Firewalking is the ultimate challenge. Designed to break through subconscious barriers and harness the power within. Dave takes us on a journey from being an alcoholic to becoming one of the authorities facilitating firewalks. The journey was rough....
Firewalking is the ultimate challenge. Designed to break through subconscious barriers and harness the power within. Dave takes us on a journey from being an alcoholic to becoming one of the authorities facilitating firewalks. The journey was rough. His life changed when he attended his first Tony Robbins event and participated in a firewalk.
Dave’s journey into the world of fire walking began with his own transformative experience. Inspired by the profound impact it had on his life, he embarked on a mission to share this empowering practice with others.
In this episode, we discussed:
Dave’s journey of going through the AA process to overcome his alcoholic addiction
Dave’s first time experience with firewalking
How Dave started FireWalk Adventure
Connect with Dave Albin:
Connect with Sabine Kvenberg:
[00:00:00] Dave: We're either motivated by inspiration or desperation. And I remember thinking, well, I'm pretty desperate. And, you know, he's right. He said, he said, you know, we'll, we'll do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. And so a lot of the things he was saying resonated with me. So he was selling a program called Personal Power.
[00:00:19] And to date this, it came on little white things called cassette tapes. Right. And so it was a 30, it was, it was a, it was a 30 day program, and this is what I, you know, this is why I really love being here with you and your audience is in terms of becoming, because that's where it really started to open my mind up to, you know, I, I remember thinking one time, it looks like, you know, the two most important times of my life we're the moment I was born and the moment I figured out why, and that all started, you know, as far as the becoming for me. Started with Tony Robbins.
[00:00:52] Sabine: Hello, my name, Sabine Kvenberg, founder and host of Become. The Content will inspire you to reach your [00:01:00] aspirations and become the best version of yourself. I feature interviews with successful individuals from various industries, delving into their personal and professional journeys and their strategies to achieve their goals.
[00:01:16] We have to become the person we are meant to be first, so we can live life, we are destined to live. That means we must overcome challenges and work through difficult times to learn, grow, and become the new, more fabulous version of ourselves. I'm so glad that you are here. Let's get on this journey together.
[00:01:44] Hello and welcome Dave. I'm so excited to have you on the show today.
[00:01:50] Dave: I'm great. I'm so excited to be here. Thanks, Sabine, it's really always an honor to have somebody like you to have me on your show. So great to be
[00:01:56] Sabine: oh. Oh, fantastic. Thank you. And you know, just [00:02:00] I read your bio and see all the things that you've done.
[00:02:06] You worked with Tony Robbins, did the fire walk and organized it or helped, organizing it or leading it. I definitely want to talk about that with you later on in the show because I did the firewalk myself. So I wanna get some perspective from you. But before we go there, I just would like for you to, to share with my audience, your upbringing because you were actually adopted.
[00:02:38] So yes. What happened, with your birth parents or with your birth mother, and what was your past in the upbringing?
[00:02:46] Dave: Well, thank you for asking that question because I, I'm always honored to share it because I. You know, my life was really blessed as a result of being adopted in what happened with all that.
[00:02:55] So my mother, my biological mother, was what you could refer to back in World War II as [00:03:00] Rosie the Riveter. In other words, when the men went off to war, the women stayed home and built tanks and airplanes and guns and, and you know, to defend the nation during World War ii. So she worked for McDonald Douglass and she literally built air airplanes.
[00:03:12] Well, after the war, she went to work at the Roosevelt Hotel, which is in downtown Hollywood, California. And she met my biological father. And two months before I was born, my biological father was a pilot in Korea. And we don't know exactly what happened, but we know that he had some kind of injury to his head and in an attempt to save his life, they put a plate in his head.
[00:03:36] Well, it also took his life. He had really intense pain apparently from that plate. So he kept telling my mom that he didn't know how much longer he could take this pain. Well, two months before I was born, he said he was gonna go to the grocery store and we never saw or heard from him again. So my mom was left with the two other boys that she had from a different father and then myself.[00:04:00]
[00:04:00] And though she tried really hard to keep me, we were living very close to Hollywood High School, you know, in Hollywood. And when I was five years old, she couldn't make it anymore. She couldn't make ends meet. So she put me up for adoption and her sister. Adopted me, which would've been my aunt and uncle.
[00:04:17] And so when they adopted me at the age of five, they, both of them, had sworn off drinking Bob and Pat Albin, my adopted parents. And when I was 11, things took a, you know, right turn, made a heck of a change in my life. And they both started drinking. And again, things got pretty, pretty ugly, pretty fast. Well, in my curiosity, one day when they were both gone, you know you could do that back then.
[00:04:41] Right? You know when we were living in Long Beach, right. You know, an 11 year old kid, if you wanted to leave them, you just told the neighbor across the street, Hey, I'm going to the store. If David needs you, can he come over? And of course the neighbor would say, yeah, of course he can. Right? And so parents did that back in those days, believe it or not.
[00:04:57] And so they left me one day and I knew where the [00:05:00] booze was and I, and I knew that when they were drinking it, that they changed, there was something about them that was just, you know, things got ugly. And I'm like, what is this stuff? Mm-hmm. And Sabine, I poured it into a glass right? And I, and into a cup actually, and, and about half full.
[00:05:13] And I drank it. And that was it. I mean, I, I never had a chance. I believe that I was an alcoholic. Right on the spot. Literally.
[00:05:21] Sabine: Wow. Wow. And so, so lemme ask you this, when you are 11 years old, you wanted to try out what happened. So, and you pour it in a glass. I can only imagine. It must have tasted terrible because kids really,
[00:05:35] Dave: It was horrible.
[00:05:36] It was disgusting.
[00:05:37] Sabine: So what, what made you do it again then?
[00:05:40] Dave: It was like it didn't matter because the feeling that I got was brandy, and you're right, it tasted horrible. However, here's the challenge. The challenge was it made me feel invincible. I had, I mean, it was like pouring rocket fuel into my body.
[00:05:57] And again, I never had a chance. I, I, you know, again, I, I, [00:06:00] I never drank normally. I, you know, the old saying once too many and a thousand's not enough. And that applied to me from the very beginning that I, you know, tasted alcohol for the first time because immediately after drinking it, I wanted more.
[00:06:13] And I would, you know, steal it. I would hide it, you know? And this is at 11 years old. 11, 12 years old. Wow. I was moving into junior high school and then that just led to hard drugs. And then once I got with hard drugs, then my whole peer group changed. Right? I started hanging around people that I shouldn't.
[00:06:29] And I mean all of it. Prostitutes, pimps, drug dealers, drug addicts, the streets, gangs, all of that violence, and I turned into a very horrible person.
[00:06:41] Sabine: Wow. Let me ask you, did your parents knew that you were drinking secretly?
[00:06:49] Dave: Not in the beginning. No. Uhhuh, I was pretty, they were so engulfed in their own alcoholism that they weren't really paying a much attention to what's was going on with me. I was able to hide [00:07:00] it and mask it pretty easily. Now, they found out later, once I was in my teens. Yeah. But they never really put two and two together that, you know, th they've never heard this story cuz my parents have been gone for a long time.
[00:07:10] Mm-hmm. So what developed there is that, you know, I just got to a point one day I got, you know, when I was in my early thirties and I woke up one morning and said, we're done. I'm not doing this anymore. I was in such physical, emotional, and spiritual pain that all I wanted, all I cared about is that day the pain's gonna stop.
[00:07:29] We're done here. I'm out. And I literally put a pistol in my mouth. I, I put it in there twice. I was gonna end my life. And I was married to a woman who had three kids. They were my stepkids. And I remember thinking, oh man. When you do that, these kids are gonna see that they're gonna have to live with that.
[00:07:45] And so from a, a compassion standpoint to me, and I said, you know, I, I can't do that to them. So the alternative was you call this organization called Alcoholics Anonymous. And I did, and I went to my first meeting on [00:08:00] June 8th, 1988. Well, actually with the four meetings that day, they sent a guy to come pick me up and I went to a 12:30, a 4:30, a 6:30 and an 8:30 meeting, and it stuck. It worked. And though the first year of my life, you know, in, in AA was horrible. I had withdrawals like you wouldn't believe the guys were back in those days. They were like, drink orange, juice, fresh, squeezed orange juice, eat a lot of chocolate to try to balance your blood sugar. I probably should have been in rehab.
[00:08:28] I was probably close to delirium, tremors though I never really got there. Mm-hmm. Cause delirium, tremors will kill you. You know, alcohol, when you come off alcohol, you can actually die from withdrawals.
[00:08:38] Sabine: Really? I did not know that. So the aria trimmers, why would they kill you?
[00:08:45] Dave: It can send you into cardiac arrest, number one. Number two, sometimes you're shaking so bad if you ever seen an alcoholic who's shaking trying to get alcohol in them. Yes, yes. They'll shake so bad. You, you literally shake your internal organs apart. Wow. It's bad. And that's why they call 'em [00:09:00] tremors because you're sh you know, and I could, I can remember times where, Lots of times where I'd wake up in the morning, well, I'd wake up, let's put it that way.
[00:09:07] Not necessarily in the morning, but I'd wake up and you have to have a drink to get back to normalcy. Right. You know, and I'd have to, I'd be literally sitting in the, in the bathroom on the toilet, you know, naked with a bucket in one hand and a bottle in the other, trying to drink enough vodka to get it down.
[00:09:24] And I'd throw it up in the bucket. But eventually you'd take a sip and you'd, you'd drink it and it would stay down. And then you go from shaking like this to shaking like this, and then next thing you know, you drink a little more and next thing you know, the shakes stop. Next thing you know, you drink a little more and now you're, you think you're feeling normal.
[00:09:45] I remember saying things to myself like, I keep doing that until I would stop shaking and I'd like breathe. And I'm like, okay, you know, it's not so bad. What, what do what? Dave? You're sitting, you're [00:10:00] sitting in the bathroom naked with a bucket, with a bottle of vodka. How can you, you know what I mean? So you lie to yourself at a level that's pretty much unbelievable. Yeah. you know, telling yourself, oh, it's not so bad. Yeah. Right. Well,
[00:10:13] Sabine: it's, you know, it's, it's that the two voices that we have in our heads, right. That, that one that always comes up to make excuses, to help you feel better, and for, for one reason, it's also a savings mechanism.
[00:10:29] hey, absolutely you have to do it, otherwise you may be dead because you're shaking so much. Right. So there's, right. Yeah. It's, it's just so, so challenging, so difficult, and I can only imagine what you went through those times. Now, your wife, how did she and the children for that matter, how did that work out?
[00:10:52] Dave: it, well, it, it, it didn't, you know, I was at a point in my life where it just wasn't gonna work. She was a [00:11:00] bartender and so when I married her, guess why I married her, right? And when I married her, she had three kids and I thought that would help calm me down. I thought that would, you know, put me on the road to start to living, you know, a decent life.
[00:11:11] But it didn't, that didn't work. So we ended up in divorce and then later, once I was in AA and living that lifestyle, I met my, the wife of my children who I was married to for 23 years and have two kids with, and again, we met an aa so she was, she was the only wife I had where I was actually sober, and that made a big difference in my life.
[00:11:34] It was sustainable.
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[00:13:46] What happened after you went through that challenging period? What went through your head and how did your life expanded from there?
[00:13:57] Dave: Well, what AA opened me up to was [00:14:00] the personal development industry. My sleep patterns were all over the place. You know, I would sleep all different times and I was up late at night all the time. Well, one night I'm up late and there's an infomercial by Tony Robbins, right? He's a, here's a young, vibrant Tony Robbins, and he's all motivated and he's talking about. How we do things in life, right?
[00:14:20] We're either motivated by inspiration or desperation. And I remember thinking, well, I'm pretty desperate. And, you know, he's right. He said, he said, you know, we'll, we'll do more to avoid pain than we will to gain pleasure. And so a lot of the things he was saying resonated with me. So he was selling a program called Personal Power.
[00:14:39] And to date this, it came on little white things called cassette tapes. Right? And so it was a 30, it was, it was a, it was a 30 day program, and this is what I, you know, this is why I really love being here with you and your audience is in terms of becoming, because that's where it really started to open my mind up to, you know, I, I remember thinking one time, it looks like, you know, the [00:15:00] two most important times of my life were the moment I was born and the moment I figured out why, and that all started, you know, as far as the becoming for me started with Tony Robbins. Well, after I went through his program for 30 days, I did everything that man taught me to do and it worked well. What happened from there is I loaned, I had a buddy in AA and I, and he's dude, man, you're really changing. I really like your attitude. I like what you're saying in the meetings.
[00:15:25] You sound very encouraging and. And you know what's going on. I said, well, you know, I'm, I'm listening to this guy by the name of Tony Robbins. I went through his program, I read his book, and he said, wow, that's really cool. I'd love to get into it. And I said, Hey man, I'm here. Let me, you can borrow my tape program.
[00:15:40] And so he said, really? Sure, absolutely. Here, take it. You go, well, he did. He went through it just like I did. Well, seven years later, he calls me on the phone and says, oh my gosh, Tony Robbins is coming to town. We can go see him in person. Come on man, you got me into this. Let's go. And I said, all right, sure.
[00:15:58] I'm available that date, those [00:16:00] dates, let's do this. And then, and just as he gets ready to get off the phone, he goes, oh, wait, wait, wait. By the way, I need to tell you something. We're gonna be doing a fire walk. And I remember thinking, oh, no, no, no, no, no. Maybe you are, but I'm not gonna do that. And you know what's so interesting about that?
[00:16:21] I didn't even know what a fire walk was. I had no reference for that. I didn't know, but it sounded like there was, it was nothing. I was interested because I'm coming from a very fear-based, you know, position in my life at that moment. So, you know, we, we get to the event. We get on our seats. Tony takes the stage at two o'clock in the afternoon, and the next thing I know, it's after midnight.
[00:16:42] We've been in a room for 10 hours with Tony Robbins. Yep. Dear God, help help us. Right. Well, about that time around midnight, he says, take your shoes off. And I'm like, oh boy, here we go. And now he's been prepping us for this fire walk. Right. [00:17:00] Well, I'm not gonna do that. I'm not gonna take my shoes off. Why?
[00:17:04] Because I'm not doing it. And then I thought, well, wait a minute. All these other people are taking their shoes off and if you don't take your shoes off, they're gonna know that you're a coward. And I went, oh my gosh. Well we can't have that can we? So I'll fake it. I'll take my shoes off, which I did well.
[00:17:23] From there, he takes you out of this giant parking lot. Now I'm with 3,500 people at this event. And when you go outside, he is got everybody chanting. Yes, yes, yes. Clapping their hands and, and when, right. And when you get outside, he's got African drummers to kick up the ambience a little bit. Right? So now it's everybody's clapping and it's dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun, dun dun.
[00:17:49] And you know, you, you can feel the vibrations. I mean, it is intense. Well over in the corner of this giant parking lot. They had built the fire probably starting around [00:18:00] three o'clock in the afternoon, and they let it burn all night. And so what it does is it renders, right, the coals burn all day, all night, and then you have this giant bed of coals.
[00:18:09] Well, what they did, because there's so many people at this event, they loaded those coals in a wheelbarrow and then they'd pull a wheelbarrow and they'd lay two lanes of saw of grass, as you know. Mm-hmm. On both sides, right about three feet wide. 15 to 18 feet long and they just took a shovel and they would shovel the coals out on, on that grass.
[00:18:29] And that's what you walked on? Well, when I got out there, I'm like, well, I'm not doing this. And so I got separated from my buddy and I said, well, I'm just gonna go hide out in the back. Nobody's gonna know except for me. Right? We we're gonna know. Well, hiding out in the back. You think it's a good idea?
[00:18:48] Think it's a good strategy? Nope. Not. Not a good one at all. Why? Because Tony's people know where all the cowards are. Right? And they're trained to come get you. Oh, is said. So [00:19:00] well, I'm hiding out in the back. All of a sudden, here comes the sky and he makes eye contact with me. And I think Tony trains him.
[00:19:07] Look, once, don't you make eye contact, don't take your eyes off of him. And so, yeah, he's looking at me, big's eye contact, and he gets like maybe 20 feet from me. And he looks at me and he goes, are you okay? And I, of course I lie. We all lie, right? I go, yeah, no, I'm fine and I'm not fine. And he said, well, are you gonna walk tonight?
[00:19:27] And I said, absolutely not. And he goes, oh. And I said it to him with a lot of, you know, Get away from me kind of energy. And he said, Hey. And he said, Hey man, that's okay. We don't want you to do anything you don't want to do. And I thought, wow, okay. I like this guy. He's gonna be my ticket out of here.
[00:19:46] And then this stranger, this guy I've never met, don't know, he asked me a question that changed my life forever. And he said, well, wouldn't you at least like to watch. And I said, well, [00:20:00] actually I'm thinking, yeah, I'd love to watch these people burn their feet off. Let's go do that. And he said, well, you know, I was a hundred yards away from where they were doing it sabine, I couldn't see anything. And he said, well, you're gonna need to just get in line. Right. And, and and his defense, he was telling the truth. He was being congruent cuz I couldn't, I was a hundred yards away. I couldn't see anything. I had 3,500 people in front of me. I couldn't see anything. And, and so I got in line.
[00:20:26] And after I'm just kind of walking along, walking along, the next thing I know, this guy comes up and he whispers in my ear and he says, he knows when you're ready. When he says, go, you go. And I went, what? And then that guy just disappeared into the night, and I'm kind of walking along and all of a sudden I get to a point I can't see in front of me, but I can see at an angle and I'm looking and I'm going, they're doing this.
[00:20:47] Look at them. I mean, every race, creed in color is walking on fire and my brain is freaking. I'm like, what in the heck is going on? What are, what are they doing? Why are they doing it? You know, metaphorically, I'm trying to figure all this out, [00:21:00] and as I'm watching and watching and watching and watching, and all of a sudden, boom, guess what?
[00:21:04] Sabine: You are in the front row.
[00:21:05] Dave: I'm in front of the line. That's right. I'm in the front row and now I'm staring down into these and I'm looking at these calls on this lane and there's a wheelbarrow there and you can feel the heat. And my heart's going just, it's just I'm outta my mind with fear. And there's a trainer standing there and all of a sudden he goes, eyes up.
[00:21:25] And I went, oh. Oh, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Eyes up. Well, when, when, when I was in the, when I was in the room with Tony for 10 hours, guess what? He teaches you? Eyes up. Keep your eyes up. Mm-hmm. Eyes up. Don't stare at what you fear. Look at the celebration end. That's where the reward is. So now my eyes up and he said, squeeze your fist and say, yes.
[00:21:42] And I went, yes. And he went stronger. And I went, yes. So he could tell I wasn't in a peak state at all. Mm-hmm. Right. I was over here in fear and then he screamed at me. He got like in my face and he said, stronger. And now I'm like ticked off. Right. So now I got adrenaline and I threw my [00:22:00] hands in the air and I went, I screamed at the top of my voice.
[00:22:02] Yes. And he goes, go, go. Go. I took off. Yeah. Well, wow. As you know, they put two people at the end of the lane, two guys, and they, you know, they lock arms mm-hmm. So that they can stop you. And they're like, stop, wipe your feet and celebrate. Right. And a girl reaches in and pulls me and grabs me and gets me out of the way.
[00:22:20] Right. Going, you did it. You did it. You did it. Well, they do that because he got somebody coming in behind you. Right. Well, here's the first thing I learned about fire walking. Great lesson, great metaphor for life. When you take that first step onto those coals, oh, you'll take the second, third, fourth, and fifth, I guarantee you.
[00:22:37] Right? You're not gonna stop in the middle of that fire lane. Well, that was it.
[00:22:42] Sabine: So you did the fire walk, and what happened then? What changed?
[00:22:48] Dave: Well, what changed was, you know, again, that night it was spectacular. It was one of the most unbelievable experiences of my entire life. And the next day, this is where it really [00:23:00] got interesting for me.
[00:23:01] I'm in a foyer with 3,500 people getting ready to go into the venue, and I'm looking around Sabine and I'm watching all these people, and they were communicating unlike anything I'd ever been, been around. I've never seen or experienced anything like this. They were laughing, they were crying, they were hugging, they were engaging, they were telling their story.
[00:23:22] It was just like, it was like story time everywhere. 3,500 people just were completely transformed the night before and now here's how they show up the next morning. And so it was, what was happening is this, what's your podcast is about? They were becoming, And so I'm watching all this and looking at all this, and I'm thinking to myself, really is this, did this happen?
[00:23:42] Did we drink a Kool-Aid? I mean, did this happen because of the fire walk? And the answer is yes. Now, I've, I've since studied fire walking pretty intensely, and it's been around for a thousand years. It's been used by cultures everywhere. The Phehisians the people of India use it, the Polynesians, the [00:24:00] Hawaiians, the India Europeans, the Native American Indians, and they use it as a very spiritual growth.
[00:24:06] They use it for graduation. They use it for rite of passage. Tony was using it to get leverage on people, right? So that if you could walk on fire, What else can you do? So I, I got involved with the, as a volunteer, and then from there I got asked to be a subcontractor. I had a security background and in the military, so I got recruited to help with some of Tony's celebrities.
[00:24:27] And then I got put on the fire team and I got offered a, a subcontracting position. And I started working for Tony in 1990. It was 1995 E, either late 95, 96, and then 2003, my life forever changed. Tony offered me the fire captain's position, which meant that I would take over all of his fire walks globally, which I did.
[00:24:50] 2014 is when things took another turn. Yeah, so 2014, I'm driving down the road, my phone rings, and guess who it is? A little company [00:25:00] called Google. Google's calling me and they're like, you know, I'm like, hello? And they're like, hi, this, my name is so and so. My name is Anne. I'm with Google. And are you the Dave Alba that does the fire walks for Tony Robbins?
[00:25:11] Yes. Why? What? How can I help you? And they said, well, we'd like to talk to you about you coming to, mountain View, and we have 148 executives are gonna graduate and we want to create an incredible experience. We understand you're the, you're the guy to talk to about that. And so they ended up hiring me.
[00:25:29] And, you know, they were like, you know, if you're not under any non-compete or contractual obligation, yeah. You know, we, we'd like to have you on such and such a date. And I looked at my calendar, yeah, I'm available. And then I said, so what's your budget for this? Right. And they, they wrote it down and they said this.
[00:25:46] And I looked at it and went, okay, I can work with you guys. No problem. Let's do this. So once I got to Google, I knew, well, actually two of the executives pulled me aside at lunch after the event [00:26:00] and they were like, Hey, you know, you know, we wanna share something with you. You might want to consider doing this, you know, on your own as well.
[00:26:08] Cuz there's a heck of a marketplace in corporate America for this because CEOs and business owners need some kind of experience to create a huge shift in their people. And we don't know that there's anything out there. Anything like fire walking? We don't think there is. I mean, we're Google, you know, we, we, we have the information available to us, right?
[00:26:30] And I'm like, okay, well Google's telling you there's a marketplace, there probably is. And they were right, of course, obviously. Because I went from Google to NASA. I went from NASA to Notre Dame, to Virginia Tech, to Microsoft, to Heineken, to Remax, to Chick-fil-A, to the entrepreneur organization. I mean, I just, it just kept growing organically.
[00:26:51] And so here we are, you know, and I'm still, I'm still doing it today. The cool thing today is what I, what's happened for me now is I'm running the Dave Alban Fire Walk [00:27:00] Academy. And what we do there is we bring in people who wanna either come as a life coach and they want to enhance, you know, what you know their, what they offer to their clients.
[00:27:11] And or a company will send somebody from the HR department, we'll teach them how to do fire walking, glass walking, board breaks, arrow brakes, rebar, bending, a whole bunch of different things. And then they take those experiences back to their company and can facilitate, you know, for their own company.
[00:27:29] Sabine: If you could give one piece of advice to my audience, what would that be?
[00:27:36] Dave: Stop looking for heroes and be one.
[00:27:39] Sabine: Oh, I love it. I love it all. Thank you so much. If somebody wants to get in touch with you to become a firework facilitator to go through your academy, how can they do that?
[00:27:52] Dave: They can go to www.firewalkadventures.com. Perfect and schedule a, [00:28:00] schedule a discovery call. They will personally talk to me and I'll take them through the interview process.
[00:28:06] And if we think it's a match and you've got good intentions and you're there to serve and you're there for love and connection and to really, really, Help change people's lives on a grand scale. You might find yourself at our academy next October.
[00:28:21] Sabine: This was such an eye-opening, delightful, inspiring conversation. Dave, thank you for being on this show today.
[00:28:31] Dave: It was my pleasure. Thanks, Sabine
[00:28:33] Sabine: That was my interview, and if you enjoyed it, give us a five star review, leave a comment and share it with your friends. Thanks for listening until I see you again. Always remember, serve from the heart, follow your passion, and live the life you imagine.