By way of a change, whilst we wait for our place in W(
h)ales to become free, a diversion. Anyone who reads the words of previous posts (as opposed to just enjoying the pictures) may be pleased to hear that my fourth book ‘Let The Future Find Me’ has now been completed in draft form. Orca whales feature prominently, especially at the denoument…
I’m currently in my home country UK, land of coincidences. What should I hear on that most excellent radio station BBC Radio4 but a programme about the forensic study of beached (and dead) cephalids? To anyone who doesn’t know the BBC output, such a radio programme must seem like fantasy, but there it was, yesterday morning, discussing the reporting, recovery and autopsies on deceased whales and dolphins and, yes, it really was called CSI after the TV programme… in this case Cephalid Stranding Investigations! Couldn’t believe my ears.
Well, they may be called killer whales, but these are the species you see in water parks diving and jumping out of the water alongside scantily-clad girls (or occasionally handsomely built guys in Speedos, which I prefer). They don’t swallow humans – the only species that has a gullet big enough for that is the sperm whale.
I’ve done swimming with dolphins off the coast of South Island New Zealand, and that was an amazing experience. Never tried whale swimming, though, although we whale-watched very successfully on that trip too (at Kaikura). Wonderful creatures. And no whales were harmed in the making of ‘Let The Future Find Me’! It’s re-write time now, making sure there are no loose ends, and I think that I can improve the ending a bit, so my fan (there is at least one!!) will have to wait a while longer, contenting himself with my first three (im)modest offerings which celebrate gay love and our own love of acrobatics, plus some misadventures, as seen here. Click on the covers if you’re interested: you’ll find them as e-books too.
As for acrobatics, and continuing the UK theme for a moment, here’s a recent photo of one of our role models, Edward Upcott, now a professional performer and stunt artist and ex Heathrow Gymnastic Club (and formerly Spelthorne) which won ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ five years ago (it has reduced to tricky dogs on tightropes these days).
That, gentlemen (and ladies too!) is an acrobatic body par excellance. He captions the picture himself as ‘training in the garden’ – I’m not quite sure that exactly he is doing but, I think, landing a back flip or back sommie with his arms in not quite the right position – but every muscle is in tension and in use, and that’s what a star acrobat needs, along with stamina. Not huge muscles, and not an ounce of fat on him anywhere. Well done, Ed. Keep up the amazing work.
Now, the Russian Kalutskikh brothers, with friend, chilling out:
Sadly, one of them has recently killed his blog page for some reason, so catch the other while you still can (see links, bottom right of this page!).
Right. Some more training examples now:
First, the straddle lift to handstand, key to so many acrobatic and gymnastic moves:
…and some unison handstands during a display in Southport, UK:
One thing we often fail to see in otherwise quite experienced gymnasts and acrobats is the correct positioning (or stretching out) of feet – here we see training for that:
I do expect gymnasts to be able to stand on both feet (or squat, but with their whole weight) on their inverted toes… and, of course, to have a good split…
…in a variety of positions…
Going flat is the norm…
…while some, and our friend Gary is one of them, prefer to go a little further…
…and assistants can be useful…
…and, to get you there in the first place, probably essential!
A couple more useful ‘tricks’ to follow:
sorry that is so small
…and, if you try that, choose a strong branch!
There aren’t many jobs you can do shirtless, barefoot and dressed in just a brief pair of shorts, and maybe for us that is one of the attractions. We, at least, enjoy seeing our friends’ muscles at work, to better appreciate what goes into some of the skills. And, of course, you get pretty sweaty very quickly if you are encumbered by unnecessary clothes!
Some, perhaps just to show off for publicity shots or to get themselves into gay magazines, take things to the extreme:
Well, we’ve come a long way from Whales, never got to Wales (yet) and drifted off, as ever, into our favourite pastime. Not forgetting that all important weights gym, with carefully thought out training. Can’t beat it!
And, as the saying, is, “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em!” See you in the gym, then?