Tag Archives: Cross-country skiing

Getting into It – Part II

Yesterday I posted about my decision to get into winter and enjoy cross-country skiing as an alternative to my running.  Yesterday afternoon I drove to a nearby county park, Cottage Grove Ravine Park, anticipating excellent snow and groomed trails.  I was a bit rushed because the sun was low in the sky and I was unfamiliar with the park.   I missed the entrance for the parking lot, so I started a quick turn around.  In my haste I slid off the road and into a snow bank.  

At first I thought I could simply drive out.   The spin of the front tires told me otherwise.  I tried to clear the snow from the front of the car.   It was too compacted and I had no shovel.   Sheepishly I asked a couple of skiers to assist me.   Though we pushed and pulled, the car was stuck.  Finally I had to admit I was truly trapped in the snow and called AAA for assistance. 

A car like mine waiting for help

While I was calling AAA on my cell phone, a second call came through.   I soon discovered I had a pastoral emergency with one of my parishioners!    With some embarrassment, I called the family and explained my predicament.   I would come as soon as the tow truck pulled me out, which was further delayed because the truck driver got lost.

As I sat in the car, waiting for the tow truck, I ruminated about my plans.  I had wanted to “get into it” by doing some skiing.   Instead I literally “got into it” with my car in the snow.  I was frustrated, but also reflective.   My haste had put me in this predicament and I could blame no one but myself.   There will be future opportunities for skiing and exploring.  I was thankful that my slide had cause no damage to car or myself.    Finally I decided once again to practice what I often preach to others,  patience and thanksgiving.    I could “get into it” by seeing the mercy of God in my own foolishness.

Getting Into It

Getting Into Winter

This fall and winter has been frustrating for me as a runner.  I continue to deal with various muscle spasms that primarily stem from an SI joint problem in my pelvis.  In summary my pelvis is twisted and needs special manipulation to become untwisted.  I have been to my physical therapist several times for this manipulation, but I cannot seem to hold the proper alignment for very long. I try to run a couple of miles and my muscle spasms are back. 

So I am going to try a different route.   Instead of whining about “not running,”  I will try to embrace winter and the sport of cross-country skiing.   I remember a quote from Parker Palmer’s Let Your Life Speak.   He was participating in an Outward Bound adventure course when he found himself paralyzed with fear during a rope-rappel down a cliff face.  He was certain that he was going to die.  The instructor asked if anything was wrong. 

 He responded, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Then,” said the instructor, “it’s time you learned the Outward Bound motto.”

“Oh keen,” Parker thought.  “I’m about to die, and she’s going to give me a motto.”

But then she shouted ten words that reshaped Parker’s life, words whose impact and meaning he can still feel. “If you can’t get out of it, get into it!”

Parker wrote, “I had long believed in the concept of ‘the word made flesh,’ but until that moment, I had not experienced it.  My teacher spoke words so compelling that they bypassed my mind, went into my flesh, and animated my legs and feet. No helicopter would come to rescue me; there was no parachute in my backpack to float me to the ground.  There was no way out of my dilemma except to get into it — so my feet started to move, and in a few minutes I made it safely down.”

I plan to “get into it” with cross-country skiing and see what happens.  I will keep you posted.

Have you ever experienced a time when you had to “get into it?”