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First Suspension: Knees

Ever since I saw someone suspend (don't remember where) I was instantly in love and without a second thought "I want to do that!" came to mind. After exhausting the internet of videos and pictures of people being hung from hooks I came across the State of Bliss Suspension Team, one of the only teams in England and I'd say the best (or at least had the best reputation and advertisement - later explained to me that they were the ones most confident in their ability). I liked their Facebook page and forgot about it for a few weeks.

One day whilst browsing the old Facebook I saw that State if Bliss were holding an event for people to go and get suspended, I looked into it and decided that one day I will go to one of these events (they told me there'd be about one every month) as it was a perfect opportunity - there was just one issue, travelling. I have asperger's and the thought of using a train, let alone 3 trains, scared me so much I thought that I'd never be able to suspend because I'd never be able to get there. I spent ages, if only a few minutes every day or an hour a week looking up train time tables, how to use a train, how to get a train ticket, routes to London etc. and eventually I decided I was ready.

As promised more events appeared every month and the next one to come up was the 7th of July suspension. The first thing I did was messaged the page asking if there were any spaces and they sent me a form for me to print out, fill in and to read all the instructions. I sent all the paperwork and deposit to the wonderful Tam Smith, the leader of the team, and he confirmed my place. The next few weeks were a long wait...

The day came and I barely slept but I was completely ready, I had a bag with everything I needed including food, shorts and my favourite BME Stay Calm logo shirt. My friend and I got onto the trains with no problems at all (mostly due to my meticulous planning) and within 3 hours we were in London. I choose a station which was so close to the gallery where the suspensions were being held that it was only a 3 minute walk to get there. 

I walk into the gallery and I am greeted with a welcoming smile and hug from Tam and I introduced myself and we were told to wait upstairs. Before long the admin, Katrina, came along and took our details, checked paperwork and collected the money and the day began. I went downstairs and changed into my shorts and Stay Calm tshirt. As I come out of the bathroom I looked around and I saw something I never thought I'd see... the legend himself, Rolf Buchholz! Not only was he there but he was hanging off 10 hooks in his favourite coma position, he was laying there for hours, bringing a whole new meaning to the word coma.

During the next few hours I got to see several other suspensions including 3 suicides, 1 single knee (an experienced man but he couldn't quite pull it off - although he gave it a very good go), 1 lotus/suicide, 1 superman and then it was my turn... I'd been chatting on and off with many members of the team all day, they often checked that I was ok and Tam enjoyed telling me everything about the knee position I wanted to attempt in small doses over the day, so when he told me that I'd be prepped before long I wasn't shocked at all when another man who had introduced himself earlier asked if I'd like to come over (by this time that was just what I was waiting for).

I was fitted with a harness (so in the unlikely event that the hooks did rip I would not fall on my head) and laid onto a bed where I was cleaned up and marked. This was painful enough as the two people prepping me had to pinch the skin to get a good feel for my knees and know where to put the marks. Receiving a complement on just how perfect my knees actually were for suspension. Pinch, pinch, pinch... Owwwwwww! Then out came the big guns. They got the hooks out and I could have died. It was actually happening. This is gonna hurt. I was so worried about travelling that I'd forgotten about this part, the part where 3.2mm piercings were going to applied to my legs and I was about to be hung upside down by the hooks inside them! 

They recommended two at a time. At this point I was in a state where I just said "whatever" to anything as I held my head bracing myself with my eyes squeezed closed. They told me that the first time they weren't going to pierce me they were just going to do a breathing practise, innnn and ooooouuuttttt... ok this time we're going to do it for real. Oh god oh god ok ok, breathe innnnn... and ouuut- OUCH the hooks were in within 2 seconds, it was a shock to the system as I had no idea what to expect. They repeated this process 2 more times so that I had six 8 gauge hooks in my knees. I slowly got up and moved around a bit and consumed an unhealthy amount of glucose tablets (I just loved the sugar!)

I walked over to where my rig had been set up by some capable hands and laid onto the floor with some assistance from a helpful strong arm. Every time I moved even a tiny bit the pain was horrendous especially as he hooked me up, which involved rotating the hooks which was agonising. I asked to raise my feet off the floor and the rope was pulled and whilst I was in agony I was strangely comfortable and started to swing my legs around and enjoy the pain. I was beginning to think I wasn't going to do be able to do it... I thought "if it hurts this much and I'm only being lifted a tiny bit then what is it going to feel like when my entire body weight is hanging off the hooks?" My back began to ache where it as arching due to the position I was in on the floor and after about 5-10 minutes I just said "let's do it". The man took my shoulders and another pulled the rope and within about 10-15 seconds I had pushed my butt into the air, rolled onto my shoulders, leant onto my elbows and was doing a handstand. Another few seconds later I was in the air.

Everyone cheered and clapped at my achievement and all the pain I had been feeling just a few minutes before melted away. I felt so amazing. My first instinct was to swing so I pushed off the stage a little bit and it was fantastic! I couldn't believe how much it had been hurting when I was laying on the ground compared to this. I was swinging and the rope was pulled so I was higher off the ground so I wouldn't hit my head. One lady stood around wiping any blood that was dripping so it didn't get on my clothes. I was exhilarated.  I was shouting about how amazing I was, I looked forward and I looked up and I laughed, this was the best feeling of my life. I even sent one of my best friends a text telling her that I was in the air. I was pushed around, flying in all directions feeling so good.

After about 10 minutes I was beginning to weaken mentally and I decided that I was ready to come down now, they hoisted me back into the position where my legs were hovering off the ground and asked if I wanted to go up again "no way" I told them, I didn't think I could handle any more and I had certainly got what I wanted. They lowered me to the ground and I could not have been ready for the heavy pain that was put onto my knees as my weight was loosened from the hooks. I was unhooked and walked (very slowly) back to another bed where I was cleaned, hooks were removed and plasters applied.

My suspension was over - it was done, I had done it! I achieved the State of Bliss. I left soon after as it was going to be very late by the time I got home. I thanked everyone and left, promising to be back when I had the money. My knees ached when I moved but it was a good pain - it served as a reminder of the amazing stunt I had just pulled off. I had suspended, my entire body weight was suspended, off 6 hooks in my knees.

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submitted by: Dace
on: 08 July 2013
in Knee Suspensions

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