As a former fighter, conditioning can wane through the years, but some things stay with you forever… (no, not just my crooked nose, bent to the right, that i still notice in todays picture…) It’s the spirit and heart of a fighter. The inner strength that enables you to stand alone in the ring, look into the eyes of another man well trained and focused to hurt you, all while standing judgement of the rowdy crowd watching you under close spotlight. It’s a huge test of will and strength– and not many in life can do it. Throughout history, the primal power of the warrior spirit lives on…
Along those lines of pugilism and history, our roots in combat sports tie back to the Romans and the era of the great Gladiators. This morning, i had an amazing and powerful experience in Avenches, Switzerland– the former land of Aventicum, which was the capital of Roman Switzerland founded in 72 AD….
I woke up at 630am this morning and went for a morning run. Over the past 2 weeks, ive gotten sick of my laxidasical disregard for fitness and have newfound motivation. Anyway– I had no idea where i was headed, but soon ran smack into something absolutely amazing– the infamous Roman Ampitheater of Aventicum….
You see, this arena was built in the first century A.D. and was the site of historical battles between gladiators, as well as between gladiators and animals (lions, bears, lynxes.) Up to 16,000 ancient Romans, many of whom where hunters themselves, would gather here and chear loudly during the brutal combative events.
This early morning there was no crowd. The arena and surrounding area was empty– all mine, to be had by myself. I wasn’t there to be a spectator– I ran sets of rock steps (shown on the left,) did pushups and squats in the emperors seating area (center/left above the arge archway,) I shadow boxed on the arena floor– where these past great battles took place.
You see, im convinced that as i shadow boxed in the center arena, my soul was in touch with the gladiators of ancient times who stood and fought in the same spot. I could feel it in my chest– a spiritual connection to past generations of the fighters heart.
I’m humbled, honored and very fortunate. This may seem corny to some readers, but this is a impactful day in my life.
Lastly, after my run on the way back to the hotel, I ran into a great bakery / cafe where i bought a freshly baked (still warm) pastry. Tasty way to end my morning adventure…
Add comment March 3rd, 2008