…or what passes for ‘normal’ in this place!
Our final Christmas visitors left on Sunday afternoon – Colin and his family taking an afternoon flight to Chicago and then the overnight to London. My parents had left already and Dave’s have gone off touring, seeing some of is Dad’s old workmates in their retirement homes!
Sunday morning was manic; our three local fitness-freak boys led by my son Leo spent the entire morning training with their British friend Ollie until we threw them outside behind the training cabin so that the adults could ‘play’ in private (it had reached 5C [41F] outside by then and they were well warmed up!). Boys re-affirmed their lifelong ‘bond’ out there by peeing on each other and then wrestling – and maybe more. We didn’t ask. Colin’s wife Natasha wrestled our “girls” at one end of the training cabin whilst Dave and I took on Colin at the other end… then kind of got all mixed up (not the first time we’ve tangled with Colin’s wife, either – she’s a bit of an Amazon and knows exactly where to get the most painful holds on guys…)… followed by a celebratory lunch prepared (as always) by the amazing Clare.
Good fun had by all. Like here:
In the evening, we might have celebrated getting our own room and bed back, but instead went to sleep over with Zach, his partner Gary having gone off to some martial-arts festival with our Chinese friends from Knoxville… and also because our great Tuan Jie wrestler friends Leon and Dane were still over from Lexington with another day of vacation left. 5 fit cosily into Zach’s large bed which is conveniently located in a ‘penthouse’ at Chad’s gym… boy heaven!
As you might expect of our ‘chosen’ fitness mates, both Leon and Dane have built great bodies – Dane like Leon with a ripped look whilst Leon likes Dane ‘chunky’
– they are both very fit and have once joined our performances in acrobatic-base roles. That was the tour which went very seriously pear-shaped, as told in Against All Odds and, for some inexplicable reason, they didn’t want to join another one! They both assisted with the driving of our tour buses, too (Leo manages bus maintenance) and occasionally, still do.
But for Dave and I, it is back to work in the gymnastics centre.
‘Work’ as in ‘coaching’, as well as our own training. Lots of new kids joining, and talented older ones to push on.
Our love of these sports (gymnastics/acrobatics) goes back to school days, when Colin and I first discovered it in Oxford UK and Dave in Barrow-in-Furness. It would be nearly 10 years after that before Dave and I met in Oak Ridge TN as told in Loving the Boy and The Power of Love and, as they say, the rest is history! The books will also explain how I come to have a fantastic teenage son, and Dave a daughter. Dave and I have been loving gay partners ever since, and our close circle of like-minded gay friends has expanded to a group of ten.
One big benefit of our Christmas ‘full house’ was to give it some semblance of ‘normal’ family existence (which, for us, it is!)… but our real triumph of 2014 was persuading the homophobic father of Ryan, now one of Leo’s close fitness mates, that his son would not ‘catch’ gayness by associating with any of us. The guy joined us for drinks again over the holiday, met our thankfully understanding parents, saw Leo and Jaymee living like (near) normal kids in a family containing both sexes (their lesbian mums are in the same house), and further convinced himself that Leo and the rest are all straight by listening in to their constant chatter about girls during their training. And he enjoys watching his son sweating on our weights equipment and wrestling them wearing next to nothing (sometimes nothing) alongside his friends, and thanks us for everything we are doing. Well, it’s his son that’s ‘doing’ it all, encouraged by Leo and Chris!
All the boys come to the gymnastics centre too, and set themselves a real tough regime!
And so, lots of action-packed days ahead of us promoting fitness, especially as colleagues had to cover for us during the extended 2014 circus tour in which most of us were involved at some point. And which will happen again in 2015.
Celebrate dedication to fitness with a few more pictures:
What are you waiting for? See you in the gym!