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Knee Suspension - Eminem Style

I am handed the rope. I am asked, "Are you ready?". I nod my head. I hear from the distance, "Okay...all you". Really, it was all me. A friend had given me the following piece of wisdom before I lay down on the ground, "Remember, you're the only one in the world right now".

I turned on my Mp3 player and lost myself in the music;

"I never would've dreamed in a million years I'd see, So many motherfuckin people who feel like me, who share the same views And the same exact beliefs, it's like a fuckin army marchin in back of me, so many lives I Touch, so much anger aimed, in no particular direction, just sprays and sprays, and straight Through your radio waves it plays and plays, till it stays stuck in your head for days and Days..." ~Eminem- "White America"

I turned the rope so it was wound twice around my hand. I wanted a good grip; I wanted to be able to pull quickly when I felt I was ready. I pulled slightly and felt the hooks in my knees. It burned and I worried for a fleeting second that I wouldn't be able to get past the burning. To derail that thought, I pulled a little bit more and focused on the music. I breathed in a slow rhythm and paid attention to the grass on my back, the sun on my face, the rope in my hands and it helped, I felt the burning start to fade. I rocked my legs back and forth and I pulled a little more and felt my butt slightly come away from the ground. "You're almost there", I thought to myself, although, I may have said it out loud...I'm not really sure.

There were many people watching my suspension, but I forgot about them, the only person there was me. The only thing I was aware of was the tower I was about to hang from, the rope in my hands, the music in my ears, and the tattoo on the back of my hand in my eyes.

"You bout to witness hip-hop in it's most purest, more rawest form, flow almost flawless, most hardest, most honest known artist, chip off the old block, but ol Doc is,-back...-" ~Eminem- "Business"

I tightened my grip and pulled a little more, I felt my butt rise up off the ground.

"...looks like Batman brought his own Robin, oh God, Sadams got his own Laden, with his own private plane, his own pilot..." ~Eminem- Business

I pulled a little more and felt my tailbone leaving the ground.

"...set to blow college dorm rooms doors off the hinges, oranges, peach, pears, plums, syringes, yeah here I come, I'm inches, away from you, dear fear none, hip-hop is in a state of 911, so..." ~Eminem- Business

With that, I was up. I pulled and felt the hooks jerking around in my knees, but I wanted to get up quickly. I pulled and pulled...I could now see the rope trailing down by my head, and then, in a quick motion, everything was upside down.

I took a deep breath in and held it. I was upside down...I was free. I passed the rope off to one of the crew. They took it and tied it off to the tower.

Let me back up a bit and give you a little history. I attempted to do a two point knee suspension at SusCon (2005) earlier that year. I pulled myself up, much like you read about above, and was able to see the world as it sometimes should be, upside-down, for approximately 2 minutes. Maybe not even that long. It was at that point where I felt a raw burning sensation in my right knee, it felt like someone had taken a needle and jabbed in it just below the hook location. No sooner had I felt that than I felt one of the ROP crew members' arms on my back and sides and watched while they pulled me down. I had my music on, and I couldn't hear what was going on. When I finally got down on the ground, I took a look and saw the gaping hole in my knee. Little bubbles of yellow fat were exposed and the hook was hanging at an odd angle from the skin.

I definitely tore. I definitely felt it. I definitely needed stitches. And I definitely felt like shit at not having "succeeded" in my suspension.

Let me tell you. I was definitely wrong.

For me, suspensions are not about what I can do for the people around me, the people watching. They are for my head, my sanity, my little piece of this earth that I call my own. My suspensions are breath taking to me every time in their own way. Sometimes, it just takes a little time to see that. I was so determined that day at SusCon to hang by my knees. I had only ever done suicide suspensions until that point. It was very important to me that I was able to do this. When I had to come down prematurely, much sooner than I wanted, it was heartbreaking...a little piece of my own mental state just crushed. I felt like a failure that day. My mind was ready, I was prepared for this...but my body wanted no part of it. My body wouldn't listen. This pushed me into a whirlwind of low self esteem, and it was only me that put myself there. What I didn't realize that day was that I did do it. Initially I felt I didn't succeed because I wasn't up for very long.

What I hadn't taken into account was the fact that I had had 2 hooks thrown into my knees. I was rigged, I was handed the rope, and I pulled myself up. I handed the rope off and was able to view the world (albeit for a very short period of time) from a different perspective. It took me a couple of days before this realization had set in. Before I was able to understand that it didn't matter how long I was up for...I was up, and that was that. I got over the mental hurdle of having hooks in my knees and I got over the mental hurdle of pulling that rope...I did it.

Well fine....but come the summer BBQ, I was determined to do it "better". At this point, I knew I was setting myself up for some serious issues if I didn't do it this time. I worried for four months about tearing even though I had talked, at length to some of the ROP crew and we had reviewed what we were going to do differently to try and take precautions so I didn't tear.

The second knee suspension I did (at the BBQ), was done in a four point fashion. The weight would be more evenly distributed and would hopefully aide in my skin staying together. This suspension was also done outside (where I had always had previously wonderful experiences). I was also surrounded by some amazing people, and even though I don't remember who was there and who was not...I felt their energies, and it was beautiful.

This suspension was by far, the most beautiful of all my suspensions. I was in the right frame of mind and things went so much more smoothly than I could anticipate. There were many times while I was up that I kept asking if my knees looked okay. It's something I still question to this day, and I've done a few knee suspensions since. I believe it will always be in the back of my mind. That raw burning sensation, the drop you feel when the skin tears, it's only an inch or so, but it feels like feet.

I was up for I don't know how long...long enough. I got to view the world from a different perspective. Sometimes, when you stand upright long enough, you forget that there are other views in this world...other dimensions...other ways to look at something. Whenever I suspend from my knees, it reminds me that there is another perspective; there is another way to look at things that I don't always see. Sometimes it takes hanging upside down to show that to you. Sometimes, it takes hanging upside down to realize you are capable of anything.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 25 July 2007
in Ritual

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Artist: ROP
Studio: +
Location: Pittsfield%2C+MA

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