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Posted:Hey all,while reading another thread I got thinking about fear management. from the looks of things ppl have all sorts of fears / beliefs about fire performance especially when they first start.So I was wondering, how do you handle your fear?Myself, I use a process of systematic desensitisation, which basically means I expose myself to the aversive stimulus in steps, going from small (eg a little staff throw with a light staff) up to large (as high as I can throw the staff, with a heavy staff, with lots of speed). at each step I make sure I get back into my comfort zone, before upping the ante.also - I use generalisation (I think thats what it's called...its been a while
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)...basically I learn the fearful technique on a less dangerous tool, so that I will be familiar with the feeling, when I go onto the harder / more dangerous tool - in the hope that my previous experience will reduce the anxiety produced on the new tool. for eg, I learn to do wrist / forearm wraps with non-fire poi, and then when i'm comfortable I'll go onto doing it with my fire poi. In this case Generalisation and Desensitisation are both in play.-----how do you do it?Josh



touch
member
Location: London (S.E)
Member Since: 26th May 2001
Total posts: 61
Posted:Strangly I think I will always have a fear of fire! But I have learnt to control it to a level where I feel almost comfortable. I try to relax as best as I can, and to get into a calm state of mind through meditation of some kind. I think that fire is a beautiful thing when controlled, and when I`m controlling it I feel safe. I worry more about other people doing fire, and always find myself ready to run in and help if needed. One way to ease the fear is to go first when doing fire in a crew, that way I don`t have pent up fear through worring about others. And also its nice to set the pace.When will fire be fear free?*TOUCH*------------------peace, love and light*TOUCH*

"Music is my mother...and my father...it is my work and my rest...my blood...my compass...my love" Jeff Buckley.


Knagi
member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio
Member Since: 28th Jun 2001
Total posts: 397
Posted:How about managing other ppls fears, I've been stopped at alot of places now just because the offical ppl watching are afriad of fire. Even after I went up and asked them if I could do it.

We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC


flash fire
flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2001
Total posts: 2758
Posted:at the risk of sounding complacent, I have never been afraid of my fire manipulations... the first few times I played with fire I was very excited and adrenalised, but never afraid or uncomfortable.The only time I have experienced anything near fear was the first time I lit up my double crosses. I was more anxious than anything, as I had never had 8 balls of fire that hot and close to my body.I had a little trepidation last night when I used sparkly double staves for the first time - I was concerned that the sparks would hurt me, as I move in many axis, a lot of them toward my body and head. I have friends who use sparkly poi, but they have the ability to always spin outwards. So, I put on a head scarf and my sunnies and everything was cool. The sparks weren't a bother at all. I was able to perform all moves. So, yeah. I for one, have never been afraid. I also personally belive that those who are afraid are destined to hurt themselves - once you bring attention to your fear it just keeps building upon itself until something happens.flash------------------"she dances in a ring of fire and throws off the challenge with a shrug"

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Posted:I disagree
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I think repressing your fear or anxiety, is the number one way to screw up your twirling!
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I think recognising it, is the first step to dealing with it. After all, Fear is a part of you, not something external. If it exists it must be treated as such.Josh



flash fire
flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2001
Total posts: 2758
Posted:I agree with you Josh, but the point I was trying to make was to not be afraid in the first place...

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Posted:aha!now I get you and yes I agree with that
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being overly fearful is almost guaranteeing a burn. positive thinking goes a long way
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Josh



Posted:Hmmm, very good question. Desensitization is a very good idea. For instance, I started fire eating with fairly average wicks and over time I built up to fairly large wicks. Making them just a little bit larger each time and giving myself time to get used to the new ones helped a lot. To me, Josh, your concept of generalization is just common sense.
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I only perform a trick lit when I've got it down unlit first. I had an amazing experience recently. Forgive me if I've posted it here already. I was doing a transfer and eat show at a fairly large party. The place was packed, the DJ was thumping, the energy was really intense. I looked at my torches and for the first time in a long while I got really scared. I don't ever remember getting so nervous about what I was going to do. I almost didn't go on. I took the fear though and channeled into pure energy. I did one of the best shows I've done. Big long transfers. Not a sign of a burn. In this fashion, I believe, you can turn fear into focus.



mikeyb
member
Location: Oxford, UK
Member Since: 5th Apr 2001
Total posts: 93
Posted:Fear isn't the right word to describe the very strong feelings I have when I'm about to work with fire. Excitement, anticipation, there are a few others on the tip of my tongue which come close.Having worked in a few dangerous environments (e.g. stage crew work wiring 450V 63A power on a lighting grid 80 ft off the ground springs to mind), i draw a deistinct line between fear itslef and a sensation that's very similar but isn't the same. Fear paralyses the mind and the body, makes you retreat. it's a very primal thing. But unless the fear-maker is a predator on your tail, it's usually not very helpful. The other state is characterised by a mind running on overdrive, yet paradoxically calm, very methodical, slightly out-of-it in a sense, a bit like athletes when they're 'in the zone'.Now I'm NOT saying I'm blase about fire, or that I just leap in there without a thought, or that I'm not extremely aware that it's dangerous. But I'm also aware that more dangerous than the fire itself, would be my inappropriate reactions to it. There's not a move or transition I'd try with fire before I could do at least 30 of them on the trot without so much as brushing myself with a cable. But knowing my limitations, and staying within them, means I can consider fear to be a non-issue. There are aspects of fire performance which scare me. I don't do any of those.Respect, is what I try and achieve. Like a pilot respects an aircraft and still does 30 minutes of pre-flight checks. Like a racing driver respects the danger of a race, makes the necessary preparations, wears the right gear and then goes out and blasts.Oh, i'm very aware of the risk. But fear is itself one of the factors most likely to turn danger into injury.mikeyB


suz
member
Location: Parkville, MD USA
Member Since: 2nd Jul 2001
Total posts: 12
Posted:My personal way of dealing with the fear is simply to accept what I am scared of. I know that I will get hit and it will hurt. I know that I will get burned and it will hurt. Having accepted that, it is easier for me to go about getting better at what I am doing. Am I afraid of getting burned, yes. Do I let that interfere with my spinning, no.For new people I meet interested in spinning, this is the very first thing I explain to them. You are going to hit yourself when you practice. It hurts! But you will eventually hit yourself less. When you light them, you may very well hit yourself, but you probably won't even notice. Afterwards when the soot doesn't wash off cause it is actually charred skin, you will notice and it will hurt. I admit, after only 3 weeks, I still hit myself a lot. I have bruises on my legs and I am sure there are some hidden in my hair. But for stubborn-me, it is simply encouragement to do it right (even if takes another 10 hits or so). Eventually I will get good at this!Suz(excited about the spin jam in Chicago tomorrow night!!)


Superman
Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas
Member Since: 13th Mar 2001
Total posts: 829
Posted:you can respect the fire and what it is capable of, without fearing it...Confidence is the key. if you have in your mindset that ou will aceive a goal, all the rest is gravy baby.Of course being over anxious is just as bad sometimes. Thats the point i always need to keep in mind.Super'------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams"- Willy Wonka

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain


adamrice
adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA
Member Since: 19th Dec 2000
Total posts: 1015
Posted:Interesting question. I suppose for me it boils down to a few things:1. Know the move. Duh. Although I occasionally find myself doing a new transition with fire that has never occurred to me before, I don't try new moves with fire until I know them pretty well.2. An important side-note to this is to understand how serious a screw-up could be. I know that with most of my moves, even if I do botch it, the injury probably won't be *that* serious--both because I've thought about how the swing can go wrong and where it'll land, etc, and because I know I'll have a towel-person keeping an eye on me.3. Understand pain. I know that even if I do screw things up, the injury I suffer probably won't be the worst I've ever suffered--that takes a lot of the teeth out of the fear.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy


Posted:I spent ten years practising before i light up, not through the fear of fire, but what fire can do. even though i had mastered some moves to the extent of closing my eyes whilst training, the first time was the most amazing rush and completaly diffrent. but i wasnt scared just very weary. to anyone scared of fire. your confidence will come to you through practise. Fire breathing now thats a diffrent matter, talk about needing a clean pair of pants. Dont fear fire respect it



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