The title ‘The Christmas Firewalk’ makes me sound like a raving lunatic, but I promise I’m not. Maybe I am a little bit? Anyway, my mental capacity aside, let’s get to the point here. Once upon a time, I walked on fire, just a couple of Christmases ago.
P.S. I must apologise for the dodgy photography. Family photo blame game …
I tell people that I did it for charity. I mostly did it because I didn’t truly believe that you could do it. Of course, I do now. I walked on fire — a five or six-foot long strip of it, to be exact, and all in the name of raising money for a little children’s cancer charity.
I worked for Vodafone, and it was during my time there that I had the opportunity to do this amazing thing that I didn’t think was possible. It wasn’t just me who walked on fire either, just before you think I’m a superhero. (Please think I’m a superhero.) We all did it. A long line of Vodafone employees. Thirty or so of us, I reckon? Not just the once either; we walked on fire five times, each time the flames getting progressively larger and hotter.
It was super awesome. I’m not tooting my own horn or anything, but I felt pretty superhero-like when I did it. I mean, it’s not every day that you can say you walked on fire, is it?
(How many times do you think I can say, “Walk on fire” in this blog post … Calm it now, Kim.)
I managed to raise close over £600, which was a good thing. It meant that I couldn’t possibly back out. I’d also shouted about my intentional flaming walk on social media quite a lot. I think I did that intentionally. If EVERYONE knew I was going to do it, it would be super embarrassing and über awkward to just back out at the last minute. Not that I would back out. But, y’know, just in case …
Did it hurt?
Well, yes, a bit, but only afterwards once those glowing embers had been removed from between my toes. The actually walking on fire bit didn’t hurt at all. I don’t remember experiencing pain during any of the five times we scampered across it. I did come away from the event with some pretty nasty charred burns between my toes. That was my own fault. The guy who ran the event did warn us not to kick up our feet up.
In fact, the chap that held the event was an absolute pro, walking us through the various parts of what we were about to do. For the life of me, I can’t remember his name. He was a proper little hero himself though, starting the charity (and the firewalk) because his young grandson had come down with a rare form of cancer. It was actually very heartwarming to see how much he had managed to achieve, spurred on by his desire to make a difference. Sad, of course, but incredibly heartwarming.
I love doing silly/stupid/crazy things for charity.
In fact, I think charity gives you the perfect opportunity to be a total nutter, doing things that you wouldn’t dream of doing. Whether it’s walking across a strip fire, or abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit (Vodafone did this the following year to raise money for various charities), or even just shutting up for a couple of hours or a day, for a sponsored silence, it’s all good fun when it’s for charity. In fact, I think that’s the thing I miss the most about having a “real job”; working as part of a team — that team spirit that comes out during big events like the fire walk, especially when you’re doing it all for a good cause.
I just wanted to share the story of that time I walked on fire to raise money for kids with cancer for Christmas!
*Since my firewalk, the charity that I raised money for seems to have been faced with some controversy, so I have decided NOT to name them in this blog post.