Body and Soul


Just over 13 years ago, Dave gave me his love (‘Oh, Tone – why did it take me so long to find you?’), his body (‘Tone, this is the time – f*** me.) and, I guess, his soul. And I gave him mine. All three. Coming out to everyone else as a gay couple took – well, a while. Those quotes, by the way, from ‘Loving the Boy’. It took me much longer to convince myself that I should write such stuff down, and there were lots of agonised conversations with Dave and everyone else who features – a whole tribe of gay boys (and straights too), and a couple of lesbians thrown in for good measure…

tumblr_mukv1hgobC1syuvebo6_1280Dave and I getting it together was also the ‘key’ to joining Chad’s famous gym. It was our enthusiasm for acrobatics that basically got us in – our persistence with balance, as well as tumbling. one armOne arm is tougher, and doing it on each other somewhat harder still. But it is huge fun.

And, of course, agreed that we had to develop our strength and flexibility to make us worthy of the groups that we would join and perform with, so a dedication to workouts quickly developed: indoors…


…and, when we get the chance, outdoors as well…



I think that most gay guys are very body-conscious, and having both a dedicated partner and a wider circle of enthusiasts to keep pushing you on certainly helps! Our wrestling improved a lot, too – Dave’s brother had initiated him in the art before we met and Dave lost no time in getting me up to speed…


Dave and I have only seriously disagreed about something once – and that was when we decided to donate our ‘seed’ to the lesbian couple to produce what are now my beloved son Leo and Dave’s much loved daughter Jaymee. I had basically decided that I would do it, but only if he did. He was very negative, but somehow I knew he would come round. At the very end of that first book (and indeed, repeated at the very start of the second, ‘The Power of Love’), at what had started out like the most disastrous dinner party ever, he turned to one of the girls with the question which I knew would be the winner: ‘This means so much to you, doesn’t it?’

That single moment has shaped our lives ever since New Year 2003, when they were born just four days apart. And it will be Jaymee and Leo’s future, their wishes, and those of their wonderful mums, which will shape ours. We’ve decided that much, but so far no more, about what we shall do when our present home in TN is sold up and Dave’s dad moves back to UK. Except for one more thing: whatever we do, Dave and I will do it together.


For thirteen years we’ve done everything together (and frequently, with our larger group of mates on board too) and that’s not about to change…



Even when we got ourselves into ‘a spot of bother’ (‘Against All Odds’), Dave and I were together to support one another and some of our colleagues who got drawn into our amazing friend Zach’s (shall we say) “family difficulty”.

There won’t be fourth book about us, by the way. Three is quite enough, and the third one ends in very positive and conclusive way…

A tear ran down my face, and he noticed.

‘Is everything alright, Tone?’

I paused a few seconds, feeling that things were far from alright. And yet… the guardians had just performed a final service. All for me, this time. I guess I sniffed a little, and wiped my hand across my face. Then I jumped up, staring at the trees and the sheep. I offered him my arm to pull him to his feet.

All the events of the past years shot through my brain in a flash. The bad times… the good times… And then a possible future, and what might have been the future, played out in my head.

I smiled at him, and put my arm around his shoulders.

‘Yes, Zach. Everything’s fine. Just fine.’

And it has been fine, ever since. And will be, whatever we decide to do next. There is a fourth book “under construction” – not about us, but some fiction/faction based around our Native American friend for which the likely title is ‘Let the Future Find Me’… and that’s what we’re going to do next. Let our future evolve around us. Just so long as Leo and Jaymee are happy.

Meanwhile, we continue to preach the gospel to all ages: “get fit, keep fit!”


It’s a great way to keep body and soul together, along of course with spending quality time with your loved one…


And have fun with your friends…just so long as you are the fit guys at the front and not the fat guy at the back…

fit guys at the front...

…but if you are the unfit guy, don’t despair. You have the choice to do something about it – and you can. This is the one instance where the ‘Let the Future Find Me’ philosophy won’t work – it will be a future full of burgers, French fries and sugar. You gotta take charge of your own future sometimes, to keep body and soul together in perfect harmony…


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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