Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.
If you play with fire, you're gonna get burned, as the saying goes. So when thousands of people walk on superheated coals, maybe it shouldn't come as a shock when more than 20 end up seeking medical treatment.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that at least 21 people were treated for burn injuries last week after a late-night fire-walking event on the first day of a Tony Robbins seminar at the San Jose Convention Center. Several suffered second- and third-degree burns, including at least three who went to the hospital.
Robbins’ four-day "Unleash the Power Within" motivational seminar drew some 6,000 attendants. Participants who chose to do the fire walk walked across 10 feet or so of hot coals resting on grass in the nearby park late Thursday night. The New York Times reports that thousands of those on hand took part in the walk and, despite the injuries, few seemed to have any regrets.
"It transformed people’s lives in a single night," Carolynn Graves, a 50-year-old real estate agent from Toronto who crossed the coals without injury, told the paper. "It’s a metaphor for facing your fears and accomplishing your goals."
The self-help expert has praised the activity as a way to conquer fears, and his coaching company has stressed it has safely provided the experience for more than three decades. A representative of the local fire department, meanwhile, said it discourages people from walking on hot coals.