While I was on vacation, I set a couple of goals I wanted to accomplish: first I wanted to try Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)…done. Love it! Second: I wanted to finish reading a book. I happened to check out Finding Ultra after getting interested in improving my aerobic fat burning, so that became my goal book. I had my trusty iPad with me and was able to read the book for free by using my library card and checking out the digital version with my Overdrive app and reading on my free Kindle app. (I usually “read” more audio books because I listen to them while running, but this one was not available in audio form, so I actually read it). I accomplished my second goal too, and I am glad I did because I learned a lot about being a plant-based endurance athlete.
Before reading this book I thought of ultra endurance as unhealthy! How can running 100 miles be good for you? I learned how amazing our bodies are and just how much they are capable of. I once thought marathons were not healthy either. I now am seriously planning to run my first marathon some day soon. I ran my first half marathon this year (April 2016) and felt really good, I didn’t even hit any dreaded wall or have any bears jump on my back. Rich Roll is about five years older than me, so I feel confident that I can complete a marathon safely in my old age.
Rich shared some very personal moments in his book about overcoming addiction and fatigue. His stories inspired me to be a better me. Like Rich, I too was an athlete at a young age. His sport was swimming, mine was running. He learned a love of swimming partially because he was good at it, just like me with running. We both competed in college, he in swimming and I in running. Our stories differ in my ways too, I was lucky to never have felt the grasp of addiction (well besides chocolate, does that count?). Another similarity I have to Rich is being reunited with my love of running after finding a plant-based lifestyle. Once he started eating plants he found new energy and a desire to exercise. I found this to be true for myself as well.
I loved hearing about how he is a family man and how he tried to balance his ultra training, work, and family time. It can be a struggle trying to reach an important goal and not let other priorities slide. His passion was apparent to his family and they supported him and encouraged him. They helped encourage him when he thought he might be focusing too much on his ultra goal and letting work or family priorities slide.
This book may not be for everyone, but if you have any desire to be plant-based or to get in shape I highly recommend it. You will experience some of his lowest lows and highest highes in the pages and hopefully it will awaken in you a desire to live life a little fuller, like it has done for me.