If you’re familiar with the world of ultra endurance athletics (think double-Ironman triathlons, multi-day adventure races, etc.) than you’re probably familiar with Rich Roll. He’s the guy who, on the eve of his 40th birthday, realized he was out of shape, grossly overweight, and needed to do something about it for his family and for his kids so he didn’t keel over from a heart attack at a young age. He went on from that low to – only 2 years later – successfully competing in the Ultraman Triathlon – basically 2.5 Ironman distance triathlons strung together across 3 days in Hawaii. All of this while juggling the demands of a law practice and a large family. No small feat to say the least.
Rich’s brand new book – FINDING ULTRA – just hit stores last week. I was one of the lucky folks who received an advance copy, and Rich was kind enough to get on the phone and chat about the book, what he’s been up to, and his upcoming plans.
What most folks don’t know about Rich – and why the book is so enlightening – is the back story. That he was “that kid.” The scrawny one with the glasses who got picked on and sucked at team sports (um, yup, I can totally relate to that one). Or that discovering swimming in high school basically gave him a new life and new dreams. Or that discovering drinking in college basically derailed what could have potentially been an olympic swimming career. That he wasn’t clean and sober and out of rehab until his early 30’s. That to this day – contrary to perception – Rich isn’t a professional athlete. He does all of this juggling “life in the real world” just like the rest of us.