Taking a stroll on the coal was like a walk in the park for fire fan
Adrenalin Junkie Will Topps seeks out a fiery thrill.
I am a pyromaniac if truth be told. I've always loved getting my hands on something, setting it alight and watching it burn, mesmerised by the flames.
So much so in fact, that even at 25 my favourite Christmas present was a box of candles shaped like little plastic soldiers.
As a child I used a magnifying glass to burn a hole in the roof of my sister's Wendy house and would regularly sit down at the kitchen table, newspaper spread over it, for a session of "candling".
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So, given the chance to walk on fire, I was understandably excited.
But the weird thing is, because of my obsession with all things fiery, the idea didn't fill me with trepidation. There was no fear. I was going to walk on fire, fine. Let's go.
So I arrived at the Big Sheep with my partner Samina, who has a similar passion for all things combustible, feeling ready to walk on fire.
We had read before arriving about the "empowering" effect a fire walking session had on people, so we were expecting some sort of motivational talk and training before walking on fire.
But naively we had assumed this would last no more than half an hour to an hour.
Those hopes were put to bed as soon as we arrived and we were made to feel more uncertain about what was coming when a member of staff in the cafe told us, "people go into that room and come out like different people".
"You should hear the noises they make," she told us. "I've no idea what they do to them."
So when we entered the training room we weren't entirely surprised to find the enigmatic and flame haired Karen Sterling facing us.
Swathed in long black robes Karen's talk started off normally enough, as she told us in her strong Scottish accent, despite being Northern Irish, the facts of firewalking.
The fire, made with hard wood, would burn at up to 1,236 degrees fahrenheit, around three times the temperature at which human flesh ignites.
We were told we'd need to walk briskly, of course, and then things turned a little weird. Karen started talking about our subconscious and how we're able to make it believe anything we want it to.
We were told to stand and shout about how we're weak, worthless and pathetic, apparently making us weaker less confident people.
Then we were told to shout that we we're strong, powerful and magnificent, which supposedly empowered us.
And throughout an hour long talk we were told again and again to shout, to cheer, to scream and holler.
To me, and to Samina, that's not natural. We're both the sort of people who wince when we're made to cheer.
We looked awkwardly at each other throughout and joined in as much as we could, but all this training, which was meant to empower us, did was make us uncomfortable.
But almost everyone else in the room seemed to grow as a result. The group of quiet individuals who had entered the room were laughing, joking and chatting.
As we went out to see the pile of red hot coals the 25 odd other firewalkers visibly had a spring in their step and not one of them refused when it came to walking on the coals.
The people who had been nervous didn't hesitate.
And when it came to me, the same was true. A two second stroll over hot coals and it was over. I got a little kick out of it, but then fire has never held any great fear for me – there's no great mystery.
It was fun, and in aid of a good cause, but as far as adrenalin rushes go it didn't quite cut it for me. But then, I am an adrenalin junkie.