I’m long overdue to introduce more of our colleagues who have for various reaons featured in the books.
Cody is something of a loner. And, outwardly, weird. I met him first on my initiation day at Chad’s gym, when he demanded, and bit off, a piece of toenail, having apparently gotten the habit of consuming a small piece of every member. Oh well.
Cody lives a ‘feral’ life in a ramshackle home deep in the woods near the Clinch River. The track is deliberately inaccessible and only his friends know the way in with vehicles. He has a private income, and so does not work. Instead, he largely goes naked (“because I can” he says), his skin tanned deeply, summer or winter, and swims every day in the Clinch River, year round.
My second encounter was doing exactly that when I unknowingly chose his favourite swimming hole to do some skinny dipping of my own, and came upon him snoozing by the bank – naked, obviously – with his dog providing him with some ‘contentment’. Whether he had trained his dog to do this, or whether the dog figured it out for himself, I have no idea: I understand the dog sometimes received ‘attention’ in return. As I said, weird.
And wierder. His one personal addiction was S&M, a service which he provided clandestinely in his basement for visiting groups, and expected suitable ‘punishment’ in return.
Cody certainly enjoys receiving punishment just as much as giving it. These guys get quite heavy with their whips and stuff – maybe we won’t go too deeply into that here – but Cody just laps it up. Sometimes literally.
Once we got to know him, we found Cody to be a sincere friend, caring about us in our rather new environment of Chad’s group and, as it turned out, doing a great deal behind the scenes to ensure that we were looked after appropriately as 17 pushing on 18 year olds in a rather more adult environment. His bizarre lifestyle was, in some ways, an ‘act’ – he wants to keep a distance from ‘ordinary’ folk who are not his friends, and certainly succeeeds. But we are proud to be his friends.
Sharing the peculiar home until recently was his friend since childhood, our one-time coach Andy, who has recently left for a new senior coach job in a high school about 100 miles away. Andy, also a member of Chad’s group, was the guy who allowed us to introduce acrobatics into the school, and allowed us a very long leash too to do what we wanted, starting with the basics…
…before moving on to the cleverer stuff…
Andy now works quite close to our wrestling friends in Lexington KY (Leon and Dane) and they often come back to Oak Ridge together for the weekend to enjoy Chad’s gym or our training cabin. Cody’s new ‘house boy’ companion is a long-term S&M freak from Chad’s… who has always delighted in setting himself major endurance challenges, one ‘Adge’, and they make a good pair I guess.
Going back to the pic above of the guy tied to a tree…
…it was Dave and I briefly agreeing to do that, along with Karen and Clare and a couple of the others, that unwittingly led to the chain of events which I eventually decided to write about. That day, we met a guy called Vince for the first time. He’s in jail now. But that was only the beginning.
And now, the
Actually, let’s have two today. Both with great definition.