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Things happen for a reason

I have heard the saying, "things happen for a reason" often enough. It's a good saying, one I often try to take heart. Sometimes it is tough to see the good when the bad punches you in the face.

Other times the cards of fate seem to just fall in place, even through the dark days. This experience is about one such event.

I found Jessica online via IAM and started a correspondence with her. It was maybe a month later that I finally did meet her. I felt instantly connected to her. With her, there was no awkwardness of most first time meetings, I felt like I knew her all my life. She was definitely a Kindred Spirit. On the day we met, we decided that we wanted to pull together. I had hoped we could pull together before I had to return home. The time was not right, and it did not happen.

One Monday in the not so distant past, my world almost collapsed. I had my first panic attack in six months and I was back on that downward spiral to depression once again. Things in my personal life had been weighing down on me, and the stress was getting the best of me.

I had a friend that I email daily and he begged me to come to Florida and to escape from my hell for awhile. Even though my soul and most certainly my heart was there, I came up with excuses not to.

But fate found its way.

My connection with Jessica had not faded. I asked if she would pull with me before I had to leave again, and without any apparent hesitation she agreed.
The night we chose couldn't have been more beautiful and important if we had planned it. It was a full moon, and our friend Andrew had previously picked that night to do his first Chest Suspension. I was thrilled to be there again for his suspension, and he was equally thrilled to be there for us for our Pull. Andrew suspended first and it was one of the most emotional and intense experiences I have ever been a part of.

Next Jess and I had our settings for the hooks marked. Since this was her first Pull I told her to choose the settings and that she would set the pace of the Pull. She decided that we would do a Back Pull. I was first to be pierced, and just like every other time my back has been pierced, the pain was minimal and I barely felt the needles go through. Jess went next and she didn't move a muscle as her hooks were set.

To be honest, I think it was more painful to realize that the practitioners had done the procedure so many times that they barely spoke to each other. This would probably be one of the last times they would set hooks together

We walked hand in hand out to the Sanctuary one last time. Then we embraced with the small group of people that were there for us emotionally as well as physically. The ropes were attached, and slowly we stepped away from each other.

Though each Pull has been very different for me, the first few minutes of a Pull are always the hardest for me. Those first few minutes when I try to gage the other person's limitations and my own are the most difficult part of the whole experience. I do not relax until I know that my partner is ready. The initial tug or the tension as the skin begins to stretch away from the body is barely noticeable to me.

When I felt that Jessica had relaxed and was starting to tug, stretching my arms back and forth. Sometimes I would pump them as if I was doing pushups. I leaned forward and Jessica served as my anchor. We spoke to each other seldom, we relied more on our coaches to relay what the other was doing and feeling. Our coaches switched places often, smiling and encouraging us the entire time.

When I was completely comfortable with the pace that was set, I leaned forward and spread my arms as if I was flying. Andrew was in front of me and I reached out to him. He held my hands as I leaned further and further away from Jessica. At one point Andrew was on his knees in front of me, and I was leaning so close to the ground, that my forehead was pressed to his. I was more then a little amazed by how tough Jessica was and that she was allowing me to go further with her in this Pull then I had ever been with anyone else.

After what felt like hours, Jessica finally said she was tired. We reached out to our coaches, and allowed them to guide us back to a standing position. When the ropes were undone, we faced each other and I was overwhelmed with love and pride for her.

I am at a lost on how to describe how the next few minutes were, only to say that they were incredibly personal and very emotional. Those minutes alone were with my drive to Florida.

However my experience does not end there. I was on an endorphin rush that refused to die down. I still had a lot of buried negativity that needed to be released. So I asked for someone to take my rope and allow me to pull that way. I had so much aggression inside of me, that it was begging to be released and I was intent of keeping going until I either passed out or the burden of my emotional stress was gone. However, the guys grew tired of holding my ropes. So they attached me to the suspension rigging. I am sure that, if the hooks had been set for a Suspension and not a Pull that I would have suspended with little problems that night. I asked to be lifted up, but I was warned against it. So the rigging was tied off and I pulled against it until I couldn't go any further. Even then I kept trying to Pull, my mind telling my feet to step forward . However my body finally refused to go any further.
Exhausted, grateful and content I finally stopped. It had been months since I had been so blissfully happy, and it was all thanks to my friends in that Sanctuary.

Though reluctant, I left the next day to return back home. However, I returned home with a clear mind and my priorities in life re-evaluated. Pushing my body to the limits made me remember what I am capable of, and if I can conquer pain and my body then I can overcome anything. Ending note- By the time you read this, the studio where this beautiful event took place has closed and has probably been leased out to another artist. Never again will we all be together at the same time and feel the comfort of the Sanctuary. This written experience will be my last goodbye to my real home.

As for the Practitioners who set our hooks, who held our hands as we walked into the Sanctuary; who cared for us, embraced us, encouraged us, and made us feel like family... they have probably left Jacksonville and started over new somewhere else. If you haven't figured out who they are yet, they are Alva Richcreek and Steve Truitt. The world has not seen the last of them.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 July 2002
in Ritual

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Artist: Good+Friends
Studio: A+place+in+Five+Points
Location: Jacksonville+Florida

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