Another Day, Another (Canadian) Dollar…

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Today’s Gallery Theme – ‘Enjoying What(ever it is) You Do’

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8 more shows to go before Dave and I, Leo and Jaymee fly back to Knoxville and home ready for school re-start the next day. Of course, the other six of our colleagues stay on until the end of February, and the group’s “spots” reduce back to what they were before we arrived. Management seem very happy with our added contribution, though I do confess it is an odd way to have spent Christmas and, the dollars aside, I can think of better ways!

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Have we enjoyed it? Well, Leo and Jaymee certainly enjoy their 20 minutes or so of fame per show, mostly with their duet on hand-balancing blocks, then Leo with his glass ‘coffin’ (that job goes back to Zach on Monday), followed by Jaymee participating with her mum and Clare in the fire department. Have Dave and I enjoyed it? Well, sort of pleased that we can still pull it off (especially our ‘hanging by teeth’ sequence) but, you know, the commitment and conditions are really a bit draining. Ethan and Jack thrive on it (a couple years younger than us), and Zach and Gary still seem happy. For Gary with his splits on the nails supporting Zach on his head in an arm balance, our presence meant that four guys could add spear bending to his discomfort, two on his chest and two on his back muscles. That’s difficult to continue after Monday because no-one except Jack and Ethan are available at that point, and you cannot balance the forces with just two. Good job we learned that Kung Fu element all those years ago (see the books, end of post!).

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This next guy is certainly enjoying showing off his human flag to the audience of girls…

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… whilst the next lad enjoys a moment of locker-room fame with his mates…

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“Hey, my little wrestler brother loves his weights too…!”

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“…and he’s proud of his chest development as well!” That’s not my brother, of course, I don’t have one.

These martial artists obviously enjoy doing their Thai Boxing naked… and the onlookers are set to enjoy the spectacle too:

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More comparisons, now:

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Enjoy the shower:

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Savour the sweat:

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A happy well-muscled swimmer:

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“I like posing! Do you like my trail…?”

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“I don’t have a trail – but my armpits are pretty neat!”

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Six happy (sort-of) acrobatic beach boys:

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Another happy lifter:

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And finally for today, two guys happy in their (presumed) gay love:

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The books, as mentioned earlier (e-versions available too), celebrate everything mentioned here and some adventure too:

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

And now, 10 minutes to go before showtime, the first of the eight we have left to do!

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End of Term Teasers

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More ‘random’ pictures today.

No gym for us this morning though – a mass visit to the sauna instead. Very pleasant given the cold temperatures here in Canada (snow forecast again for tomorrow!). Then lunch before the usual two performances.

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As we near the end of the year – and there’s not much else to write about, given our fixed routine here – I’m re-introducing our ‘fitness crossword’ feature – no crossword, just the clues culled from various sources. Answers next time – except for one which I don’t know the answer to myself. So your suggestions – by comment or e-mail to gymacrobat@gmail.com – will be welcomed!

  1.  Lever in gym boy pulled up (5)
  2.  Son gets on with everything except gym kit (4,4)
  3.  Undisclosed strain stops nude wrestling (7)
  4.  Do exercises in school (5)
  5.  A glass for the acrobat (7)
  6.  Exercise before second drink (5,2)
  7.  Just outside gym, in full view of everybody (6)
  8.  Wrestling’s not finished – that’s the problem (3)
  9.  Force prisoners to exercise (9)
  10.  Gym teacher taking public transport with hesitation (7)

In addition to the one I do not have the answer to, there is one other whose answer I do not fully understand. And I thought I was quite good at this ‘fitness’ stuff!

For the moment, I leave you to work out which are the two ‘problem’ questions!

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That’s My Boy (Girl)!

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Dedication. That’s what it is all about. Wanting to achieve, wanting to be better…

Dave and I, standing at the back of the stage while our respective offspring Jaymee and Leo were performing their coordinated balance routine in the first part of the show. “That’s my girl!” mouths Dave to me, proudly. “And my boy!” I reply.

They’ve grown up with us constantly training – in the gym with us from Day 1, almost 15 years ago. Playing together naked as babies, pretending to do balances, growing, learning to do them properly, developing their bodies through our example (and their mums, of course, and our acrobatic partners too). Never mind all the gazing at screens and eating of burgers that their contemporaries do – they’ve worked amazingly hard to develop the strength and hard bodies they need to pull it off, and pull it off they do, every time. Because they want it, which is the key.

Is the time coming to hang up our briefs and leave it all to the next generation? Jaymee and Leo have competent partners in performance already – Karla and Chris – they’ve worked on three summer camps with us last summer, did amazingly… and, let’s face it, after more than 15 years doing this stuff, we are beginning to ‘creak’ a little bit here and there!

Whereas the teens and early twenties people – well:

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cover1-thumbcover2-thumbJaymee and Leo are each the product of a gay man and a lesbian mum who got their act together just the once. The girls were desperate for a child and basically ‘chose’ Dave and I for reasons which I guide you to the books to find out. Suffice to say that the big night worked and, gosh, how proud we are. Of the kids, obviously. And of ourselves, for agreeing to do it – I cannot imagine life now without my son, and Dave is the same about Jaymee.

cover-3-thumbAnd yet, legally, we had the chance to walk away, never to see them… gosh, if we had done, our lives would be so empty. It really came home to me last night. Christmas night. Our whole company, except for the kids who are sharing a tiny room in Jack’s parent’s house, are sleeping in our tour bus whilst other members of Jack’s extensive family visit and take up all the other spare rooms. Last night I sensed that something was afoot, but couldn’t place it. Everyone seemed reluctant to go to their bunks – or even to each other’s bunks, given that we, the guys, are all gay and in a safe sharing ‘brotherhood’. So eventually, Dave and I climbed into ours, expecting a visit from Jack and Ethan.

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But the hand that eventually slid over my chest and stomach was not Jack’s, but Clare’s. Leo’s Mom. She, and her partner Karen, Jaymee’s mom, who slid in alongside Dave, “Just want to remind you how much we love you for what you did!” Oddly, dspite being gay, Dave’s partner and all that, I do feel love for my ‘personal lesbian’ and, as she lay on top of me for a while with our hands caressing one another and her lips seeking a kiss, an overwhelming sense of gratitude came over me. For her asking me to be the dad in the first place, for the son she gave me, and for the love we have both bestowed on him (and he on us). Despite being a fire-breathing (literally!) body-burning body-piercing nail and glass-bed fakir, as a sideline to being our house ‘manager’ (we share the same home now, although that is relatively recent), Clare is a wonderful mom and a wonderful person. Both the girls had difficult backgrounds, especially with shit from their families after they met up and starting living together, and they deserve better, which hopefully they feel that they have. The kids each effectively have two dads and two moms, they understand their situation perfectly, as do their close friends, and they’re as hetero as it comes!!

So – special time over – the girls left us to do their own thing at the back of the bus and the other boys joined us…

…nuff said, but I’ve been feeling very sentimental and, when I watch Leo and Jaymee again in today’s shows, there may even be a tear. Probably from the ‘fearsome fakirs’ Clare and Karen as well!

After which, SHOWTIME for blog followers! FITNESS – the prime objective! Enjoy.

A little tender massage from a pair of Indian wrestlers, first!

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Then just a wrestler, alone in his gym (Russian):

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“I wanna check out your abs!”

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“Never mind him! Check this out!”

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“Or this!!

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OK, enough captions! The rest can speak for themselves! Wait, what is this next guy actually doing with his hands?

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Group hug, anyone, just to finish? I’m feeling that way today – must be the Christmas spirit!

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And now, off to our pre-shows lunch! Bye till the next…

 

 

 

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Thanks To All Our Readers…

…I just know I’m not going to have time to post this tomorrow…

christmas_candle_holly_wreath_borders_2…so thank you all for your support over the past year, especially those who actually bought some books, but of course everyone who enjoys me ranting on about keeping fit…

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Keep up the good work, then (but not directly after the feast!). You could, of course, run it off, our style…

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Every which way, just enjoy your festivities, and the nagging about your abs will resume shortly!

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Four of us are now fighting off heavy colds, which makes performing less than the usual pleasure! Ethan seems to have started the bug off, and now Jack, I and Jaymee have it, and no doubt it is going to spread given that most of us are living in close confinement in our tour bus. But, hey, it’s Christmas!

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A time for being close to your loved ones! Look out, Dave, here come the germs…

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All I wanted for Christmas…

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Enough lights? Well, nearly. Time to finish lunch and head up to the theatre to warm up for our first show. However you spend Christmas Day, be happy!

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Not Enough Hours…

‘Random’ Pictures Today

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Gosh, this ‘professional’ show business stuff is real hard work! At least it is not so cold here near Toronto now, and Zach and Gary have joined us in the tour bus to help keep us warm at night! The kids were offered, and eagerly accepted, a small room in the house to share – they’ve grown up together since day 1 so they’re cool with sharing.

Having the guys ‘sleeping’ alongside us does reduce the actual sleeping time, of course, since we are all part of the cost ‘safe’ team who can share our gay desires – as, indeed, are Jack and Ethan who spend time with us in the bus before retiring to Jack’s old room in the house from when he was a teenager. That’s a squeeze, too – but then, they’re a pair…

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So, it’s breakfast at eight for everyone, courtesy of Jack’s amazing parents who have supported us ever since the first days of touring (see Loving the Boy, The Power of Love and Against All Odds). Then each morning we head off – all ten of us – to a downtown gym where we have almost exclusive use for a couple of hours, and no-one argues when the shirts come off, although that’s as far as it goes!

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That’s basically strength work, to keep us ‘hardened’ against the nails and glass. A quick light lunch and it’s off to the theatre: we get a session allowed on stage to warm up tumbling and for flexibility, and to try a few balances to get in the mood…

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…but we need to be clear by about 1.30 to allow other acts to warm up, and the crew to set up for the opening show at 3pm.

After that, we’re in the theatre until the end of the second show, around 10pm – and all for about 40 minutes actual performance time in the two shows, plus appearances at the finale. Then head back to Jack’s home, where much-needed food is waiting – then it all begins again…

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We are, of course, paying for our ‘keep’, but Jack’s family are being absolutely amazing. Still, they didn’t see him for nearly two years while he and Ethan toured Australia and New Zealand, so they’re just delighted to have him back – along with the rest of us.

No WiFi in the bus, and a high demand in the house when we’re there, so this is coming to you courtesy of the WiFi signal from a restaurant next to the theatre! Just off stage from our fist ‘set’ in the first half, and time for a drink and computer break. No time for more chat now – I’ll just bang on some more pictures and send it off. Meanwhile, Happy Christmas if I don’t get back to you before – we have just one show Christmas Day and – wowee!! – the evening is free time. For sleeping, probably!

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Now there‘s a showman!

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Hard At Work

Feeling a wee bit ‘under the spotlight today, like this crew of young ballet boys…

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…sadly, apart from Leo and Jaymee, we’re all somewhat older these days…

In Toronto yesterday in plenty time to watch the show with just the six existing members of our happy band, and to check we have correctly worked out how to integrate Dave, myself and the two young ones. We have six more minutes in each half for the duration of our visit – and one of those slots will more or less be taken up with Leo and Jaymee doing their balance routine while Dave and I just augment the others. In the second half we all join in with the general fakir-based acrobatics – impressed with Gary’s latest ‘trick’ which is a full splits on the nail bed with Zach balancing on one arm on his head. I’ll try and snatch a picture later this week.

Right now it’s just been an hour convincing the management that we know what we’re doing, and coming up next, a heap of rehearsal training with the rest of the team, which is now ten instead of six. First public performance is at 3pm.

Biggest issue for us is that, while the rest of the gang are currently ‘bunking’ with Jack’s parents, who have always been amazing supporters, there’s no more room and so Dave and I and the kids spent the night in our tour bus huddling together to keep warm. Later this week, the others are going to join us because the host family have other family coming to stay over the festive weekend – so that extra body heat should help us all to survive the Canadian snows!

Just time to post a bunch of pictures – general gym training and results again, I’m afraid; some faces you may recognise – and to mention the books (in which Jack’s family feature):

cover1-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

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cover2-thumbcover-3-thumbTime for a rest!

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LGBTQIA+ OMG!

cover1-thumbI am a ‘G‘ and so, obviously, is my partner and loved one, Dave. We are ‘gay’ because of what we are, not as a lifestyle choice, as some, especially homophobes, seem to think. For that reason, I suppose, we can think of ourselves as part of a ‘community’.

We have each fathered a strongly heterosexual child with an ‘L‘ (lesbian) mother, so I guess that knocks the theory held by some that homosexuality is either hereditary or contagious. Less obviously, the whole six of us live together as one household, shared with two other gay guys, one of whom happens to be Dave’s brother.

None of us gays or lesbians has ever felt confused about our sexuality, and certainly none of us ever ‘changed’ it!

cover2-thumbFor a while, now, we have lived alongside the general label ‘LGBT‘ which neatly places us outside the general heterosexual run of things along with lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals. OK so far. Without at least the ‘G‘ and the ‘L‘ bit, these three books would never have been written. Finding gay love, sharing the love within a larger groups of committed and caring friends… that sort of thing. But ‘LGBT‘ is getting extended, and the press, generally heterosexual in orientation and rather impressed by silly campaigns, are rising to the bait and extending the expression in response to some rather peculiar student demands, especially in British universities. We’ve seen issues like Rhodes scholars trying to get rid of a statue of Rhodes on their university building, for a start! Mind you, it was a student from the former ‘colony’ of Rhodesia – but then he did accept the money!

cover-3-thumbOK. ‘Q‘ for ‘queer’ (OK, can understand that) or ‘questioning’ ones sexuality. Huh? Why not ‘U’ for undecided’, then? ‘I‘ is for ‘intersex’ – does that mean someone who is halfway through the process of changing sex before becoming a ‘T‘ransexual? Maybe ‘I‘ for ‘intermediate’ or ‘indeterminate’ would be more logical? ‘A‘ is for ‘asexual’ – but, wait: if you have no interest in any kind of sex, why would you want to be in this ‘club’ at all?

But we mustn’t exclude anyone, so lets add ‘+‘ so we include anything we haven’t thought of yet.

Does anyone else out there share the view that this is all becoming rather silly?

Trust me, anyone who dips into the books won’t find any of this politically correct nonsense. Just tales of us enjoying our gay lives, and our acrobatic lives, touring around the world and getting into a heap of trouble now and again! Clicking on the covers will lead to the publisher and more information – and searching on Amazon and elsewhere will find both print versions and e-books too. And by the way, you don’t need to be a ‘G‘ yourself to enjoy the read… but it would help if you are at least sympathetic to the 7% of us who prefer to find love with the same sex…

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I’ve decided that henceforth I’m an ‘A‘ and a ‘W‘, two categories which pretty much cover what I do. Acrobat (and gym coach), and Writer. And no more positive discrimination!

And so to today’s collection of fitness inspiration. Thanks for sticking with it and getting past the rant first!

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And, finally, perhaps the ultimate fit lad!! Your goal for, let’s say, Easter?

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Ready For The ‘Off’

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Writing first of all from my son Leo’s perspective, a weekend with girlfriend Karla then, on Monday, jetting off to Canada for a Christmas of performances with the rest of our company – exile from Karla until Jan 2nd when we fly back – and then she disappears back to her mom after New Year with her dad to re-start school the same day. So he’s torn – he loves to perform with the rest of us, but he yearns for Karla – however, there is talk of at least many weekends here and a possible transfer back to live with her dad. Leo’s fingers are so crossed, he cannot straighten them!

Actually, he can – otherwise simple balancing like the above would be a serious problem!

So, show training pretty much over, but ‘normal’ weights (normal for us, anyway) will continue until we set off for the airport in Knoxville.

Heavy snow is forecast for Toronto tomorrow – the last time I flew there, they closed the airport shortly before we were due to land and I had an unexpected visit to Montreal instead. A bit of a change from here, although it’s been darned cold today here too, but a warm front is coming in now! It’s not for nothing that a lot of downtown Toronto is actually underground.

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When we do get snow in TN, Leo and his mates get out there shirtless, keeping warm with plenty of physical exercise, which often includes wrestling!

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This time he’ll be the only under-30 in the performance (apart from Jaymee who certainly does NOT enjoy getting cold in the snow) and anyway, we’ll be busy doing two shows a day throughout our stay (one on Christmas Day before a late dinner) with the rest of the crew who are already in the show. But if you see one of these in the Toronto area, ask it if its name is Leo!

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And I think that we’ll leave the ice-hole swimming to the Russians…

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…the rest of us really prefer to be sweating under the theatre lights!

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…or after training…

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Sorry that one is so dark.

cover1-thumbSo, there we are. A busy time ahead over the Christmas period, and posts may get a bit sporadic, but I’ll do my best. It is still not to late to order your Christmas reading, by the way, for any gay-friendly friends or people who are interested in how circus acrobats get their act together – and, indeed, on a number of things that can go spectacularly wrong… cover2-thumbcover-3-thumbclick on the covers for more information about the printed and e-versions!

The rest of today’s entertainment is a random collection of inspirational physiques, to encourage you not to eat too much over the forthcoming festivities period, and to get into the gym for some serious work afterwards!

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Looks like there’s snow outside that pool, too!

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Gearing Up

‘Christmas Comes but Once a Year

and When it Comes it Brings…’

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…A HELL OF A PANIC!!

OK,  a bit early for the Santa suits maybe, but Ian in southern England always seems to send me the perfect images at exactly the right moment…

Like that acrobatic family ‘doing’ their tree, Dave and I and the kids are frantically rehearsing ready for our short participation over Christmas and New Year in the show in Canada where six of our mates (including the kid’s mums) are already firmly in place ‘twice daily’ until the end of January. A lot of balancing and movements between balances to be perfected all round. In between, we have the Christmas displays at the gymnastics center, a little consultancy on the side fitting out a new gym in another small town, engaging (albeit in a very one-sided way) with three potential agents for my fourth book… not buying presents yet… all the usual (and in our case, maybe less usual) pre-Xmas stuff!

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All of which fails to mention the continuing routine stuff, like teaching our four manic fitness freak boys aged all of 10, three times a week… plus normal elite and basic coaching of gymnastics…

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So we’re definitely ‘gearing up’, as the post title suggests, but some of the gears aren’t meshing all that well! 30-hour days and eight-day weeks would certainly help. But them, I’m still finding time somehow to keep these posts going… well, I need to sell books, after all…

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbcover-3-thumbCome on, guys, get clicking, either here or on Amazon (especially if want e-versions) – the car just cost me $400 to stay on the road, and that’s quite a lot of book royalties for a start!

So, I devote the rest of the post to feeding the picture fiends, the topic being ‘Gearing Up’ one’s body to shape up for the tasks ahead (or to gain a bit on the forthcoming Christmas indulgence so that the New Year workouts don’t have to be quite so tough!).

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On a not-unrelated matter, Leo is also frazzled as well. In my recent tour of his bedroom, I failed to mention the shrine. That’s a shrine to Karla, alongside all his own selection of fitness images (mainly him and his mates which, being under age, don’t find their way here yet). Karla, his not-long-lost acrobatic companion and ‘squeeze’, now coming back regularly at weekends to stay with her father and who will be back here at New Year when Leo is away in Canada. Oh, the agonies of the love-lorn! He loves performing as much as thinks he loves Karla, and he has many weekends to look forward to. In fact, she hates it so much out west with her mother that she is angling to come back to her father permanently and rejoin both the gymnastics center and her old school, which would see Leo in 7th Heaven. We’ll see…

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Don’t have parallel bars to do your dip push-ups? Never mind – a couple of old concrete beams will do a treat…

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Two of the same guy? Why not? Crunchies next!

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I have a couple more of  that guy waiting: he’s obviously dedicated to what he does – and happy to train in his tightey whities, too!

Can you still get outdoors with your kettlebells?

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“I wonder if I could manage another 45 lb?”

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“Is it working?”

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“It is for us!!”

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“And definitely for us, too!”

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Don’t let that darned ‘Winterval’ get in the way of training with your mates!!

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Boy’s Bedrooms

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The age of the selfie brings us many delights, and the most common location is the bathroom. often with a grubby mirror and an array of half-squeezed toothpaste tubes as an accompaniment.

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The mirrors in a gym, of course, provide a particularly attractive opportunity to show off what you’ve built:

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If not the gym itself, then certainly the locker room:

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…well, he’s earned that sweat, for sure.

Selfies in bedroom mirrors seem to be much rarer – or maybe just less interesting so I didn’t collect many of them. But occasionally you get an interesting glimpse into the boy’s personal space. Here’s an example where we just get to see the bed, and a friend is obviously holding the phone this time:

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Is he saying ‘Welcome to my world’ or is he effectively saying ‘Keep Out’?

Most often, you just get an intriguing glimpse:

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Some seem scarily tidy, others, like the famous ‘Swimbabe’ here, kind of average!

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Mostly, however, there are the piles of sweaty socks on the floor, clothes strewn all over the place, drawers half open… I’ll spare you that.

Which all brings me to the point. My son Leo’s bedroom – and also bedroom to his best mate Chris once or twice a week, so there’s quite a bit of his stuff there as well. It can look like this…

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It’s a basement room with indirect natural lighting, approached down a flight of steps. If you have read earlier posts here (go on, try it!) you will know he is a fitness fanatic and acrobat. Not content with (i) school Phys Ed (ii) our training cabin (iii) access to the very well-equipped private gym as a special concession because of his age (nearly 15) and (iv) training  on the grass in the yard whenever weather permits, he has requested and had installed, a matted area between the end of his bed and the further wall big enough to wrestle his friends on, to practice his arm balancing (ceiling height precludes anything involving two people and nearly rules out his balance pedestals now as he is growing), a load of free weights including his prize kettlebells (last Christmas’s gift from Santa!)… much of this, except perhaps the mat, can be found in other teen rooms I’m sure, given the number of teen muscle bedroom shots out there…

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What you might not expect to find is his other toy…

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Yep, Leo’s part of the performance team (and Chris too!). Actually, to be fair, anyone can lie on a bed of nails (simple physics) so long as you go about it the right way… (you’ve seen this 8yo kid from London before):

Naturally, when working “professionally” (call it a profession???), things can be made somewhat more spectacular…

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Anyway, Leo loves doing it with his mates and in our family shows, and has also made himself a nail ‘chair’ although he has yet to fit one in a car…

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A word of warning here though. It is much easier to hurt yourself with a chair, as the nails in the back can drag across and pull on the skin as you settle into it. Don’t try that at home.

cover1-thumbcover2-thumbAnd I’m not exactly sure what the law would say if you got pulled over!

So, with that rather indirect glimpse into my son’s eccentricities, I offer three more sources of sideshow/circus inspiration, coupled with our tale of finding gay love and getting into some tight spots. e-versions available and still time to order before Christmas. Just click on the covers.cover-3-thumb

Enough of the ‘pond life’ found in teenboy bedrooms!! Some boys seem to prefer to be photographed in their kitchens!

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And there are novel ways of using the bathroom as background to show off in which do not involve cleaning the mirror…

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And, if the weather where you are is still kind enough, use your yard space to go play!

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Or, of course, just to show off in front of the camera!

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