Dave L., Helen, Pete, Kevin & I all signed up for the firewalk being held at the Land Registry Office in Hawkenbury, Tunbridge Wells under the instruction & supervision of Blaze. The event was in aid of the Hospice in the Weald, who provide care & support for the terminally ill, their families & the bereaved. Pete & Kevin were veterans from the previous year but the rest of us didn't know any better.
After checking in we watched the glass walk. 20ft of broken glass was laid out & the participants carefully paced along barefoot all the while to the sickening sound of scrunching glass under flesh. The audience watched cringing & with held breath. Zoom lenses were disappointed by the complete lack of blood.
My first doubt came into my head when we were all invited to start our preparation for the walk. The training was great, all of my concerns were dispelled within about ten minutes. We were briefly told how it was physically possible, then for the rest of the two hours we went through a series of exercises to put us into a positive mental state. Most of which focused on the concept that we can adjust our mental state by changing our posture & what we do. The most striking example was the 'I'm weak, I'm useless & I'm worthless' exercise, which really has to be experienced to be believed.
We all marched out fully prepared to the cheers of the crowd & got in line. By the time I was outside & looking at the embers no one was going to stop me walking. Us jugglers among the group dipped & lit our torches then watched everyone march easily over the red mass of embers to the sound of the Prodigy's Firestarter.
Walking over was a superb feeling, I could feel the heat around my arms but my feet could only sense a change in texture going from concrete to something not quite solid. It was only when I was at the end that I could feel any change in temperature under my soles. I looked over my shoulder & saw what I just walked over, after I had done it I just felt immortal, I felt like I could have walked twice that distance. I immediately wanted to do it again & if you get the opportunity to do it I highly recommend you jump at the chance.
We all looked quite silly on the Meridian Tonight News. All the participants received a certificate to prove that they had done the walk.
The text reads:
This is to certify that Jonathan Relf has overcome their limiting beliefs & mastered the courage to fearlessly walk over red hot coals burning at over 1200 degrees fahrenheit.
"Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to operate in spite of fear"
Dave L., Helen, Pete, Kevin & I would all like to thank our friends, families & colleagues from the following companies for their sponsorship which helped raise a fantastic & much needed £14,000 for the Hospice & allowed us to take part in the firewalk.