Deja Vu?

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Fifteen years ago, I walked into our training cabin at the top of our yard for the first time. It wasn’t ‘our’ yard at that point, but “Dave’s dad’s” yard. Ivo and Pete (Dave’s brother) were in residence already and sweating through their workouts when I arrived (see ‘Loving the Boy’): this quickly led to some intensive work by those two on ‘sorting out’ the faults in my balancing and acrobatics. And, of course, to Dave and I becoming an ‘item’.

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Fifteen years later, my 13yo acrobat son Leo walks into the training cabin along with Dave’s daughter and makes adverse comments about the body positions and shapes I’m holding while practicing with Pete and Ivo for some new routines to put into our forthcoming ‘circus’ stint.

And he’s right.

Oh dear. Maybe it is time to give up and do something sensible, and leave the acrobatic thing to the next generation. Here’s one of our major role models, Ed Upcott, from the UK, current aged 23 and probably at the peak of his acrobatic career:

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I can add about ten years to his age… you need to keep the right combination of muscle and flexibility, and that gets harder as you get older.

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We do still very much enjoy the training (if not the criticism!) which, for us, is as much in the weights gym as doing tumbling and balance.

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And, of course, outdoors too:

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Hmmm. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves of the rules sometimes though, after returning home exhausted from several hours of coaching at the gymnastics centre:

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We didn’t start this acrobatic nonsense seriously when we were Leo’s age: but about 4 years older. Not that we hadn’t enjoyed gymnastics generally. The first three years or so of sampling performance and touring are covered in The Power of Love and Against All Oddsat the end of the final book we took off to Eastern Europe for a while to avoid potential trouble arising out of our friend Zach’s personal background, but our enthusiasm for being ‘on the road’ has diminished year on year ever since. Or at least mine has.

A number of people have commented here on the blog or privately to gymacrobat@gmail.com  that it all seems ‘too idyllic’ – actually it’s far from it! There are many, many downsides to following the ‘showman’s’ lifestyle and I would think very hard indeed before recommending it to anyone.

OK, some more pictures celebrating fitness: you can keep in good shape to pretty much any age, even if you are late starter to fitness:

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So – the final strapline is ‘work that body’ and stay/get fit – you don’t have to worry about the fine detail if you’re not a performer (and you don’t have to take cheek from the kids either!). Anything/everything you do in that direction can only be a benefit to your health and life – so get stuck in!

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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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