Rich Roll woke up the night before he turned forty to the fact that he was fifty pounds overweight and his sedentary lifestyle was taking him nowhere. Unable to even climb stairs without stopping, he knew he had to make a change.
This month's book selection, Finding Ultra, was one of the books that helped inspire me to turn my own life around. Overweight and unable to run fifty yards without getting winded, I went on to complete three of the toughest events on the planet, muddy half marathon obstacle courses known as Tough Mudders. You can read more about my own transformation in “Couch to Tough Mudder: My Journey.”
What I accomplished pales in comparison to Rich's transformation though. Powered by a plant-based diet, Rich went from sitting on the couch to the starting line of the elite Ultraman competition. Ultraman is a 320-mile (515 km) ordeal which combines swimming, biking, and running.
If that wasn't enough, Rich went on to perform an unprecedented feat which became known as the EPIC-5. Five Ironman-distance triathlons, each on a different Hawaiian island, all completed in less than a week. Each individual ironman consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride, and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run. There are not a lot of people in the world who can complete a single ironman, much less five in the same week.