazy river/pool, I would work out.  While working out, I finally found the time to listen to Finding Ultra.

I really enjoyed the book.  I’ve been a fan of Rich Roll for some time now.  I used to listen to his podcast but eventually had to quit.  I had to quit because there was work to be done.  He and Tim Ferriss tend to host some seriously long shows.  I usually only have time for a 15- minute to 30-minute podcast.   Both of these guys can talk with their guests for hours.  Good stuff.  I just don’t have that kind of time.

Rich Roll started competing after the age of 40.  I found this inspiring.  This was one of the reasons I wanted to read his book.

But, what I found fascinating was the fact that he is plant-powered.  Rich Roll is a vegan.

How is it possible to compete (and win) in triathlons as a post-40-year-old vegan?   This question nagged me for years.  Finally, I read the book.

I am glad I did.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed at first.  I came looking for answers.  How did Rich Roll do what he did?  How did he win those races as a vegan?

For the most part, the book was simply an autobiographical sketch detailing Mr. Roll’s descent into addiction and then his climb out of addiction.  Interesting.  Inspiring.  But, not what I came for.

There was a brief mention of his plant-based diet somewhere in the middle of the book.  I found this part extremely helpful, but I also found it to be too short.  I wanted to hear more.  The story moved on.  As I said, I was disappointed.  But, I pressed on.  Perhaps he would come back to the subject.

He did.

At the end of the book, I found what I was looking for.  In Appendix A, Rich Roll goes into detail.  He tells us what he eats, when he eats, how much he eats, and so on.  The appendix was worth the price of the book.

He even tackles the persistent protein question.  The meat and dairy industry has convinced all of us that we absolutely must eat the dead carcass of an animal killed four weeks ago, or we will never survive.  I have long suspected this argument to be ridiculous.  I really appreciated that Mr. Roll tackled this argument.

Incidentally… have you ever noticed that the largest, strongest animals on our planet are plant-based?

  • The bull
  • The bison
  • The horse
  • The giraffe
  • The moose
  • The elephant
  • The hippopotamus.

Even the largest dinosaurs were herbivores.

Have you also noticed that the people telling us that we have to eat meat make lots of money selling meat?

I listened to this book on Audible.  I do this a lot.  You can cram audiobooks into the strangest places, and in doing so, you can read so much more than you might otherwise read.  However, I have to say… Rich Roll, who reads the book himself, is a laid-back guy.  You get the feeling he is not in a big rush.  I often am in a rush.  For this reason, I read the book at 1.5 speed.  At 1.5 speed, Mr. Roll sounded normal.  But, that’s just me.  🙂

I really enjoyed this book.  At times it felt a bit like a sales pitch.  There was a bit of product placement.  Overall, though, I say it’s worth it.  I found it useful, helpful, and inspiring.

I give it four stars.

If you want to read Finding Ultra, simply click here:


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