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Reborn Through Steel

This is the story of my first suspension. My experience started more than two years ago when I walked into Anomaly Piercing Studio on Green St. in Pasadena, CA. I entered the shop with the intention of getting my nipples pierced, but I left with a lot more, three friends I will have for the rest of my life. Over time, and multiple mods, I heard more and more about suspension. The pictures around the shop showed Sque3ze in different positions, eyes closed, deep in thought, hanging above the ground. From the moment I laid eyes on those photos I knew it was something I needed to experience in order to understand.

Over the next two years, I contemplated whether or not I had the inner strength and spiritual fortitude to partake in such an intense ritual. Finally, the opportunity came. The time seemed perfect, the right people were there and I was more than ready. It was a Friday night and my girlfriend and I were visiting from Las Vegas. We headed down to the shop to see Sacred, Sque3ze and the man I refer to as Hippie-licious. I had no intention of hanging that day, but when I got to the shop, I saw all the hooks and gear had just been burned. I asked Sacred if he was planning on hanging that night and he said that some friends were coming in for a little pulling after hours. I immediately wanted to join.

I mentioned hanging to Hippie-licious and he totally agreed to make it happen that night. Here is where things got interesting. By this time it was only 2:00 or so. We had agreed that the hang would happen around 11:30. This meant that I had more than nine and a half hours to think and prepare and wait. I have never been more nervous in my life. But enough blabbering! Lets fast forward.

After much pacing and waiting, the moment had finally arrived. I was already shaking when I walked up to the chair where the hooks would be thrown. But when I walked into the room, I saw only people who I knew cared about me and I was immediately set to ease. My back was marked by the Hippie and he tested a couple skin grabs asking which one was more comfortable. I told him the lower on was and he began to mark me with the infamous violet ink.

We put some music on and I sat down and began breathing... slow... methodical... cleansing breaths. Then came the question "How do you want to do this? One at a time?". (Since I was doing a dead-man's hang, I was using four hooks along the upper part of my back) I opted to have the hooks thrown one at a time. I wanted to remember every minute detail and moment of this. Third breathe inhaled, I blew hard as the first needle was thrown, the rush I've come to love and long for sent me threw the roof and I immediately began the first of the next three breathes. Each hook was more intense, more eye opening than the first. Finally after the last hook was thrown, I sat up and was immediately overcome with pins and needles all over my body, over the next few minutes the feeling increased and I asked for water. I had already had three surface bars thrown into my chest earlier that day so the combined experiences amplified my state of shock.

Suddenly out of nowhere, I was overwhelmed with emotion. It was as if a river of expectations, fears, hopes, doubts and anxiety had been released with the last hook. Although the ritual had just started, I felt the most indescribable feeling of accomplishment. I looked around and saw my family of friends and just began to cry. I was so grateful to have people I loved there. I asked for some water to regain my composure and looked for words to describe to hippie what I was feeling. They didn't come as easily as I would have liked.

Next the rope was brought in and a custom rig that was made exclusively for Anomaly. It read (ANOMALY 13). An honor. I remember talking as the hooks were tied in. After the rig was set, I stood, and begin to pull slightly on the rig, now hanging around my neck. The feeling was interesting and of course, slightly painful, but then again, the suspension would be pulling me from a total different angle.

We then headed outside and I tied the knot used to attach the rig to the rope via biner. I borrowed Sacred's jacket because it was pretty cold outside. I stood on a chair under a large tree. The time was now around 3am. I remember saying to Hippie "I'm scared". These are words I have not spoken in many years. I must admit the vulnerability I felt was overwhelming. I was not scared of pain, nor the effect of hanging, both on the mind and body. I was scared whether or not I was strong enough to be able to "let go", step off the chair and fly.

I was now clipped in and I called for my girlfriend to come stand in front of me. I needed her hands for support. Hippie pulled tension on the rope and I stoop tip-toe in order to assist. He tied off and I knew that this was the moment. I took deep breaths, filling my chest as full as it could be. "Focus on your breathing, the rest will happen naturally" I told myself. Ever so slowly, I lowered my right knee and my left, feeling every minute drop amplified infinitely upon my back, the tension was unreal. I would be lying if I said that I never had doubts or thought to myself "I'm not sure if I can do this" because I did. But just as that thought reached my head, Jessy (my girlfriend) squeezed my hands, giving me strength.

After what seemed like an eternity, I decided to lift my right leg off the chair completely and just put weight on the left leg, I asked Jessy to lock her arms and I put weight on them. This was more for a mental strength than an actual physical spot. I then decided to take the leap. You often hear that "letting go of the ground" is the hardest step. That is an understatement! Once my left leg was off the chair, they moved it out of the way and I felt the full weight on my back. No words can fully capture the cocktail of emotions and thoughts that hit me. I remember looking up, smiling big and weeping like a child. It was the most beautiful moment of my life.

It felt as if my core was being pulled upward through my nape to some place, by something that I have never known. After getting over the initial shock, I was insanely slap happy. I wanted to swing. A friend gave me a push and I swung and spun and sang at the top of my lungs for what seemed like hours. I felt renewed, alive and totally empowered. And then, after "days" in the air, I was handed a rescue hook and I cut myself down. I walked around and hugged every person there.

I am still not sure how to describe what happened to me that morning. I try to and it brings me to tears. All I know is that for the first time in my life, I actually felt as if I was flying. I was taken to a place I have always known but never been able to visit. I dream of it now. And I plan on doing it frequently.

On a lighter note, I laugh every time i think of how it may have looked to the people driving down Green St. at three a.m. that morning. A unique experience for them as well I would think.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 April 2008
in Ritual

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Artist: The+Anomaly+crew
Studio: Anomaly+Body+Piercing+Studio
Location: Pasadena+Ca

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