Sport ‘Au Naturel’: What We’ve Lost

‘Gymnastics’ means ‘The Naked Art’. Although most boys train shirtless in the gym, it was not what we know as gymnastics today, but track and field athletics and wrestling, performed by naked boys – boys all enjoying their ‘freedom’.

Cut to 1952 USA:


Four swimmers cheerfully photographed for the school yearbook – and the local newspaper. Swimming naked…


Yep…boys to swim naked alongside the girls. Schools, and the ‘Y’…


tumblr_nyck5gpx2b1uvssdso1_1280So, our tendency to train naked for weights gym… maybe not so weird? Except that it is 2017 not 1952, and some attitudes sure have changed, especially here in US!

I posted some while back (and you’ll have to search because I forget which post) a contemporary newspaper cutting in which the debate about naked swimming in schools was again raised: boys voted to stay naked, girls to cover up. Parents supported both choices.

Then, more recently, in November, we had a piece specifically on naked weights training. That generated a lengthy report from a reader in London UK about the NKD Training website which is linked at the bottom of this page. Regular sessions where guys can train with like-minded guys in a private sessions which is – contrary to some suggestions – entirely focussed on the training. Like us and the lads in our cabin.

The above swimming reports – and more – can be found on a brief blog site  which was drawn to my attention by a follower here in western TN. One post accuses the blogger of photoshopping all his posts, but I suggest, given the number of newspaper cuttings, that everything seen there is ‘true to life’.

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbcover-3-thumbSo: we’ve been ‘at it’  since we were late teens, admittedly as gay guys and with gay friends (see the books). Our kids and their friends (yes, we are gay dads) also train naked, largely because my son and Dave’s daughter grew up alongside our training regime… shirts and shoes are hardly ever worn in the home, and less in the training cabin! Guys sharing the enjoyment of developing their bodies, encouraging each other, admiring each other’s progress. Working together, one making a human ‘bench’ for his friend’s bench press while a third ‘spots’ – the “bench’s” muscles straining against the performer, sharing the moment. Magic.

It is curious that the most likely candidates for training naked these days (apart from us!) seem to be ballet boys – at least from the number of photos out there. We’ll move on here to a little celebration of guys working naked at their chosen pursuits – in many cases acrobatics – and sometimes enjoying the sun on their backs:







Rain? No problem:


Warm rain on a warm body? Great feeling – try running shirtless in a light rain! And this guy might as well be in the pool – although he does seem to need his Speedos on this rainy restaurant terrace:


Now, some guys who are close to training naked but didn’t quite make it:


Of course, if the trunks come off, a towel to sit on is desirable or, as in our private gym, a mandatory thorough shower before starting! That won’t stop the sweat, but sweat in weights gyms is also mandatory! Better outdoors, where possible (n.b. – bad form here – back should stay in contact with the bench to avoid over-strain):



That last was a ballet rehearsal, I think.

Did I mention that naked wrestling – uninhibited raw power struggle – is also hugely fun (and in keeping with that ancient Greek ‘gymnastic’ tradition)?




And, to finish, here’s a guys activity which would probably have been better naked, although I guess some onlookers would have thought it inappropriate. But they went down to underpants (something Russian boys are prone to do in public rather than buy themselves Speedos, incidentally – but that’s a story for another day).



tumblr_mu11i9vyv11rsh0nno1_1280So: shuck the shirt AT LEAST, train hard, watch each other’s muscles develop, and have FUN!

What’s not to like? Comments?

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Lynch Mob Mentality

A few pictures before I launch into today’s tale.






Some pretty fine bodies there, you must surely agree. Muscle and definition to be proud of, and to be admired by all of us in the fitness ‘trade’.

Forgive me for making a point…

Not to the taste of the part of our local Tennessee population we might term ‘redneck’.

I have written of the fairly recent inclusion of Leo’s two African-American friends into the teen fitness ‘clique’. Turns out this is not to the taste of some of his other school ‘mates’. Actually, it was Chris, Leo’s best friend, who ‘got it in the neck’ earlier this week, when he was talking on the sports field during a break at High School with Theo and Errol.

100+ years ago in this part of the world (and much more so deeper south), the coloured population were regarded as slaves. Not just that, but material to be strung up from the nearest tree for any minor misdemeanour.

I am reminded that I live in a State which in 1916 hanged an elephant for killing its trainer. Lynch-mob mentality.


I guess that Theo and Errol are kind of used to this and simply tried to walk away, muttering to Chris to ignore them. But, I’m proud to say, Chris wasn’t having any of that, yelled across to some of the others including Leo and confronted these bullies. Faced with  about seven extremely muscular and fit lads with their arms around Theo and Errol’s shoulders plus a host of their other friends (they’re not only friendly with the weights freaks!), the bullies melted away.

However, revenge is sweet, so our lads are on their guard.

Guess we’re rather proud of them. They all showed up as usual this morning for before-school weights in our cabin, and the issue was not discussed so far as we know.


It’s not just the color issue we face here. Leo got bullied a couple of years ago for having a gay dad and a lesbian mom but responded powerfully, to my immense admiration. Jude, the only one of the young weights clan who actually is gay, has had the same treatment, but behind his back (“sniggering offstage”), because he is an extremely muscular and somewhat intimidating bodybuilder.

Well, there we go. Another typical day in the life of Tennessee… Incidentally, the tale of our own gay love, fitness regime, circus touring and all the rest (good and bad) can be found here:

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

I am pathetically short of fitness pictures featuring African Americans. Other races do appear here from time to time, more or less in proportion to their ‘population density’ on the internet. Will do better!

This blog has been hugely biased towards Caucasian  but, as I say, will try and do better in the future. And two of my best gymnasts at the gymnastics center are Af-Am and have amazing ability to learn complex routines – however, we have a rule against photography here and I don’t normally publish under-18s here either. Meanwhile, some more (hopefully) uncontroversial fitness imagery to inspire the hesitant who want to shape up really but haven’t yet quite made the effort…… you? So let’s see what I can find, including a few oriental guys and some Latinos:









Peace, tolerance, and harmony… OK? Love, even?



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Tungsten Theresa

No way I can link the pics to the topic today so, for visuals, let’s just have A Day in the Gym!


As a Brit living in USA and surveying the current political turmoil as successive Obama legislature is countermanded, apparently on the whim of one man, I have to be just a little proud that it is my Prime Minister Theresa May who will be the first ‘foreign’ leader to meet Trump – and she will do that after first having met with other senior Republicans in Philadelphia tomorrow, many of whom harbour serious reservations about our new President. That’s kind of well briefed.

‘Tungsten Theresa’, the new by-line coined for her at home in UK, is of course inspired by the former ‘Iron Lady’ Margaret Thatcher, who developed such good relations with Reagan in a sort of mutual admiration society. As our new lady is also in charge of negotiation with the self-centered bureaucracy of the European Union on our behalf (that’s on Britain’s behalf, I mean), she sure needs to be tough. Oh to be a fly on the wall as misogynist meets his possible match!


I guess Dave and I show little interest in politics normally but, when things are heating up in such a remarkable way, who knows? It is not so long since the Russians attached to the local National Laboratory here in TN all departed rather suddenly (including a couple of real friendly weights mates) – now we’re all waiting to see how long it takes before Trump and Putin admit they’re best buddies. OMG!



Yes, I know this is a blog for promoting fitness in young men – and my books! – but I couldn’t resist a little strutting in support of the Tungsten lady’s ‘prime’ position with the new US administration. We shall watch the plot unfold with interest!


So I’ll stick to the pictures now, with some book covers thrown in on which you may click for better information. Meanwhile enjoy the guys sweating it out building their bodies!


















And a dark, but excellent picture revealing a great British gym and a great body (and, of course, a great photographer handling the light brilliantly), to finish:


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Some Czech MMA fighters for you, for starters. Well, we had our own version of  a cage fight last night – sans cage, but eight of us mid-30s dudes versus eight teens (well, Billy is 21, but we’ll let that pass) in a mass wrestle fest at the private gym. Such ‘mass attack’ submission wrestling requires careful tactics. Should you all, for example, go for the strongest member of the opposite team and eliminate him quickly before moving on to the next one? Should you each go one-on-one and hope you win your part? Or do you hang back, conserving your strength to pitch in nearer the end to help overcome the stronger guys on the other team? Or do you just ‘go for it’ and hope for the best?

Inevitably, neither side had any tactics at all, but it was huge fun taking on these young fitness freaks, led by my son Leo. First go, we eliminated the lot of them on the basis of ‘submit and you leave the floor’, with only two of our side eliminated at that stage (no names, but it wasn’t me, was it Steve and Carlos…?); second go we let the vanquished continue with friends attempting to keep the score on submissions for each side. We won that too. But they had prepared well…




The lads wanted to get to the oil after, so we all did that – but we sent them home around 9pm so that the gay members of our contingent could slip next door and have some fun of our own making.


Two of ‘our’ side were our dedicated wrestler friends from Lexington, the whole adult team being gay except for Steve and one ‘don’t know’: the ‘teens’ side are all straight except for bodybuilder Jude (openly gay at 16) and also one ‘don’t know’ – not that that makes any difference in such a challenge, although the gay guys obviously get a little more out of the body contact than the straight guys do I suppose!

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbBut the bottom line which led to all of this is a dedication to fitness – acquiring it for the lads, retaining it for us old ‘uns! And that’s where this blog is always headed – inspiring fitness for men of all ages – and so after the book advert (sigh), that’s where we’ll go for the rest of our images today. cover-3-thumbThe books by the way provide all the background you could ever need to understand this blog, and our own motivations, touring, adventures and so forth. e-versions are also available.

And now, your fitness inspiration!
















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Happy Trump Day

No, not HUMP day…


I’ve heard that today, the world is balanced on a knife edge (that’s a very neat planche position by the way). A lot of real American folks around here (TN) are ecstatic… others just feel like ending it all…


Is it the end of ‘life as we know it’, the preface to world War 3, or, as one pundit in a British magazine predicts, a very short-term presidency because he’ll be impeached and out of office in less than a year?

Whether we like it or not, it is The Donald’s BIG DAY. I noticed that the cost of ensuring he doesn’t get assassinated this afternoon during the slow motorcade in Washington as $100 million. That includes a few of my personal tax dollars, and I can think of better ways it could be spent.

Meanwhile, several hundred miles away from Pennsylvania Avenue here in Tennessee, life goes on more or less as normal and the TV is OFF. As Brits living in USA, neither Dave nor I gets involved in politics, and we DON’T CARE what happens in Washington because we can always choose ‘out’ and go home (to either Oxford, Barrow or Wales). Always assuming that whatever tumult arises after Trump’s inauguration doesn’t interrupt scheduled flights across the Atlantic.

So, in the training cabin at the top of our yard here in Oak Ridge, life goes on as normal. Seven regular kids training their bodies for acrobatic sports and wrestling, adults doing the same, getting ready for our big event, which takes place tomorrow evening. It started life after we introduced my son Leo’s new friends Theo and Errol to the private gym: now they’ve all ganged up on us and issued a ‘Lads versus Dad’s wrestle challenge’, to take place tomorrow evening at the private gym: that’s eight lads in total because Chris’s older bodybuilding brother has been roped in too, leaving us the challenge to muster eight adults – only two actual ‘Dad’s’ of the actual boys – me (Leo) and our friend Steve (Chris and Billy the BB) – everyone else’s dad is either absent or unsporty so, in addition to Dave (Jaymee’s dad but she’s well out of it!!), we’ve roped in Ivo, Pete, our wrestle partners Leon and Dane from Lexington, and our Latino model mate Carlos. I’ll let know how this mass brawl goes!

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbcover-3-thumbWe have ‘form’ for this kind of thing, when we ourselves were just a little bit older than these current 15-16yos. It’s written in these books along with our discovery of gay love, circus tours and assorted adventures. You might like to take a look – print and e-versions available and if you don’t fancy the shipping from UK where they’re published, you can use Amazon and get e-versions there too. More info by clicking on the covers.

And so, it is surely TAKE YOUR MIND OFF TRUMP TIME!!! Some great bodies and sporty stuff for your viewing pleasure!


















Let’s have a big finish – a final salute from a load of gymnasts!


…and, as I post this, the inaugural motorcade is under way. God Bless America – and all Brits who sail in her…


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On Wild Swimming – and On Being Happy in Your ‘Skin’


My previous post on ‘Hard Body’, and earlier mentions of training naked (for example, NKD Training), has generated some interesting comments both on the posts and by e-mail. It was one of the latter, from elsewhere in Tennessee, that drew my attention to a relevant blog with a slightly porn-sounding title which is actually anything but. It has recently blossomed into activity, the posts largely referring to the old-style habit in both USA and elsewhere that boys swimming classes, both in school and at (for example) YMCA, “required” the boys to swim naked. Indeed, they seemingly did this in the presence of girls (who were obliged to cover up) and would also mount the podium naked to receive prizes for winning – and seem to have been regularly photographed doing so.  Without thinking it the least bit inappropriate.

So why do 21st-century guys (with a few notable exceptions) seem to have this horror of being seen naked, even by their mates, and disappear into individual cubicles to change for sports?

Of course, there are exceptions:


..and we can only hazard a guess at what those two are doing, or why they want to do it up a tree. But generally, if we want to see ordinary guys enjoying themselves in the wild, we need to look back at vintage stuff:


Generally speaking, straight guys were as much into naked combat or swimming as gay guys, although declaring oneself as the latter was rather harder to do.

tumblr_nsd5dexxgd1slz0h0o1_540One of the comments was inspired by this image I posted last time. My correspondent and I speculated on ‘where did these American fitness mags go’ – and the answer seems to be a fear of them appearing pornographic. Can this be why perhaps so many modern fitness gyms demand that guys keep their shirts on – even when they are plastered with posters of shirtless guys showing off their large muscles? Surely not – isn’t it that more a fear of upsetting their female clientele?

So. Should guys do stuff naked together or, maybe, a better question is, can guys do stuff naked together without being instantly labelled as ‘gay’ with all the wrong associations of that term (as perceived by the general public, lawmakers and campaigners)? Naked gatherings (of mixed sex) are encouraged in some European countries (e.g. the Frei-Korper-Kultur of Austria and Germany) while French swimming pools insist on the minimalist clothing to be worn by guys (Speedos OK, longer shorts absolutely not [for unspecified ‘hygeine’ reasons]): Dutch swim pools are often costume-free in the evenings, like those YMCAs used to be, except that it is again mixed bathing rather than just guys.

So why does a small majority think we’re perverted for doing our weight training naked in private – mainly to avoid getting too hot) and going wild swimming in the River (in a secluded spot away from those who do not wish to see)?

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbcover-3-thumbWell, I am gay, and my sporty friends predominantly are. The books left and right tell our story, and help to support this blog (HINT!). However, my seriously clothes-shedding son is absolutely straight, and his similar-undressed training mates are straight too, with one exception which is not an issue for either side. And, yes, us gay guys do enjoy the sight and touch of each others bodies, when the circumstances are appropriate. But not in sight of the young uns, and not in any inappropriate setting.

OK. let the debate continue! Comment or email to as you wish! Menawhile I will continue to populate the blog with images of young men of entirely unspecified sexuality enjoying being at least shirtless with their friends, and possibly more:







Shall we train naked now…?


Hey, its raining bud…


…we may as well take all our clothes off now…





…and then the shorts come off…


Togetherness in the bathroom mirror…


…maybe getting ‘gay’er?


…and in the bedroom…


“He’s my friend”


“He’s my gay friend!”

And, finally, to ensure that we do not discriminate against the ‘definitely gay’ couples, one more bedroom picture!


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Hard Body


We had the pre-teen gym boys in our cabin with the mid-teen gym boys this weekend, and the talk was all about two things: how to get a ‘hard body’ and how to acquire the assorted acrobatic skills that Leo (and Jaymee) have learned from us over the years. This post focuses on the first thing – the so-called ‘hard body’ – like that guy.

Whatever muscle he needs to do whatever it is he wants to do, he’s got it, and it shows! What it shows is interesting: it is not about BIG muscle – it is about STRONG muscle – and there is a huge difference in the way you train, between the two.

If you want to be acrobatic – and remain athletic to do the tumbling and whatnot – then this next is about as far as you should go with muscle size:


Here’s a fully professional acrobat we all admire – Ed Upcott – holding a straight top planche which is quite a tough move needed shoulder and chest/back musculature of iron – his muscles are certainly not huge, but they are powerful (check him out on YouTube!):


The bottom line for training with weights is ‘little and often’ – modest weights, many repetitions. Coupled with a sensible diet and plenty of ‘normal’ exercise like running, the magic will work!

The ‘human flag’, for example, does not need huge muscles – just power and stamina:


What do you think of these two gym buddies?


Is one somehow ‘better’ than the other? the right-hand guy seems to have more muscle development, but who is stronger? My guess is the guy on the left. Most likely, we find, gym buds lift the same poundages: left is ‘slim and strong’, right is maybe more developed but very likely no stronger than his friend. It all depends on what you want – and, crucially, what you eat and what you do when not in the gym.

Next exhibit:


Power lifter. A huge mass to lift – just once. One massive surge of energy needed, and then you’re done. Is this how the average guy should train? Absolutely not. Modest weights build stamina and resilience – you can keep the effort going for much longer, and this is what most sports demand. Inn fact, there is a loose relationship between muscle mass and duration of activity – marathon runners are skinny but have huge cardiovascular resource to keep going for over 26 miles – you wouldn’t see that power lifter get much further than the first mile, probably!

So, younger lads should aspire to something like this and will keep very active:


This is about right for a more mature lad doing something requiring strength (like acrobatics):


…whereas this next lad is definitely going for body-building as such, which is perfectly fine but definitely starts to limits one’s agility:


…but good luck to him: he’s proud of what he has built – especially those shoulders I should think. And the trickle o sweat between his pectorals is evidence of the hard work he has been willing to commit to to get his result.

We do have this ‘sweat is good’ philosophy when it comes to training:


That’s either been a very intense workout or has been ‘engineered’ for the picture. But sports like boxing or wrestling push out the sweat during the actual performance, of course:



The moral here, perhaps, is that young guys should build the body they need to do the sport they love best, and remember that size isn’t everything! Especially if you want to work as an acrobatic ‘top’:


My neck is really creaking today after spending some hours yesterday with my son balancing on my head! I don’t really need him to get any heavier although, in principle, we (adults) all trained to take each other’s weight anyway so I ought not to be struggling with him. He’s past the ‘growth spurt’ stage and into the ‘filling out’ stage – putting on the muscle to match the extension of his bone structure – so there’ll still be some weight to add. He support Jaymee on his head of course: she’s likely to end up a little lighter than him. But it’s the shoulder strength he needs for arm balancing:


So there we are. End of short lecture on how (or how not) to build up the teen-boy body for sport. I guess that we were successful “in our day”, as told here:

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbLoving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7


A few more Tone-approved hard young bodies for you, starting with a bit of history! Damn, no year shown…


Where are these magazines today? It’s just huge bodybuilders, apart from Men’s Health which is far too commercial. I used to get a magazine called ‘Exercise for Men Only’ which featured more ‘normal’ guys development (and no hidden connotation about the peculiar title), but it seems to have pretty much disappeared. Oh well. On with the show!





And to finish, perfect proportions!


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Him ‘n Me

A post dedicated to gay couples. Why not?


After all:


Sadly, the Tumblr blog mentioned on the bottom of that poster no longer exists.

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbcover-3-thumbMy writings published so far have all been about us – Dave and I – and our sporting (acrobatic) interests and adventures from a few years back. No secret about what we are, then. Clicking on the covers leads to more information, and they are available in e-book form too. Which said, on with the gallery for today!

Guys together, having fun (or more), no specific sexuality necessarily implied (although, in some cases, I’m sure you’ll form a view)…







And now, after the unbelievably cute couples, the ‘tough stuff’…


In the next, mine’s the one on the right:



You would think from the nearest guy that the next two were having their meal in a sauna – but I don’t think so… he must have ordered the triple chilli:


Russian gym buds in a rusty and peeling environment…


Better outdoors! (…and, since everything is painted yellow and blue, probably Ukraine)…



Wait – I didn’t him and HIM


(Oh, never mind! Your gym bud is a sweetie, dude!)


So is yours!

And the FUN stuff, beautifully caught by the photographer…


And, to end as we began…


Love at first lick! For the time being, ‘G’night, sleep well…’


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Bias? Genes? I’m Not Sure…

This post is a bit of a soul searcher. Tune out now rather than be offended!

A recent comment on quite an old post makes me think. Am I biassed against posting images of guys whose skin color is other than white? Not intentionally. I could argue that in that wide wide web of posted images, a huge majority are indeed of white guys.


So here’s an interesting image. I did NOT crop this, but there is (most of) a guy missing at the top. Just arms are visible – colored arms. So why is the picture cropped in this way? Accident on the part of the photographer? Or someone ‘getting rid’ of a part of the image they preferred not to post (this arrived to me, in this form, in a Yahoo Group post this week).

So, will try to do better. Certainly we’ve nothing against dark skin – nor have the countless hordes (like us) who choose to bask in the sun each summer…



No ‘fake tan’ for us any more (not sure about that last guy though) – but should we confess to using sun beds to ‘top up’? Yes, we should, when we are going to perform. We feel (for whatever reason) that, as a group, we should all look about ‘the same’ when stripped down to our performing briefs. Why should that worry us? Does it worry an audience? I don’t know, but one colored guy in a troupe of white acrobats stands out just as one white guy in a troupe of black acrobats would stand out. I’m not saying either is wrong, and there are plenty instances out there (for example the top photo) where it happens.

Most groups however (and wherever) look like this:


I’ve really struggled to find a picture which doesn’t do that, but here’s one – ONE guy only – in a group of 12 friends:


A group of buds from an eastern European country – not sure which – or possibly Denmark – never mind: one dark-skinned guy out of twelve, but fitting in fine to the group – I think they are soccer players. When I collected that picture I captioned it ‘five out of twelve’ because I was focussed on the thing that my own genes drive me to think about – the shirtless guys! My brain wants to search out physically fit guys – I’m gay, so that makes sense. I will honestly admit that I admire muscle in ANY guy of any skin color – but I think that I am not physically attracted to something about our African American and related colleagues – I’m being brutally honest here if I say it may be facial features.

My genes are saying that, not my mind/body/spirit (to coin a genre phrase): we absolutely love having Theo and Errol in the teens fitness gang, and some of my best gymnasts (in my professional capacity) are African-American. Could I fall in love with an African American? – its OK, Dave – I doubt it very much.

I’ve written many times about our disquiet with the ‘white supremacy’ attitude of the founder of our private gym, which is finally changing for the better. But when I look through my collection of gym images, what do I find? Almost 100% white guys:


All of this soul-searching brings to mind another drum to bang.


You can’t fault that, can you? And you can’t tell which  of the three is the gay student. I have to applaud the younger generation for their increased tolerance and understanding compared with my generation (and certainly the next older one!). Just in case you’re curious, the school concerned is in Ireland.

Gay guys are fortunate. Unless they choose to ‘feminise’ themselves – and sure, some do – you cannot single out a gay guy just by looking. Contrast that with the Af-Am ethnicity and skin color. And remember, we are living in Tennessee where memories of slavery are still very powerful, and redneck attitudes seem to prevail still.

12795358_1168289306549879_2836090684282253149_nAnd so, just to lighten things a little (right), some girls who find they are chatting up a guy who turns out to be gay can get somewhat pissed off!

So having searched all my fitness image files destined for this blog and found almost no Af-Am guys featured, all I can say is: will try to do better. After all, if I expect the world to understand us gay guys, and to accept us, the least I can do… etc. etc.

A final thought, before someone asks. Do my books include other ethnicities other than white Caucasian male? The answer is yes, but the only examples who have pivotal roles in the books are Chinese or Latino… both, incidentally, having been welcomed into the private gym under the previous and current management.

You can check for yourselves.

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

My next book, Let The Future Find Me, which is currently under consideration for publication, features two Native Americans: in a small, way, perhaps I am doing my bit but, as I freely admit in response to that very ‘on-the-ball’ comment, ‘could do better’.

I will now shut up and just post a few more images of fitness inspiration, illustrated by the inevitable white Caucasian male, but the message about the desirability of a fit body is available to all.







Re-reading this, maybe I’ve been a bit too frank. Lord only knows what the comments are going to say…

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Wild and Woolly


The unprecedented cold we have been experiencing here in TN almost – but not quite – put a stop to our ‘wild’ swimming sessions in the Clinch River. The -10C/14F we experienced at the weekend didn’t actually make the river freeze like this one in Russia, so we didn’t actually have to cut through the ice with a chainsaw to get our ‘refreshing’ dip!

However, having seen pictures of ice flows on European rivers on TV, I guess things could be a lot worse. Strangely, the UK (my home country, of course) seems to have escaped the icy blast, although we hear that snow is expected at our place in Wales later this week.

Any way, these thoughts prompt some SWIMMING PICTURES ! and thoughts of summer to come!

Rivers first: and some rather fit young men to illustrate them…




Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH









I guess we need to include the (outdoor) pool as well:





Of course, if you can’t wait for the summer…


We did one time do under-ice swims when we were somewhat younger – you can find more about that buried in these three volumes which detail our sporting and circus endeavours alongside a bit of gay stuff and some other misadventures:

Loving the Boy: ISBN 978-1-907732-30-0cover1-thumb

The Power of Love: ISBN 978-1-907732-41-6

Against All Odds: ISBN 978-1-908645-35-7

Meanwhile, you can always make use of rain to show off your toughness…



…and, meanwhile, if you are really keen to show off your resilience and the cold weather continues, how’s about a wrestle in the hoar frost to warm up first?



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