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A journey of self-discovery

So I've been doing some thinking on my suspension and really what it means to me. I've wanted to start writing things down but haven't really felt like I've given it enough thought. Anyways I'm feeling like its (my suspension) has really unlocked something in my own mind that I've sort of known was always there. It's now the 20th almost 21st of November and I did my suspension on the 27th of October. I'm still at a point where I type and look up at the screen only to erase what I just typed thinking that there should be more or deeper words written but hell lets give this a shot. I had seen before me 4 other people suspend and even after them and after first hearing about suspensions back in 97. When it was my time to fly I couldn't get my mind past my own physical limitations that I had placed on my own body.

 In the summer of 06 I did my first and only flesh pull with 2 6g hooks in my back. When I was at Alan and Marea's shop on the day of my first suspension I was talking with Marea and after telling her about the rice crispy sensation in my back a few days after my pull she had told me that I must have had quite a bit of weight on my hooks in my back to have caused that. I told her that  I did a 8 person group pull as pictured on my iam page and then after almost an hour I disconnected from the group to go and get tied off to a tree and leaned as far forward as I could with the help of Didier and my extremely supportive wife and kids watching. He stood in front of me and had me lean on him with all my weight and then told me he was going to let go and I would be fine. So I gathered more trust then I had ever put in anything or anyone other then my wife and placed that trust in both Didier and those 2 6g hooks in my back and there I was with almost all of my weight on those hooks. An awesome and freeing sensation but still not what I was after for all of these years.

 Then came the night of my suspension. It was a 4 point suicide with 4 6g hooks in my back. The hooks being inserted in my back weren't that bad. Although as Marea even said I tensed up a bit on the second pair being inserted. Happens with all the piercings I've gotten in pairs. After they were in I took sometime to regroup myself and stretch my back to relieve the tightness and then went and got in position to be tied to the rigging. I had seen everyone else before me other then the guy right before me go up and then almost immediately come down. The guy whom i cant recall his name that night went up right before me went up and then came down and sat with the hooks still taught took a glucose tab and then went back up only to start swinging and stayed up flying for more then 25-30 minutes so I started remembering that I had never really seen someone go up but only images and video of people already suspending. So I was a little unnerved. Everyone including the unnamed man were instructed to walk forward and put tension on the ropes and then walk backwards and then walk forward again and when they had gotten back to the middle from walking backwards Alan would put more tension on the ropes pulling the hooks tighter till eventually you were all put off the ground. Well with everyone before me this process took anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes. So I get up there thinking that I'll do the same, and I was then tied to the rigging and took another look at my surroundings and started my long walk back and forth down the green mile. I walked forwards and put what can only be said as an insane amount of intense pressure on the hooks in my back and gathered myself and began walking backwards. I started feeling a little light headed but nothing to severe. I started walking forward and hit that middle and felt Alan pull up on the rigging and that was again followed by more intense sensation bordering on pain. So I got to the forward position again and yet again put more pressure on my hooks. So I took another few steps backwards and started my walk back towards the front of the rigging only this time I was walking on my tip toes and when I hit the front I was told by Marea that I was already placing almost all of my weight on the hooks. So I called James over and had him place his hands palm  up in front of me at my stomach level and I placed my hands in his and did the only endorphin filled thing I could think of and pushed up and off. Low and behold there I was,.. SUSPENDED!

 If it wasn't for James I honestly don't know how my suspension would've gone. So there I was off the ground I took a second to look around the room and that whole night Alan and Marea had music playing and there were people chatting all night but then at that moment I got off the ground all sound stopped and there I was the focal point so I said the only thing I could think..."hey what are you guys staring at." That got quite a laugh which made me feel better. Well for a little bit, then the light headed feeling came back and I needed to come back down and regroup myself. So Marea got the trusty chair and I sat down and she offered me a glucose tab which I guess is just what my body needed cause that  thing tasted so good. I immediately felt better and got this uncontrollable urge to see what I could do while suspended so I went back up much much faster then last time and I thought what the hell and started swinging and rocking myself forward and backwards till I was swinging 6-7 feet off of center and people like 12 feet in front of me were saying they could feel the wind from my suspended and swinging body. All I felt was absolute peace and content with everything. I wish now I would've chanted while suspended I think that I need to try that the next time I go up. Well I guess the only thing I felt after a little while was that I was done it had been a long night even before I got hooked, and I wanted to come back down. Well that sounds easier then it was. I came back down to earth and felt this immense weight on my body almost well not almost but literally shoving me to the ground. Truly one of the oddest sensations I've ever felt.

 A lot has happened in not even a months time. I've dealt with quite a few things that had I not suspended I'm not sure how they would've effected me but for the first week after my suspension I felt almost indestructible. Even invincible. That has since subsided but things like the fire in the kitchen leading to my third degree burns on my hand and Linette and the girls leaving and the huge news a few days ago have come close but not shaken me. I think that once I accomplished my goal of suspending and pushed past my own limits on my body that I unknowingly have tapped into a hidden strength that I guess I was and have been unsure of. My body I now know has limits that are there for me to discover and try and push past. I see now that I've been pushing past these limits my whole life. What most call physical defiance I call self discovery. By that right I'm discovering myself everyday.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 31 Jan. 2008
in Ritual

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Artist: Alan+and+Marea
Studio: Aesthetics
Location: Indianapolis

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