A Strange ‘Take’ on Ebola: Handstands!!

A neighbour asked me yesterday if I knew how long the Ebola virus would take to get here from Texas where, sadly, one guy has died and two nurses are ill. I thought to myself ‘let’s look on the bright side, shall we?’ and made what I hope were encouraging noises about low probabilities. If she had her way, Oak Ridge would be in lockdown right now with all travel forbidden and all roads into town sealed off.


Coincidentally, I found an article to read which implied that our governments (US and UK) are not adequately prepared for any further transmission of the disease. Then there was a reference to some fairly senior lady in one of the international health organisations who has, apparently, made the following suggestion (I jest not, it’s true!):

Stay indoors, write a book, relearn the art of the handstand


Well, I spent most of today outdoors, so that’s that. Obviously I’m stuffed on that one.

Cover1 ThumbCover2 ThumbBut I AM writing a book – my fourth one, actually, almost certainly to have the title Let the Future Find Me. Don’t search for it yet because I am only just a little over half-way through, and the first three (different topic) took seven years! You can click on the covers here for more information about the first three, which are semi-autobiographical about gay love, sport (acrobatics mainly and performing on tours, plus the unexpected adventures which befell us).

Cover 3 ThumbThe new one is loosely based on an interesting Native American guy who crossed our path but is essentially fiction: we have no idea what happened to him in real life but this one is, shall we say, a bit of a ‘weepie’ based around what we did learn of him and what he did whilst he shared a few months of our lives – and most certainly doesn’t end happily ever after.

Will this activity ward off Ebola if the rest of Oak Ridge succumbs? Unlikely.

I do realise that Ebola is no laughing matter, with thousands of lives lost already, and I do not intend to be flippant. But, if writing a book isn’t going to keep it at bay, surely doing handstands………………?

handstand in undies

I wonder if the lady thought about ‘the law of unintended consequences’ when she made her suggestion? Given the general unfitness of the population, I suspect that suddenly everyone attempting handstands would do more harm than good, with quite a few casualties!


Only this week, as I reported, a young lad in our local acrobatic gym class broke his ‘balance’ arm when sliding off his partner’s head in a one-arm handstand. Not good. So at least try them on the ground, first:



As a ‘cure’, though, to ward off the Ebola virus? Doesn’t seem too likely to work, to me!

A couple more good ones, and then we’ll perhaps move on: the first one is British gymnast Jay Thompson (and in fact his senior team-mate Sam Oldham is the guy on the parallel bars in the earlier picture):



…and that one-armer, by the way, is the best conformation of all.

Let’s move on – perhaps helping to inspire more general ‘ground-based’ fitness would be more likely to stave off the dreaded disease!

severin - 089



I like this one of the younger generation comparing their six-packs:

young 6 packs

Working the ‘pec dec’ – a guy who I would have to say, definitely needs it:


Challenge those biceps:


…but who needs lumps of iron when you have a friend…?


…and don’t overlook the value of a simple pull-up bar!


None of which, I’m sure, will ward off Ebola if the worst happens. But we shall have fun keeping fit whilst we wait – and maybe even get to a position where we can be described as ‘perfectly formed’???

pull down

Oh, I nearly forgot:

‘Cluedo’ clue number 3:

Force prisoners to exercise (9)




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...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.