Learning to let go.
So there I was lying in bed as any Sunday, when my phone rings around noon. I already know what it means. The weather is poor, so we're going out to Detroit for the iHung fundraiser. I crawl out of bed about and hour later, my company for the day Robbie shows to my house, and we hit the road for the 1.5 hour drive about 2.
We arrive at our destination around 3:30, just in time for opening speeches. We relax and start getting to know people around. After a few minutes, we get to see the first suspension. As I always am, I was stunned, and a bit jealous. That's when I made the decision to go back out for a bit to find an ATM machine. I knew this was something I wanted to do, and since I had already driven out here, I figured I might as well take advantage of the day. After getting money, and having a little more apprehension, I go sign myself up, pay, and fill out the standard paperwork.
I spend the next few hours hanging out, watching the suspensions and pulls. Just after signing up I had that feeling of anxiousness and elation I always get when I'm about to get a new piercing or tattoo. This of course passed after enough time of waiting, up until the person just before me on the list was in the air. My hands started shaking and I was getting chills up my spine. I was excited, and nervous. And then, it was my turn to get hooked.
Much of this will seem very familiar to anyone who has gotten a piercing before. Since I was doing a suicide suspension, I pulled my shirt off, and my shoulder area was cleaned up a bit. Then my back was marked for placement of the hooks, pinching off sections of my flesh to find out what height felt best for me. Next I was to lie down on the table. We talked through and agreed on how I was used to being pierced. I would give the guys a ready, and then I would be pierced as I let out my second breath. I take a few seconds to relax and steady myself. I feel the needles on my skin and both the guys tell me they are ready. I give the ok back and breathe. As I breathe out my second time I feel the needles and hooks push through. I keep my breathing steady as the last 2 hooks a prepared for me. I feel both get positioned and once again, I'm told to let it known when I am ready. I take another deep breath for myself. And give the ok. Just as before, 2 breaths in, and pierced as I let out the second. I've definitely had more painful piercings done before, but it is a strange feeling, because everything is inserted in once motion. For those who don't know, as I didn't, the hooks fit into the back of the needle, much like a taper and jewelry. I will also note that everything was done in a very clean and sterile manner, with many changes of gloves occurring. And now I was one step closer to my days goal of being in the air.
I left the piercing room and went back out into the main area, taking some time to get used to the hooks being in place. I was brought over to the bar and started to get strung in place. As we were working to make sure all 4 of my hooks had even tension against them, I started to go into a daze. I could feel the blood leave my head, and that my senses were less precise. I must say this is where the men and women of iHung, and everyone at the event that night, really shine. I said I wasn't ready, and that I felt light headed. Immediately my rope was let slack and a chair was brought over for me. I was offered some juice and glucose tablets, to bring my blood sugar back up, as well as tons of support and patience. I was talked to as I sat in my chair, and recomposed my body. I was assured there was no rush and no pressure, and that I didn't even have to go up if I didn't feel comfortable. After a few minutes I could feel the blood returning to my face and brain. I said I was ready to stand up and try again.
I stood up and we again got slight tension on my hooks. I knew I was ready, and said so. We began walking back and forth, every time pulling more and more. I could feel the hooks stretch my skin up and up, until there was no more give, and my feet were forced to leave the ground, and my hands were let go off. Suddenly the only thing supporting my body was a set of 4 8 gauge hooks through my back. When I was given congratulations, and heard everyone clapping, I couldn't help but get a big grin on my face, and laugh a little. It hurt like hell, but I had really done it. Suddenly the room became irrelevant to me, thinking of everything else in the world. My body was still tense, my muscles stiff, making everything more uncomfortable than it should have been. I asked to be brought down for a minute. As feet hit the ground, I was asked if I wanted to be cut loose, or just to take a minute, again being offered lots of patience. I could tell my body didn't want to relax, so we cut the ropes.
Shortly after, I had my hooks removed and any air bled out from under my skin, which was a fairly comfortable procedure and having no noteworthy moments. The rest of the night my head was full of as many thoughts as could fill it. I was proud of myself for having accomplished what I wanted, but disappointed that I couldn't relax to enjoy it more. If I were to give any advice to those wanting to suspend and never have, it would be to relax your body. It is currently the next afternoon, and while the holes in my back are still sore, the bigger hole is the one I've got inside of me from not having every bit of fun I possibly could of while up in the air. But I also know that the only way to remedy that is to once again be hooked and brought into the air, when everything is right. I only remember a few names, so I will mention none, but I would once again like to thank all the guys and gals from iHung, and everyone present that day, for all the hard work, support, and encouragement. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to achieve such a task.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 18 Nov. 2005