And Now… The Young ‘Greeks’!

strong russian boy

In the previous post, I mused about the origins of gymnastics as ‘the naked art’ and the role of the ancient Greek culture in promoting male physical fitness (to the total exclusion of women, in point of fact, whom we certainly don’t exclude from gyms today!).

Now I’m moving on to the next generation, prompted (as I frequently am) by the behaviour of my 13yo son and his friends, also dedicated to their fitness and to acrobatics (given Leo’s parentage and his parents’ large collection of performing friends, that’s maybe not a surprise – and Dave’s girl Jaymee neither!).

Up and training at 6.30am before school in our private place – usually naked and very sweaty by the time Dave and I struggle out of bed to join them; Leo and Chris are also eager to shed at least their shirts and shoes at every other opportunity – and not just to impress girls, although that’s high on their agenda – it does get them into hot water at their school sometimes at breaks and especially in Phys Ed classes where some coaches are keen on maintaining ‘the uniform’. Leo’s history of ‘showing off’ his acrobatic skills uninvited in the school gym doesn’t help, and has made him probably more enemies than friends.

Most young boys these days take pride in their bodies and have some physical-exercise equipment at home…

home trainer

“Am I ripped, mum?”

Leo and Chris regularly sleep over in each other’s bedrooms – and in both cases, by house-furnishing chance, together in one (very wide) bed. And naked, as we all do. And sometimes, after wrestling around and talking until long after they should be asleep, we find them with an arm across each other in the morning. This could bother some people, but these are not gay boys in the making (quite the reverse, as I have noted) – just VERY close, supporting friends, totally cool with each other when poking and prodding their muscles and comparing their ‘cuts’, encouraging each other in their handstands and so on – but certainly very comfortable ‘up close and personal’.

Foot DSC_0430


Steve and his wife – Chris’s parents and also parents to a 19yo champion bodybuilder, Billy – are also totally cool with their younger son’s friendship with mine. Indeed, Steve, who is about seven years older than me at 40-ish, joins us all most mornings for training as well. And many mornings we are joined by a third boy Ryan, similarly unclad, whose father until recently was an aggressive homophobe, as previous posts have told. Even he is cool, now…

So this is the next generation of ‘naked artists’ or gymnasts/acrobats/fitness freaks. Leo (and Jaymee) certainly love to perform and have their own routines and will be in our next circus booking starting in June. Leo’s latest girlfriend Karla is a competitive acrobatic gymnast – works with Jaymee and another girl in a trio and they are getting very good.

Well, I got really ‘set up’ a couple of days ago. Seems Chris is now desperate to be good enough to be included in the circus tour as well, and his parents are sympathetic to the idea, so long as it doesn’t last more than a few weeks. Leo, in the know, took a different tack with me, suggesting that Karla could maybe be invited to join the troupe – ‘oh, and then Chris could come along…‘ – what I didn’t realise that Chris is taking an increasing interest in Jaymee… not sure if she reciprocates… or even knows… certainly she doesn’t make huge efforts to join the boys’ early-morning sweat shop, preferring to make a more demure entrance to our cabin a little later.

OMG. What tangled webs these kids weave!

Actually, it could work. Two of our acrobats, Ethan and Jack, are working in Canada until July anyway and have been in one circus or another since last June. Eventually, they are going to flag – it happens. Dave and I, with Ivo and Pete, are increasingly committed to coaching and management appointments at the gymnastics centre, and even Zach and Gary, who are usually up for anything, are keen to minimise their involvement this year. The fire-breathing endurance-artist mums will definitely go on the tour at the start, and all of us are aware of our responsibilities since we gave a commitment to the circus people back before Christmas to provide a crew of performers for six months. But, as the ‘young Greeks’ (and their womenfolk!!) are highly competent performers and very responsible, they can carry some of the load for us at the beginning. So we’ll have to see.

Oh, and by the way, if you think acrobatics are not for you, look how useful a simple acrobatic feat can be for the very young…

acrobatics always useful

(Thanks, Ian in UK, for that!)

OK. A quick reminder that I have written a huge amount about our (gay) involvement in acrobatics and circuses – things going well and not so well…

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

Paperbacks, or electronic version ready for your e-reader. Just click on the links or try Amazon.

And now we’ll move on. Slightly older boys enjoying themselves as only boys can…



(Explain that one if you can… it wouldn’t do in our gym…) And, perhaps more ‘suitably’:



(pity that one guy messed up… wonder how many ‘takes’ that took…)


A bit more mutual admiration…


…whilst this looks more like a duel – but I sense mutual admiration too…


This is nice, too: togetherness on the parallel bar – they could just be good friends, of course…


Now a superb image of a ‘young Greek’ doing his flexibility exercises…


Outdoor gym buds…


And, to finish for today, two young ballet boys enjoying one of those glances in the middle of their performance. Enjoy!



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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