Today’s Gallery Theme: Handstands (good and not so good…)
Well, that’s an interesting variation on the handstand, for starters! One might say, “Stupid Boy” for that, too… (for non-Brit’s, that phrase comes from Captain Mainwaring in ‘Dad’s Army’, usually in regard to Private Pike. But I digress…)
The phrase probably applies to me. Having wrecked my forearm earlier in the week, last night I decided that it was well-enough repaired to go to Chad’s gym again. OK on the weights, then got challenged to a wrestle bout. Still OK – except that it was Ron Lake, veteran wrestle champ (and one-time superb arm balancer too, which suggested the picture theme for today). We met him in Loving the Boy. A founder member of Chad’s gym and approaching 40 now, but still as tough as ever.
Inevitably, I lost. With Ron, that’s what you do. Totally immobilised. He’s sitting on my face and my legs are trapped beneath me, locked by his. His left hand has grasped my hands together and forced my arms to the floor behind my head, is right hand has grabbed my (erm, balls). As they do in naked NHB submission. And what do you do in that position? Submit!
Chad’s gym may be a gay-friendly one, but Ron, although single, never shows tendencies in that direction. The forfeits he usually demands of losers are generally of a physical nature – unlike a lot of the guys… He began by doing ten handstand push-ups himself on my stomach as I lay there, recovering my breath. Just to show off, of course, to the dozen or so ‘audience’ which generally gathers around an interesting wrestle bout. Then demanded the same of me – barely the strength to stand up, let alone do handstands and certainly I struggled to do a push-up. And my forearm let me know that it wasn’t happy. But you can’t give in to things like that, now can you?
(Nice form with that one – legs together, more or less straight back, but the feet should be stretch more…)
So another nice massage from Dave followed, and ‘stupid boy’ wasn’t the only pertinent message he had for me, either. Oh well. But this morning, my forearm doesn’t seem much worse for the misadventure. And it certainly didn’t get in the way of our own ‘wrestle time’ when we woke up…
(That’s a really ‘kewl’ picture – how to perform a ‘high hand-to-hand’ balance when you don’t have a partner!)
(Now those feet are properly stretched. Another professional there, happy to get naked for his publicity shots and showing off the musculature you need for such a position beautifully, thanks to the lighting. Wonderfully flexible, too.)
It was Ron’s decision, all those year’s ago, to put a wrestle meet ahead of acrobatic training that led to my introduction to most of the guys then doing acrobatics, and particularly to Zach. Working in what we call the platform position of a men’s balance foursome, he put me on top and just insisted that I try all the hard moves that Ron could do. I must have acquitted myself well, because that was just after Dave and I had been admitted to Chad’s gym (Dave was away for the weekend) and it kind of ‘rubber-stamped’ Chad’s decision to let us in slightly under age. We never looked back, and the acrobatic (and gay!) adventures over the following few years can be found in The Power of Love and Against All Odds.
(Dmitry Brodyagin practicing the same hollow-back handstand shape)
Talking with Ron after he had destroyed me (!), the subject of Chad moving on inevitably came up. I suspect that Ron, and some of his wrestle chums, may be the answer to the problem of how to maintain our wonderful private gym environment. Finger’s crossed!
(Another professional photographer at work, capturing the skills of a gymnast…)
A more extreme version of the bent-over back in handstand:
That’s Eike von Stuckenbrok, a German performer that I featured in a special posts a few years ago.
Talking (earlier) of ‘men’s foursomes’, here’s a neat handstand catch following a ‘pitch’ from the other two guy’s platform…
(The straddle lift to handstand – a really important move for gymnasts to learn)
Acrobatics is always more fun in pairs or groups! And, to finish off this post, back to the handstand on the stomach…
Your turn now!