I wanted to do it. No, I needed to do it.
In the intermediate suspension class, the challenge (for both the tops and bottoms) was a transition. Start with a gote chest harness; attach it to your ring. Tie a futomomo leg lashing while the bottom is standing; attach is to the ring. On the opposite leg, a simple ankle cuff. Raise the bottom to a sideways suspension. And, finally, the true test: invert the bottom, putting most (if not all) of the weight on the bottom’s futomomo lashed leg.
As my top tied me, I was nervous. I’d been inverted before, but the weight rested on my hips and lower back. I had never attempted a single leg before. Yet even as my heart raced, not knowing if I’d been able to handle the tie, I was also giddy. I was being challenged, asked to step up to a level I had not sought before.
My top tied my chest harness and attached it to her ring. She tied the futo, but was unsure of the lashing. She had not tried to bind the tie while the bottom was standing before. She attached the futo to her ring. The ankle cuff was simple. She raised me sideways. But, as I rested in her ropes, she decided we would not attempt the transition. The futo was not working properly; she didn’t feel the situation was safe. She brought me down.
As soon as she took weight off the futo, the ropes collapsed. She’d made the right decision.
Still, I didn’t feel right. I wanted to try the transition. I wanted to know if I could do it, if I could handle it. I wanted to prove to myself that I could be badass, that I was badass.
Later, I spoke to Bombergrl. She had accomplished the transition in class. I trusted her skills. She agreed to tie me that night.
A few of my friends gathered in the Dungeon to watch. I told them what I was going to try and they wanted to be around for support.
As Bombergrl started, I could feel the nerves return. In my line of sight was Elf. I asked them to stay there, to stay close, to talk to me. I needed to keep talking. I needed to relax, calm down, do anything but amp myself up.
Bombergrl attached the chest harness, wrapped the futo around my right thigh, and tied the ankle cuff on my left leg. She lifted me into the air into a sideways suspension. All the while, I kept my eyes on Elf. Kept talking. Bombergrl used her full body weight to raise my right thigh higher into the air. She adjusted the left ankle cuff up as well, but it took barely any weight. Then, slowly, she eased my chest down.
I felt the grip, the pain. I screamed out as my full weight sunk into my thigh. The pain was worse than I had imagined. But as I felt it, the cinching of my skin, the grip of the rope into my flesh, I knew I could take it.
“Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck. Take the picture. Take the picture.”
Elf grabbed their camera, stood in front of me. I breathed, melted into the pain, and stopped screaming. A flash went off twice. Elf had got the shot.
Bombergrl eased down my left ankle, then lowered my right thigh. I landed on the mat below. As the pain subsided, the ground now taking my weight, my screams were replaced by cackling. I couldn’t stop laughing for a full five minutes. I’d done it. An inverted futomomo single leg suspension.
I’m 5’5″, 215lbs. I am not a tiny Asian waif. Yet, I did it. I proved, to myself and everyone in that Dungeon, that big girls can not only fly, but fly hard.
I still have the faint outline on my skin of where the rope gripped my thigh. I wear the scar as a badge of honor, a constant reminder that whispers in my ear every time I see it.
I am badass.
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