The ‘Greaseball’ Challenge

A school classmate of my son Leo and his weights-buddy Chris approached Chris the other day and told him he wanted to do sports like he did. Chris, apparently, was fairly rude. This was a morbidly obese and essentially spherical boy whose diet appears to consist entirely of potato chips and fries washed down with sugary sodas and a double cheesburger for afters.

challengeAn already hugely unpopular boy unable to take part in anything of a sporting nature, this boy apparently complained to his father about what Chris had said, which led to a conversation between their fathers. Your son’s a bodybuilder, right? I seen him on TV.’ Yes, that’s Chris’s elder brother Billy, age 15. ‘Yep.’ ‘I wanna get to him to help **** get fit.’ At this point Chris’s father didn’t realise he was speaking with a greaseball family. The guy was so insistent to the extent that, in the end, their father persuaded Chris and Billy (after speaking to Dave and I on the phone) to wheel him down to our training cabin to see what we thought.

Leo was training his acrobatics with Jaymee. Billy got to work on our weights. Chris announced he was going to do weights too, so could we help this boy?

OMG. What a challenge. We daren’t let him near a weight in case of heart failure. In fact we hardly dare let him even move in case we needed to call paramedics. Ivo and Pete arrived, eyes out on stalks, to enjoy some wrestling and a workout. The boy’s eyes were also bulging with amazement at all this frenzied energy and activity. ‘You guys do this all the time?’ ‘Yep, if you want to do what we do you gotta give up the burgers and fries, eat lettuce and exercise, like, brutally!’ I didn’t feel we should pull punches.

childhood-obesity-problemI sensed strongly that Leo, Chris and Billy wanted us to send the dude packing. But, in a sort of insane way, he’s an interesting challenge. Right there we drew up a gentle running programme (like not more than 20 yards at a stretch for a start!!), wrote down what he should be eating, and told him that, when we return after our UK visit in the new year, if he’s lost a significant number of pounds, then we’ll give him a chance. ‘Otherwise,’ I suggested, ‘You’ll probably die before you’re 40!’ So that gave him something to think about. He mumbled some thanks, clutched the piece of paper we told him to show to his parents, and waddled out into the night.

Well, we’ll see!

Let’s take a look at some properly shaped boys, then. Doing what WE do!

blog4 (4)

ring planche

Even an ‘oldie’ B&W picture does this guy’s back muscles justice…


…and, yep, the wrestling pit too…

oil pit

One more. A special concession to Dave, this one, and in the theme of this post, we genuinely know a guy (Jake) who had a cat which he called ‘McDonald’, because he liked burgers…


It died.

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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