A tough life made easy through suspension

suspension thumbnail1Valon Oddity has experienced emotional pain throughout his life but through piercing and suspension, he says he has transcended into a way of living.

Remembering his childhood, he says, "Growing up I guess I was a bit of a loner... " Oddity also says he was allegedly abused.

He would eventually get into an alternative lifestyle of body piercings, tattoos, scarification and body suspension. A suspension happens when a suspension artist pierces an area on the body and inserts hooks in order to lift the person into the air.

 Oddity says his first suspension involved him being hung by four hooks across his body.

"I had four hooks across my upper back that was pierced. They are pierced vertically like a straight line across my back."

After the four hooks were inserted he then walked up to a pulley system, Oddity says.

"It was one of those chain engine hoists. I started lifting myself up a little bit but it's intense. The suspension artist grabs the chain and says that I'm going too slow, and he just lifts me right into the air." suspenision 1Valon Oddity, extreme Calgary artist, stands in front of suspension contraption. Suspension is a practice that has set Valon free from a lifetime of emotional pain.

Photo credit: Zarif Alibhai

Once fully suspended, Oddity says he finally felt a sense of clarity for the first time in his life. This freed him from his pain.

"Nothing could bring me down," he says. "I had a smile on my face. I was finally coming to realize that there is something great in this world that is beyond myself."

Oddity says suspension has caused him to view pain differently. "Once I started swinging around, that pain became secondary and now (the experience) became more emotional. To come to realize that pain is just subjective. Pain is just subjective."

"Nothing could bring me down. I had a smile on my face. I was finally coming to realize that there is something great in this world that is beyond myself."

- Valon Oddity
Oddity, who is 31-years-old and has a job unloading semi-trailers, says he has been a part of eighty different suspensions, which he performs on other people. He hopes this will impact their lives in a positive way.

"I love that I can connect with someone and change their life in some way or another. At that very moment it's something very different in their life."