The Sweat Room

Dave’s brother Pete and his partner Ivo set up a training gym in a cabin at the back of their yard shortly after Pete had arrived in the US and met up with Ivo. It was of course an instant hit with his brother Dave, and I vividly recall my first ‘initiation’ into a place where gay athletes could do their own thing – recorded for posterity here!

Scroll on 13 years: Dave and I have a daughter and son courtesy of a lesbian partnership (in part 2 of the tale!): the kids have athletic friends, and they have kind of taken over the place! And last evening, son Leo and his best mate Chris informed me that the cabin was henceforth to be known as ‘The Sweat Room’ – ‘if you don’t get sweaty, dad, you haven’t trained hard enough!’ Oh well, like father, like son…

sweaty lad

Actually, that’s neither of us (and Leo and Chris are only 11yo!). I even caught them writing out a sort of manifesto: ‘A private training space for committed young guys working together to create great bodies….’ ‘Are you keen to shuck the shirt, get sweaty with us…’ ‘Have you got what it takes to put in the hours of strain and pain it takes to develop that ripped look…?’ Good grief, they’ll be putting up adverts around the town next.

Any, the operative word is indeed ‘Private’ – and it is quite small considering the number of Tuan Jie and our other friends who use it. So we’ve put a stop to all of that, delivered a lecture (although Dave and I found it quite funny really) and our little cabin remains ‘invitation only’!

I think that all of this was a reaction to the rather explosive impact Leo and Chris seem to have made in the new school: I can’t think where he gets the tendency to show off his skills from (blush)!!! That’s what happens when your mum and your dad (and most of their friends) are acrobatic and endurance performers, I suppose.

He’s right about one thing – working out with friends, and being committed, is what delivers:

gym buddies

Sorry about the grainy out-of-focus next pic but the abs are worth a look:

grainy abs pic

That friendly competitiveness inspires progress in any environment (however vintage your equipment!):

gym rats 3

ab work



All that hard training together then sets you up, both for own particular skill (such as adagio balance)…




…just looking good at ‘playtime’…

pals in the sea

…or just strutting your stuff in the parking lot…


So: Leo and Chris have the right idea. Get fit and keep fit: train your body for excellence in whatever direction you choose (we chose acrobatics and Leo may well do the same: Chris’s brother Billy chose competitive bodybuilding and at 16 is a junior champion): enjoy what you do together, and let working up a sweat work for you. Maybe I should have called the second book ‘The Power of Sweat’ instead… however, here they are:

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


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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2 Responses to The Sweat Room

  1. Pingback: Sunday + Hot = River + Barbecue! | Tony Cavanagh

  2. Pingback: Snapshot from ‘The Sweat Room’ | Tony Cavanagh

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