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How Evertaste Walked Fire For MIND... And a celebration of Courage, Trust and Sensitivity

Read more about Evertaste HERE

It was on the long drive to the Cotswolds that it really sank in.

Tonight, we as a team, would walk fire.

Arriving in the tiny village of Miserden, the air was still, the light bright and sharp, and a sense of other worldly magic enveloped us all.

We were definitely in a different world to our usual day to day one. And that I came to realise, was by design too and part of the whole experience.

Weeks earlier, our Business Director and team leader Kim, had sent a mail out about a team building day. There were lots of ideas on the list, of possible activities that were pretty run of the mill.

But slap bang in the middle was one that stuck out.

Firewalking.

It was an immediate yes from me as everything else paled in comparison. Understandably, not everyone in the team felt that way, it was after all WALKING ON FIRE!

But the decision was made to firewalk. The date was set, and the tension began to build.

Chris Jones, who ran our training, suggested a team zoom so we could all ask questions to calm our nerves, and he laid out the experience for us in detail and with infectious enthusiasm. It really helped manage our expectations, especially for those of us who were more hesitant when asked, you know, TO WALK ON FIRE!

After the zoom I was amped. This was going to be brilliant.

A group of people sitting in a room watching a presentation.

On the day, when we arrived, we entered the village hall, took our seats, nervously laughed, and the training began.

Chris immediately launched into a high energy, and again, infectious, presentation, challenging us all to unleash the very best versions of ourselves.

At first, resistance was high, this was such a massive gear shift for some of us. But the visuals and audio were inspiring and elevating, with just the right amount of surprising exercises, humour and honest conversation, to get us out of our heads and into our bodies.

Slowly we began to let go.

The drama was intense, with Chris leveraging showmanship and theatrics as much as pop psychology and personal development strategies. All designed to unlock our inner warriors. And as dusk approached, it started to get very real.

A group of people standing around a fire pit.

Outside, and in the fading light, we ceremonially lit the fire. That’s when the wall of heat hit me and I realised there was no backing out now.

For the next 90 minutes we trained how to walk fire.

And we also set a challenge too. To walk farther than any firewalk the team had ever organised. Twelve meters of burning hot embers.

Not for the first walk of course, that would be much shorter, but for those who wanted to walk multiple times and really challenge themselves.

By this time, the training of the whole day began to really kick in and make sense.

The music. The words. The visuals. Even the fact that the sun had set. We were on a rollercoaster headed into our own crucible of fire.

What has seemed a little awkward at the start of the day, the breathing, the stance, the focus, the music, the drama… now immediately triggered my inner warrior.

And she was ready to walk fire!

The time had come.

As we exited the Village Hall, the air was freezing and the sky pitch black, illuminated only by a huge platinum full moon and the planets and stars.

What an atmosphere!

A group of people standing around a fire at night.

The fireteam had laid out a 6 meter lane of embers and Kim, our fearless leader, stepped up right away.

Moments later and under the guidance of Chris, she took her first step onto the 600 degree embers… and within two seconds she was on the other side celebrating. The roars of support must have awoken the entire village!

Then it was my turn to walk.

As instructed, I got into warrior state, and a moment later, it was done.

AMAZING!

I WAS A FIREWALKER!

A group of people standing around a fire at night.

I immediately knew I wanted to walk again.

Chris had already invited us to do so, only this time on a hotter bed of embers and on a walk that was even longer.

Many of us walked multiple times, and I must admit, it was addictive. Yes there was a sensation in my feet, but that also became part of why I wanted to do it again and again. Longer and hotter each time.

By the end we had beaten the Firewalk Experience record at 12 meters, which felt exhilarating.

A person walking on a path of fire.

That night we celebrated as a team in a local pub, our ties growing stronger.

The drive home the following day was more subdued, as we each considered our lives, our challenges and choices, and asked ourselves, ‘what would happen if we brough our newly trained warrior state to our challenges?’

Reflecting now, I can see what a great team leader we have in Kim. She was the first to walk fire, always leading from the front. But she also created a space where there was no pressure to walk too, remaining encouraging but also sensitive to others. If I had to describe her in three words it would be Courageous, Sensitive and Trusting. We are lucky to have her.

And the Firewalk certainly bonded us as a team. Especially in these days or hybrid and remote working.

We also raised £2,136 for MIND which was such a bonus, and brought even deeper meaning to the experience. As a team we were thrilled that we smashed our £1,800 target, and it’s still open now! Contribute HERE.

It was a BRILLIANT experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat

James Starsmore
Evertaste 

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