‘Frustrated’ of Tennessee…


We are slowly being cooked here in the ‘deep south’: the worst time of day is during the evening show when the tent has boiled up all day in the heat and high humidity and then 250 people come in and add their heat and sweat. The boss has brought in portable air conditioners but they are incredibly noisy: the performers continue to sweat and get distracted. Still, so far, we are getting by on this tour – just!

The only time we can really do our vital strength training is about six in the morning, when it is coolest and least humid. Everyone in the camping bus is sleeping naked with no covers (although the naked bit I guess is normal) – a metal vehicle is also quite good at heat absorption, and I swear it was nearly raining in there yesterday afternoon.


This morning – amazingly – I slept long after Dave had slipped out of our bunk and the rest of the crew were hard at work in the clear center area of the bus. Dave and Gary making human benches for the ladies to do their dumbbell presses: Zach fighting with the kids (all three, with Jaymee appearing to be stamping on his face) – not sure what any of them were training for at that point. However, when he caught my eye, Zach swung himself up alongside me and zapped the curtains closed. Now we never use those curtains normally, but having the kids with us has prevented us, by and large, from us gay guys indulging ourselves in – ahem – what gay guys like to do. Even though we can partner up any which way as a result of our sworn Tuan Jie agreement. This time, Zach whispered his own frustration in my ear and…

There is an unwritten rule that when curtains are closed, no-one interferes. The kids know that too. So that was one major frustration for Zach and I dealt with –  in about five ‘snatched’ minutes.

The first part...

I said at the outset that I didn’t really think I would enjoy my short stay with this circus tour. I have a UK reader sending me pictures of cool Appalachian scenes, and I can’t stop myself thinking of this:

could be Wales

The good news is that the kids and I will actually be there in about three week’s time – something of a contrast from steamy Louisiana! – although I do not expect snow on the mountains in July – not even in ‘wet-and-windy’ Wales UK. We’ll see…

Oh, enough whinging. Let me share some pictures of fit guys doing their fitness things in a temperate zone with normal humidity!!


Straddle lift to handstand.


Elbow lever.


Oblique abs crunches.


Rock climbing. One suitably shirtless and one wrapped in an anorak and hood. Guess the weather conditions!

The second part...


Mates enjoying the workout.


Shoulder work.


Time out from the bench press.

gym stretch

Time to stretch those hamstrings.

lifter loses armwrestle

If you’re going to arm-wrestle on the gym floor, make sure that your opponent has had a tougher workout than you…

machine not working

…and, if your favourite resistance machine in the gym develops a fault, there are other ways of working out your frustrations! Just effect a quick repair with the equipment provided!

Cover 3 Thumb

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 ‘Frustrated’ of Tennessee…

  1. The different clothing of the rock climbers is necessary because the belay slave is standing around sometimes for half an hour. (And the climber wants to save weight 🙂 so he is shorted and shirtfree during his strenious mission.

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