Last week’s posting difficulties arose because I was way out of reach of the internet most of the time, up in northern New York State at a lodge in the Adirondacks. A place that made its own electricity, provided superb food, and plays host every year to a residential group of art students from a college in New York.
Yep, I was posing. Along with Carlos, the most dedicated and ripped member of Chad’s gym who is also a professional model, and two sisters from New York City who are acrobatic contortionists and play the clubs of the major cities on the East Coast.
The job was offered during the recent circus tour that I had to miss with a leg injury. And, since everyone else in our acrobatic group had been hard at it (and some still are) it was suggested that I could go as a kind of consolation prize for missing the tour. And no Dave with me either – we’re still collectively catching up on coaching days as a result of our long absence in the summer vacation.
The requested formula was ‘life class’, including significant nude sessions, both indoors under the lights and outdoors. I’m no stranger to taking my clothes off in public (erm, see Loving the Boy and The Power of Love) so I didn’t really have hang ups with that…
… whilst Carlos spends hours every day pretty much naked and working on his ‘cuts’ alongside other guys similarly unclad, so he just needed to get used to having girls (and ladies) viewing him. The contortionists were a little nervous, but soon got into the swing of it alongside us…
This peculiar combination of individuals arose because the organisers wanted to include acrobatic positions in the modelling. A first time for them, apparently, and indeed for me. ‘How long can you balance on one arm?’ was an early question, and the answer is ‘Not as long as you probably hope!’ – actually, for positions like that we found that we could pose the position once, then take a rest, and then go back into it repeatedly hoping for some precision about holding exactly the same position. Not easy. But the students seemed to cope with that. Carlos doesn’t train as an acrobat – just for his ripped look (the organisers wanted to see individual muscles and he sure provides that!) and his strength – but the other three of us found he could support us as a balancing base quite well. He’s an ace wrestler, though – we all look forward to friendly bouts with him, especially when the oil comes out – so he and I also devised some entangled wrestling positions in which we could hold still for long enough for the students to sketch in the basics.
Carlos came into Chad’s gym and into our lives as the result of storm damage to the roof of Chad’s gym: one of a gang of three roofers who all became enthusiastic members when they saw what the gym was like (see Against All Odds) – one of them, Kellan, even had his wife accepted as an ‘honorary boy’ because Chad knew of her as a marathon runner. He has been a total enigma ever since – always stripped down to minute shorts when working on the roofs (and they usually come off in his lunch breaks if there is a convenient valley gutter to shield him from view): several hours of intense work on his muscles every day followed by more at home after a top-up tan on his tanning bed (no visible tan line, but we fear his skin will suddenly grow old ungracefully) – he does thousands of body-weight exercises every day…
…and intensive cardio exercises like this:
We introduced him to modelling, and now he divides him time between the studios and the roofs.
Some of the guys on the course were quite fit and were keen to get together with Carlos and I in the evenings…
Adirondack lakes and streams can be surprisingly cold:
…but, after a whole day of holding uncomfortable positions, they can be bliss! Carlos and I also went back to our shared room for some training in private – can’t miss a day out, you know! And I’m pretty certain now, judging by Carlos’s various reactions, that he’s as gay as I am. Just somehow, his regime comes out to be more important than anything else… but he certainly gets ‘aroused’ when wrestling and seeks his ‘relief’ in the same way I do (within the restraints of my Tuan Jie safe-sex commitment, of course!)
The students were told to try and draw my left leg the same size as the right one. It is going down day by day, but there is still something of a difference – however, I do seem to have recovered the balance skills, thank goodness. The concept of a slightly disabled acrobat seemed to amuse everyone!
So there we are – a strange week in the Adirondacks. It seemed to go well, and we may get invited back next year. The students stay out there for three weeks: right now in week 3 they’re capturing the colours of the New England (not quite) woodlands in the Fall; not sure how their first week was spent.
OK, I devote the rest of the space in this post to general fitness images, as ever. Enjoy!
A couple of ‘strength’ moves for you:
And now, back to the weight room:
(pity about the vest, but check out the biceps and delts!)
Admire the results:
Well, I hope that you have as much fun doing whatever you do as we seem to. Gay or straight. Get fit, stay fit, and be inspired and encouraged by those who’ve already made some progress.