My first suspension
Not many people get a chance to walk into an event knowing it will somehow change their life. Not many people ever find an outlet where a test of physical strength, mental focus, and spiritual intuitiveness all combinate into one act. I was fortunate enough to find all of those things at Nor Cal Suscon.
I suppose if you were to judge based off of my appearance one wouldn't think I would be interested in suspension. Aside from a few mods such as a surface piercing on my nape and one tattoo one would think I'm not interested in a more intense temporary mod such as suspension. However it is something I have been wanting to do for ever since I saw Allen Falkner suspend at an event in San Francisco. The weeks before Suscon and the changes that happened in that time were almost as interesting as the experience itself. Images of suspension seemed so anti society & conformity. My personal desire to suspend was largely driven by a desire to separate myself from the main populous of the rest of the world.
As I did more research on the origin of the ritual and it's affect on the people who undergo it my motivation changed. As the even came close I found my reasons for doing it had more spiritual connotation to it. For example: right of passage, achieving altered states, use of suspension as a form of visual art and expression. Regardless the reasons by the time I was face down on the piercing table I couldn't help but be excited and happy. I was even laughing in joking with the piercers as they began to throw hooks.
It was at that time that something amazing happened. I felt two hooks go through the skin of my back (I was doing suicide) and it barley hurt. It didn't not hurt because I'm tough, but for some reason it didn't hurt that much. The people helping me, who are some of the best suspension practitioners from around the world, commented how I have the thickest skin they've ever seen before. As the next two hooks went in my focus shifted to the hook on my left shoulder blade. Due to my thick skin the hook went though and I could feel it scrape all around the inside of my skin before it was finally pushed through. I was amazed, still very little pain. After great advice from the staff helping with the event and my final words of "Bring that shit on." I was lifted up. I believe I stayed still for about ten to thirty seconds before I asked people to push me like crazy! My body still felt little pain and I had an intense desire to see how far I could push my body and how intense visually I could make the experience. I still remember the sensation as I tried to whip my legs in circles to gain momentum to spin. I could feel the rope jerk and vibrate, as I bounced with choppy movements, as if I was an extension of the rope.
After spinning rapidly for several minutes I still wanted to push myself further in the short time I was up. I heard someone in the crowd say "Hold someone up." I suppose as a first timer that would have scared me if I would have stopped to think about it, but I was so excited I called to my friend so I can pick her up. As we went up with me holding her my skin just felt as it did as I first went up. I felt mild discomfort and I found within seconds my legs, which were holding her up, became insanely tired. I put her back down after no more than ten seconds due to muscle fatigue. I continued to swing and spin everywhere for a few minutes. And although I had done amazing for my first time I was still focused on what I can do rather than what I had just accomplished. I called for my friend one more time so that I can attempt to hold her up for a little longer. As we went up a second time I tried to concentrate using my arms and body position to hold her up rather than my legs. It worked and we stayed up longer this time. I wanted to stay up much much longer however I wanted to give other people after me a chance to experience the same thing. As I was ready to come down someone suggested I cut myself down. I can still see vividly in my mind looking around the room with the view I had and seeing half of the people smile and laugh at the idea of free falling down and the other half of the staff looking at me angrily and signing NO!
I guess I've never been one for doing things the safest way possible. I borrowed a rope cutting tool and after struggling to reach the ropes behind my head I finally cut the ropes suspending my & fell to the ground to land on my feet to the sound of people laughing and cheering.
I later found, or guessed, that the reason I felt little pain is because although I experience an endorphin rush to mask my pain, I was not aware or could not even notice such a thing was happening. In fact during my suspension I remember being disappointed because I was not, at least mentally or emotionally, experiencing an endorphin high. Some might call this dangerous because in the future I can push my body to the point of injury without even knowing it. But I think it's a good thing because I can push my body to the limit without having to loose focus due to pain. I'll find out soon enough because my first suspension went great thanks to the amazing staff that helped me with it, and I'm sure I'll be doing it again very soon.
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 02 Feb. 2007