Saturday, September 17 was a long and exhausting day. Truthfully, the whole week leading up to that date had been long and exhausting. Adding to the grueling schedule was excruciating pain caused by two bone spurs in my right foot. All I wanted to do that Saturday was teach my 5-hour leadership class at Bay Path University, get home that afternoon, take 800mg of ibuprofen, eat a meal, and get off my foot. That's what I wanted to do.

However.... A few months prior to that day, my friend Dennis McCurdy told me he was having a firewalk in Brimfield on September 17. "I'd like you to come and say a few motivating words to the attendees," he said. Now, I love Dennis' firewalks. I've participated three times and I understand the power behind facing the challenge of walking on those 1400-degree coals.

"Sure," I told him. "I have class that day, but I'll come."

You Tube Video Firewalk 9-17-16


As dusk descended that Saturday evening, I dreaded the thought of having to stand on my feet again. The ibuprofen had barely touched the pain and I was down to walking, literally, on the ball of my foot. But I had told Dennis I would be there and so I limped to my car, drove to Brimfield, hobbled onto the field, and joined the 20+ people with the building of the firewalk pathway. We worked as a team, placing logs conically down a 20-foot pathway, after which we stuffed between the logs pieces of paper upon which we wrote a fear we wanted to conquer, a goal we wanted to attain. The wood was doused with a flammable liquid; flames shot into the air.

It takes about two hours for the logs to reduce to red hot embers. During this time, we assembled under the tent and Dennis began his workshop. Thirty minutes passed, then 60, then 90 minutes. He must have forgot he wanted me to speak, I thought. Thank God, because the stabbing pain in my foot was so intense I could not even keep it on the ground. I felt unfocused and uninspired to motivate anyone to do anything.

And then I heard my name. ".... she's a great, inspiring speaker...." In that split second I knew I had to deliver a specific message about challenging oneself to face and conquer the obstacles in front of us, whether it's 1400-degree coals or mind-numbing pain. (Click here or on the above image to hear a portion of that speech.)

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