"There is no coming to consciousness without pain"
Well, I just got here. That's not really true anymore, but all this still feels new and exploration-worthy to me.
I'm not really good with this whole 'talk about myself' affair, so if you'd want to know what, why and how I got into all of this, please read the story of my personal ascension.
I definitely seem to have developed a passion for body suspension. And because this community seems to be THE place to be to live that passion, I decided to join your little world here. I want to learn as much as I can about it.
No Forum - but I like getting messages. And don't be afraid of the tracking thingie; it doesn't bite.
4/7/2013 | 6 comments
or: the longest five seconds of my life.
Because five seconds is about the time my FreeFall suspension lasted before it transitioned to the now-familiar feeling of hanging from hooks in my back.
Five seconds of an experience I travelled halfway around the world to Thailand for and spent something like a quarter of an hour up on the exit point staring down into the green abyss before finally getting up the courage to take the plunge and JUMP, held by nothing but two hooks in my back (and a safety line). The strange thing is, we did a test jump the night before with me strapped into a harness, no hooks but just jumping into the rope so I could get a feel for it – and there I didn’t hesitate for one second but jumped as soon as I got the “go”. So I did not expect my brain blocking my muscles for awhile telling them to “hey, wait a moment , I need to process this first”.
And it was all worth it. There’s a quote in one of my favourite movies that, modified a bit, describes pretty well how I felt then (and still feel): After jumping, everything else in your life has the volume turned down. You could deal with anything. And I do.
The Sinner Team guys (and girls) are really on to something with these. The adrenaline rush during (and long after) the jump and fall is incomparable to anything I’ve done or experienced before. This is bringing suspension to an all-new level. And really tests the boundaries of anyone’s mental strength. I was fascinated in a “need to do that” way by this when I first saw the videos floating around the internet, and then I met Stanislav and Elena at the 2011 Oslo suscon where he explained the technical concept behind this in detail. It looks so easy in these videos – it’s just a little jump, after all, but let me tell you, it definitely isn’t all that easy when it’s just you looking down a hundred feet of nothing but air and there’s nothing to hold you except hooks in your back.
Stanislav told me this would be the most painless suspension ever, because the rush from the fall would totally drown out any pain I might feel when pressure is applied to the hooks – and he was right. Indeed, the thing that hurt most was getting pierced with these hooks. For FreeFall suspensions, they are using custom-made all-titanium Gilson-style hooks with a 5mm diameter pin. These things are lightweight but GIANT. I bought me a pair and they will get used again for sure.
nice view of TonSai Bay from the suspension area:
note the rigging: EVERYTHING is duplicated for safety. There's two independently rigged ropes with each designed to hold the load on its own, so even in case of equipment failure you're safe.
in with the hooks: getting pierced with 4mm (6g) needles and then stretching things up to the 5mm (4g) diameter of the hook pin sucked. I muchly prefer same-size hook and needles. They do this to minimize bleeding and to fixate the pin in the skin so it has no wiggle room in your skin which is a bad thing when it's about to be loaded with the force of a free fall suspension. The Sinner Team normally uses four or even six hooks (for longer falls) to distribute the forces more widely and have an additional safety margin. In this case, since the free fall would last for only a few meters, two were deemed acceptable after some consideration :).
I like the idea of using those slings for hookline rigging. They're incredibly strong and reasonably cheap (200 baht) to be disposable.
the zipline for slowing down the fall. Here again, note the duplication: everything from the rigging plate upwards is duplicated.
one last check:
all rigged up and ready to climb up to the exit point: The stepladder was made by Stanislav, so non-climbers could get up there. The amount of preparation and work that went into this is incredible
aaaand JUMP: 8these are frames from video, so excuse the quality)
and that's it.
I was so overwhelmed by what had just happened that I didn't even ask to swing around a bit more although I was hanging there comfortably. Just as promised, the pain from the hooks as they were gradually loaded and was nonexistent. My neck was not bothering me in any way, either (don't let my Dr. see those pictures, though) .
I was brought down pretty quickly, had my hooks removed, got claned and bandaged up and we were on our merry way.
No tearing at all:
one thing that remained to be done - we got to this the next day, after buying a can of signature orange spray paint in Ao Nang:
I had the honor of putting MY bird on to the Fire Wall rock, commemorating the first ever Thai FreeFall suspension.
This was an experience for the ages, for which I cannot thank Stanislav and the Sinner Team enough.
3/17/2013 | 5 comments
It's that beautiful here. Life here is so relaxed and just perfect - I could get used to a permanent vacation at the moment.
Tomorrow is the big FREE FALL SUSPENSION day!
I hope to be able to extend my stay here a day or two as well, seeing I got here almost two days later than planned.
Here's a few pictures for you to enjoy:
3/16/2013 | 1 comments
Although we never have met in person, I consider him a friend and one of the most influential persons in my life ever since clicking on bmezine.com on that fateful day in December 2005. Here I am, 10,000 miles away from home on a trip to friends who I met through this very community Shannon created, about to engage in living a passion he brought into my life. Without him and I'd not be who and where I am today.
Truly a loss for the world.
Read his last words here.
I’ve had the opportunity to do remarkable things, see my dreams made real and changed the world and the lives of many for the better
That definitley is true. And I'm very grateful for it.
3/13/2013 | 7 comments
to suspend with the Russians from the Sinner Team.
I really did it - took a week off work and bought a flight to Phuket. Currently I'm waiting for it to depart from snowy Paris - they're already more than four hours late and I'm getting really antsy despite waiting it out in the First Class lounge with all the free booze I can drink
Other than than, life's the same old old, and Dallas and Coachella can't come soon enough!
UPDATE: They could not repair the plane (a brand-new airbus A380!), and so I had to stay the night in Paris. So that's the first day of my preciously short vacation . Back in the lounge now and returning to the waiting game. Oh well... but as long as there's food, internet and good whiskey this is at least bearable.
1/10/2013 | 6 comments
I wish I could just take a couple weeks off and escape to Thailand.
Contemplating in earnest to just do that for a week or so and suspend there. Messaged Stanislav, we'll see what comes out of it.
Watch this video and see for yourself: http://vimeo.com/56496977 So BEAUTIFUL.
Speaking of travel, I bought my flights to attend Dallas suscon yesterday. Can't wait to see all my hook love friends again there!
And I just redeemed a couple tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles to get two very dear friends from across the pond to visit in late summer. About time this happened, and now that everything is ticketed there's no way it won't! This vacation is probably what I'm looking forward to most in 2013. Too bad it's still eight months out.
But the account will get filled up again rather quickly - there's the trip to Dallas over Easter, then ten days after I return from that I'll head out to California for Coachella Festival again (if someone scores tickets, that is!), then in May I'll spend a long weekend in the DC area visiting an old friend from Canada, and at the end of September I'll be heading to Omaha for Mecca suscon. Oh, and I hope to be able to attend Oslo again as well this year.
That's quite a bit of flying just for personal enjoyment - thankfully, it looks like I won't have to spend any of it in coach. Hail to king SWU! This year will be a good one, pretty sure about that already.