Seneca, Moral Epistles 80.2-3
“I made a huge mistake when I was just promising myself some peace and quiet without interruption. Listen: a huge roar rises out of the stadium and even though it doesn’t precisely distract me, it draws my attention to the difference of this very affair.
How many people, I think, train their bodies and how few exercise their minds! Look at the size of the crowds that rush to games even though they’re silly and a mere diversion, when the classrooms of the noble arts are empty! The minds of those athletes whose thick shoulders we admire are so thin.
But I contemplate this the most: if a body can be developed to such a degree of endurance through exercise that it will face the fists and feet of more than a single opponent at once, and become so disciplined that someone can remain the entire die in the burning sun and roiling dust, yet dripping with with its own blood–well, then, how much easier should it be to strengthen mind to prepare it to face fortune’s attacks unbeaten, so it will stand up again after it is thrown down and trampled?”
Magnum tamen verbum dixi, qui mihi silentium promittebam et sine interpellatore secretum. Ecce ingens clamor ex stadio perfertur et me non excutit mihi, sed in huius ipsius rei contentionem transfert. Cogito mecum, quam multi corpora exerceant, ingenia quam pauci; quantus ad spectaculum non fidele et lusorium fiat concursus, quanta sit circa artes bonas solitudo; quam inbecilli animo sint, quorum lacertos 3umerosque miramur. Illud maxime revolvo mecum: si corpus perduci exercitatione ad hanc patientiam potest, qua et pugnos pariter et calces non unius hominis ferat, qua solem ardentissimum in ferventissimo pulvere sustinens aliquis et sanguine suo madens