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Mind Over Body - My First Suspension

Where to begin? While driving to the Richmond BME bbq I knew there was going to be an after-party where we could do pullings if we wanted. This would be my second pulling and I was thinking of doing a chest pull. The after party was held in the community room at an apartment complex; just the right size for our group and plenty of room for some pullings. Once everyone was organized and ready though, someone from the M.O.M. suspension team said, "You know, I bet we could throw up a suspension rig into these rafters." And with those words my mind began racing. I was no longer content to do a chest pull; I wanted the real deal. I wanted what some people only dream of and what most people would never dare to do. I wanted to suspend.

Mentally I had been preparing for a flesh pull; was I ready for a suspension? My only experience with hooks was a forearm pull 4 months earlier and it was an amazing experience. But how different would suspending be? Maybe in an effort to psyche myself up I told myself that it would be comparable to past experience-no problem. How nieve I was! It was decided that I would do a 4-point suicide suspension. Four hooks, roughly 5 to 6 gauge, were to be thrown into my back, each one about 4 inches apart. Dr. Scorpio, from the M.O.M. suspension group, did an excellent job of throwing hooks. The pain was minimal and nothing I couldn't grit my teeth over. I did, however, make a few grunting sounds which onlookers got a kick out of. I felt fine after all four hooks were in so I stood up but started seeing a few spots. I knew it was just my endorphins kicking in so I relaxed and took a few deep breaths and everything became clear again.

I walked around for a bit, trying to clear my head and psyche myself up for the big show. At this point I was still certain that I'd go up and swing around and have a blast for several minutes. Finally it was my time to go up and my hooks were attached to the rig and pulley. I asked that the rope be pulled tight so I could get a feeling of the hooks, and my first thought was one of panic. What I felt was not what I had been expecting. Pain, tightness, burning, tenseness, and powerlessness was what came to me. I tried to keep calm and asked to be inched up, onto the tip of my toes. I got to that point and my whole body my screaming at me to stop. I asked to be let all the way down so that I could relax and clear my head for a moment. I was coached by the suspension team that it's usually easier on the body to go up all at once, as opposed to trying to inch your way up. I agreed to their suggestion and asked to be raised up all the way. Right away my entire body tightened. The muscles in my arms, chest, stomach and face clenched with pain; I couldn't even open my eyes. "Down!" I pleaded. I was quickly lowered and released from the rig. I felt light headed and sat down, trying to get control of my body and my thoughts. Again I thought to myself, this is not how my first suspension is supposed to go. I cleared my head and began walking around the room. A few other BME folk in the room could tell I was disappointed and offered helpful comments, "You did great. You went up and few people have the courage to do what you did." Their comments helped, but only a little. The time I spent suspended in the air didn't matter to me as much as the fact that I didn't have control over myself. And so it was, I was determined to go up a second time that night.

It wasn't stubbornness that made me want to go up a second time. I understood that suspensions aren't for everyone and that maybe my body just wasn't the type to hang from hooks. But I had to go up a second time to make sure. I had to know for certain whether it was my body or my mind that couldn't handle the pain. So, 30 minutes after my first, and to me, failed, suspension I was ready for a successful one. My goal was to stay suspended for 5 seconds with my eyes open. Once again, the rig was attached to my hooks and I was ready to go up. Just then an idea popped into my head. Instead of being pulled up, I asked the suspension team to simply hold the rope at a fixed highth and that I would lift my feet off the ground. And so it was. I moved all my weight to my tip-toes, then I lifted my left foot fully off the ground. And then, slowly, I lifted my right foot off the ground. As soon as he saw that I had all my weight on the hooks, Dr. Scorpio lifted me to the top of the pulley and I was suspending. My body started to tense up but I did my best to stop it. I forced myself to relax, to breath, and to keep my eyes open. I managed to stay up for 5 or 10 seconds and then asked to be let down. A smile crept onto my face and the people that were watching nearby applauded.

When it comes to rituals or modification such as suspension or pullings I think it's important to not compare yourself to what others do. I was in the air for the shortest amount of time that night but what's important to me is that I tried and that I didn't let my initial attempt scare me off from trying once more. 100 people could give 100 different answers on why they have or why they want to suspend. My reason is that I want to challenge myself, to challenge my mind. Can my mind say yes while my body is screaming no? The answer was confirmed once again at the Richmond BME bbq on August 28th - Yes.

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Sept. 2004
in Ritual

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Artist: M.O.M.+suspension+team
Studio: Richmond+BME+bbq
Location: Richmond%2C+VA

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