Megsy #57- Firewalk

Item 57- Firewalk
I don’t remember when I first saw a firewalk , or what I was doing at the time (obviously it was on tv), all I know is that it completely stopped me in my tracks and left me with two thoughts.
1.     Wow! That looks amazing! How on earth are they doing that?!?!
2.     Someday, I want to do that!
Fast forward to May, 2011. A friend of mine had recommended I join one of those group voucher sites, offering discount deal emails on restaurants and beauty packages. Imagine my surprise when the daily deal was to go Firewalking! I didn’t even stop to think about whether this was some random taking cash from people who wanted to walk over his spilt bbq coals; I had clicked the purchase button and smiled. In less than two weeks, I was going to be doing Item 57- Firewalking!
So, one Friday in early June after work, I caught the tube out to Essex by myself and met up with another 60 or so people to be a part of an organised firewalk by motivational event specialists: Achievers Events. Some people were being sponsored for charity, some people were using it as inspiration to become motivational speakers themselves, others were doing it before they were to leave the ‘rat race’ which is London and some were there as they had received a voucher as birthday presents. But we were all there because of our respective lists, whether we have written down or memorised.
From the moment I arrived, we were encouraged to view the fire being prepared; a 6 metre catwalk of coals and ash on which we would strut. I could feel the heat coming from the fire but I could also feel my stomach; thinking about what I would feel on my feet.
Now if you google ‘Mythbusters’ and ‘firewalk’ you get a pretty good explanation as to what to do and what to expect but I had only done that AFTER the walk! Instead, Master of Ceremonies,  John James led us through a very entertaining and inspirational workshop a few hours long, full of mind-over-matter techniques and exercises as well as informing us as to the science behind what we were about to do. What I wished I hadn’t done was remove my toenail polish just minutes before. Hmmm, my toes felt wet even though I dried them thoroughly…
But before too long it was time!
As I waited for my turn, a group of teenage boys came over to see what was happening. They had just come from football practice and were talking about their training. One of them approached me and asked what was happening.
“I’m about to firewalk. All of these people are.”
“No way! Um, why? Um, how?”
And that’s when I told him about my list, about Sebastian and the whole 100Things concept. He was intrigued and listening attentively to all I told him. But he still couldn’t get past that I was about to do a firewalk. He expressed his concerns; “But what if something goes wrong? How will you get home? Will you even be able to wear your shoes (a pair of blue high heels) afterwards?” To be honest, I hadn’t thought about it. I heard myself tell him “But I am going to do it. It will be fine.” Then I asked him what was on his list. “I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it. Maybe this? Mind if I stay and watch?”
I took my place in line. I whooped and cheered the people ahead of me. They were making it all look so easy. I was getting closer and my heart was beating faster. The adrenaline was starting to surge. I remember the other details of John James’ diagram about the body’s reaction to fear (False Evidence Appearing Real) and I hoped I didn’t resemble it!
As I stepped up, that teenage guy’s voice came into my head. He was whooping and cheering for me! John James looked me in the eyes and asked me whether I was I ready to firewalk. I got into the zone with Wi, Chi, Mana and Wum and said “YES!” five times. I know I look foolish doing it but I promise you, we all did. And then, this happened…
I was keen to inspect ‘the damage’ after it and was surprised and relieved to see a lot of soot and not much else. It was a strange sensation underfoot. Growing up in Australia definitely was an advantage though; running across a lawn full of bindi’s or sprinting across hot sand at the beach hurt more.
And what was the mind trick I was thinking of while I crossed it?
Nah, you’ll have to go to an Achiever’s Event to see for yourself! Trust me though, if I can do it and it’s on your list, then so can you!
And yes, for those wondering, I did go home wearing my blue high heels!
Item 57- Firewalk now complete!

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