Carrissa Day on Hook Suspension
Posted on November 08 2018
What drew you to hook suspension?
Hook suspension initially fascinated me because of the shock value. The reaction of the audience during performances and how at ease the performers seemed. I knew I wanted to do that. As time went on, I learned that some people experience euphoria or a spiritual connection with themselves during their suspensions. So the whole combination drew me in.
You went through a ten year preparation process working up to your first suspension, tell us about that
It may have been even longer but for the longest time, I always assumed there was a weight limit for suspension; that if you were too overweight, your skin might rip or what ever. I never bothered to ask any pros if this was true, I just assumed that I wouldn't be able to do it unless I lost some weight (I used to be morbidly obese up until 2017). It was sheer coincidence or maybe fate that I ended up meeting my future suspension crew at a popular haunt near Columbus Ohio around the time I had met some major weight loss goals. So I had from October to December of last year to mentally prepare for my first suspension, because for the first time in my adult life I was only a little chubby and had seen people much larger than be suspend by two hooks.
Did you need to go through any physical training in preperation?
I didn't go through any physical training at all. My piercing/suspension team prepared me for everything during the day leading up to my first suspension.
As you were suspended did you go through a process of "Letting Go"?
There is absolutely a moment of "letting go". With my first suspension, I was in cannonball pose, so every aspect of my lifting off the ground was in the hands of my suspension crew, Only Flesh, of PA. The first 10 seconds of my butt leaving the ground burned pretty bad. Then I took a couple super deep breaths and let my endorphins kick in, and the pain started fading to the background. My second and third suspensions I was able to direct myself. I was primarily suspended from hooks in my back, so leaving the ground meant I had to lift my feet in conjunction with the rigger pulling my ropes down, which lifts your body upwards. So during those 2 suspensions, there was most definitely a "letting go". A moment of "just bend those knees and lift your feet" and before you know it, you're swinging free.
My third suspension I was actually holding my 4 yr old daughter in my arms. It was a live suspension show at an oddities convention in Columbus, on Mother's day weekend. I decided to suspend while holding her as a mother's day thing. It was a 4 pt suicide, and the added 35 lbs of my daughter in my arms made "letting go" a little harder, but I was in front of about 60 people so I had lots of crowd encouragement
How would you compare the experience of the 2 point suicide suspension to the 4 point suspension using the knees?
The only notable difference between my 4 point suspension in the cannonball pose and my 2 point suicide suspension was the amount of freedom I had to direct myself through the air. When in cannonball, your arms only have range of motion, everything else is pierced stationary. So I could open my arms and hold them out, and kick my feet a bit, but at the end of the day, it didnt help direct me or move me in any particular way during the suspension. It allowed me to focus more on what my body was going through and really embrace the sense of accomplishment, I guess. When in a suicide pose, no matter how many points you're pierced in, you have more influence on how your body swings while in the air. So you can just kind of dangle, or you can really kick around and get yourself swinging. Pain -wise, I don't know if there is a notable difference. with some poses, the more hooks you have, the more your weight is evenly distributed, and it kind of puts less stress on your skin, as opposed to being suspended only by 2 hooks, if that makes sense. So sometimes more hooks = less pain once off the ground. I don't know if I'm the right person to ask about pain differences because I don't think I experience pain correctly haha.
Did suspension have a lasting impact on your spiritual outlook?
I am not a spiritual person at all, so I can't say that suspension has offered me any spiritual clarity or benefits. I do experience euphoria while suspending but it's not like being high on drugs or anything. If anything, it's a huge confidence boost to be given an opportunity to see exactly what your body is capable of, and the reactions of others while you're doing it. Being a newcomer in the suspension community, I do know that other hook-rats have countless different reasons for why they suspend and a lot of is it art-based or even therapeutic.
I hope my answers were good enough to have offered some insight and thanks again for asking me about one of my favorite things to do!!!