Posts Tagged ‘Roger Delano’

Beyond the Body

January 16, 2012

Heidi von Beltz, a former championship skier and aspiring actor, was paralyzed from her earlobes down in a two-vehicle head-on collision while working as a stunt double in The Cannonball Run in 1980. Unbowed by her doctors’ prognosis that she had perhaps five years to live, von Beltz routinely endured a grueling regimen of physical therapy and muscle stimulation for up to ten hours a day. Nine years later, she was able to sit up on her own. Six years after that, outfitted with lightweight aluminum leg braces, she taught herself to stand.

Sixteen years after the crash, while promoting her memoir, My Soul Purpose, von Beltz, who had devoured countless books on philosophy and spirituality, said she considered herself lucky and wouldn’t have wanted to miss the experience of her paralysis for anything. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been,” she told Entertainment Weekly magazine. ‘‘I was always so active that I would never have sat down long enough to learn what I’ve learned. I can’t imagine going through this life and not knowing what I know now. I just had to break my neck to do it.’’

The following paragraph from page 97 of von Beltz’s memoir illustrates the start of her transition from body identification to a higher awareness of self:

After the crash, talking with good friends or “losing myself” watching a movie, I forgot about my physical body. This was a new experience for me because I am such a physical, active person. Other people always had reinforced the importance of my body because, even when I was growing up, they reacted to my appearance: I’m a tall and (more…)

Making a Deposit in a Snowbank

December 1, 2008

car-in-snowbankDriving home from Chicago in early December, I was forced to stay overnight at a Wisconsin motel after a snowstorm hit. The next morning, I hit the road again. But when I tried to pull off the highway to get to a gas station, my car skidded and I plowed right into the snowbank separating the highway and the exit lane.

Relieved that nothing dangerous had been lurking under the snowbank, I dropped my cell phone in my jacket pocket, got out of the car, and thumbed a ride up to the top of the exit and over to the gas station. Nobody at the station was very interested in my plight, although I did manage to procure a list of towing companies from the phone book.

However, when I reached in my jacket pocket, I found it empty. No cell phone. I checked every pocket I had, twice. I was already feeling a little dazed and out of my element, and the mystery of the vanishing cell phone only added to the surreal sense of the dilemma that continued to unfold. (more…)