Gladiator For a Day

I have my very own gladiator and he was amazing in battle.

Two weeks ago Surfer Ty and my boys attended “Gladiator School” in Rome and Surfer Ty was pretty amazing.  He’s always been a fighter–he’s something of a legend in San Diego–but watching him fence with his gladiator instructor wowed me.  Ty only needed one run through of the different moves–defensive and offensive–and then he was sword to sword with his instructor and it was like a beautiful ballet of man and muscle.

Ty isn’t always the easiest guy.  In fact sometimes I think he and I are two different species.  But oh, even after eight years I find him so very sexy.  I love watching him surf…his ease in the water…the effortless way he moves on his board…and then when he was fencing I was awed all over again.  He’s graceful…magical.   Inspiring.  He uses his body the way I use words.

When Ty and I first started dating he said he’d had a dream that he was a gladiator in the Colosseum and I was an empress in the stands and I held his life in my hands.  Would I save him, or let him die?

I would have saved him.  Freed him.

I think there’s a story there…

Do you ever think you’ve lived a past life?  Do you feel like you’ve been someone else in the past?  I do and I’m certain I knew Ty in it, too.

Everyone that posts in the comment section below will have a chance to win a very special Italy prize package that includes a beautiful Venetian red heart necklace plus other great gifts.  The contest runs through Sunday night.  I’ll announce the winner Monday.  Chat with me and then come back to see if you won!



  1. I want one of those. Where do I find one. LOL! I think we’ve all lived a past life. It’s just hard to find out what. I think my love for Hawaii and how it feels like I’ve come home when I have been able to travel there. Maybe I was Hawaiian at once. But, I guess we’ll never really know. I also feel I don’t fit in with my family. I think maybe I was switched at birth. Seriously, it looks looks gladiator Ty at school was a lot of fun to watch.

  2. Jane, you are such an amazing lady! Thank you for sharing this awesome post : ) I hope that your life is always filled with love, passion, and adventure. You deserve all those things, and they are part of what makes you such a wonderful storyteller.

    I am a Prairie Woman at heart. I do believe that I may I have lived in the Old West of the 1800’s. I had a wonderful man of the West, a homestead, and children. My heart was full, and the love that was felt survived all trials and tribulations. The two that began the journey became one generation after another. My family not only survived…we thrived : )

  3. I had a reading once. Did on a whim. I was told that I had designed jewelry in two different past lives (once in silver, once in gold), and designed dresses in Portugal – I think she said the 16th century.

    Still not sure how I feel about that info or if it true.

  4. How fun!
    I don’t really believe in past lives, but I did have a dream once that I was getting ready to go out and looked in the mirror, and I had a different face.

  5. Hi Jane 🙂 Very thought-provoking post on many different levels. I just got a fortune cookie today that said “You are a lover of words someday you will write a book.” Hmmmmmm…I like that. Have a great weekend.

  6. I went on a field trip with my son’s class to San Fransisco to the wharf. We went on a huge old ship and while I was standing at the bow, I felt at home. It seemed as if I’d been there before. It really was a very peaceful feeling.

  7. How sweet! You obviously adore one another…

    I do believe me and my husband were together in a past life. When we met in high school, our friendship was effortless. Ten years later it blossomed into something more and it’s been 12 years and three kids now and I love him more today than ever before.

  8. Hi Jane, wow gladiator training sounds awesome!
    I am not sure about a past life but there is one place that i often dream about. The throne room in the Winter Palace, St Petersburg. In my dreams i am not anyone of importance maybe a lady in waiting if i am lucky (HAHA) but i am always there to see the Tsar receive guests to the palace. The thing i love the most about my dream is the colours the golds and the rich reds.
    I have been to the Winter Palace when i was 16 it was so amazing i fell in love with it and i am determined to go back with my family one day.
    I am not sure what the dream is about but as it takes me back there i don’t mind having the dream until its relevance is revealed. I cant wait to read other comments. xxx

  9. Hi Jane,

    I’m not sure that I have felt like I was someone else in a past life but my mom has always felt that she was Anne Boleyn, King Henry’s 2nd wife. Guess that would make me Elizabeth. Woohoo, I was royalty! Take Care.

  10. That must have been an amazing trip for your family! I’m not sure if I’ve ever lived before, but I’ve had a few a-ha moments. I’ve always felt especially connected to the WWII-era. I feel more like I belong in that era than I do now, if that makes sense. I’m just drawn to it – the history, the music, the fashion. That’s why I love reading so much. I can immerse myself in that and other eras.

  11. I just remember that growing up I wanted to live the like of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Looking back, I don’t know that I would have enjoyed “roughing it” like they had to. lol

  12. Hi! Wow your a lucky lady to have surfrt Ty in your life, and I love to hear your story on how you met Ty and what’s going on with you and your family.You look good together. This is so funny but i feel like I lived in the era of the west, I’m always reading about it and interested in cowboys and horses, and I don’t even ride, sure I help a friend with her horses and before I got married I hung-out with the rodeo for years.I’m not sure if thats really the past life for me because, I like the beach and I went to this sufer shop in Jensen beach and bought this really funky skirt that I fell in love daughter thinks is old fashion but thats what I’m into,my great-grandother had this dress but her waist was a size5 but I loved the style so my mom who was a dressmaker she made one like it.Anyways, thats my story and you and your gladiator stay happy!

  13. What great adventures you have had and awesome memories made!

    I do believe in past lives and that everything happens for a reason. Now if you were to ask me if this is my first or thirtieth life, I couldn’t tell you. I’m still waiting for that ah ha moment.

    I often watch my youngest boy and think what an old soul he is and that he was meant to be born in the 50’s with his music and style. He’s such a gentleman and so very compassionate.

    Thank you for sharing all of your wonderful stories, both true and not!

  14. Wow…Surfer Ty is talented on land and sea! I think I’ve definitely lived another life in Ireland. I have been there a few times and would go back every year if I could. There is just something about it that speaks to me.

    Hope you all are settling back into your routines. Vacations are wonderful but regular life makes them all the sweeter!

  15. I love Ty’s dream, how romantic!
    I’m not sure if I’ve lived any past lives (I’m so confused by the world, maybe I’m a new soul ;-)), but I’m very lucky in this one.

  16. loved hearing your words of love for your man! very romantic; thanks for being so inspiring. i think i lived a past life; i just feel it when i visit certain places for the first time or meet certain people for the first time; like i have been there living before and was a part of the “community”. so maybe one day it will be brought to “light” for me.

  17. Wow!



    Just three little words that come to mind…love is never easy but the effort always yields big returns.

    Hugs from T-town…

  18. Wonderful photos. You are very fortunate to have Ty and that special Italy experience. Yes, I do believe that I had a past life. It seems so familiar when I read a novel, hear the music and visit a place from the 40’s and 50’s.

  19. I don’t know if I’ve lived a past life. I was very comfortable in Paris. Does that mean I once lived there?

  20. There are times when I think that I must have lived in another time. I work in a corporate high tech world and feel drawn to the simplicities of life. Gardening, canning, mowing, hiking, etc.
    How in the world did this country bumkin girl get to the high tech corporate world?

  21. I love everyone’s posts and your blog post. I have 2 recurring dreams of 2 different homes-neither of which I have ever seen in this lifetime.

  22. I feel like I lived in England in a past life around the Elizabethan era .
    Sometimes I do feel so out of place in modern times but I do love modern dentistry electric toothbrushes and minty tasting toothpaste.
    Ty looks like he had a great time.
    Maybe you and Ty can do some serious role playing one day.

  23. I have never had those feelings of living before but I had a friend that said he lived before during the Civil War. He said he could remember being at some of the houses and things in our area before and he was not from here. The weird thing about him too was that he had one blue eye and one green eye. Very strange.

  24. Beautiful post and sentiments Jane… it made my heart ache…

    I like to think that we go on after we have gone, so that allows us to have existed in a past life to get to this one… if that makes sense. I have no strong feeling of any particular past life so maybe that means the best is yet to come.

  25. First of all your husband is a handsome man and then he’s got all that other stuff going for him you mention plus PLUS he seems to be a romantic! What’s not to love there. It’s awesome after 8 years you still feel that connection and it’s grown. Love to hear that stuff. I’ll be married 19 years in June and don’t see where the years went but i still think my hubby is sexy and there are those things that still attract me. I’m not sure if i feel like i lived in another time but my hubby has often said he should’ve grown up back in the 1800’s and been a cowboy. I believe that too.

    Great pics Ty looks graceful even pictures. What a great memory for you and your boys too.

    Lisa B

  26. What an amazing trip for you and your family! That is great that Ty and your sons got to do the Gladiator school – how cool!! I have never really had the feeling I have lived a past life…but I’m sure anything is possible.

  27. I am always inspired by your words of emotion towards your relationship. It brings me great hope to think as I near forty I can possibly feel that way again too. Your trip sounded amazing. I am glad it created so many great feelings.I sometimes dream about living along the coast. I feel as though I lived there as an adult but I in fact haven’t lived there since I was very little. So maybe I lived along the coast in another life and that is why I yearn to be there.

  28. Jane,
    Ty’s dream sounds magical. I believe that dreams are sometimes real so that puts you two back then together and here now together. It’s really something when you feel a connection to the great flow of time.

  29. I don’t believe I lived a past life, but it sure would be something wonderful to remember! Unless, of course, it wasn’t a very good life lol.

    I’m glad you all had such an awesome vacation!

  30. That’s a handsome man you have there, Jane. 🙂

    When I fell in love with my husband I felt I had known him forever. It was and is the most intense feeling I have ever had.

    Do we fight? Oh, God, yes. Sometimes I wonder what world he is from. 🙂 But I feel like we have always been together in this life and before.

  31. I do believe in former lives. I am not quite sure what I was in a former life but I know in my heart that the man of my dreams, my best friend, was so a part of that. I believe we have been together in the past and will always be together. I feel like we have always been with each other and that is why he knows me better than anyone else in the world and I understand him better than anyone too. There is an intrinsic connection between the two of us that has always been present and keeps us connected even when we are far a part.

    There is something so amazing about being in someone’s presence and knowing that even in silence you are communicating with each other. He’s the only one I have ever felt comfortable with when there are no words between us.

    I love that you are surrounded by such amazingly strong and handsome men!! Your Ty and your boys sound so awesome and I know you are such a blessing to them!!!

    Wishing you much love and many blessings!!

  32. I don’t believe in past lives, although if I did it would explain a lot of things such as how amazing it is that two people can click together so suddenly, whether as lovers or friends, and on the other toss of the coin, why it is that some people dislike each other for no apparent reason. That’s a weird one. We sure are a complicated species!!! But I love the romance of people coming together again in a different life.

  33. Jane,

    Thanks so much for always sharing! What an amazing journey you are having…..How wonderful that Surfer Ty was able to act on something that he had always dreamed about.

    I do believe that I have lived before and I have always been drawn to the south. I have a great male friend that has been my friend for almost 27yrs, and we knew instantly that we had a connection as if we had been together in a past life, and while we do not seem to meant to be together as a couple in this lifetime, we have such a strong bond, that we can go many months without contact and then catch up either in person or by phone and its as if there was never a lapse.

    Looking forward to hearing more about your adventures in print and in life.


    PS One of most favorite Romance books that I read many years ago was “Knight in Shining Armor” by Jude Deveroux, loved the character “going” back in time and then having a character from a past time coming to the present.

  34. What a great thing to do and there is definitely a story to be told. I don’t know that I ever thought about past lives but you never know.

  35. I love how you express yourself with words. I too, have felt that I should be living in a different time. My time frame is in the early 1800’s. What grabs my heart is the simplicity of life, sense of community, rich and deep family values. Of course, times were rough but I believe goodness out weighs evil anytime. Be blessed.

  36. I never really thought about having a past life but I think it’s so cool that you feel like you and one and Ty was part of it too.

    Gladiator School sounds like so much fun.

    Enjoy your weekend 🙂

  37. I’ve often felt that if we really are reincarnated that I might have lived in the 1940’s. Every time I see pictures they seem so familiar to me. I am always drawn to the fashions and the music of that era. Sometimes I would find myself just staring at a picture from that era…just lost in thought.

  38. I completely believe in past lives! And I believe that we are living those lives with the same people over & over, learning lessons. But I am not sure who I was in these past lives–but hopefully a woman–ha ha!

  39. Hi Jane, I completely agree we all lived past lives. I also believe we find our true loves over and over again in each life. I think in one of my lives I was a warrior princess, one of the few women who actually fought back in those ancient times, during the crusades. I still have that fighter in me today in modern times, it’s just a different battle now. Jane, what a cool book you could write with the past lives!

  40. I have never felt like I lived a past life but that’s why I read so much. I get to be the character and feel what it’s like in whatever setting it takes place in. Right now I’m in Texas with your book. I also enjoy reading books that take place in Europe because I’ve never been there. I really enjoyed “Eat, Pray,Love ” just for that reason I got to feel what it’s like to be right there. Your books have let me experience The Seattle area and I’ve been dying to get over there to see it in person. You make it sound so beautiful. Take care P.s. Cool pictures of Surfer Ty!!!

  41. Don’t know about a past life, but I am always drawn to art, artists, writers and books and the ocean…just love the ocean or any large body of water.

    Way to go Ty! Good pictures, too Jane!

    Love and prayers for your life and relationships!

  42. Thank you for sharing the “inspiring” (ie “hot”) photos and the romantic feelings you have for Ty. You have made my day.

  43. wow, what talented people you and Ty are(or should I say courageous to fence). The only fencing I know is the post/wire kind on the farm, lol.

    Yesterday was my birthday and what a nice present if I win. That is as close as I’ll ever get to Italy I’m sure.

    What amazing travels you have; take care.

  44. Cool post. Sometimes I get that deja veux feeling. I think it would be cool to find out that I had had past lives.

  45. I don’t believe I’ve lived a past life. Or maybe it just wasn’t exciting enough to remember. 🙂 Looks like your family is having an amazing time. I hope there are many more pictures to come! Have a safe trip!

  46. Your words about you and Ty are simply beautiful. It sounds like gladiator school was second nature. And you’re right, there is a story there. 🙂

    There are places and times that feel so comfortable and peaceful that I’m sure I’ve been there before. Diana Gabaldon’s latest book is titled ‘An Echo in the Bone’ and that really says what I feel. Somewhere deep inside I recognize it, and can feel and hear the echo of another day, another time, another place.

    And then I soak up what is happening right now, so that maybe one day, in another life, I will recognize this, too.

    Now, can the sun please, please come out?! Enjoy your weekend ~


  47. Somebody’s read The Lady or the Tiger…

    I’m not sure about past lives, but I’ve always thought I was born in the wrong century and would have done better as some Romany gypsy or Medieval maiden, always with a brawny, wealthy hero who sweeps me off my feet – and then I remember I couldn’t do without flushing toilets. Guess I’m where I belong after all.

    I can’t imagine how thrilling it must have been to watch Ty fence like that. Be still my heart. What a perfect Roman treat. Can’t wait to hear more about your fantastic trip!

  48. Wow your own private gladiator. Very fun! Just thought I’d share that I loaned out my personal signed copy of Flirting with Forty to a friend for her Spring break vacation. She’s never read you and I couldn’t have a friend of mine not having read your books!
    Im sure she’ll be asking for more when she gets back!
    Have a great weekend!

  49. What a wonderful, exciting life you lead! Sounds like a storybook~the handsome prince, the travels, the beautiful children….. love, love, love. 😉

  50. I think it’s possible that I had a past life, but I’ve never had any familiar feelings or flashbacks.

  51. Hi Jane,

    What a nice story and then one from real life.
    About a past life.
    Actually many years ago when I visited Italy for the first time, I was very young, but I had a flashback and could remember many things that used to be and it was a weird familiar feeling.

  52. Hi Jane

    I always so enjoy your posts! My son learned to fence at a cub scout event and he really enjoyed it.

    I don’t think about past lives but try to live every day to the fullest and appreciate the little things. And the free things.

    Thanks for sharing!

  53. Great post, Jane! You’re hot for Ty…then, now and always! 🙂 I remember as a child having that deja vu feeling frequently. As an adult, I don’t have it ofen, but I still wonder.

  54. I’m going to echo the appreciation for your eloquence of expression. I love the phrase “a beautiful ballet of man and muscle”. WOW

    I think past lives are ancestral lives. You could be a descendant of an empress. And your Ty could be a descendant of a gladiator.

    I’ve cried at battlefields where my ancestors fought. I’ve walked on ancestral land and felt home. I think we all carry memories in our DNA. You’re gifted with the ability to express it in words.

  55. It does sound like there’s a story in that . . .
    Many times I’ve had the feeling that I’ve been in places before; it’s a little unnerving but a lot intriguing.

  56. I seem to always have the dejavu feeling with certain places I have never been before. It’s always made me think I have lived a past life.
    Hopefully one day, I will be able to visit Italy. It sounds fabulous! 🙂

  57. I do feel I’ve lived in a past life just by ‘seeing’ things that trigger a thought. Sometimes I can see something happening before it actually happens too which sometimes can be scary. My husband is caretaker of a Civil War Estate and at times I’ve felt the prescense of ghosts, and so has he…kinda eery but not threatening. I loved Italy when we went there, so glad you and your family enjoyed your trip. Looking forward to returning to Venice and Florence someday.

  58. I am right there with you Jane. I constantly get flashes of familiarity with situations. I think our soul travels. That is where we coin the term soul mates. One we have loved or encountered in our time, some place, some time.

    I do also have to agree, it would be a great book! What would we call this one???

  59. I loved your post- loved the romance of Ty’s statement of his dream to you. I have always been drawn to and really enjoyed books about some sort of time travel. Yes, Jane, you should write something along those lines or something about past lives. I find it facinating, and from reading the posts from your other readers, they do too.
    I don’t have any strong feelings about living a past life, but I believe it’s possible.

  60. There are longings in our lives, places we want to see from a deep rooted feeling in our hearts, people we seem to know, sensations of déjà vu that can’t be explained…yes, I think we are travelers in a way.

    When I was a child I was convinced I had lived another live. I asked my parents for toys I had never had but was convinced I had played with them and dreamed of places that felt like home. Now as an adult I don’t remember these pictures as vividly but I have met people and been to places that made me feel the same way.

    BTW: I do think that women and men are a different species… I fought the thought for a long time (as it is not really scientifically based ;)) but watching my husband and me and especially my sons and my daughter… there’s no way we are the same species. (and … I hope no man is reading in: we are the more complex one by a million to one ;))

  61. There is definitely a story there, Jane! What a fun and exciting time you’ve had.

    We’ve been busy here dodging tornados and trying to keep from being blown out of Kansas…I mean Kentucky 😉 Lots of storms here but we’re taking it in stride and trying to get used to living in this sometimes volatile weather zone.

    My garden is being tilled up next week and my little seedlings are doing great in the greenhouse. The morning glories are coming up and will soon be climbing the railing by the front door and blooming with red, white, and blue blooms. The honeysuckle is budding and the night air will be heavy and so aromatic. I love spring and summer!

    Anyway, big hugs to you! Thanks for sharing your vacation with us 🙂

  62. That was a sweet post… I’m glad to hear you’re so in love even 8 year later. And Ty is a total hunk! 🙂

  63. Hello Jane! *waving*
    Very cool post this week!! 🙂 Surfer Ty looks so cool in his garb and he looks so natural at it, like he had been doing it forever. Once an athlete, always an athlete!
    You know, I love that time period and all it represents. Gladiators! Oh so yummy! Where can you ever find one of the better specimens of man? Ruggedly handsome, strong, self-confident, able to use his weapon well (he he); what more could any woman want.
    I feel like I have had a couple past lives; one in which I have lived during time King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere and the Lady of the Lake, I see a vision of myself not only as a maiden but a warrior too. The seond one is so very real, in this vision my name is Siobhan and I live in victorian style house that sits high on a cliffs overlooking the ocean. My job is to keep the lighthouse lit as my father and grandfather did before me. I often wait by the windows, in the lighthouse or along the shore looking for the sight of a light of incoming ships. Aboard one is the love of my life, a Sea Captain whose name is Malcolm McCormick. I can see his face so clearly; his Captain’s cap, his chiseled face and his beard. I see the dresses I wear, flowing in the wind as I walk along the cliffs to the lighthouse. I have had this dream/vision many, many times; it rarely changes and it feels so real. Kinda eerie in a way… yet, maybe not so strange after all.

    Have a great weekend and wonderful week! Can’t wait to hear more about your adventure! :-))

    XOXO, Lisa

  64. That is so awesome!! I love when the man in your life can still surprise you. My husband and I are together 18 years and there are times when he surprises me and makes me really examine life.


  65. What a cool experience for Surfer Ty and the boys!

    I don’t know if I’ve ever thought I had lived a past life. I get those feelings of deja vu every so often when something that I don’t think I’ve done before seems suddenly familiar, but past that I’m not sure. Sometimes I feel like I would be better suited for earlier times as I can be a bit old fashioned about things.

    There’s a really awesome book that integrates the idea of past lives with a great love story. It’s one of my favorites. It’s called My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares. It’s an enchanting read. You might like it.

    Hope you’re enjoying what’s left of the weekend!

  66. I have never really thought about living a past life before. It would totally explain all the dejavu instances I have. And all this time I just thought I was losing my mind! 😉

    I am glad you are having an amazing trip! These are amazing memories you are building with your family! Have a safe trip home!

  67. Thanks for your great post. I don’t feel that I have lived a past life, but many people think my son may have. Who knows?? Have a good week!

  68. Hi Jane,
    all these pictures of Italy make me so very homesick!!!
    I have always loved history, it was my favourite subject at school. I have always loved big dresses, palaces, castles and I have visited a lot of them. Maybe because I lived there in past lives. It is a very interesting theory.
    I am happy you enjoyed your trip to Italy. History is one of the thing I miss the most now that I live in Canada.
    Take care.

  69. I wound up spending Saturday night and Sunday morning in the emergency room.
    My daughter hurt herself at work and we had to wait for about 4hours to get the glass out of her arm. Gosh I am tired. WE finally got home about 4am

  70. Hey Jane! Way cool pic of Surfer Ty and that he got to live his dream as a gladiator 🙂

    I don’t know of living a past life, but I do believe that some people live them. I definitely have deja vu visions. The events usually appear in a dream, and then they actually happen well later at a future date. It is pretty wild when I recognize that its happening. One of my favorite movies that deals with time travel (so to speak) and past lives is the film “Somewhere in Time” with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. Love it!!

    Welcome back from your trip :0)

  71. Hi Jane,

    Great story about you and Ty. I always enjoy reading your stories and all of your books!!!

    I love early American things so if I ever lived a past life I imagine it was out East somehere not in the Midwest where I have lived my whole life.


  72. Hola Jane!
    Glad to hear the exciment in your words. It felt like you were falling in love all over agein.
    I can’t wait to hear that you are writing a book about this adventure.

  73. The gladiator school sounds really cool. I’ll keep that in mind if we ever go to Italy! I’ve never really thought about having a past life, but if I did, I sure which I could time travel back to it to check out what I was doing.

  74. I think I was a hunter-gatherer type “Clan of the Cave Bear” woman. I loved those stories and connected to them in a big way.
    Neat pics of your gladiator!

  75. Good morning all!

    I’m heading to airport soon to fly with Mac to So Calif where we’ll meet up with Surfer Ty who is flying in from Hawaii. Ty’s mom isn’t well and we’re rushing to get to her. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

    And now the winner for the Gladiator prize…

    #71 Ivonne

    Congrats, Ivonne!! I hope you’ll love the prize. 🙂

    I also have 2 bonus winners who will receive a fun surprise gift:

    #45 Sharen G
    #17 Jill Q

    Will all three prize winners send me their mail address in a private email and indicate which of my books you’d like to receive along with your other great goodies?

    Love to all and more soon!


  76. Congrats to all the winners! Sorry to hear about Ty’s mom. Will pray and keep all of you in my thoughts,too. Power of prayer is strong!
    Take care…

  77. I’m awed that you would take the time to think of us while you have to travel and think of Ty’s mother. Have a safe trip…we’re thinking of both your families.

  78. Praying that the love of her family will be good medicine for Ty’s mom and that you all get there to see her safely.

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