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Finding Ultra!

Updated: Oct 20, 2023

I read this book at the beginning of the year and it completely changed my perspective!

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll is an amazingly inspiring book that I would highly recommend reading to anyone but especially if you are someone who is in their forties (like myself), has always been into fitness but may have questioned how to continue athletically at a peak level - This book is for you!

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I was listening to a podcast at the beginning of this year and the guest they had on was talking about his story which was super interesting and made me want to learn more about him. The author is Rich Roll and his book is Finding Ultra. It is about as motivating as you can get! If you have ever questioned yourself and your athletic or mental abilities or whether you have the self discipline to make a complete change in your life and never look back, then this book is for you.

As someone who has always been drawn to fitness in one form or another but has also had his fair share of challenges and injuries especially now being in my forties, there was and sometimes still are questions as to what you can or cannot do when it comes to staying fit as we get older. I have always pushed myself but have to admit that I have had to make adjustments in my training over the last few years to work around certain things. However this book made me want to rethink a lot of those questions and mental blocks to how hard I should push myself and instead make some pretty major adjustments in my diet so that I could continue to do the things I love without making too many concessions on how hard I train. Rich Roll is completely plant based but didn't start down that road until his forties, he went from being a sedentary middle aged workaholic who ate terribly and hadn't worked out in years to becoming one of the worlds fittest men well into his forties and is still training at a high level now in his mid fifties. So it made me think about things in a different way, instead of accepting the status quo of getting a bit older and having to make changes to the physical activities that I enjoy, it completely motivated me to look at some of the things I was doing or not doing in regards to eating and make major changes and see what happens, why not. It doesn't have to be that way, we don't have to do less & less as we get into our 40's and beyond, instead we can try to find ways that help us to thrive even if they might seem daunting at first.

So my wife has been a vegetarian for years and I have always been mindful about how I eat but if i'm being honest I was never super strict, as long as I got my workouts in and followed a relatively healthy diet I didn't see a problem but as I said earlier, I was starting to notice that injuries would pop up more frequently or the aches and pains would linger longer than they used to, I would have to adjust workouts and back off of certain training routines more often to recover. So the year before I picked up this book I had already decided to go vegetarian but I was going to allow myself some flexibility (flexetarian, haha) and not be too hard on myself if I slipped up, but to my surprise it wasn't as bad as I thought but unfortunately I still wasn't seeing the results that I wanted - fast forward to this year and that podcast that I first came across Rich Rolls story on and the fact that he had done all of this on a completely plant based vegan diet, I was intrigued...

So, at the beginning of this year I decided to give it a go but again leaving myself a little flexibility just in case. In truth, the reason behind the flexible approach is two fold - it is pretty well studied that if you jump in at the deep end and don't allow yourself any wiggle room, you are most likely setting yourself up for failure, it really is a mental game and allowing yourself to believe you can have some of those things you might miss, actually makes it easier to stick to the new program, that being said i'm pretty competitive and don't have too many issues with being self disciplined, so I didn't anticipate too many issues but I figured a safety net couldn't hurt when making such a big change in lifestyle but with all that said so far this year has been pretty successful, I really haven't had more than a handful of times that I have slightly veered off (a bit of dairy here & there) but what has been super interesting to me is how little I have craved any of the things I thought I might. There are so many more choices now to eat really great tasting food on a plant based diet that it leaves little to miss, let alone the increased energy and recovery time for workouts has been incredible! Don't get me wrong there has still been the occasional injury (had one this year, but recovered in two weeks) & the aches and pains can still flair up but I do feel much better overall and will continue to dial things in as I go and hopefully some of those issues will be less frequent. I am a realist and do not think that a plant based diet will erase all of those things completely but cutting out foods known to cause inflammation and increasing the anti inflammatory plant based foods can only help in the long run.

So if you have thought about changing up your eating habits, I say go for it! Whatever they are just give it a try and don't be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, but I would highly recommend a plant based lifestyle especially if your looking to increase your energy and find a great way to either help you get back in shape or improve what your currently doing and get more out of your workouts. Not to mention how much better it is for our environment as well. Trust me its definitely worth a try!


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