Saturday Rituals

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Saturdays: no school. Potentially a little more time in bed. But not for the ‘gang of four’ fitness kids – nor, indeed, for us!

I’m sharing a breakfast coffee with my friend Steve, father of my son’s best friend Chris. It’s just after 9am. We’ve done our weights already, had a wrestle, and are now decently clad in shorts in the kitchen. Clare is humming around thinking about early preparations for the day’s food: Karen is off trucking again.

In our training cabin, a surprising scenario. Ryan, one-time slightly wimpy kid and with a homophobic father, is wrestling the new Canadian gay boy Jude. Ryan is a surprising convert to collegiate wrestling and somehow caught the High School coach’s eye after we started training to beef him up a bit at his father’s request. And now, that same dad happily watches his son wrestle a self-proclaimed gay lad, who have both shunned the constraining lycra ‘suits’ in our private training environment. Some change there.

Leo and Chris disappeared from the cabin a while back and are now in Leo’s basement room. I decide to flush them out, because Jude and Ryan let it be known they were thinking of going for a run after.

Down the stairs, and I push open Leo’s door. He has a training space here too, and a bench and barbell stands. However, Chris is on the floor, grinding out press-ups with Leo on his back and his feet up on Leo’s bed. He collapses, and I ask ‘How many?’ ‘Hundred and eight so far,’ is the reply. ‘We’re going for two hundred,’ says Leo, dropping down to begin his next set. ‘Hundred and four for me so far… get back on top, Chris.’ And this is after their ‘normal’ weights in the cabin, and some wrestling too.

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‘The others want to go for a run,’ I tell them. ‘Great,’ says Chris as Leo heaves him up and down. ‘We’ll be there.’ It is spotting with rain. They’ll love that too – running bare-chested with the rain pattering on your hot and sweating skin is such a great feeling. Despite the fact that it fell below freezing here last night…

Pete and Ivo are long gone to the gymnastics centre,

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…and Dave too, taking Jaymee who will spend the day with her acrobatic trio working with a Romanian coach. Dave has classes until lunchtime, and I start at 1pm in the weight room there with the boys he’s been teaching after they’ve had a break…

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…then more coaching classes until 6pm, when I shall bring Jaymee back with me. In short, a normally busy start to the weekend!

We, all the dads, feel blessed that we have kids who are not wedded to I-phones, tablets and gaming. But I do wonder slightly if they are just overdoing the training a teensie bit… but then I preach to all the classes that you can never do enough. And the kids do have a wide circle of friends and do lots of other stuff, so I suppose it’s OK!

On the subject of fit young guys, then:

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Here we take a short pause while I remind you, with the aid of four French lads who seem to follow our training dress code, what this blog is really for:

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Actually, there are five if you look carefully. But they’re choosing a good read on the themes of this blog, and it is a good time to remind you that books on gay love, sport, circus and adventure could make really good presents – and, if you favour the e-book, they’re out there too (but there’s nothing like the feel of an actual page to turn…):

The first part...The second part...Cover 3 ThumbAs a hint of what’s there, note the tumbler and balance silhouettes on the covers (a brilliant idea from a friend in Austria) and the mysterious Chinese symbols which signify ‘strength through brotherhood’ – our mantra when working, training… and playing! It’s a good philosophy that we use for our coaching too: you don’t say to your training partner ‘I want to be the best’, you say ‘I want YOU to be the best…’

OK, back to the ‘show’ now: the next few guys turn their backs to the camera to show off what they’ve got:

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…particularly fine shoulder development there, partly emphasised by the camera angle. And here:

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And, staying with the backward theme but adding a smidgen of gayness, in the words of two famous British comedians when signing off at the end of their TV show: ‘It’s goodbye from me… and its goodbye from him!’

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Well, until the next post anyway.

 

 

 

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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