Hot – and Cold – ‘Builders’…

So. Our good mate Billy (15) and, with him, his brother Chris and my Leo, now have supervised access to Chad’s amazing collection of weights equipment. Billy the ‘builder’, seriously aware and proud of his body and recent winner of his first teen-level competition.


Of course, there are tyro builders in the place too, but their training times rarely coincide with the after-school hours permitted to Billy and the gang. There are also others, highly dedicated colleagues also wedded to the machines but focussed on strength and endurance rather than bulking up – guys like our excellent mate Carlos, for example, the most ‘ripped’ body I can recall, who spends most of his non-working waking hours there.


We’ve also had another idea.

The adventure begins...Things turn bad and dangerous for a while...As told in my chronicles of our acrobatic and gay adventures (click on left or right cover!), we have friends in Knoxville who are also keen bodybuilders. Our great Chinese friends Li and Yao, themselves ferociously expert martial artists, have an uncle who has trained two younger boys in their family (‘Sam’ and ‘Alex’ are their adopted English names) along with two of their (then) school friends (one American, Caz, and one of Indian origin). These four, now approaching 20yo, are obvious contacts for Billy, and we are in process of introducing them – although Ro-i (as we shorten the impossible Indian name) is more agile and less bulked than the others and joins us sometimes for some basic acrobatics.

shaolin-monk-spearGary is closest to the Chinese family – indeed he is an honorary Chinese really, having trained with an amazing great-grandfather, now passed away, who almost from beyond the grave trained Gary to do the famous stomach balance on a single spear point and donated an original authentic piece of apparatus to him on which to perform the feat.

So he had no trouble at all in arranging for Billy to join one of their training sessions.

6148 (10)A small drawback is the uncle likes to start his training sessions with these boys at 5am – in Knoxville, which is 40 minutes away – and Billy is as yet too young to drive himself. Only special friends of the Chinese family are admitted to this training ‘temple’, so it falls to one of us to take him there. We’re going to do it once a week, taking turns, and whoever goes is going to join in. Never pass up a chance of training with a different coach!

Snag number 2 is that the training sessions start with an ice bath! OK, we can take it. We’re tough, after all. Aren’t we?



‘Course we can… in fact it comes highly recommended, and you can always improvise if you want to get everyone in quickly…

individual ice baths

…Anyway, I digress (as usual!). Billy and his mates are going to be kept busy getting to grips with Chad’s array of weight equipment…


as well as the free weights in the Tsang’s


Sorry, but for some reason today all the pictures are coming out small although I am choosing the ‘large’ option upon upload. Blame WORDPRESS, not me! Also, some pictures posted here and in recent posts since they changed the system do not enlarge if you click on them… I think I’ve cracked this now for most of them… let’s see…

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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