Behind the Lens
I have mentioned Rolf on Hook Life quite a few times as we have followed his many suspensions, and he has been kind enough to let us use his wonderful photography of the events he attends on several occassions. I would imagine many of you have either had the pleasure of meeting him already or at the very least know who he is without an introduction from me. It surprises me, however, that for someone who has performed over 150 suspensions and been involved in our community for over 8 years it seems many of us don’t know much about the man behind the camera. At the 2012 Mecca Suscon in Omaha, hosted by Hooked and Disgraceland Entertainment, Rolf took a moment to sit down and talk about his suspensions and the journey he has been on with body modification and suspension over the last several years. It was a pleasure to finally have the chance to get to talk with him a bit and learn more about him than just how many times he has suspended or how many piercings he has.
Rolf’s exploration into body modification began with a simple piercing and tattoo back in 1999 at a tattoo convention in Berlin. Obviously it had quite the impact on him and opened a door for that has allowed him to seek out a form of self expression that he clearly loves. It was only 5 years later that he was introduced to body suspension by Havve Fjell, who I suppose we can all thank for bringing this great guy into our community and our lives. Rolf has been involved in this for a fairly short amount of time in comparison to his number of piercings and suspensions, which only adds to the impressiveness of how much ground he has covered so far.
Of course he had a life before modification, and at first I was surprised to learn that Rolf used to compete in endurance athletic events such as walking, running, and bicycling over some pretty incredibly distances; some that were hundreds of miles covered for the race. After thinking about how he manages to push himself and his body in the suspensions he performs and the modifications he has, it really does make sense how that desire to set a goal, pursue it, and push yourself translated over to this new area of his life. He agreed that the two were very similar for him, and I think we can see the personal mark he set for himself in the previous 100 suspensions he completed and how the bar was raised once that target was met. He is now in persuit of the next 100 suspensions in less than 900 days, and I have no doubt he will not only meet that goal but exceed the expectations he has.
Pushing the human body in the way he has would have some very serious consequences for most people. We have seen people in this community take themselves too far and pay the price with problematic healing, illness from overworking the body’s immune system, nerve pain, and more. Somehow, Rolf has been through over 450 piercings and 150 suspensions without seeing any of the negative effects that could come with it. In the 8 years that he has been suspending, it has really only been over the last 3 years or so that he has really started suspending so often. Through the first few years, he says that he only suspended somewhere around 10 times per year, where in the previous 3 his number of suspensions have climbed dramatically to 29 in 2010, 38 in 2011, and so far over 36 in 2012. I think it’s fascinating that his body is capable of withstanding the strain put on it as he has continued on his journey with body suspension.
Although his physical ability to withstand so many suspensions may be quite different than many of us, his mental attitude toward it is very familiar; he suspends for himself. He has said that his motivation behind suspension is simply that it makes him feel better and it’s fun. Really, there is no better reason needed.
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me, Rolf, and thank you for everything you contribute to this community. If I were to guess, I would imagine you have the largest personal collection of suspension photograph taken by anyone, and it definitely plays a huge part in keeping record of our community and what we are doing. I hope everyone in this community appreciates the incredible value of that and what a collection like that will mean to us all in the future.
Congratulations on accomplishing your goal, and I can’t wait to see as you move your way through your next 100!