Tag Archives: Parker Palmer

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?”