Walking barefoot along paths of broken glass or coals burning at more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit is probably not most people’s idea of fun.
But when it comes to raising funds for a charity, it’s amazing what brave – or crazy – things you will do. I decided to put my feet on the line for the Wirral Globe-backed Jellybean Appeal and give the challenges a go…
I turned out for the glass-walking event at the Cherry Orchard Pub in Arrowe Park, Birkenhead. To pass the challenge on the day, all we had to do was walk along a seven-foot path of glass. The Globe’s team featured myself and firewalking veteran Yvonne Ogden (see later in this article), Viv Peckham and Leahn Derby. Simple?
After half an hour’s self-belief training from a qualified firewalking mentor, I went for it and was glad I did.
The Globe team completed its challenge and between the five of us raised more than £300 for the appeal.
Glasswalking is an ancient discipline of yoga and the martial arts and its methods have been hidden from prying eyes in order to promote magical myths about those people fortunate enough to share in the secret knowledge.
The secret to completing the challenge is relaxation, pace and weight distribution. The initial sensation is one of shock as your foot sinks into the glass, but after a few more steps your feet become accustomed to the glass. The sensation, once you put feet on the glass, is just like walking along a beach full of shells.
In November, I was one of 39 fire-walking volunteers. I was among those who thought they could never do it but similarly to the glass walk, completing the task is a case of mind over matter.
Like proud gladiators, we entered the arena in front of a 100-plus cheering crowd to face the ordeal of the fire. Having taken off our shoes and socks we lined up and awaited our instructions to go. The fiercely glowing path was checked and, with a defiant cry, we were off. I stepped on to the glowing embers and walked at a brisk pace across it. There was no pain, just a sensation of numbness in my feet.
The Jellybean Appeal needs to raise £600,000 to make hospital visits more comfortable for children.