Muddy Waters


Unusually warm weather this last weekend; Karen making a rare visit to see one of her brothers, took Clare and Jaymee, leaving ‘us boys’ to entertain ourselves. Neighbour Steve’s boys Chris (my son Leo’s best mate) and Billy (teen bodybuilder) suggested a swim; Leo turned the suggestion into a demand and, since Dave and I were unexpectedly relieved of coaching duties on Sunday by Pete and Ivo, we persuaded newly fit Steve to join us. His wife, probably fortunately, declined a dip in the Clinch River.

Our usual swimming hole is actually friend Cody’s who lives nearby, and he swims, invariably naked, every day of the year. So I called him to warn of our arrival, expecting him to join us, which he naturally did, along with his housemate Adge.

This is a remote spot, except for their ramshackle house, in which Cody maintains a dungeon of fun for those who like that sort of fun. Not for the young boys, of course, and so he had devised another entertainment post swimming… mud wrestling at the edge of the river. How could one refuse, with temperature in the mid 70s (F)…

After swimming, the shorts had briefly gone back on, against the remote chance of being busted by off-course Sunday strollers (except for Cody who never ‘gives a damn’ what anyone might think)…, so it started, shall we say, ‘decently’…



…but, of course, that didn’t last, with eight well-built guys used to training (and living, in Cody’s case) naked…


…and, inevitably then, everyone back in the side creek where it cascades over a few rocks – in order to clean up!

who needs clothes

That’s not us, by the way – I’d be ashamed to be photographed if I looked like I needed so much weight training to sharpen up a bit… you don’t have to be a body builder to get some definition (although Billy is one)… just put in a bit of effort…


Our private training cabin sees plenty of effort put in from the whole lot of us, and this is the usual way we get the sweat off (even when it’s snowing!):


…so the early March river temperature doesn’t really hold us back. And, to be fair, since we all claim to be fitness freaks, it is sometimes fun to do this…


…just as those street workout lads from eastern Europe like to do!

Of course, it would be great if we were nearer the sea – who doesn’t like the combination of sun, sand and blue sky…



…but the sea is hundreds of miles away from here, so Clinch River it is! There is a public pool in the summer, but it  gets hopelessly crowded, so it’s not for us. And the funds won’t run to installing our own.

In Wales (UK), our place is a mere 30 miles or so from the sea, so that is one huge advantage when we’re there. It also has a very convenient plunge pool quite close into a really icy stream


‘Why should I want to jump in the cold river?’ asked Steve’s wife. ‘You boys just go off and do your macho thing on your own’…which is exactly what we did. Because we can. Because “we’re tough guys and can take it…(??)..!”

Or like to think we are. Dave and I have always set a high fitness-standard example to Leo and Jaymee, and we think they’re grateful to be talented acrobats and general sports-persons. Leo gets a bit of ‘flack’ from his peers when he throws one-arm handstands in his Phys Ed classes: I do worry sometimes that he shows off too much. He doesn’t exactly claim to “walk on water”, but maybe he succeeds in lying on water sometimes…


I guess I was showing off a bit when I finally completed three books about our life and times in discovering gay love, discovering acrobatics, performing, and getting f***ked up once or twice…

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

The ‘boy’ referred to in the first title is, obviously my beloved Dave. And my son Leo and Dave’s daughter Jaymee are the joys of our lives too. Not every gay couple gets such a chance to have kids and experience the utter delight they can bring.

And so: after a riotous Sunday afternoon in the best sun of the year so far, a mass meal out (junk food, but just that once…) and home to an early bed. Then it’s just Dave and I…



Sweet, huh?

Bonus Boys

OK, a little additional fitness inspiration before bedtime:



(We’re riveted to the spot by that guy’s eyes…)


And finally, back to some (slightly) muddier water…


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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1 Response to Muddy Waters

  1. Paul says:

    Yes you boys are so macho! (Do you recommend pink for my living room curtains?); also
    it’s “Dave and me” (not I); but then rather butch than bitch…..and also: Gawd you guys are Works of Art and I can’t correct you as I would not correct Michaelangelo. Just be yourselves and inspire our day again and again. Thanks guys.

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