The Russians are Coming…

I’m grateful to a Russian dude, known variously as Artem, Tema and Halien, for posting a large number of pictures on the net – mainly at – showing Russian lads exercising on the outdoor equipment thoughtfully provided outside the Stalinist apartment blocks in Russian cities. For a while I thought that some of his pictures were from the Ukraine (and maybe they were), but we’re pretty sure now that the bulk of them come from Russia.

Artem’s friends sure like showing off both their acrobatic skills and their strength – let’s start there, with two guys stressing out on the bars with a friend’s help (and perfect abs on the first ‘top’ guy):

In fact, these Russians are heavily into back levers and also shoulder loops: here’s a guy supporting two mates with what may be a trainer looking on:

…whilst you can work on your back lever even without a bar:

We’ve never performed in Russia – in fact, with acts like the Kalutskikh Brothers and Steelkast there, who needs a collection of Brits and Americans! But we do feel rather envious of these Russian boys, in the way the state seems to cater for their desires to build their bodies, and the obvious cameraderie the boys share… ah, yes, the cameraderie:

Not sure whether these two are celebrating some successful gymnastic accomplishment on the kiddie slide in the background, or whether there is more to it… but, dude, lose the sandals, OK? Applies to the first pic too – this horrible footwear seems to be rather frequently worn in Russia. Wouldn’t be seen dead in them myself in any gym – certainly with socks… ugh!

Wherever you go, there are boys enjoying acrobatics at all levels and sharing the successes and occasional failures. It all goes towards making friendships that last, just as our group has lasted over ten years now, with the best friends that Dave and I could possibly wish for. Always encouraging one another, and working hard to produce new tricks.

We’ve been known as many things – Gymnos Extreme Acrobatics being one, although there is an unfortunate association with nudity in that name which wasn’t always intended (but sometimes was exploited!), The Circus of Pain (although that was really our other friends enduring strange tortures whilst we did the acrobatics), Circus Extrême which included all of us, and more, although more recently we’ve simply been incorporated in various combinations into larger touring shows.

Anyway, ‘Good on Yer, Russkies’ – one of the top nations in acrobatic gymnastics, along with Ukraine and our very own United Kingdom. Our world. The one which inspired ‘Living the Dream’.



About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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