6am, Christmas Morning…

paffen sport

Fit Young Boys! Oh dear…

Dave and I, with Pete and Ivo, are exiled to sleep in the training cabin because we have so many guests over the Christmas period. My son Leo and his English friend Ollie are bunked in the cabin roof space.

6am here is 11am British time and Ollie, just one day into EST, is wide awake. So, therefore, is Leo. I feel a bare foot rubbing itself on my face as I snuggle under a duvet on the matted floor with Dave. ‘Dad, can you move over? Ollie wants to train!’ Which of course means ‘…and I want to train with him!‘. I try to bite the foot, but Leo is too quick for me. Pete hears this and growls, but grabs Ivo round his waist and rolls both of them over towards the wall. Dave and I do the same.


Leo always sleeps naked, and Ollie too, and they have felt no need for clothes here in our so-called ‘Sweat Room’ whilst it is all males. They warm up quickly, stretch, and get to work with the dumbbells, taking turns to form a human bench for each other. Clearly they both know very well what they are doing. Not all weight trainers are fortunate to have such a guy-friendly place to train…

Chad 14

Weights turns to wrestling, which I watch with half an eye open. They seem to be favouring the ‘foot fighting’ style – pushing their feet into each other’s faces whilst grabbing on to anything else going… It would be tempting to start a bout of our own…


…but we four older guys are still struggling to wake up! After all – it is Christmas day. I watch Ollie with interest: he has an amazing body for an 11yo – all that gymnastics work on the bars three days a week, and strength training with dad and mum (both ex gymnasts) in between – my nearly 13yo and his two local weights mates definitely have a rival!


Pete wanders out the back for a comfort break and comes back in with the customary paper cup for the rest of us to toast our very special friendship… and then up to the house for breakfast…

No way. Clare stands at the door of the kitchen. ‘Git’, she says menacingly. ‘I put juice on the table. That’s it until lunch‘. Oh well, she is cooking Christmas lunch for sixteen… ‘Women only in here’, she adds, brandishing a knife menacingly. So that’s my mum, and possibly Dave’s along with Colin’s wife Natasha getting a free pass to assist with peeling, slicing and roasting…

It was an amazing meal, although I’m not entirely sure how we all got around the table. Afterwards, my stomach felt a bit like this…


…definitely not in the state for anything remotely athletic (it is Gary, not I, who gets his stomach run over with a small truck in our performances, as well as balancing on it on a single spear).

A lazy day, then, but something to look forward to today (Dec 26th) – the traditional river swim. We are getting a bit old now to ‘gatecrash’ the High School swim team bash near Cody’s swim hole on the Clinch River  (my books describe our first time – see end of post), but Dave, Colin and I are up for it with Leo and Ollie – the other young boys in the clan, Chris and Ryan may show up too and maybe Chris’s dad – and we’re going over to Cody’s and then going with him and Adge up-river a bit to another, quieter place…


…unlike the idyllic fall (autumn) shown there, it is below freezing now (8am) but predicted 12C by mid-afternoon with a water temperature around 4C…), where the young boys and the ‘middle-aged men who should know better'[as my mum puts it] can do our ‘macho’ thing for a while. Fun, fun.

Some more ‘macho fun’ then:




bicept work


kotze twins




Links to the books, then: paper copies via these connections to the publisher, and the titles also available as e-books:

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

And to finish – the collective male macho thing… shirtless team hug!


Nothing quite like it!

Enjoy the rest of your ‘winterval’…

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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2 Responses to 6am, Christmas Morning…

  1. Really?? says:

    Really Tony? Don’t you think some of the stuff you put here on this post is controversial???

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