Back in the Ring

Three shows under our belts now with the new line-up, and pretty successful. No teeterboard as yet! We all get a little time to relax on Sunday evening, although there is an afternoon show.


While relaxing by the sea in a cave would be good, it remains somewhat cold and the sea coast is just that bit too far away from us at the moment. So it is more likely to be relaxing in our camping bus in our usual state of (un)dress.


The windows are tinted such that we can see out, but no-one can see in. Barefoot is a rule, shirts are almost never on and, when it’s just down to our gay selves at the end of the day, well, who needs anything else?

Cover 3 ThumbThis bus is an ex-Lexington Transit vehicle of ‘a certain age’,”tastefully” converted with three sleeping bays (two bunks in each, each wide enough for a couple – yes, designed with us in mind!), a small ‘lounge’ area and, in the front, two rows of fixed coach seats which we are supposed to use when travelling for legal and insurance reasons. Its acquisition is fully explained in this book (click on cover) – the third and final section of my chronicle of finding gay love, enjoying acrobatics and having misadventures. OK, enuff said about books for this post.

We have integrated our performance much more with sword-swallower Pavl and his knife-throwing target Jody than we initially expected, and it is working really well. They do ‘bed-of-swords’ now instead of us – we’ve persuaded Pavl to perform shirtless as we do! – Jody does a little contortion on top of him and we add one of us in a handstand on his chest. Pavl had never tried the heavier loads with his body across four swords until now, but maybe he was inspired by our antics piling each other up in a ‘stack’ of nail beds and broken glass, as well as using both nails and glass as a ‘base’ for acrobatics. They also do the ‘knife drop’ on to Jody’s stomach with her in an elegant ‘bridge position. I love circus – its a mad, mad world!


I told you that Pavl had challenged us to wrestle him in our submission style – it has been his free-time passion for years back in Czech, and Friday afternoon before our first show he wrestled Zach in the ring in front of assorted circus dudes (so keeping our shorts on!) and won, followed by wrestling me (30+ like Zach and with a slightly stiff leg): he was tiring somewhat and I thought I had him, but some slick moves I didn’t expect saw me ‘done’ as well. He’s just 19 – that’s my excuse!

Pavl is a great guy and has no issues with the rest of us being fairly obviously a gay bunch (especially when invited into the bus!). However, I sense ‘love is in the air’ for him and Jody – they’d never met until he arrived here to replace a previous knife-thrower, but there have been questions about the possible use of the rear-most bunk in the bus, which our lesbian girls use when they are here (gone now), out of sight of her family…

Pavl is also enthusiastic to use the weights we carry around in this bus, and joins us for some sessions now.


It is nothing like as efficient as using a proper gym (when we get the chance, on the road, we always take it): but we make good use of what we have, which is body-weight exercises mainly, either on the floor of the bus or in the open air:

Sit ups 1


Sometimes one can be inventive:


Pavl is keen to maintain his wrestling fitness and to look good with his top off (which he does anyway)… just a bit pale but  we’ve given his some of our oil-free top-up tanning stuff to try – it has to be oil free otherwise our balances would, erm, well, slip! Oily bodies are good for photographers wanting to catch the light…


oiled tumblr_mity4u_MEKH1rrlg85o1_1280

…and indeed great fun for wrestling too, but if you want to get a safe acrobatic grip – no way! Even our inevitable sweating gets in the way…

sweaty Schermata_2011_03_08_a_00_07

…so the gymnastic chalk on our hands and feet is very important!

light gymnast chalk

On Monday we strike the tent and move on. Because we make (brief) use of the trapeze in our performance we are classed as ‘aerialists’ and, by tradition, the aerialists get the task of climbing high in the tent rigging when re-erecting at the next location. The real aerialists are three high-wire walkers, but only one of them is a guy and generally girls are excused. So this is one duty I’m not looking forward to, but the others have the experience anyway (Ethan and Jack have been here continuously since June). I don’t want to ‘chicken out’ and claim on my leg injury, but heights without a confirmed fixed rig to hang on to are, frankly, not my thing.

Let’s have a few more random ‘fitness’ pictures now:


ALBUM 1 (1290)


locker room choice

lose the boots





Chet, our long-suffering and amazingly dependable driver and ‘roadie’ is due to re-join us tomorrow after taken a break with some mate of his in Vancouver. At least, we hope he is, because none of us has a licence to drive the bus! Karen has been the driver for about six weeks – she has a truck and bus licence anyway and earns money that way back home. Chet is of about 40, skinny, never shirtless, apparently uninterested in a relationship of any kind, and sleeps in the lounge area unperturbed by all the assorted sex and shenanigans going on further back (bless him). I resist going further into that until next time, except for a final joke, below!



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 Back in the Ring

  1. Pingback: Apres Nous Le Deluge | Tony Cavanagh

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