‘You Set the Trend, Brett!’

Todays’ Gallery Theme: ‘Shaping Up’

958

This post is a spot of encouragement to a 16yo guy from PA who sent me an epic e-mail – almost a novel, really! He has a younger sister, and parents who insist on tidy dress at all times – ‘bare feet in the house, or no shirt in the yard – an absolute no-no’. He says he is a straight lad, ‘with a sort-of girl friend’ but like to hang out with a group of male friends he’s grown up with in High School.

arm-pit-74

He describes himself, and two of his friends, as ‘skinny’ and two more of his ‘gang of five’ as overweight. Four white, one African American among them (he gives a huge amount of detail).

He is lucky, like my son Leo, in having his own basement space – he gave up his original bedroom in response to his parents wish to create a guest room – and his basement, because their house is built on a slope, has its own entrance from outside as well as stairs down from the main house, and plenty of windows to let in the light. When his friends come round, they usually use the outside door and that pleases the parents, who keep their house neat and leave the lads to get on with things undisturbed.

buffalo

Brett has a few dumbbells and is starting to look seriously into ‘bulking up’ a bit. His friends come round and share that – but always in their tee-shirts, shorts (or long pants) trainers and socks. Their school Phys Ed is strictly ‘in uniform’ – they share a gym with the girls.

So, Brett searches the web for tips on using his weights and finds us here. He likes what he sees – promotion of fitness – and can live with the fact that we’re gay. ‘Not an issue for me’ he says. The first part...He’s started reading the first book, too! ‘Not sure what my mom would think about me reading about two gay boys falling in love!’ – he says – ‘But they’d probably approve of all the acrobatic bits.’ Score there, then. And then to the point:

‘As I said, I’m not gay. But I love the ways you guys train and wrestle shirtless and even naked. I’ve love to do that with my mates but, if I suggest it, they’ll think I’m gay anyway, won’t they? And I don’t have any muscle to show, anyway, so I’ve been nervous of taking my shirt off even in the changing room – and most guys in school use cubicles to change!’

how-about-this

Oh dear! No, Brett, your friends won’t think you’re gay – not if you go about it the right way. Brett says his friends come and hang out in his room undisturbed – and that he has some floor space for them to share his efforts at weight training, and that the floor covering is soft enough to wrestle. ‘We do roll around,’ he admits: ‘Two of the guys are into wrestling in school – but I like the sound of your “submission NHB” better!’ But even those two guys are used to wrestle suits, trainers and socks…

So, here is “Dr Tone’s” remedy to help Brett.

inclined-twisting-sit-ups

Next time they’re coming round, be ready to greet them – with bare feet. No-one can object to bare feet in your own room, I’m sure. Bare feet and shorts. Say nothing about it – it may set a trend, with some of the others perhaps kicking off their trainers. Just do it as if it is perfectly natural, because it is.

Get into your exercise, or wrestling – whatever – and I guess that eventually you’ll be getting a little sweaty. OK, it’s your room, so just quietly pull off that shirt and throw it aside – again, as if it was a perfectly natural thing to do. For some of us, it is. Others need to get the idea. And get back into the training or wrestling.

Don’t push it any further, not the first time. But just do it each time you guys get together, and eventually the contagion will spread and other shirts and maybe socks will be coming off.

muscle_boy_00364

‘I’d really love to try my strength against the others, shirts off – my muscle (at least, what there is!) working against theirs, man against man – you know…’ Yes, Brett, I do. It’s a great feeling and a way of gaining confidence about yourself, up against one of your own species (male!), sharing something you both love doing – pressing the iron, fighting, whatever. One way we like is to  offer to be ‘the bench’ for a partner doing bench presses with your dumbbells – you don’t say if you have a bench, so I’m guessing it’s no – your back muscles working hard supported by the other guys… and, if you’re lucky, he’ll be shirtless too by then. It’s great for ‘lifting’ buddies to support one another – both physically and simply to give encouragement…

lifting-buds

I’m willing to bet, Brett, that after a few sessions, all those shirts and socks will be off and no-one will remember how it happened – nor will they care. They’ll all be feeling good about it, and confident to be like that. You’ll be talking about how you can see each other’s muscles starting to build – or how the overweight ones are starting to slim down (plenty of repetitive bodyweight exercise for them, and maybe some running [see below]) – no-one will be saying ‘You are skinny’ or anything like that, because you’re all starting from first base anyway. And, when you’re away from your own yard, maybe out with the others somewhere, one of these could become your natural look…

tumblr_nq8ook3xmi1rif6wao1_500

qy72o1_1285

Eventually, when the wrestling (shorts and undies) is going well, you will need to bite the bullet and take the initiative. ‘Guys – I’m gonna get naked – give you a couple more points to get a hold!’ Or something like that. Don’t put it as a question – make it a statement, and just do it. You are in your own room. You can make the decision – no-one else has to follow you. There will be surprise and maybe some remarks, and it may take a couple more sessions before anyone else does it – but they will, I promise you.

tumblr_o02j1odhf31tl7qdeo1_1280

And nobody is going to ‘tell tales’ – you’re all good friends (have been for years) and, after all, they are taking part as much as you.

Another way you can develop at least the shirtless habit, as a group, and especially to benefit the two chubby guys, is to go running together, losing the shirts as soon as you are out of sight of your slightly strict parents and their dress code! Being shirtless as a group will give you all confidence.

lctedxa005

Stop by any bar you come across – and do a few pull ups!

ready-for-action-2

In fact, make use of any facility you come across along the way…

376_hn_og

And don’t be afraid – on reasonably warm, humid days – to run shirtless in the rain – warm drizzle on a hot sweaty and bare chest is a fantastic feeling (and barefoot on wet grass – the same!). If you can find somewhere where you can train together outdoors – even better:

to1_1283

Above all – keep the shirtless (and occasionally naked) habit together for mutual support – it makes a huge difference to have a buddy whatever you are doing in the fitness sense:

tumblr_n6c8utsbp91tskbqao1_1280

So, Brett, that’s Dr Tone’s prescription. Let us know how you get along with it. And don’t forget, when you’re finally in your own room for the night, you can get naked and do some more training…

tumblr_mukee5pkfj1rqeya1o1_1280

The second part...Cover 3 ThumbHere’s a reminder of the rest of Dr Tone’s legacy, for when you’ve finished Book 1!

Before long – this could be you guys:

screen_shot_2016_09_29_at_4_28_57_am

You’ve done the right thing and set yourself some goals – now get stuck in and make them happen!

thanks-for-following

 

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...
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ‘You Set the Trend, Brett!’

  1. Platinumboy says:

    Those were some good recommendations for the boy. I might add, though, a suggestion or two relative to the parents’ apparent OCD neatness: Provide a laundry basket for the clothes that will be shed. Make sure you know what noise level Mom and Dad can endure (along with sibs). No sense in having a potentially disapproving family member show up. Be respectful and supportive. I’ve noticed a tendency among kids these days to be competative in a very negative way. It’s more about supremacy and domination in some areas where I teach rather than an attitude of mutual support and encouragement. Sometimes, due to lack of experience, some kids misinterpret a “razz” as an act of personal disapproval. Be ready to let each other know that you are looking out for each other’s best interests.

  2. Pingback: More for Brett | Tony Cavanagh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.