Climbing Frame… or Zimmer Frame?


We’re being run ragged by four 12-year-olds (yes, Jaymee’s in there with the boys!) and their 10yo British protégé Ollie, here on vacation with his family. They challenged us to a “fun run” yesterday, which left me actually wheezing at the end – well, we are more than 2 and a half times their age, but still…

Cover1 Thumb…and that led to remarks (from Dave, curse…!) about Zimmer frames… Well, at the time I write about, starting with the book on the left (click!), I was only five years older than they now are, so I guess the ‘stuff’ we got up to then, sportswise, came a little easier! Discovering acrobatics, for example:



…discovering that I was a gay boy, falling in love…


…which meant enjoying ‘male’ sports even more (these guys are somewhat ‘overdressed’ by our standards!!)…


But now, my beloved son, 12yo, lovingly (I hope!) tells me that I’m “past it”…despite the fact that we still perform regularly in shows and coach acrobatics and gymnastics, putting on pretty fair demos of what we want the kids to do… oh well, old age creeps up on us!

We still prefer using frames in the athletic manner of the street workouts, rather than to help us stagger round a jogging course:


…the regular guys soon attract an admiring crowd…


…both for the skills demonstrated, and (for us gay lads) the body – wow! The street workout does wonders for shoulders, chest, back and abdomen:

shoulders etc

Cover2 ThumbOur story moved on, after that first book, describing how I come to be a proud gay father of a fantastic (straight) boy, and Dave likewise of an acrobatic and beautiful 12yo girl. Our sporting story moved on too, as our own skills developed within a wider circle of acro-minded friends and we started to tour with small circus groups. And, inevitably, we are never far from the weight room either:


Our training is very much a group effort, pushing each other on to better and better things:



…after all, you wouldn’t want one of your friends to be a weedy guy in the midst of all the excellence, would you, so it spurs everyone forward to want everyone to be ‘the best’…


The ‘lever’ is the indicator of great ‘core strength’. The centre guy there is in a ‘half lever’ or ‘pike’ position. Holding your body out straight is tougher, but comes with plenty of effort using the bars and frames… or just a bit of your house if you prefer!…

horizontal hold

The moral of this story is, whenever you see a bar, don’t go by without doing some pull-ups…


…you don’t even have to get off your bike!!

Cover 3 ThumbAnd finally, it’s a trilogy. In part 3, things went a bit pear-shaped but, clearly, we lived to tell the tale, otherwise I’d need a ghost writer… but perhaps this is being written by a ghost… a ghost of my former self, according to my beloved son. Dave suggests we go for a serious of runs in the night, when we can’t be watched by the young-uns, to get our cardio back to where it should be. We’ll see – there’s a few more days of intense effort to come before the 10yo heads home to UK with his family, and he sets high standards!!

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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