My favorite parts:
"Epictetus, a philosopher of the 1st-2nd century A.D., provides a telling passage that rings through the centuries, heard by all ancient and modern who would aspire to be an Olympic champion:
You say "I want to win at Olympia." Look at what is involved both before and after, and only then, if it is to your advantage, begin the task. If you do, you will have to obey instructions, eat according to regulations, keep away from desserts, exercise on a fixed schedule at definite hours, in both heat and cold; you must not drink cold water nor can you have a drink of wine whenever you want. You must hand yourself over to your coach exactly as you would to a doctor. Then in the contest itself you must gouge and be gouged; there will be times when you will sprain a wrist, turn your ankle, swallow mouthfuls of sand, and be flogged. And after all that ... there are times when you [will] lose. [And] you say, "I want to win at Olympia."
(Epictetus, Discourses 15: 2-5)"
and this quote:
"Aelian, a writer of the early 2nd century A.D., who describes how important it is to not let opponents know if you are hurt or injured:
Eurydamas of Cyrene won the boxing, even though his opponent knocked out his teeth. To keep his opponent from having any satisfaction, he swallowed them.
(Aelian, Various History 10:19)"
They also talk about the "tetrad" system of training which sounds very similar to crossfit.
Damn, swallowing your own teeth to hide the weakness is gangster all hell. Probably dangerous as all hell, but that's how gangster roll.
"Fine, if I'm not allowed to light it on fire, can my imaginary friend?"