The first thing you'd probably ask Lisa Marteau is: "Why?"

Why would people want to hang from hooks pierced through their skin?

The reasons are different for each person who participates in this activity known as body suspension, and the Boulder, Colo., woman is careful not to make generalizations. She tiptoes around her words. She does not want to misrepresent the community - to further distort society's misconceptions and opinions about this unusual hobby.

Under an isolated bridge above a rumbling creek, the 27-year-old woman hangs from two large hooks pierced into her back, attached to ropes strung through a rig. She pikes and twirls, like a floating ballerina, a living puppet anchored to a carabiner.

Lisa Marteau is suspended from a rig above a creek.
Lisa Marteau is suspended from a rig above a creek. (David R. Jennings, Daily Camera)

Her fresh piercings are bleeding a little, but in the moment, the adrenaline rush numbs any pain, Marteau says. The sensations come later, after the bars are removed, and even then, it doesn't exactly hurt, she says. The spots feel sensitive, she says, just as one feels after a new piercing. Her back is spotted with small white scars, reminders of every time she has suspended.

"It feels like flying," she says. She calls this her happy place. But she doesn't exactly want us here. It took five months to convince her local suspension "crew" to talk publicly.

Even Marteau - with a full body of tattoos and piercings and clearly no stranger to body modifications - admits she was hesitant to try suspension. It was a life-changing surprise, she says.


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"If you like being weird, and if doing what you love makes you weird, then come on in. We love you," Marteau says. "That's what makes life so beautiful. We're all individuals who do our own little weird things."

To read the full story and see more images, go to DailyCamera.com.