His Choice of Chemical…


Weather’s been up in the 70s during the day the last few days (21C for Europeans!) – great to be able to do what we love to do out of doors. So it turned out that, late afternoon Friday, a group of us which included my boy Leo and our new fitness friend Joel went for a fairly leisurely run on one of our favourite circuits which takes in some of the oak woods which give this place its name (Oak Ridge TN). Typically (for us) everyone wore no shirt, and some were barefoot also. We occasionally see other runners and everyone is always respectful – indeed, this is where we met Joel when he had newly moved to the neighbourhood.

I don’t have pictures to illustrate what happened next, so let me first put in a couple of general fitness ones!

workout crew


A guy who we estimate was about 22 or 23 years old approached our path through the trees, staggering wildly. He was dressed in filthy old anorak and jeans, with a pair of ancient trainers with his toes poking through. When he saw us he scrabbled about on the ground and starting throwing handfuls of dirt at us. We stopped. He staggered on to the track and started shouting abuse at us, ranging from ‘get out of my way’ (but not so polite) to specific comments about us not wearing shirts. Sweat was pouring down his facce. Then he went up to Joel and tried to take a slug at him, whereupon Pete grabbed the guy’s arms from behind. There was a bit of a struggle, during which we all noticed that the guy smelt very weird. He appeared to calm down, we stepped back, and then he started a long rambling rant which we couldn’t make any sense of before stopping, with glazed eyes, and suddenly falling flat on his face unconscious, cutting his nose on the ground in the process. He vomited a little as well, but we know our first aid and he was in the ‘recovery position’ with an open airway…

Leo, at 13yo, was rather disturbed by this behaviour. I suppose we all were. It took only a few seconds for us to decide to dial 911 and get some medical help, with Joel and one of the other guys from Chad’s gym, going down to the nearest highway to guide the paramedics to come and pick the guy up.

Rather messed our run up, but a valuable lesson for Leo about drugs. The smell was something like paint stripper – an odd sort of chemical to choose to imbibe, and maybe a by-product produced in the body from something else. Later, we discussed with Leo, very calmly and logically, why all drugs are bad and why we would never support using things like steroids to so-called ‘improve’ our bodies. All natural muscle for us (such as we have!) and always will be. Leo’s friend’s 19yo bodybuilding brother is also very cautious about mixing with some of his training mates outside the gym, for he is convinced that they, too, are ‘users’.

This is what we expect to see as young lads develop – this is a Czech wrestler who trains with a friend of ours in Prague:


…or this…

pits star

This next guy is probably at about the limit of what can be achieved by natural bodybuilding methods: the huger (is that a word?) bulging fit-to-burst arms and chests are rarely, if ever, ‘natural’:


…and I don’t post such images (a) because they strike us as hideous and (b) because such a body would be useless for acrobatics and pretty much for anything else athletic. You cannot do this sort of stuff with such a body:



Perhaps I have made the point. We’re into promoting fit bodies, naturally built, and artistically/sportingly used. Just as these books do:

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

‘Nuff said. Let’s just complete today’s selection of images!







So, whatever it is you prefer – swim, run, wrestle, lift weights – do it hard and tough get sweaty, and feel the ‘buzz’ – just don’t attempt to oil the wheels with chemicals of your choice or anyone else’s! Never accept a ‘pill’ from anyone else, inside or outside your gym. Not ever…




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 His Choice of Chemical…

  1. Ryan says:

    Where is the guy in the last photo from? Also, what are your tips on how to start a workout routine?

    • tonycavanagh says:

      To the first question, I don’t know exactly, so I’m just going to say “USA”, which probably doesn’t tell you what you want to know. The second question is a big one, because the answer should depend on many factors including your age, general health and condition, and the desired aims of your workout – do you need strength, just desire big muscles, or want to support a specific sport or to focus on specific parts of your body which you feel are under-developed. Not having any of this information, I need to be very cautious and say that you should probably first focus on just ‘bodyweight’ exercises, after making sure to warm up well first. The warm up should probably include some running, to ensure tat your cardiovascular condition is appropriate for the exercise you then go on to do. If you care to share your stats and some clues to my questions (by private e-mail if you want to gymacrobat@gmail.com) then I’ll do my best to respond, but with the usual “health warning” – if you are in any doubts, contact your medical advisor before proceeding!! TONE

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