As my runs and rides get longer listening to the same Playlists on my iPod gets old really fast so I find myself turning to an old favorite the talking book. Most recently I listened to Finding Ultra by Rich Roll.
Writing book reviews always reminds of school homework, so I will try not to labor on and on as is my usual modus operandi and keep this short and sweet. The book is really broken down into four parts:
1. Growing up as a Swimmer; Roll is frank about his youth, growing up and all the usual pains associated with it. A socially awkward child he discovered a talent for swimming and used this as springboard (no pun intended) to propel himself through a tough time in High School and into University. From here his introduction to alcohol allowed his addictive nature to develop and come to the fore. Clearly this is a thread that is ingrained throughout his life
2. Pre Veganism in the workforce; post graduate his focus was on his career, long days, late nights and bad habits took their toll A solid diet of burgers and beer expanded his waistline. His addictive nature escalated into full blown alcoholism. A DUI or two, a short failed marriage and finally the realization that he needed help saw him checking into a clinic and finally with the help of his second wife he cam out of the tunnel clean
3. Veganism and Endurance Sports; his addictive nature was focused on keeping clean, his diet, his discovery of endurance and multi sport and his initial success and failures including a 70.3 DNF his completion of the Ultraman World Championships and the Epic 5
4. Being Vegan; in the final section Roll talks about his ongoing discovery of veganism and talks specifically about foods, supplements and his diet, this is a bit “selly” as he has developed a series of Vegan supplements that not surprisingly he uses them himself. But there seems to be a lot of substantial and quality information that attempts to dispel some myths about Veganism
Overall I enjoyed this book. It’s pretty short (9:47) so you can blast through it a couple of long runs and rides and it’s easy on the ears. Roll actually reads it himself which adds some color and passion to the story, he peels back quite a few layers of himself but really only the ones he wants to peel and that’s fine, their his layers after all.
Ultimately its a good story of someone course correcting their life and wanting to share their story and success. It’s a bit preachy but not overly so and the biggest message is that you can make any change but you are ultimately in control of your own destiny.
There are plenty of resources online where you can get more info about Rich Roll, these are some of the better ones I have come across: