I've had the honor of filming Serena Williams and Kobe Bryant, I've spent a lot of time with elite athletes, and I've never been more impressed with anybody than I was with Eliud Kipchoge. He's like a cross between Yoda and Bruce Lee. He's got this profound wisdom inside him, an earned and grounded wisdom that is absolutely intoxicating. How many millions and millions of dollars that he's earned—he's a big Nike athlete, he's won all these marathon—and yet, five days a week, he goes up to a place in the rural highlands, which is really remote and about 8,000 feet up. There are 11 rooms in the building, 22 runners at any given time, two per room. I think there were four Olympic gold medalists in that crew of 22. There is no running water, and they're not allowed to hire anybody to help them. They have to go to the wells to get the water, they have to clean the toilets, they have to scrub their own plates. You have the gold medal Olympic champion sharing a room with a 19-year-old wanna-be. Well, in this group, you're not a wannabe, you're on your way. Eliud's the pride of Kenya, and yet he shares a room with a young man as part of his training and part humility.
The runners in the camp wake up at 5:15 every morning, and they start running at 6 a.m. without fail. They run about 120 miles a week, sometimes more, and then they come back, they have lunch—some tea and some rice, and two days a week they have meat. In the afternoon at 4:00 they run again, and because they've run so hard, around dark it's time to read a book and go to bed. I haven't spent time with monks or anything like that, so comparing it to that is not fair for me, but there was such an impossible sense of purpose in everybody in that camp. Everybody in that camp knew what they were supposed to do. They knew they were pursuing absolute excellence.