My first suspension, an experience to remember...
My first suspension, a four point suicide, was finally accomplished on the evening of September 4th, 2006 (Labor Day). The event had been planned and canceled a couple of times, during a period of three weeks before, for various reasons. When it actually came time, I had only been given five hours notice. Needless to say, I was surprised and hadn't much time to mentally prepare myself, but concluded I was in good enough shape to heed the opportunity nonetheless.
Regardless of the short notice, I was in a great mood, and was really looking forward to going up. Everything was ready to go hours before we even started throwing hooks. All we had to get was lots of Gatorade and grill up some food to sustain me. Luckily I hadn't done any drinking for a few days and had actually been eating decent for a while. After eating, we awaited the rain to stop (typical summer day in Florida) and waited for my food to digest a little. I took most of this time to sit in the rain and play the Didgeridoo. Very relaxing, though I'm not that good and haven't played in some time.
We got to work around 8:30 or 9:00 PM that evening. He pulled out his 50's gyno table (which is extremely comfortable to get work done on), I layed down, and found my happy spot. He put everything in place, and gave me some time to adjust and get ready. Having done a pull a few months earlier, I was ready and expectant of what was to come with hook-set, which made it much easier for me to adjust and get the hooks in. As he started running needles and hooks, I found it to be much more easy than before. The first two were a breeze, the third was a bit more painful. The fourth was the most difficult, and felt a little uneven from the rest. Nothing too bad, it was actually still very comfortable for me to move my arms, though lifting them wasn't.
After that I took a little ten-minute break to discuss how I felt and smoke a cigarette before attaching the rig. I was apprehensive of attaching the rig right away, being that it weighs about fifteen or twenty pounds. I figured it couldn't be anything like a full-on pulling, but still found myself wondering what it'd feel like. Actually, there was no problem, and I found it lessened some of the sharpness of the hooks. The pressure seemed to even it out or something, making it a little more comfortable. I felt great, and had high hopes for the rest of the evening. Surprisingly enough, the rain had even stopped! I was ready to attach the pulleys and go up; or so I thought.
I really had no problem with the pressure, and, at first, lifting wasn't all that painful. It was actually committing to getting of the ground, and staying off, that I had problems with. I had no idea that suspending would be so mental, especially since it was my first time. Everyone thinks of the physical aspects of suspending, but that's much more easy to overcome. Our bodies are not used to hanging in such a manor, but even less, are our minds. We tried a myriad of ways of getting me up comfortably. Straight off the ground I found to be too painful. My fourth hook was not agreeing with me at all. On another attempt, I tried holding hands with my boy Peat, to channel some of my frustration, and though this was an important moment of the experience to me, it helped only a little. I respect Peat and his work very much, and felt a connection with him that was acute. I was able to get up, but only stay up for a few seconds. In my mind though, this was great progress.
When that wasn't working, he tried lifting me into position, and letting me go, so that I already be in the air while my full weight was supported. I found this to be the worst and asked to take a break for while. I was considering calling it a night. I was becoming wore out, flushed, and starting to lose enthusiasm. Maybe this just wasn't my time, or maybe I hadn't been prepared enough to actually go up on this night. I decided to stop thinking about it so much, clear my mind, take in the night air, and decide in a little time. I discussed with Peat how I was feeling, mentally and physically, and that I was having a hard time committing to leaving the ground. We kicked around some more ideas, and I decided to give it one more try, this time, stepping off of a ladder into the air. He then promised me I would have my suspension, tonight, if I truly wanted it.
Having my hopes rejuvenated, we reattached the pulleys, gave me a little time to warm up, and I stepped up onto the ladder. I felt I was truly ready, and that this time I would have it. As the tension between the rope and I grew greater, I drew in a few slow and easy breaths. I cleared my mind of all fear and thought. Peat talked me through breathing, and said I should slowly start stepping from the ladder. As I got onto only on big toe, I felt it was time. Time to prove to myself what my body and mind are truly capable of. In an instant I stepped off the ladder, and was hanging before I knew it; quite literally. I opened my eyes and Peat, smiling, said "You did it bro, you're hanging." I smiled an ear-to-ear grin, and started swinging like a 1st grader at play time. This was what I had waited for for so long. The swing.
Actually being up was huge accomplishment for me, and felt truly magical. No other word could describe it for me. Nothing else in the world could bring me that feeling again. The happiness and excitement I felt was unlike anything I had felt before. Although I was only up for maybe ten minutes, it went by like an eternity. There was no longer any pain or anticipation, just sheer joy. The water running off the leaves of the tree kept things in perspective, and felt great. The cool night air seemed more crisp, lights and colors more vivid. Once I began to feel weakness and wore out again, I came down. My emotions were shot. I was happy for a few minutes, then began tearing up realizing what I had actually just done. I had achieved something I waited patiently for for so long. The many cancellations no longer held any bearing.
Afterwards we unhooked and cleaned me up. The massage was great, although it sounded grotesque, with blood and fat bubbles popping and gurgling. Better to have gotten it then, than to have slept on it. I hear it's quite a terrible experience. We proceeded to talk about the experience, and congratulations went around. I looked through the pictures at what had just happened, and found we got about fifty great pictures, no matter the dark back yard. I collected my towel, said my good byes, and drove home to crash out for a good long while. I only felt a slight swelling, almost like a huge bruise across my back, but very tolerable.
People have been asking me why I chose to do something like this (family and close friends.) I really don't know what to say. I can only explain how when I discovered BME around the age of fourteen or fifteen, it was something that immediately interested me. It was just something about actually getting up, and proving to myself that I could overcome the pain factor and actually hang 150 pounds of myself by nothing but four hooks in the back. I never actually thought I would get the chance to do something like this until I met Peat a year ago. We discussed it in length; even more so when I started getting more intricate, bigger work done (ear punches [three], multiple surface piercings , higher gauges [3/4"]).
In conclusion, this was a huge milestone for me. Although by unconventional means, I now know a little better how far my body can be pushed, and under was extremes I can put myself through. It is something I look very much forward to doing again, eventually trying a chest suspension, and in the distant future an "Angel" suspension; as I've seen it called. I hope my experience offers an insight for those interested. My only suggestions are to mentally and physically prepare yourself beforehand, as this can be both a great experience, or quite easily and bad one. Make sure that you're with someone you trust or respect deeply, as this made it much more easy for me. Lastly, have lots of fun, and keep a clear and open mind. Good luck to those who are to try, and be sure to write an experience for BME afterward.
submitted by: sausage
on: 20 Sept. 2006