Two Feet Matches up to Six Metres?

Sunday 31 October 2010: 4 years 1 month on …

Could it ever be true that two feet can match up to six metres?

Maybe not mathematically so; but what the mind wants, the mind wills. And we saw this proved again last night.

But let me start in the middle of the week. I spoke at a breakfast at Bluewaters Cafe on Wednesday morning about The Gift, and I will publish that discussion in due course. There were about forty people who attended, and I certainly enjoyed talking (albeit quite nervous) and the breakfast. I hope the guests enjoyed the breakfast, too.

After that, I really needed some rest! So, the rest of the week was just that – rest. Until Friday, that is!

The EP Kings were scheduled to play in a promotion/relegation game on Friday evening. They were to match up against the Puma’s and a win there would have catapulted our new provincial rugby franchise team back into the mainstream big time South African rugby where they once used to play.

Port Elizabeth was gripped with rugby fever and by Friday evening 45 000 tickets had been sold. The new Nelson Mandela Stadium built especially for the 2010 Football World Cup did not even see so many people for the football games.

I t was a sell-out! And we headed off for the stadium just after five pm. But, oh dear, what has happened to the efficiency that we experienced in June and which I wrote extensively about earlier in this year?

Three months that have passed since the Europeans (and notably the Germans) were running the Show. I wrote then Oh What a Circus, Oh What a Show. Now, the colonial power has withdrawn once again, and left us Africans to look after ourselves. Now, oh what a Circus! 

It would appear that, without outside help, we are just not able to do things for ourselves!

As I mentioned before, it was a sell-out. But, the security arrangements were slow and inefficient (and appeared to be scrapped totally towards the end when it became obvious that not all the spectators would be in the grounds by match time), the queues got longer and longer, tempers flared, seats were unobtainable, refreshment queues built up, food and drinks ran out, and when it was all over, only one gate on our side (where there were six!) was opened to let out the crowd.

No traffic control, no policemen, no traffic cops, no order, no World Cup efficiencies. Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing …

But it was great seeing a packed stadium! Well-done Port Elizabeth – I just hope we see that again and that the rugby authorities did not do them a disservice by presenting such an amateur show on Friday night.

And the rugby? Unfortunately, the Kings could not match up to the Puma’s, and so, we won’t be there with the big names next year. Hopefully, that will happen in 2012!

That was not the end of the weekend’s rugby fever. In the biggest of the domestic rugby competitions, the ABSA Bank Currie Cup tournament, the Western Province Stormers were playing the KwaZulu Natal Sharks in Durban on Saturday evening. The final showdown between these two franchises became a national issue – with most people outside of the two provinces selecting a side to support. Either you were wearing black and white for the Sharks, or blue and white for the Stormers.

And me? Well, hailing from the Western Province, I’ve always been a Province supporter! But, when all was said and done, the Stormers could not match up to the Sharks, and so I found myself on the losing side yet again!

Not that I watched the game!

I was with sixty others at the Old Grey Club. Our mission was to win another battle. We were planning to see whether our two feet could match up to a six metre bed of hot doringhout (thornwood) coals!

We arrived at the Club at two. Claudius, the facilitator, took us through OUR games – mind games. How our brains work, all ten square metres of our cortex, and how we experience and label and perceive and achieve. And how we can get our minds to want and to will. The mind over matter stuff that we talk about in our every day parlance.

Some were adamant that they were going to walk barefoot over the coals, others were nervous, others uncertain.

When the fire was lit at four – with a loud whooof sound – some became a little more uncertain about this challenge that lay ahead.

Then, we practised, over and over again, the procedure, the anchor, the YES, the vision, the mind, the mantra – first in groups and then individually.

Then it was 7pm. It was dark. The practising was over.

We headed for the walkway – the bed of red-hot coals glowing in the darkness. The heat hit you and the adrenalin was pumping.

Our “getting rid of stuff” letter was thrown into the fire; the “what we want in life” letter went under the brick, the bare feet went into the water to clean, dried on the mat and then the anchor.

With my eyes on the stars and the cool moss below me, I walked over the coals until I was stopped on the other side. Feet into the water, the exhilaration, the “Y.. E.. S”, the ice, and the even more adrenalin!!

Yes, with control of the mind, the two feet matched up to the six metres, and won the day or should I rather say, the night!

We lost the rugby (x2) but the fire burnt and we celebrated late into the night.

14 comments on “Two Feet Matches up to Six Metres?

  1. Hi Ed

    You never cease to amaze me with what you achieve.

    Back to the Stadium Unfortunately it is once again proved that the powers that be are prepared to spend our money and then let it all fall apart. Lets hope the stadium itself doesnt go into disrepair.

    Hope you have a good week and look forward to your next blog entry.

    May God bless you.

    Denise Hattingh

    • Hi Denise – thanks for your comments again! Yes, there is so much potential that can be used there in the stadium. Hope I wasn’t too negative … we were doing so well!


  2. Hi Ed,

    Again you have demonstrated why you inspire and motivate.

    I’m experiencing a low again and have a nasty cough and boy does it hurt in the diaphragm. Taking myself to the doctor this morning. It’s time I bounced back.

    A lady, from out of town, is visiting me on Wednesday morning. She used to work with Dudley and wants to visit while in E.L. Isn’t that kind of her. The bottom line is….won’t hear you on the radio again this Wednesday.

    Take care and what an amazing ‘feet’ you have achieved.


    • I like that comment – it was a feet! Look after yourself and listen to the dr. You can always listen to the broadcast on here too – if we get them in on time! regards

  3. Hi, Ed

    I met you for the firts time on Wednesday when I came with 7 colleuges and friends to your Breakfast Talk at The Blue Water Cafe. Your speech was brief but very inspiring. The way you handle everything no matter how big or small is awesome. I wish everyone could realise what life is all about. Life itself is a gift and we must cherish it.

    The second time I got to see you face to see you face to face again was at the firwalking. You really and truly amazed me. You did it with a smile on your face and there were so many people that’s healthy, that didn’t do it and I must say to them that they have missed out on so much……. If we can’t face small challenges in life how will we be able to face the bigger one’s? Life is full of challenges but rmember no matter how big or small the challenge the outcome lies in you hands.

    Have a marvellous week and I can’t wait to listen to the Show Wednesday,

    God Bless


  4. Hey Ed,
    What we did on Saturday night is something that I would of never thought of doing, but when the opportunity came along I couldn’t say no. Not only because Andew Barton would of never let me back out, as well as, it is an opportunity that not many people at my age (20) come across.

    I don’t think I had prepared myself for how much courage it would take to do it, mainly because your mind keeps telling you it is impossible and the coals must be fake or something.
    When I stood there waiting to walk over the coals and the heat could be felt from over a metre or 2 away, I knew that this was something on a whole new level to anything I had done before.

    The whole experience was amazing from the talk by Claudius before the walk to the feeling of achievement afterwards. I did not know many of the other walkers before the walk, but feel alot closer to them now. I had met you before and we have often spoken and after Saturday night I feel that I experienced something with you, My Uncle and the others that will bring us closer and enable us to believe now more than ever that the mind is an amazing tool. I will never forget how we all hugged each other and jumped up and down screaming after getting to the other side and realizing what we had just achieved.

    I am a changed man forever and Ed, you are an inspiration to me.
    Chat soon and hope to see you soon for a beer.

    Thanks again,


  6. Hi Ed

    Saturday was incredible; we were fortunate to have someone like Claudius to facilitate for us. Amazing that over 50 people stepped up on to the mat to take that first step – always the hardest one…as the rest follow pretty damn quickly!

    As we all know now, those coals were pretty damn ‘special’ and for so many to do, and so many to get through unscathed [some relatively], shows the power of focus and adrenaline!

    What you achieved by walking was exceptionally inspirational! Great job mate! Now let’s stick to cold beers and some fine Drambuie’s…….


  7. Hi All

    In the cold sober light of the days after, wow, that was something!

    Blisters heal, pain is soon forgotten, but the knowledge of stepping up on to the mat to walk, well, that can never go away…..I can’t think of too many more dramatic experiences that we could ever volunteer to face!

    It is the first time I have seen Claudius in action and think we were priviledged to be able to be faciliated by someone like him. He has been doing firewalks since 1993 and has taken over 5,000 people over coals [he did tell me afterwards, as well as again yesterday, that these were the hottest coals he has seen in many a long year! I guess, without taking anything away from others, it makes our experience even more special – and amazing that quite a few got through unscathed [I did wear some blisters with pride yesterday, my mistake for looking down!

    Normally after every 5 walkers or so the coal is replenished……..on Saturday even after 50 had walked there was still bugger all need to replenish!!!

    Earlier this year he did some ‘mind focus’ training with the Italian show jumping Olympic team [although I suspect he could develop a niche with long jumpers rather!] and about to do some firewalking in England [where, for your interest, they need to arrange insurance at GBP350 per person!]

    I must say he was incredibly impressed with our Group, particularly as many [correctly] realised that those coals were a little ‘special’! So, take a bow…..!

    Some might be interested/relieved to hear that he said to me yesterday that firewalking is not something one should do too often – adrenalin is a major factor in preventing blisters [due to it releasing seratonin], with fear boosting adrenaline levels. One’s first time always ensures major adrenaline! [The other major factor is focus and not allowing the brain to register anything, especially by looking down!]

    It was always going to be an individual choice whether to walk or not, but all would have benefitted from Claudius’s input and for those that chose not to walk would still have witnessed/experienced a mighty challenge being faced.

    I guess some special bonds were formed on Sat by all in our Group!

    I should have the cd’s of all the pics towards the end of the week and will advise all to arrange distribution.

    We do have some bags of firewood over, that we are selling at R15 per bag [what we paid] on a fcfs basis. I think they make pretty decent coals……but strictly for braaing on!

    I am going to forward Ed’s latest Blog, that includes comments on his fb experience. I suspect he will say more during his AlgoaFM radio slot on Wed at 10h30.

    We did pic up a pair of spectacles that fell into the water trough at the finish. Claudius also lost his specs, but we could not find them. I guess it might be possible that whoever owns the glasses I have here could have picked his up by mistake, as his were also lost around the water area.

    I guess this quote that I sent last week now really hammers home!

    We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we look fear in the face…
    we must do what we think we cannot.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

    For those interested in the power of the mind, I remembered this morning a video I watched years ago called The Miracle Man. Don’t want to give anything away, but that is an amazing story.

    Anyway, once again for contributing to an amazing experience and shall chat again once I have pics….

    Have a great day!

    Kind Regards,

    Andrew Barton

  8. The fact that I didn’t walk, didn’t make the experience any less for me, it was awesome!
    And being healthy was not a deciding factor! It was a personal decision to walk, or not to walk. No one has the right to judge another. Claudius was such an inspirational speaker. I loved his material and how he prepped us for the walk. Well done to those who did walk those red hot coals, tks but no tks :)-

  9. Wow what an awesome experience and to have been part of this group on Saturday:) Although I did not walk on those red hot coals the experience was more than enough for me! Its all about choice and those who are judgemental need to respect others.

    Its not about what others think, its all about how comfortable a person feels doing things like this, im very proud to say I was there and went thought the process but didnt walk.

    Having possibly been the youngest in the group, there will be many more opportunities for me 🙂

    Thank you


  10. the NMB-stadium needs to do something serious about parking
    after the game i saw people walking in very dark areas.
    i am ref. to areas in the direction of Sidon.str.

    Now is the time for Jannie Du Preez to show that he can get something right
    JdP is the guy that always writes to ”Die Burger” asking supporters to back the Kings

    I enjoyed the game in my red shirt

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