We rarely get the opportunity to post experiences on here, but sometimes it’s nice to have a reminder of the impact we have on the lives of those that we suspend. I think it also sheds some light for those who haven’t been through the experience of body suspension to see what it is we get from this amazing practice. Thank you so much to the Skindependent Suspension team for sending this in and to Jessica Webb for this beautifully written account of her suspension with them. I’m so glad you took so many positive things away from this suspension. It looks and sounds like you had an incredibly time. And now, without further ado, here is her 8 point angel suspension captured in her own words.
“I usually write about my suspensions and I haven’t done so with my latest… well until now. I did an 8 point angel on the 29th of January. So far this has been one of the hardest, most rewarding, heartfelt, moving, calming, and beautiful suspensions I have done. With a break up the same week, I really did not think that I would make it off the ground. I take a whole week of preparing myself when I suspend. I stay away from people and limit what I do on the internet. It’s because I need that time to focus on what I am about to do because I am my own worst enemy and I don’t wan’t to back out.
I didn’t get my week to prepare. I had one of the hardest weeks of my life, and so the fact I still made it up makes it even more meaningful to me. I had made sure that the people knew that I was going through a rough time and that I was unsure if i would make it. But as the week went on I got more determined to do it. I let them know I was still going through with it, and a few days later my close friend showed up to take me to the hall. We drove there and I was more nervous than usual… I didn’t have all my usual support people around me, but I had her and in the end she was all I needed. She is one of the most beautiful people in my life and has always been there for me, even when things are rough for her. She also understands suspension; what it feels like, how hard it can be, and what it means afterwards to know that you did it.”
“We got there and after a while, one guy went up. While he suspending it was time to get me rigged. After discussing hooks and finalizing a decision on what kind to use, they get started… the hooks going in sent me flying. It was the most I have had, and I took them one after the other. For me it’s easier to get it all over and done with rather than wait it out. The shock kicks my ass, but the more I do this the easier it’s becoming to fight through it.
The rigging took a while but it’s a complicated thing and needs to be done right, but after what seemed like forever (because I was nervous everything was taking forever to me) it was finally time for me to get up. While I was being rigged my mum showed up, I didn’t think she would stay and watch but she did. With my friend holding my hands and whispering words of encouragement, it was finally time to put some tension on and start trying to get up. I was scared, the most scared about a suspension that I have ever been. I would say up and they would pull the rope, lifting me up more. I’d tell them to stop and they would hold it in place while I walked backwards and forwards and leaned and pulled against my hooks, trying to get my body used to the pain. It’s not a huge amount of pain, it hurts but it wears away fast and you’re able to get up a bit more. It felt like only five minutes, the next thing I know I am on my tip toes and I am telling them to take me all the way up. The ground goes from under me and I move my legs around. Squeezing my friends hands hard, trying to force myself to stay up while the shock rolls over me in waves. Its intense, I feel like I can’t hold it any longer and then suddenly it’s gone. This happens in a matter of seconds, but to me it seems like forever. I tell them to push me, I want to swing around. The whole time my eyes are shut and I start smiling. This goofy grin spreads across my face and I move around in the air while my music blasts in my ears. My whole body is light, its free and there is nothing wrong in the world. Everything is peace, its calm and I can do anything. Its beautiful, every hurt, ever ounce of anger, ever tear, everything is gone and I am free within myself. Nothing can stop me.”
“They want to check the hooks and so I have to come back down. They said they wanted to keep a close eye on them, that I can go up again but I can’t move around too much or go too high. I don’t mind, I want to try again. Even if I am up for a moment, I want to know that I can come down and go back up. Its harder than the first time, it hurts more, the shock is heavier and I know that once I am up, I won’t be up for long. My body is tiring and I will need to stop. After a few moments, the back and forth dance on tip toes, I tell them again to take me right up. With a groan of pain I am off the ground. Once again I am free inside and nothing else matters, but I can’t handle the shock. It’s too much, too intense this time around. I ask to be let down. But everything is perfect and I am so, so happy.
My mum comes over to me, for the first time I realize that she has been watching the whole time. She cries with me, she is so proud of me. Tells me that I can do anything in life that I want to. That I can beat my depression and the heartache I am feeling. Because I have proved time and time again how strong inside I really am. I showed her how strong I am. Everyone in that room is proud of me and smiling at me. Telling me how well I went, and that I looked so beautiful and happy up there.”
“Since then, the crew have continued to support me. They have text me, emailed me, left warm wishes, and one of them drunkenly hugged me about ten times at his birthday party just last weekend. I was able to do this because of the people who I surround myself with. If it wasn’t for this crew, this set of individuals who time and time again go out of their way to look after those around them, if it wasn’t for the laughter that they bring, as well as their skill, I couldn’t be doing this. If it wasn’t for them I could not have suspended right after my world was tipped upside down. No other set of people can make you feel as welcome, loved, supported and completely at home than the Skindependent Crew. They are all very special to me and I feel so blessed that it’s these people who make up the Christchurch suspension team. I also couldn’t have done this without my Mischief, who offered me a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on, and a hand to hold. This wonderful lady who always puts her family and friends before herself, who stands by and protects me when she can and never judges me on what I do. Who through everything has never left my side and is always just a message away. She is one of the most beautiful people I know, and I am lucky to have her as my friend.
Today I am still feeling that peace. That with all the chaos around me, simply looking at these photos, it brings back a glimpse of what I felt. The determination, the accomplishment, the calm, and the reminder that I am strong inside. I became art that day, just like everyone who suspends. Its one of the most beautiful things I have ever done, and I look forward to doing more.”
Thanks again for sharing this with us Jessica! Photos by Tamryn Howard.