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I Swung...but not for long

    I have wanted to do a suspension for a couple years now, but every time an opportunity arose, it was quickly cast aside.  This was due to outside forces beyond my control, and every time I lost a little hope in quest to suspend.  
About a month ago, I contacted a guy who lived a couple hours from me who "hooked" me up with a time and date to come over so that I could finally do a suspension. Needless to say, I was excited and nervous.   
Well, I will pass over the small details and jump to the moments before my suspension began.  I arrived at the shop, and met everyone who was going to be involved and/or suspending that night.  Two people went before I did, so I watched them and got an idea of what I was going to be doing.  It was a very intense thing to watch.  I knew the first kid who went was also doing this for his first time.  I took a lot of photographs, and can't wait to see how they turned out.  However, the more I watched, the more nervous I

became. Both guys went wonderfully, and both were very exciting to watch. Then came the time for me. I went in back, and took off my shirt. There were two guys who were checking my back for placement. I had to lay down, so that they could find a good spot on me to place the hooks. I had decided to go with a 4 point suicide suspension, and they were going to use 8 gauge hooks. In any case, they found a spot that was comfortable and I began my breathing, deep breathe in and then the piercing on the exhale. The piercings themselves were not bad. It had went quick, and once the hooks were in I could barely feel them.
I stood up and went out to the room with the rigging, and stood there kind of talking to people. I did feel a bit naked though, but that soon passed. It was not long until the rig was ready for me to get strung to it. As I was standing there being tied up, it hit me that I was about to do a suspension. It was also at that point that I began to relax a bit, but was still nervous and anxious and excited all rolled into one. I felt my back being tugged on, and realized that I was about to go up. Jason helped me to go up by walking back and forth with me. He said it was just like dancing.
It was not a matter of seconds until I was up on my tip toes, and then i picked my feet up and felt an immense tugging sensation on my back. To me, it felt almost like my back was burning, like I was getting a slow rug burn. I don't remember much of the actual suspension. What I do remember is letting go of Jason's hands, and having someone tell me to relax my arms. I had to practically force them down to my sides. I never fully relaxed. I also remember looking at my hands when I was grabbing a water, and only seeing my hands, as if they were not a part of me. I don't remember any faces, or really anything aside from my feet and hands and the voices in the crowd. Someone yelled "Swing your feet," and then shortly there after I asked to be brought down. It was not because of the pain, but because it was more than my brain could handle.
When my feet touched the ground, my whole body felt heavy. I assume it is a similar principle of the roller-coaster effect. Like, if you have been on a rollercoaster, and stand on solid ground, your body still feels like it is on the roller-coaster. I had my ropes cut, and was given a chunk of the rope. Then I was taken to be bled out. My hooks were slid out, and my back massaged (well the holes were pushed on to expel both blood and air.) My back was also cleaned, to help insure that no bacteria would get trapped inside the holes and then seal in.
It has been a couple of days, and my back is still sore. It feels like I did some heavy exercising. There are some circular scabs on my back, and a smile on my face. The physical marks will fade, but it is the emotional ones that I plan on keeping forever. While I was driving home that night, I realized how deeply moved I really felt. I'm also very grateful to the people who helped me actually get involved in this. I hope that I am able to suspend again, and plan to keep in contact with everyone who I talked to that night. If everything goes well, then the next time I suspend will be even better than the first time. In any case, it was hands down one of the best experiences of my life.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 26 May 2003
in Ritual

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Artist: gathering+of+people
Studio: +
Location: Ann+Arbor%2C+MI

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