Privates (NOT) On Parade!

15284060_1051655131610556_5008504717694856937_n

I hope that you enjoyed that joke – as a collection of guys who like to do our fitness training naked in suitable situations, we certainly did. Who would to be the ‘odd tree out’ like that dear little evergreen?

I’ve written over the last three months or so a number of posts about two African-American lads joining our little clique of ‘early-morning-before-school-starts’ teen weight trainers in our private training cabin. I feel sometimes, especially in this area of the USA, that such guys might feel like that little tree in any number of situations – not because of a reluctance to get their clothes off, of course, but because of different race/skin color. Well, faced each morning with a row of determined sweaty lads doing their utmost with the weights in minimal or usually no clothing (because they’re all boys together, with a common purpose), it didn’t take said Af-Am lads long – Theo and Errol – to ‘conform’ to the naked theme! …

screenshot_2015-10-26-10-42-55

…even on those occasions when Dave’s teen daughter would also wander in to practice her balance routines and/or our kids mothers to do their own training.

It was all different today! Theo is in a one-parent, only-child family situation, and his mother has been very protective, worrying to start off with that a colored boy shouldn’t be here with the ‘white’ boys at all, that we, the assorted parents, would disapprove of him mixing with our kids, etc. etc. etc. She quickly came to check us out at the start – a fine upstanding church-going lady who obviously loves her son dearly and is desperate for him not to over-step some line drawn in our sand.

tumblr_m4hofi_ei_nu1rudlc3o1_1280

Of course, they are both totally welcome here, whenever, especially as they demonstrated a determination to get fitter and to train with the rest as much as possible. But, Theo’s mother was disturbed by him rushing out of the house 90 minutes earlier than usually necessary to get to school, when it is still dark, shouting over his shoulder about ‘training’, and called us to ask if she could come and see what he was ‘getting up to’. Could hardly refuse, could we?

tumblr_nl2458gwb61t58igpo1_500

We decided on three things. No 1 – to get all the boys in – gay Canadian bodybuilder Jude, flexible Dutch wrestler Arjan, little chunky wrestler Ryan (whose father was furiously homophobic at the start and still has anti-colored sentiments), my son Leo (obviously) and his best friend Chris who has become the nearest thing to Leo’s Siamese twin that it is possible to be! Plus Theo and Errol, obviously. No 2 – that we would invite all the parents, and offer breakfast to those who did not have to rush off to work, and No 3 –  that we would most certainly NOT be having ‘Privates on Parade’ this morning – clean undies and a pair of gym shorts being the order of the day. Shirtless, yes – barefoot, yes, but not the full Monty in front of the assorted parents!!

tumblr_o9us95ydzb1r7kwwno4_1280

We actually issued – just for the day – a matching set of our spare shorts from our performing wardrobe! Leo and Chris, as regular performers with us, have them anyway. Dave’s daughter Jaymee, the only female on the premises right now, kept a low profile for the day!

To our amazement (perhaps), and to our eternal relief, everything went well. Each parent seemed to be delighted at their lad’s dedication to getting fitter and stronger, and improving their wrestling/acrobatics/whatever, they satisfied themselves that really is what they have been doing; some asked very sensible questions of Dave and I (as hosts and as qualified coaches): all of them worried about their boys ‘imposing on our generosity and hospitality’, which is nonsense of course – we love to have anyone who really gets stuck in to a sensible fitness regime about the place. Star of the day was Chris’s dad Steve – who regularly joins in along with Dave and I, when it’s just ‘all boys together’ and the privates really are on parade – his other son Billy is now a professional bodybuilder and his wife is very sporty too, so it runs in the family. His ‘star turn’ was to get coloured lady and previously-homophobic father to exchange a few words and, by the time they were on to the juice and breakfast rolls we offered after the boys had departed to school, those two actually had quite an animated conversation.

tumblr_o73qa2vyyo1tl7qdeo1_1280

Once again, we seem to have done the right thing, whatever the ‘right thing’ is! Theo’s mum even asked me if he should be training at home as well, concerned that he has to use our equipment and has none of his own. I suspect that they have very little money, and suggested bodyweight exercise which anyone can do pretty much anywhere – although really, he and his friend Errol are doing so much with our kids that they don’t need to do more… and Errol, who first arrived with a slight paunch, now sports a decent six-pack along with the others.

tumblr_o81b1z5vl41vwny7no1_1280

So there we are, I think. Morning sessions and morning (un)dress back to normal tomorrow, plenty of participation in other fitness activity in school and regular attendances at the well-equipped private gym currently run by our friend Ron to make use of the resistance machines (and experience a wider range of wrestling opponents, which pretty much everyone there enjoys). And plenty of muscle on show for comparisons, each encouraging the others in accordance with firmly laid-down principles that it is not the purpose to be better than others, but to encourage the others to catch up if you do happen to be in that fortunate position…

tumblr_ob0pmzopgx1tsmqd2o1_1280

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbWhen Dave and I joined that local High School for just over a year (read these two books to understand the history here!!), we were fortunate that one of the (then) senior coaches was also in the private gym, and very receptive to the introduction of acrobatic activity into the school sporting curriculum. Although supported by the then Principal, they’ve both moved on and, apart from the wrestlers (collegiate style, which we personally hate), the focus of Phys Ed in local schools now is firmly on football (American), basketball and, to a lesser extent, baseball. If you click on the book covers that will lead you to more information, and you can find them on Amazon and as e-books.

So now, any acrobatic training is largely in our hands in this area, and we are lucky enough to work in one of the best gymnastic centers in the eastern USA, which two of our close mates (one is Dave’s brother) manage on behalf of the Romanian owners. (Spoiler alert – I think we’re getting a trip to Romania in May next year!!). Most of the adult team is currently performing in a show in Canada, which we shall join with Leo and Jaymee for just over a week over the Christmas period. It’s fun, and us ‘oldies’ (mid 30’s, sigh) can just about keep up…

tumblr_obl8vw5aup1sbydeco1_1280

To be fair, my oldest correspondent from this blog is 89 and still weight training – so that option remains even when we get a bit too stiff for the acrobatics!! As he says, it is never too late to start if you are healthy, but do consult a doctor first if you are in any doubt. And then, get your shirt off, work out in front of a mirror, and watch those muscles happen!

tumblr_odbqel31qh1ve0j61o2_1280

cover2-thumbThere is a third book, which kind of completes a trilogy of gay love combined with sport and some misadventures which befell us on various tours. There is still time to get them in time for your Christmas reading… got to be better than the TV I hope! There is also a fourth book on the way, unconnected to the first three, which is a shorter and self-contained tale of an exiled gay Native American whose quest to find his one-time love is fated to end in tears. The name is Let The Future Find Me, but it will be awhile before it appears in print.

So now, with the advertising out of the way, and the tensions released after a successful morning which kept us awake most of the night (!!), a finale of fitness images where there are definitely NO ‘Privates on Parade’…

tumblr_oez6w6f4pl1tlsn4fo1_1280

…and, for whatever reason, even if only by ‘cropping’, no clothes on show either!

tumblr_oh1v2laiza1szm6mzo1_1280

tumblr_ogub6oehe41sjy7bgo1_1280

back-muscle

ev11

ev22

For one follower in UK, a ‘special’ which he will appreciate…

for-ian-2

gmt111_01

…and there needs to be at least one gymnast in the post…

joachim-winther

…and maybe a sweaty performer under the lights…

adrian-1

As for the arguments for or against training naked in a suitable environment, look no further than a recent post and the added report from a blog reader on the London-based gym to which it refers! We are not alone… and if anyone cares to raise a voice in protest, our final guy here has the answer ready and waiting…!

tumblr_nu9mg9tjgy1qfz2s8o1_1280

Bye for now…

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 Privates (NOT) On Parade!

  1. Platinumboy says:

    Everything seems to be working out with the mother of your black friends. Congratulations. Next thing, Mom will be physically fit, but I doubt at your private gym.

  2. Pingback: Spin Offs | 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 )

Connecting to %s

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