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tumblr_ms5kgoXcGj1syuvebo1_1280Special Offer but, before you do…

This blog is about gay acrobats, their life and times, their adventures, their love, their love of fitness and, above all, their story, as told in three connected books which get promoted in the posts from time to time! The books are available in both paper form and as e-books from the usual web outlets. We want you to enjoy the pictures and the episodes of our life and times which get posted here, and we also hope that you’ll enjoy a good read…

bc48789155991bicep…wherever you hang out! Feel free to comment, or if you prefer something more private, use e-mail to gymacrobat@gmail.com – always happy to have your thoughts and opinions!

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

LINKS TO BOOKS UPDATED 1st SEPTEMBER 2014

Sincere apologies to all who have clicked on links in previous posts and obtained ‘Page Not Found': the publisher changed them all but did not tell ME… there is always Amazon and Kindle

 

Now read on, and join us ‘Living the Dream’…

 

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Links to Precis of Books… UPDATED

Sincere apologies to everyone who may have clicked on a link to the books in previous posts – either from a cover or a direct text reference…

My lovely publisher, Melrose Books, has changed all the direct links to descriptive pages AGAIN… without telling me

That means that 569 previous posts have broken links in… arrrgh!!!

I don’t think I can change that lot…

I know, I should have checked them more frequently…

Here are the corrected ones…

I have no idea when I can get around to changing the links on the newer posts (at least), but I will try. If anyone knows a system for trawling through the entire blog and changing them all in one go, DO please comment here!!
Right now I think I just need a little tlc…
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Bouncing Czechs Check In

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Labor Day weekend (day off from coaching tomorrow!) and those changeovers for the circus crew. Also, our new Czech friends were initiated into Chad’s elite gym on Friday evening. Because our training cabin tends to get used for ‘czeching checking out’ potential members, we tend to get chosen as ‘soul mates’ for the initiation more often than ordinary members. And so it was on Friday: I already hold the record for the most number of soul-mate re-initiation ceremonies (a duty we are obliged to accept if asked), yet I still got another one! The role of supporting the second Czech guy fell to Dave’s brother Pete.

Initiates are required to get naked with their soul mates whilst the rest of the gym inmates unusually keep their shorts on. Sort of making the initiates feel special – or intimidated!

First, the new guys show what they can do – mainly wrestling in these guys’ case…

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… and then they get a hygiene check by their soul mate (you don’t want an, erm, unwashed naked guy preceding you on the weights bench, or face-sitting you whilst wrestling, do you?). Just to instil the habit…After which, a brutal session of weights challenges to find their limits follows…

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…then it’s direct challenges with a bit of a beating, the bed of nails and glass and so forth (we add a short section of burning meths to the glass track these days, just to spice it up), a brand on the left hip (it’s voluntary, “but no-one has ever refused….”) and finally a retreat to the wrestling ‘wet pit’, installed because of a strange craze to wrestle under a shower head but also used for inundations of a more personal nature, as here… so four gay guys, the two Czechs, Pete and I, nursing our pain but feeling rather good about ourselves as usual, seeking relief in the way that gay guys do…

Didn’t get to bed exactly early on Friday evening – more like 3am Saturday. Fortunately, Leo off hiking in the Smokies with his friend Chris’s family, and Jaymee on a girlie sleepover; their mums gone off to join the circus, so we could sleep in. Alongside our wrestling mates from Lexington too, who are down for the holiday weekend… so we could all stay in our king-size bed till nearly noon Saturday! And, we have no coaching until Tuesday because the gymnastics centre does not open on Labor Day, and Pete and his partner drew the short straw for Saturday afternoon-evening.

Well, there are all sorts of things that four guys together can get up to: it could be joining a street workout…

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…nah, I think we’re all worked out after Friday evening! A bit of acrobatics? Maybe…

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What we actually did on Saturday evening was treat ourselves to a really class meal out, and then went back to bed!

Not even any time for bedtime reading although I could recommend some for you:

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

I didn’t recommend it for Leon and Dane (the Lexie wrestlers): since they actually appear in the books themselves, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise read for them!

With temperatures remaining high, some swimming is definitely on the cards for Sunday afternoon:

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…and tomorrow, the Czech guys are joining us for a further trip to the river and an introduction to Cody’s feral style of living in the woods: a naked swim, a barbecue, and maybe a few things for them to try in Cody’s basement of fun. Nuff said!

Behind all of this somewhat precocious activity lies a dedication in all of us to remaining fit and using that fitness in various ways (including making money – hence references to circus performance and coaching!). The remaining pictures for this holiday-weekend post simply reflect some excellent work in the gym, and what it can do for you. Enjoy!

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A cracker to finish…

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Tumbling Trials and Training Tips

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In amongst my muddly last post about ringing the changes in the ‘team’ out on the circus tour, I left out an important contribution. If anyone did the maths (no, I know you didn’t), the tumbling part of the show would have been reduced to just two people (Ethan and Jack) which doesn’t make for much of a spectacle! In fact, replacing Zach and Gary, who’ve been on the road doing acrobatics, tumbling and martial-arts-based feats for more than ten weeks now and are coming back to base, will be two Chinese guys who for everyone else’s convenience go under the names of ‘Sam’ and ‘Alex’ rather than Tsang Hui Tang and Tsang Hu Wei. We met them many years ago as young nephews to our great friends Yao and Li who invited us into their Kung Fu temple to share some of their remarkable expertise (see Loving the Boy). Now, fourteen years on, they are remarkably skilled in both their own art and are excellent tumblers as well, so they’re getting time off from the family restaurant in Knoxville to try ‘life on the road’ for a few weeks.

dl11Their skill is in no doubt, but they will need to integrate with Ethan and Jack with lightening speed because they will be in their first performance within a few hours or arriving on site. This is not how we like to do things – practice, practice, more practice being the ethic before any public get anywhere near! So our solution, since Dave and I know the routines backwards and so do Pete and Ivo, is that they have been training with us for a week and should (fingers crossed) “get the act together” with Ethan and Jack with just that few hours training. Ethan and Jack will focus on the balance part of the show, leaving Sam and Alex to lead later in the show with spear bending, smashing lumber across each other’s backs and all the other Kung Fu stuff which Gary (particularly) and Zach have been contributing to the tour thus far.

Fortunately the circus management, who engaged the ‘job lot’ of us including my son Leo and Dave’s daughter and knowing that we would need to swap personnel about now and again, seem totally relaxed with it. Apart from me having to withdraw from the start because of my leg injury, we haven’t so far let them down in any way and with Karen and Clare going out as well, they’ll get six of our happy brood keeping those elements of the circus alive for the next few weeks (after which this tour comes to an end anyway).

Dave and I would love to go back too, now that I can perform most of the stuff again reasonably well, but someone has to look after the kids (school is in session) and keep the coaching team at the gymnastics centre up to strength. So that’s where Dave and I will be most of the time…

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We have been incredibly fortunate in being welcomed into the Chinese family, arising from mutual respect of the different skills for which each of us has dedicated countless hours of training. As recounted in The Power of Love and, more particularly in Against All Odds, the family great-grandfather took us all under his wing and, along with the boys uncles Yao and Li, spent hundreds of hours of patient teaching with us, sharing things which are normally kept close within their own Kung Fu communities. Gary, in particular, received a very special ‘gift’ even after the great-grandfather had died… a gruelling week of 24-hour training to endure the balance on stomach on a single spear point.

So I guess we are becoming as much ‘theatrical agents’ and teachers as well as performers now. As our years mount up, I guess that’s what happens…

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…pushing the younger guys around in training and less ‘doing it ourselves’!

Of course, there’s life in the old dogs still… in the weights gym at the very least…

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Fitness and physical skill can be enjoyed in many ways:

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…sometimes just by holding a camera phone up to a mirror:

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…or better, a workout mate operates the camera…

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(aha, the concrete weight plates again!)

So, what are you waiting for? Get that shirt off and get training! Don’t get put off by the weather…

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…before you know it, this body could be YOU!

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All Change Again

This time, a little assorted news and some (ir)relevant pictures. Try to keep things fresh, like this guy after his dip in the river:

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He’s obviously been ‘dipping in’ to the weight room too – good for him.

OK. The circus tour which I had to miss (grrrr), but which my son Leo and Dave’s daughter Jaymee were able to ‘dip into’ for four weeks at the start of the long school break, is kind of ‘orbiting’ the states of Tennessee and Kentucky like an eccentric comet, and makes another reasonably close approach this coming weekend (‘Labor Day Weekend’ – how I hate that spelling, being a Brit). Our extended group has provided two ‘acts’ throughout, but we have rung the changes on exactly what they contain as various participants have exchanged places. This time, Zach and Gary (acrobatics and martial arts theme) are coming back to base, whilst the girls Karen and Clare (the kid’s mums) re-join with their fire and fakir-style contribution. Ethan and Jack (adagio acrobatics and tumbling) seem to have fallen in love with extended life on the road, and will remain for at least another eight weeks.

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Everyone must, of course, keep up a rigorous training schedule – how’s about this by the way…?

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…flexibility, and strength training are needed…

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Labor Day is the one weekend when the wrestle club in Lexington KY closes down, which means that our dear friends Leon and Dane will be joining us. They’re part of our closed gay group, which mean’s that they’re ‘cleared for action’, and everyone is looking forward to their arrival (they’ll share our king-size bed as usual):

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… and also looking forward to the reunion with Zach and Gary. There’ll be plenty of sweaty training and wrestling as well as the ‘fun’, since we all maintain the same fitness goals…

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(He’s been at the baby oil, ready for some oil wrestling…)

…and our new Czech friends, newly initiated into Chad’s gym, and definitely up for some of that!

30C and some cloud, but mainly sunny, remains the prospect for the weekend weather, so I guess we’ll be swimming too

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…along with continuing to enjoy each other’s company on the river bank (but more discretely since we’ll have the kids along as well)…

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Leo and Jaymee are furious about having to attend school rather than “join the circus”, but they’ve had their ‘taster’ and there will be plenty more chances so long as they, too, keep training (which they will).

Curiously, the mild ‘bullying‘ that Leo was previously enduring has come back. You would think that, as one of the most sport-mad kids on the block, he would be free of that. He’s a member of the wrestle team, but expresses a strong preference to engage in acrobatics rather than for example football, baseball or basketball. That lowers him in the estimation of many boys and some girls, along with his close buddy Chris. Their ‘undoing’ came in the locker room where their lack of any tan lines (the result of running around pretty much naked during on our vacation in the remote Welsh hills) surprisingly led to taunts of being a pervert and the subject of his gay parentage came up again… even though Chris is the product of a normal ‘American Dream’ family and both of them obsessively fancy the girls…

Sigh. Can’t win, really. Certain kids now have Leo and Chris down as a wanna-be gay couple. I feel more counselling coming on. Actually, I heard Leo took a swing at one boy (Chris let it slip out), and was rather successful. He’ll survive. He talks about it, which is the main thing, and his school work, though not outstanding, doesn’t seem to suffer. And he and Chris support each other.

Of course, I have to contend that there’s actually nothing wrong with being a gay couple (although declaring it at age 12 would probably be a bit OTT!), since Dave and I are one, and we have any number of gay couples as friends and four such couples as very special friends (that aforementioned ‘closed group’).

It’s all in here:

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

OK, the fun stuff now! Another kind of balancing (?) act…

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…add the strength moves…

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…hang in there…

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…and a few more excellent results from the weight room to finish!

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…and another great ‘oily’ boi as a finale (for now)!

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“Otiose Twaddlers” – 100 Years On

1795643_288759691299756_1235601088658042245_nI’m going to shoot myself in the foot at the end of this post – you’ll see.

That’s not MY foot, by the way – it’s a readers foot. He posted a picture of his foot – long story, let him tell it if he wants in a comment!

Meanwhile, where was I? Oh yes. I subscribe to the London newspaper The Times (electronic edition, for obvious reasons like being 4000 miles from London). They are currently running a daily piece from their editions exactly 100 years ago, and last Thursday’s contained that wonderful headline phrase OTIOSE TWADDLERS. Yeah, I had to look up ‘otiose’ too.

Pause for a nice pic of a football player (US) doing his training…

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“Useless / slothful people talking pointless rubbish” – apparently what the citizens of Brussels used to do in front of their north railway station 100 years ago – until the Germans marched in having taken them rather by surprise. I assume that British people reading that phrase in August 1914 would have had no trouble in understanding it… but then, the readers of The Times have always been “the intelligentsia” (smirk)…

Pause for another member of the same team, on the touchline…

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Not a bad weight for a shoulder press…

OK. Fast forward to a shopping mall in Oak Ridge Tennessee, August 2014. I have Dave’s daughter Jaymee with me – she needed some stuff for her room, and Dave and her mum were both busy. Sitting outside a diner in the mall were a family we know slightly – mum, dad, three teenagers. Burgers going cold in front of them. All five intent on I-phone screens… tap, tap, slide, little grin, tap, tap

I tell, you, Jaymee and I did two entire circuits of their table hoping to catch their attention and just say “Hi”. However, no-one looked up – no-one took another bite of their congealing burger… tap, tap, slide…

Jaymee and I took a look at each other, sighed, and we tiptoed away. Hate to disturb them…

Here’s half the team doing push-ups: I like the technique…

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OK, that’s enough. I hate American football…

That, gentlemen (and any ladies present), is the new Otiose Twaddling. “Useless / slothful people talking reading/tapping out pointless rubbish” – I don’t know whether they were Facebooking, Tweeting, Gaming or whatever but, for f*ck’s sake, can’t people put the damn things away for five minutes? At least whilst they eat? Maybe exchange a few words with their family family members?

Yes, our home with its numerous inhabitants has lots of electronic devices, but their use is limited to necessity, except when no other things need to be done. I am proud to say that Jaymee, my son Leo, and their closest friends, have grown up to enjoy sport, exercise, fresh air and so on… even the TV is rarely watched (though in US, with all the crap advertising, that’s not hard to do)… they are up at 6am not to Instagram their mates but to get across to the training cabin (with said mates) and get fit and improve their skills!

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No OTIOSE TWADDLING for them, nor for these guys I hope:

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Aha, a young gymnast wanting to improve his arm strength. Good for him. That’s what Dave and I (and a few of our acrobatic mates) now spend most of our time doing – encouraging the next generation.

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Hard physical work pays off:

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Now here’s a GOOD use for a smartphone – recording the progress of your weights programme:

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Nice taps, dude (faucet to the US guys)… I should have cropped that… more usefully, good shoulder/pec development… is that a small CAT sitting under his mirror (hey, Dave…)…

Here’s how I preferred to record OUR development (finding and loving Dave, enjoying developing acrobatic performance, going on tour, getting shot at… yeah, shit happens)…

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

Books are better than screens – but you can read ‘em on screen if you want because I was persuaded to have them published as e-books as well…

Now where’s all this going? Let’s have another fine body while I try to figure this out…

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…or two…

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…well, the one on the right, anyway…

OK. The ‘denoument’. What am I doing right now, composing this epic post? Tap, tap, click, click… WELL, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT ME TO DO? SEMAPHORE? SHOUT?

Destroyed my own argument, more like. As I predicted, shot myself in the foot, as they say. Hell, I need a drink…

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Indeed. (Thanks, Ian). Not that, then.

OK, only one choice left, and I should have thought of it straight off. Off with my beautiful Dave into the sunset, for some OTIOSE TWADDLING, 1914 style. Bye!

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Sunday + Hot = River + Barbecue!

pic01085Dave and I woke a little late this Sunday morning after supervising some of the fast-developing kids on the late shift at the gymnastics centre. Woken by cheerful banter with Karen outside our window as Steve arrived with his two boys for some early training in our cabin, and Ryan’s father arrived with him at the same time. Ryan and Steve’s Chris would be staying with us all day, and I watched them running barefoot and shirtless across the yard followed (slightly more slowly!) by Steve. A hot and humid day, so an afternoon at the river seemed appropriate, whilst sweaty training needed to be done early whilst it was still a little cooler.

My son Leo, already there with Dave’s brother and his partner, calls the cabin ‘The Sweat Room’. All 3 boys are wildly enthusiastic about their fitness anyway, with Leo and Chris enjoying their all-over Welsh suntans after an extraordinary four weeks of sun over in the UK wearing next to nothing (or, quite often, nothing!) in the remote Welsh hills, just “being boys” – mud/dirt/river/wrestling/climbing trees… you get the idea. Meanwhile Ryan continued his fitness training here in TN.

Dave fetched me my morning ‘tonic’ following a trip to the bathroom – a shot glass (you can guess) ahead of our juice… stupid ritual ‘male bonding’ thing – and we went down to join them.

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Steve busy doing his pull-ups (inspired by his sons and by us to recover his own fitness). Older son Billy (19yo bodybuilder) hefting heavy weights…

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…and also carefully supervising the younger ones in their efforts – pre-pubescent boys have a tendency to want to lift heavier than they should, and he is ultra-careful with them. In fact, the boys were doing acro when we arrive: Leo (naked) on his bed of nails with Chris doing a headstand on his stomach and Ryan supported on his hands in a straddle lift. In a performance, Leo would also ‘enjoy’ having his mum running a flame over his feet, but not this morning: she is preparing food in the kitchen to take for a Barbie.

Dave’s daughter is out at the back, walking on her hands over various obstacles which include an area of broken glass. Yes, we’re a weird lot, really. Dave and I warm up and practice balance for a bit (got to make sure we can keep up with these young ‘uns!)…

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…before hitting the weights ourselves for a while. Boys practice a little posing, encouraged by Billy (who is winning bodybuilding competitions), but they know really that they need strength and flexibility, not huge muscles, for what they want to do… acrobatic shows. But posing can be fun especially if the pictures look good:

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(better without that tattoo, I think)

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“Yeah!”

By 9.30 it was already getting very hot, and we all cooled off in our customary manner…

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…the yard hosepipe!

Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbOur early adventures in this cabin, over ten years ago now, are described here, along with our discovery of gay love and our love of acrobatic performance, which has sustained us pretty much ever since along with a number of our great friends. Right now, our mission is moving much more towards training the next generation: our kids (yeah, gay dads!) and their friends, and youngsters at the gymnastics centre where we now spend many hours coaching.

Anyway, back to today. Rest of the morning spent loafing around the yard (“shorts on, boys, the neighbours can see!”) whilst Jaymee and the girls (her mum and Leo’s) spent a long time working on their fire-fakir routines behind the cabin where the neighbour’s can’t see.

But everyone was anticipating the cooling dip in the Clinch River.

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Quick bite of salad for all, then, and Pete and Ivo off to the gymnastics centre for their shift. The rest – the whole mega-family plus friends (two mums, two dads, two offspring plus Chris and Ryan) – into cars to Cody’s place (also introduced in the books). Cody lives a similarly ‘feral’ lifestyle in a house deep in the woods near to the river bank with his mate Adge, and has a superb swimming hole which we all regularly use. The barbecue was his idea, and being shirtless (or less!) in the shade under the trees in between dips was the perfect way to deal with the oppressive heat of the afternoon…

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Cody swims naked in the Clinch River every day of the year – it is a really quiet place disturbed only on Dec 26 by a traditional event of the High School swim team (also in the books!).

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Cody enlisted help to prepare a fire for the barbie…

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What a fantastic way to spend our day off.

We all love the water, whether it be river…

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… lake…

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…sea…

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(yes, can combine that with a bit of stupid “fun” – suggest you don’t try what the guy on the left is doing)

…or pool…

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(choice of ‘swim or football there… and a “choice” ripped guy showing the sort of results that the boys are after with their light weights!)

We lost count of the number of burgers, sausage, etc consumed. More dips after, kids (and the two lesbian mums because they “do” fire anyway) jumping over the remains of the fire – all covered in smuts and ash – kids being kids.

Cover 3 ThumbAll good things come to an end. Just as in the books (interrupted, in our case, by a serious misadventure). We insisted that the boys clean up a little with a further dip before we could deliver Ryan and Chris back to their homes en route to ours. Fantastic Sunday, ending (inevitably!) in the shower…

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And so, with the rest of the family in their beds, that just leaves me, crafting this little post for your enjoyment. I’ll end with one more ‘wet’ picture – a fantastic image, I think, which does huge credit to the photographer, whoever designed the lighting and, of course, the boy! Where would we all be without the fantastic people whose work gets posted on the web for all to enjoy?

Hope you enjoyed your weekend as much as we did!

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“Why Are You Gay?”

This question, from a guy at the head of a ‘nuclear family’ of dad, mum, 2.4 kids… I dismissed it as a stupid question. Then I thought about it again.

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I am gay because that is what I am. But what does it mean…?

A majority of guys are ‘straight’. They are attracted to women, and women to them. So why am I attracted to men, and one guy, and one group of guys, in particular?

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The first book...How it worked for me is written here (click cover!). Let’s suppose that ‘guys’ are a herd… a pack. ‘Nature’ dictates that they should seek out females, and females seek them. OK… deal. Agree that. But do I fit into the ‘pack’? What do I need out of that relationship? Well, I need to be accepted by the pack – I need to be good enough to be ‘one of them’. In my case, as a gay guy, maybe that instinct, not to be an outcast from the pack, is stronger than the draw of females. So I need to be at least as good as they are – like when you were in school and captains picked their teams in sport, you don’t want to be the kid at the end that neither captain wants, do you? No, you want to be good enough to be ‘ranked’ alongside the others.

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Not necessarily ‘better’, but definitely ‘equal’. Respected. wanted by the other guys. That’s better. Better working together to make that happen than striving to be better than anyone else in the pack. Like those two. Male bonding – down to the team shorts as well in their case.

So my personal ‘pack’ are going to be sporty guys. I want to enjoy that ‘pack’ behaviour – sights, sounds, smells… exercising alongside a sweaty guy gives me a little ‘thrill’ (even if he’s straight)… admiring the bodies of the others in a gym and hoping they’ll admire mine… and so the confidence builds. Am I good enough? Will any of these guys feel cool about putting his arm around my sweaty shoulders and saying ‘well done mate!’? Do they want me close to them? Because I want to be close to them as we work together on perfecting our skills…

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…shirtless of course, enjoying the freedom and the sense of brotherhood…

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…getting the measure of each other’s strengths (and weaknesses!), skills, and so on…

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Breathing in the heady scent of male hormones at work, creating that ‘bonding’. I love the sensation of skin against skin, partner’s muscles straining, sweat mingling, in a tense but friendly tussle…

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Of course, “we’re all boys here…” and maybe it isn’t long before the shorts come off and it is just man against naked man, enjoying every sensation that comes with such freedom to express yourself…

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I’m not in a ‘nuclear’ family: two mums (lesbians), two dads (gays), two kids (desperately straight!) and another gay male couple (my partner Dave’s brother and Ivo) doesn’t sound exactly typical. But it works, and it works well.

Cover2 FullI have my very special love to thank for that. My ‘boy’, Dave. The night when, as 17 year olds, he sat behind my, massaging my shoulders and back and said, almost to himself, “Oh Tone, why did it take me so long to find you?” It brought tears to my eyes then, and still does now when I think of it. Poor Dave was a troubled soul at that time, and I believe that us finding each other as gay partners was key to him sorting himself out. He says so, anyway, and later, so did his parents. We didn’t go ‘the last mile’ (to put gay sex more discretely) for a while, until we ‘knew’ ourselves even better: then one night he just looked at me with those beautiful sad eyes and said “Tone… it’s time. I want you to…”

Some have said that Dave is the reason I’m gay. That’s silly, and I put it the other way around. I’m gay because I always was, and I found the perfect partner. The hours we spend like these two…

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And, between us, we have gathered a small group around us of caring, loving gay friends. I’d say ‘gay acrobats’, because we all are in that business, but it would sound a bit silly. Within that group, we’ve sworn a deeper bond… to share our gay physical love safely within the group because we always keep it entirely within that group, and constantly re-test for STDs in order to prove it to each other.

Thanks to a correspondent for this unusual picture which somehow seems to sum up how our group works:

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Actually, there aren’t enough legs, but its fun…

So there I am: Tone, analysed. Not “Why Am I Gay?” but “I am Gay”. It is ‘hard wired’ into me. It is about love, and close companionship, as well as being accepted for what I am and what I have achieved. It is not about being promiscuous and flaunting our sexuality in search of ‘free love’, nor clubbing in pursuit of orgies, not even ‘Gay Pride’ (which we don’t think always gives the right image to gay men… we’re not all out to (un)dress provocatively, certainly not into being ‘Queens’ or cross-dressing or anything else which others consider ‘sordid’)… no, it is about being in love in our natural way, with a life-raft of amazing gay friends around us. And that goes for the lesbian mums of our brilliant kids, too. Kids who are not ‘endangered’ – as a few have sometimes sought to suggest – by having gay dads.

Sorry, too many words in this post… it all just of kind of ‘came out’. Like we had to do! Let’s enjoy a few more pictures of companiable guys enjoying themselves:

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Cover 3 FullOh, and by the way, there are three books. Things go a bit pear-shaped during a circus tour here…

…at which point I’ll just say thanks for sticking with this lengthy post to the end, and have sweet dreams tonight!

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Imagination and Ingenuity

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In previous posts I’ve put up some pictures of some pretty basic gym set-ups – often in the countries of the former Soviet Union – where the lads have made the best of things and achieved great results despite having rusty weight plates, plaster falling off their walls, and so on. This one caught my eye – morning gym in Hanoi (Vietnam), just in the street, using a rusting old bench (left), a plank for inclined work (right) and barbells with concrete weights! Back to stone-age workouts, you might say.

This one sure is pretty basic

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Guys are pretty adaptable at creating work-out space. Getting a new barn? Just make sure there’s a bar there to practice your levers (and don’t fall on the dog)…

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…and while you’re at it – bring in an armchair and a TV!

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Great shoulder development, by the way. Any old bar in the street offers an opportunity…

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…as does the sitting-room floor:

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..and you can use the arms of your sofa to hold your extreme box splits:

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Got two trees? No problem, then:

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For handstands, all you need is a patio:

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Raining? So what?

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Got some overgrown stone steps? OK, then stretch!

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Another basic setup, used to good effect:

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Perhaps I’ve made the point by now. Achieving excellence does not require the best equipment: just a bit of ingenuity:

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…and imagination:

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Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbCover 3 ThumbAh. Boys getting ready for the circus! That was our dream, 14 years ago: it happened, too, with a lot of effort and some really great friends. You could read it all here, along with the (mis)adventures that met us along the way (and e-books are available for the techies) – click on covers for more information.

Yes, in pursuit of physical excellence, the road goes ever on. A few more images showing great results:

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Go on, you know what you want! Get out there, and do something about it!

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Czech-ing Them Out

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Check that lot out (street workout dudes)! I know that most readers here derive most pleasure from checking out the pictures, and we’re cool and happy about that. The blog is here (originally) to help sell books on gay lifestyle, performing (acrobatics) and some adventures we’ve had. OK, see at the end!

Regulars (and book readers) will know that I refer a lot to a private gym here which has been owned and managed by a guy who likes to choose who he accepts. Some ‘ordinary’ but enthusiastic guys get in during the day, but evenings, nights and most of the weekends are reserved for his special members – guys who have shown a huge dedication and commitment to their fitness – guys who like to get naked to get sweaty… especially wrestling… and guys who are tolerant of the high proportion of gays there, some of whom will elect to get rather personal with consenting mates as the night wears on… well:

Our little workout cabin and the top of the yard has seen many guys invited to be ‘tried out’ in front of a panel of Chad and his friends, before election to his ‘inner circle’ at his own place. They definitely need to be dedicated to their weights…

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…work well together with others…

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…enjoy a good tussle…

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…tolerate (or enjoy) a bit of this…

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…and show a willingness to try new things, such as trusting their bodies to a bit of basic physics (why doesn’t the balloon burst = why I can tolerate three other people on top of me when I lie there…)

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Occasionally, Chad’s challenges can be a little daunting…

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…but then the season should spare us from that one for a while!

Anwyay, when Dave and the others were on tour a couple of months back (and I wasn’t, thanks to my leg injury, grrrr), a couple of Czech guys on placement near here travelled to see their circus when it came within about 50 miles, and talked to the lads afterwards. Turned out to be super-fit guys, intrigued by acrobatics and desperate to find a good weights club. They also turned out to be a gay couple (it’s not a requirement to be gay around here, but Chad’s – shall we say – attracts those who appreciate great male bodies). To cut a long story short, Pavl and his friend got their invite to stop by our cabin, did their stuff with our weights, had a great wrestle with us (oil ‘n all and, as they say, ‘raw’), and were not too phased when Karen and Clare slipped in (they have been ‘honorary boys’ at Chad’s before even we showed up: muscular, fit and ever keen to shed their clothes too and to take on the best of the guys).

Yep, the Czechs are pretty strong, and surprised themselves with their own abilities in simple balance, such as this one:

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What they lack at the moment is flexibility…

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…but they’ll get there. They got everyone’s enthusiastic support to be initiated as full participants at Chad’s, after which we chilled out, chatting, admiring muscles and talking fitness late into the night.

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I think that they were kind of hoping for their first ‘gay orgy’ since arriving in US, but that’s not what we do… Dave, Pete, Ivo and I are members of a group of 10 sworn only to ‘do it’ within the group, and Chad and the others who came are equally careful when it comes to the possibility of STDs. However, we were more than willing to give them a ‘helping hand’ and to pair off alongside them…

It got so late that we suggested they bunk down in the attic space above the cabin, forgetting that young Leo, Chris and Ryan would wake them around six as they arrived for their pre-school training session… oh well. Somewhat bleary, we suggested a morning run – in the rain – before they cleaned themselves up and left for their work…

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If they didn’t think we were mad before, they probably do now. We love running in the rain.

OK, a few more pix to inspire them before they show up for their introduction to Chad’s ‘darker’ gym!

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I really like that picture – an ordinary, unpretentious boy who has been doing his own thing in the gym with excellent results

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And now, a pretentious one (?)…

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OK – reminder about the books now – just the ISBNs this time – print and e-books available, more info by clicking on the links…

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

And, finally, a perfect result from a powerful workout programme. Our new Czech friends are quite close to this already. Enjoy!

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Still Out to Get Us…

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I spend most of my time, as regulars will well know, in the so-called ‘Land of the Free’. ‘Free’ apparently means ‘free to be as abusive and bigoted as you wish, and to incite others to be the same’. Yep, there are still plenty of religious folk out here who want us (gay people) dead. This from a church in the New York borough of Brooklyn, as I understand it.

Religious extremism (as I believe this to be) seems to be fuelling the majority of world conflicts at the moment (Ukraine excepted, and the on-going Korean stand-off too). It is tempting to suggest that we should just ban religion but, for those who believe in that sort of thing (and I do not), then they should be free to do their thing, so long as it does not interfere with the peaceful lives of others.

Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbCover 3 ThumbIt is tempting, is it not, to send a parcel of my books to Pastor James David Manning! He could hold a ceremonial book burning out side his church. I might get some publicity out of that and increase my meagre sales!

I doubt that he and his congregation would appreciate the discovery of my love for Dave, our coming out, our associations with loving caring gay friends, even though it is ‘leavened’ (to use a biblical term!) by tales of acrobatics, circus, and some misadventures which overtook our performing tours.

A much brighter note is that the former homophobic parent of my son’s friend ‘Ryan’ is now, I think, firmly converted to the view and appreciated our ‘fitness’ lifestyle sufficiently to entrust his son to our training. I have always been careful to anonymise this boy (hence the inverted commas) in the blog, just in case, but I think I can drop the inverted commas now. I will just continue to call him Ryan since I have anyway changed quite a few names along the way in the interests of preserving people’s privacy. I won’t go so far as to say that the family is now a ‘friend’ of our extended family, but the fact that Dave and I now live with (as it were) the mothers of our kids (in a huge house, and the two couples preserving their gay partnerships!) seems to have  satisfied his concerns in some illogical way. And Ryan, I have to say, is developing his body and his physical skills brilliantly alongside my son Leo and his near-inseparable mate Chris (both seriously straight young men, by the way).

This blog, perhaps – no, certainly – without the support of ‘The Blood of Jesus Atlah World Missionary Church’ (strewth!) – has two purposes. One is to promote my books (nothing new there then!) and to post inspirational pictures to engage guys, gay or straight, to get their bodies in shape. So here we go with todays bunch:

A chalky gymnast to open the proceedings…

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A happy lad, clearly satisfied with his upper body…

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A weight trainer (can’t beat it!) updating his progress log…

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Showing off in a Bulgarian car park…

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Two guys looking good in bed:

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A really bulky lifter:

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And another – great pecs:

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A chunky Russian boy…

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Lad making excellent use of the spare space in his garage…

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Night shift at the street workout:
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Feel like a swim?

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Why not just show off what you have?

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And, for today’s finale, I dedicate this one to the Atlah church: two guys in bed together. Sleep tight!

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