Errol “The Rocket” Jones is someone who does one thing very well. Few people can say that about anything, but Errol is the sort of specialist who finds fulfillment in a single task.
Errol’s task is running. Not just any running, mind you, Errol specializes in Ultra Running, and that’s why the REI team followed him, to hear about his life philosophy and to watch him do what he does best.
Errol’s nickname belies his actual mode of thought. “Rocket” would indicate that Errol is all about speed. And while no one is calling Errol slow (he can outrun people half his age of 65), Errol is more about stamina than speed.
In his decades of ultra running, he has traversed tens of thousands of miles on courses all over the world. He’s an icon of the sport. But in the video made by REI, Errol is worried.
Errol hasn’t completed a hundred mile course in more than three years. A hundred miles isn’t easy for anyone to run, but it was a beast that Errol used to slay with relative ease, at least compared to the challenges he has endured in recent attempts. For Errol, a race like that isn’t against the other runners – it’s against the distance itself. Out there on the trail, Errol says he faces his demons, and he’s training ever harder to be ready when they come out to beat him on his next run.
Life is about suffering, says Errol. Pleasure, true pleasure, lies on the other side of pain. To run the distances that Errol and his fellow runners attempt is to embrace pain, to learn from it, to conquer it and find joy and fulfillment on the other side.