Putting the Kettle On

…that’s partly a message to my mum as a reminder that we’re passing through Oxford at the end of the week on the way to Portugal! But, mainly, it’s about these:

…the kettlebell. A great device for working on those abdominal muscles through various swinging and twisting actions.

…as well as exercising pretty much any other part of the body…

…and, of course, should you become bored during your workout and be of acrobatic bent…

My son Leo has had a collection of kettlebells for two years now and hates being separated from them. And being, like the rest of his extended family a ‘professional’ fakir performer, I guess that having one dropped onto his stomach while lying on a bed of nails just comes naturally.

It is, of course, desirable to build the muscle (with or without kettlebells) before attempting such strange feats!

…so maybe don’t try it home unless you abs look at least as good as these!

In fact (ADVISES OUR LAWYER!) don’t try it at home anyway. But this morning Leo and Chris were training this move when the lads from NC showed up (a little late after a tough day yesterday) and, of course, all wanted to try, so Dave and I needed to intervene and recommend smaller weights, at least for starters. But those boys are tough kids and there were survivors.

So may, just work on your abs for now.

Kids always want to go for the toughest feats first, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen straight off. An example is the ‘double handstand’, which Dave and I struggle with even now. One handstand on top of another. The first stage is for the lower hand-stander to take the weight of his partner…

When the base is really confident about balancing his moving partner, the top can go through straddle into the full top handstand, or through planche – or muscle up directly with a body fold… to this really impressive result:

But first, spend 10,000 hours getting your basic handstand shape and endurance right!

…and don’t forget to stretch your feet (this gymnast is obviously too busy balancing on thumb and fingertips to remember to do that!).

OK – what else to report? Yesterday was a kind of ‘going native’ day for the kids here at summer camp – building bivouacs in which to spend the night, lighting fires, eating under-cooked baked potatoes and sausage, getting covered in mud and then, around midnight, getting soaking wet when the latest thunderstorm arrived. Understandably the bivouacs all leaked and it was a case of all hands to the pumps (as it were), to repatriate the kids to their real beds – in the dark, in the rain, and persuading them to go through the showers on the way in to get them clean! Oh yes, and ‘putting the kettle on’ to make them hot coffees. Come this morning, they seem to be grateful for the assistance we and the other camp ’employees’ gave them but, at the time, ‘grumpy’ was hardly the word for it. Our camping bus was nearest to the bivouac area when it all started, so we ended up as ‘first responders’! Now we have to clean all the muddy footprints out of the bus…

We have had plenty of adventures along the way, as reported in my books, but getting filthy muddy and soaking wet in the middle of the night is a new one I think.

Random abs pix to finish off, I think – and first, training those abs with just the bodyweight:

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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