Parts of sequence before Firewalking I usually invite participants in a Rebar Bending Exercise. Anyone that has participated at one of our events will have experienced one of the many activities that we have on offer. Each activity is used to help individuals and teams to grow and develop whilst having fun and gaining new insights into what can be achieved. And although we list most of our activities on our website, people always what to know, what is Rebar Bending?
Well, Rebar Bending is an exercise that involves a length of reinforced steel a Rebar. You are most likely to find Rebars on a building site. It’s usually used in large constructions; the rebar creates the structure within the foundations before the concrete is poured in to cover the steel structure. Thus, creating foundations solid enough on which to build tower blocks and other large structures.
Rebar Bending is when we take a length of this steel and place it between two participants. Each end is held in the soft ‘V’ just under your Adam’s apple and the participants are invited to work together. As they walk towards one another the rebar bends between them. When they meet in the middle and hug, the rebar is now bent in half. Sounds easy right?
Like most things in life it sounds easy because fundamentally it is. However, let’s not get too blasé about it. Remember we are talking about steel used in construction. Rebar is extremely strong, heavy and holds up tower blocks. And there is much more to the instructions than I have just said. We spend quite a time teaching the techniques that will enable the participants to bend the Rebar.
The Rebar Bending metaphor is an exercise that helps individuals to realise that there are things in life that can appear impossible but are actually quite achievable. It is not about strength, instead, it is about concentration, focus, trust and working together for a common goal.
The participants will need to access the energy that is always waiting for them and to focus that energy on the center of the rebar. We will coach the participants and tell them that when they feel the rebar begin to melt and bend they need to go for it. As we coach the individuals they work together, balancing their energy so neither is overpowered by the other.
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
I will always remember my first Rebar Bending experience. It was on my Firewalk Instructor Training and initially I found the experience to be extremely uncomfortable. I was considering what would happen if the steel punctured through my throat and turned me into a human kebab. The power of the mind, eh?
Well, with coaching and the support of the other delegates I allowed the inner voices to settle. My partner for Rebar Bending was Greg. We focused, and as a team came together literally bending the steel like it was a stick of chewing gum. The feelings of adrenaline, pride and empowerment stuck with me for a long time!
Keen to facilitate Rebar Bending for others, shortly after my FIT I visited a construction supplies company who specialized in steel. When placing the order, they enquired what we were building and so I explained to them the rebar bend. A look of horror and humor spread over their faces. So they went on to explain in no uncertain terms that I must be confused, and confused with the material I was ordering.
At that time, I was a little concerned that maybe I had got it wrong as they had been quite adamant that it was impossible. When I went back to collect my order I was certain that this was indeed the right steel, I even offered to demonstrate what could be achieved. Unfortunately, nobody seemed willing to attempt Rebar Bending with me on that occasion. Since then however, numerous participants have partnered up and worked together to achieve what many believe to be impossible.
Perhaps you can think of how the Rebar Bending metaphor could help individuals within your team, or your clients. friends and family? Becoming a Firewalk Instructor will enable you to facilitate this exercise along with many other activities which our other posts describe in more detail.