No, that’s not my son Leo or one of his close friends, nor even our local school, but it so easily could be! The problem with having a 13yo who is seriously proud of his fitness and what he can do with it is that tendency to ‘show off’ both his skills and his body at every opportunity! And his close friends Chris and Ryan have been kind of ‘tainted’ with the same attitude.

The skills I mean are his acrobatics (inevitably he just does his own things in every phys. ed. class) and his general strength and muscles. And that tendency to dispense with a shirt whenever he can, along with shoes.

All I can say is “I’ve tried”. Dave’s tried. The other lads, and his mum and her partner have tried. Leo switches from being enormously respectful and conscious of what he needs to do (in performing with us for example) to lapsing back into the worst ‘teen’ attitude.

I point out to him constantly that, whatever he may be very good at, he’s only ‘middling’ in the wrestle squad (all three are ranked just below the mean) – partly because they confuse the collegiate style with the submission style we enjoy at home – and useless at team games. And no Cavanagh has ever been able to connect a ball with any kind of bat, so don’t mention baseball… actually I only just found out that, when looking to one side, my eyes focus one slightly behind the other which is why I’ve never hit a squash ball successfully in my life.

So everyone should do what they can, and leave what they can’t! Except, of course, when it comes to putting that little extra effort with the weights!


Shall we animate that guy a bit? He’s worth it:



Wow! Maybe he works out with such remarkable results because the weights match his underwear.

But that’s a body definitely worth risking a detention to pull your shirt off and show!


I guess we all want to be proud of what we have, and what we can do. But the one ethic we have tried to instil into our kids is that you don’t try always to be better than the rest – you inspire them and encourage them to catch up with you. And that is so different from the general American sports ethic of ‘you have to be No. 1’. Oh well. But then Dave and I are Brits, and Leo is half Brit, so we can be expected not to conform!

The first part...WeCover 3 Thumb haven’t exactly conformedThe second part... anyway, in the 15 years we’ve been here in exile in Tennessee. Gay dads, sharing the home of our kids lesbian mums. Oh well, that, the acrobatic shows and the pitfalls of tours going wrong are there for all to read – e-books available too. ‘Buy a book – save a writer and gym coach from starving…’ Click on the covers for more information.

More appropriate images for our regular themes now: none of these students gets a detention for slacking in their phys.ed.:


These neither:


word cloud

Yes! And appearance, too:



(Taylor Lautner getting wet)





college boi

door boy

But wait… what’s this? Slacking?


Quite close, aren’t they? gay? Maybe! But they could all use a little more beef, so why aren’t they in the gym lifting, instead of slumping on the beach? Detention book ready… now then…

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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