Fire Walk Funnies
As I prepare for our empowerment event for International Women’s Day on the 8th March I’ve got involved in a few conversations that have really made me laugh – I’ve been reminded that very few people know what is involved in making a Fire Walk happen.
I guess a couple of years ago I was in exactly the same situation, so I thought it would be interesting to give a brief forecast of how the event will pan out from the fire tenders point of view. I’ll bet you’d never have guessed what a fire walk REALLY involves.
I will be leading the seminar at this event, but that’s only possible thanks to the fully qualified team that will be tending the fire on the day. We usually work with at least two team members tending the fire – for our event on the 8th there will be three.
Two amazing people I trained with will be working alongside James who is a Master Fire walker, and all round good egg.
Right now they are getting super busy
They have to take time before the event checking out the safety of the venue, and order all the materials needed.
Lots of people don’t realise that for a fire walk to go ahead, we need plaster board to cover the entire area, and then two layers of turf to cover these, to fully protect the ground as well as providing a good surface for the participants to walk on – that’s a lot of grass!
A skip has to be ordered, and for the fire itself we need to use a good quality wood, no nails or other foreign bodies is very important for your tootsies – it’s really important that it’s not a ‘sappy’ wood that could have sticky patches either. Also, different woods burn at different temperatures. If you have a wood fire in your home the chances are you’re burning Oak, but you won’t catch me walking an Oak fire – it’s very hot.
On the day
The crew will be there to set up bright and early – it’s hard physical work laying down all the plaster board and turf layers, before they finally get to unload all the wood from the van and get it built up ready for the fire. This is a very skilled process which depends on the weather, particularly the wind on the day, as well as the location, and how many people will be walking….. Everything’s then covered in tarpaulin until it’s time to be lit.
……and immediately we feel the heat! for the next 90 minutes the fire tenders get to watch the beauty of the fire as it burns down – it’s a time I love, but it’s very, VERY HOT. The team is once again called to put their skill into action as they ensure the fire burns at the right pace, so that it’s ready to be walked at just the right time to tie up with the seminar reaching it’s high energy conclusion, and the fire walkers coming out.
Ready to change lives
The whole team is there to support each walker. Words of encouragement are whispered, the grass is kept damp, rapturous cheers are given as each person completes their walk, and hugs are openly given, while the tenders continue to keep keen eyes peeled on the fire to ensure everyone is safe and comfortable.
Elated and heading home
When the fire walkers are on their way home with their certificates in hand, the team are still squirreling away – the fire needs to be 100% out before the ashes and embers, turfs etc can be shoveled into the skip, the van loaded, and everyone can head home.
Did you have any idea what went on behind the scenes to make a fire walk happen? – I’ve made it sound like a lot of hard work, but the reality is that everyone involved with fire walking does it because they are passionate about providing amazing experiences for all involved that will provide memories for years to come. We all work hard because it’s our privilege and pleasure to enable each person that walks hot coals to reach their potential, and leave with everything in place to take that ability forward into their day to day lives.
Fancy Fire Walking?
We have regular opportunities to Firewalk throughout the year with our own, and partner organisations, events. If you don’t see one listed on our events page right now, feel free to sign up for our newsletter to be kept in the loop, or seize the day, and get in touch to be able to organise your own event now!