Friday, March 29, 2013

Finding Ultra, by Rich Roll

I have quite mixed emotions about this book which is both inspiring and annoying.  I'll summarize this autobiography:
  • Mr. Roll has a privileged youth, going to a prep school, accepted to Ivy League schools, ending up at Stanford. 
  • He is an alcoholic, and a barely functioning one at that. 
  • He gets sober. 
  • He finds true love. 
  • He notices he is not fit nor healthy. 
  • He addresses this with a mix of narcissism and the zeal of a true addict to participate in Ironman and Ultra-marathon events, and finally a sequence of five ironman -type events in just a few days
  • He discovers the benefits of a vegan diet. He pushes his own brand of vegan supplements. 
  • He runs crazy long distances, prioritizing this obsession over time with his family and over running his law practice.
So what's inspiring? That someone at middle age (39) can so dramatically reshape their health through diet and exercise. So what's annoying? Pretty much every single page of the book - except for appendix I which discusses the effectiveness of not using animal -based protein even while training for strenuous events.  (And even that section annoyed me when it became blatant advertising for Mr. Roll's supplement business -- where a 20 serving container of protein supplement sells for $75, not including shipping.  Yikes.)

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