"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.

Events I`d want to attend this year:

My favourite pastime when I`m around here:



happiest me ever!
11/29/2010 | 9 comments

too tired to write much - will update this with proper words tomorrow, after getting home.
I'm the happiest person ever right now. As I write this, Jorda - my new dog - is lying right next to me on the floor, sleeping. Yes, that means the "get-to-know" visit was a total success, and it did indeed "click" when I saw her standing behind the bars of her cage at the shelter.
Here's a few pictures for you to enjoy:

The other dog is Santa, her daughter - who I'm not feeling good about leaving there. They've been inseparable since her birth and always been together. A solution must be found other than me taking both of them. Can't (and do not want) do that. They are quite a team - and man, can they pull on that leash!
The cat got on the roof as a result of Jorda escaping when handing over the leash to the staff after the first walk. Oh my, we will have some fun when she's home with me. There's many free-roaming cats where I live. That scene caused quite some commotion among the 90-something dogs and 50-something cats in the facility.
The beach is directly across from the hotel. I'm staying in Barcelona, whereas the shelter is about 60 kms/45 miles (a 45-minute drive) away in Manresa, a small town in the mountains behind Barcelona.

11/27/2010 | 0 comments

In a couple of  hours, I'm off to the airport en route to Spain where I'll spend a long weekend with my dog-to-be. I haven't been as excited about anything for a very long time. Packed more dog stuff (treats, toys, brand-new leash...) than things for myself. Oh, and a ton of Swiss chocolate for the shelter staff :).  They even added "reservada" to her adoption page on the 'net now.
Wish me luck, and I'll report back with tons of pictures soon!


Life is simple?
10/25/2010 | 8 comments

While browsing the 'net, I came upon the Holstee manifesto:

So very true. I've got nothing to add. And it's proof that life can well be reduced to very simple things.
I think I'll have that printed in poster size, frame it and hang it on my bedroom wall.
Life is good.

"Feet Off the Ground"
10/17/2010 | 11 comments

This morning I received an email from Allen asking me if it was OK that I appeared in a video which was produced from the footage shot at this years' Dallas suscon. My initial reaction was *SHOCK* and "NO WAY" (You see, this whole hanging from hooks thing is very private to me. Nobody outside this community knows about this part of my life, and I'd like to keep it that way.)
However, after seeing the actual video, I gave it some thought and came to the conclusion that I should embrace the fact that my love of body suspensions is there to stay and I should leave the paranoia behind for good.
Besides, the video is very well made, and I should rightfully be proud of being in it. And I am. This is part of "Feet off the Ground", a grand documentary project dedicated to suspensions, and, in the words of those responsible for its creation Dedicated to making a contribution to our community and the world at large.
And isn't making a contribution what we all should do in our lives?

Even logically, saying "no" here would not make any sense. First, I'm visible there for all of five seconds (together with LotN, doing our spinning beam suspension), and then, anyone who'll be watching this needs to be interested in the subject at least enough to watch the first five minutes...

10/10/2010 | 9 comments

After much soul-searching, over-thinking, procrastination and deliberation, I have decided to make myself the biggest birthday present ever and share my life with a dog. Yep. A four-legged, furry life companion. How come?
Apart from some Great Danes my uncle had and I used to play with and ride on when I was a wee little kid, I haven't been exposed to dogs much for all my life and much preferred cats with their strongly independent character as pets over dogs who I thought to be stupid and messy. And I didn't like all that licking and jumping. And the dirt.

Even found a picture of me and Alpho the Great Dane in my parents' album (I think I was two or three there). Look at how GINORMOUS he was:
(as always, click all pictures to enlarge)

I think this early childhood experience socialized me with dogs and taught me not to be afraid of dogs at all, though. I simply have no fear of dogs - they just don't scare me.
Well, after that episode passed (they died and were not replaced), there were no dogs in my life for a good three decades apart from those I took for walks while volunteering at a shelter in my high school years and an English Setter (RIP Ivo, he dies a month ago) my parents were dog-sitting for a neighbor in recent years.

Well, and then came March 30 of this year when I first met Sabrina, LotN's shepherd/husky/whatever mix who greeted me as if we always have been best friends. I kind of "knew" Sabrina from countless entries in Aurora's diary on here, but meeting her 'live' was something completely different.I immediatedly took a liking to her,  and from what I can say is that feeling was mutual. And silly me feared I might not get along with her and this would be the worst impediment in the way of enjoying my vacation... oh boy was I wrong...
We all drove to Dallas from LA in one long stretch, and in the beginning she mostly sat propped up between us smack in the middle of the space between the driver and passenger seats, looking ahead excitedly and gave alternating doggy love to each of our faces. She has the most amazing tongue I've ever seen anywhere, and she definitely knows how to use it :) I didn't really mind her licking my face, something I used to hate with dogs.
And then we stopped at a rest stop, and we got to do our first run together. Wow, that was FUN! Turned out we harmonize really well there, too and our speed matches almost perfectly when we're both running.

We stayed in Dallas for a few days at a house I rented, and I was entrusted with her a lot (for which I will forever be thankful to her owner) - running errands, walking (or rather jogging/running) around the neighborhood, checking up on her during the day where she was left alone as we did all those airport runs and attended the Dallas suscon. She was just plain lovely to have around, and everybody liked her, including a bunch of wacky Canadians who were staying there with us. But she was wary of Rolf and growled at him constantly, so it's not that she just likes everyone on two legs, oh no. She does choose whom to lavish her doggy love on, and I feel very lucky to have been chosen as worthy of a lot of it. Getting woken up in the morning by a now-familiar tongue tickling any limb that happened to be within reach was just priceless. Anyway, this is where I reversed my opinion about dogs being dumb obedient creatures. She definitely has a strong sense of independence, following demands only when she thought them to be appropiate.... but she listened to me, never pulled on the leash, went where I wanted her to go without making a fuss about it and usually acted like the sweetest dog on earth that she is.
Following the weekend in Dallas, Sabrina, LotN and me embarked on a week-long trip across the Southwest of the US back to LA. Long story short, this trip which should have been my annual vacation and highlight of the year had some surprises in store, not all of them positive, and it can be said that Sabrina's presence saved it for me.
Anyway, on the day after the grand Grand Canyon hike we did, with her owner being sore to the point of being unable to walk at all as a result result of overestimation and some degree of making stupid decisions (down to the river and back not in one day, but in two-thirds of a day...ha... my bad), and her very restless after a day locked up in a kennel and a night spent in a tiny tent with smelling all those hunt-able animals riiight in front of her nose but unreachable she made it very clear that she wanted out of that tent NOW. Since I was blocking the only exit, she had to 'convince' me to let her out, which she did by climbing on me and started to lick my face, and then trying to open the zipper with her paws. Hell, it was 5am in the morning, temperatures were in the low 30s °F right around freezing and my sleeping bag was waaay too warm and comfy to get out of it, but I relinquished to her demands and took a four-hour-long run/hike around the area with her. This turned out to be the turning point of it all, and standing on the Canyon rim, enjoying the view and doing my best to prevent her from going after the birds and plunging down several thousand feet marked the very first time I had these thoughts of "hey, so this is what owning a dog is like. I should take her home with me so I can have these experiences daily". Seeing her so happy and content on the other end of the leash in my company just felt so damn good and rewarding; it definitely was the highlight of this trip so far.


Too bad I had to say "goodbye" to her when I returned home ten days later. I really miss her and can't wait to see her again! But the seed was planted and I started thinking about getting me a dog in earnest.

In the meantime, a colleague at work got himself a Siberian Husky puppy named Alexa (see a few posts farther down), which I had the pleasure to have in my care for two weeks while he and his wife were on holidays. Meeting her was much like meeting Sabrina was - there was instant "I like" on both sides. Seems like dogs and me go together better than I thought.
Lucky for me, as she was spayed just before he left and should be under supervision all day, it was arranged that I could bring her to the office (which normally is not allowed) so I did not need to keep her at home alone all day in my yard-less, balcony-less, 4th floor apartment.
She's a real sweetheart, but as all young huskies, she does have lots of energy, needs quite a lot of attention and work. With me being handicapped with my bad knee, still on crutches and not able to run or walk any longer distances, I loaned me an e-bike and rode that while she ran alongside. This proved to be a pretty efficient method of tiring her out while not overtaxing myself.

This new experience of having a dog in the house really awoke my interest in getting one for myself.
And it would be very beneficial if Alexa had a doggie partner to play around with to channel her boundless energy and help with socialization training. She gets bored easily far too often and too long, seeing she's alone for most of the day as both my colleague and his wife are working full-time and nobody is home to keep her company and entertain her. She enjoyed being at work with me a lot and quickly evolved into the office darling:)

I started to peruse husky sites on the internet for advice on how to care best for them, and well, as fate has it, all those sites have links to rescue groups. Apparently, huskies are not the easiest dogs to own due to their very active nature, their desire to run and pull and their hunting instincts. It seems that there's an abundance of Husky-type dogs in desparate need of new homes with owners who are able to care for their needs better than their previous ones. People apparently make the mistake of not informing themselves and getting a husky puppy as a pet, just to discover that their sweet puppy grows into a pretty large dog that still has those mesmerizing blue eyes and striking good looks but sports a character that's more like a cat than a dog (commands are obeyed only when seen fit...) and needs way more physical activity and time spent with it to be happy and occupied than the average family dog breed.

Anyway, this was just what I was looking for, so I started to peruse the "dogs available" listings and simply fell in love with this picture:

Meet Jorda, a female German shepherd (daddy) - Siberian Husky (mommy) mix. Large for a female husky at 55 pounds / 25 kgs. Six years old, located in a shelter in Spain where she's waiting for someone to adopt her since the beginning of the year. She was living in an industrial compound before where she was used as a guard dog at a factory that had to close down. The rescue people described her as very social to humans and "the nicest dog ever". So we exchanged emails back and forth, I was sent pictures and got asked lots of questions about my living situation, any previous dog ownership experience etc.


The shelter also has a facebook page with a short video clip of her - check it out: http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1458046139337
(I'd be grateful if anyone knew how to embed that video on here without needing to be a facebook member)

I'll go and visit her for a "get-to-know" day as soon as I have gotten rid of the crutches and actually am able to properly walk again. Hopefully, this will prove to be SOON!
I can't wait to meet her! If that goes well and I choose to adopt her, I'll make another trip to Spain about two weeks later to go and bring her home after they prepared all the papers and took care of the necessary shots and vet checkup. You cannot imagine how excited I am about this.

Getting a dog means I'll need to adjust my schedule away from the crazy hours I spend at the office towards getting home on time every day.
Getting a dog means I 'll have someone to push me away from my increasingly lazy lifestyle towards lots more physical activities.
Getting a dog should be awesome.

Unrelated to this, after my leg injury in July, I could not move around much for weeks (things started to improve only by mid-September) and being confined in my hot and stuffy top floor apartment during the heat wave we had in July was just excruciating. So I started to look for a new place to live - one with at least a balcony. Well, after I now wanted to get a dog, it had to be pet-friendly and a yard wouldn't be bad, either.
I found one such apartment, with a huge terrace, a fenced yard and private garden, adjacent to fields and forests -  two bike minutes away from the office directly on the Switzerland-France border. Couldn't be any better (well, except for the price. Cheap it ain't) . I'll move in come November, and I'll be all ready to accept my new furry life companion!

Life could not be better at the moment. I'm happier and more positive than I have been in months. This will mean the biggest change in my life since moving to France and leaving the relationship I was in all those years ago.

I cannot believe I spent this many words and time on composing this. Time to hit "make change" and get the hell away from my computer.

Oh, and lest I forget:
Happy Birthday not only to me, but also to Charlie Brown and Snoopy who turned 60, John Lennon who would have  turned 70, and IMDB, which celebrates its 20th birthday. You have had a great deal of positive impact on my life.

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