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That Feeling of Weightlessness

Elizabeth Weil in "She's 350 Pounds and Olympics-Bound" profiles superheavyweight lifter Holley Mangold. The essay ricochets around the 22-year-old's world and concludes with a quote so poetic it inspired me to go out and run five miles in search of a sensation, a glimpse of lightness, an instant of floating along the trail through the woods. It does happen, sometimes. Maybe more often than we notice. Reformatted ragged-right, Ms. Mangold's words:

It's like peace,
There's no struggle.
That's what we're all searching for,
That feeling of weightlessness.

As published in the Sunday New York Times Magazine (2012-06-24) the final paragraph in its entirety reads:

In London, Mangold does not expect to earn gold. No American weight lifters do. The women's world record for the combined total in the snatch and clean-and-jerk is 326 kilos (719 pounds); Mangold's personal record is 255 kilos (562.2 pounds). She's just hoping for that feeling when the lift comes together, when her body goes down and the bar floats up. "It's like peace, there's no struggle," Mangold said. "That's what we're all searching for, that feeling of weightlessness."

So lovely, so elusive, so clear — I almost felt it again this morning, as I ran ahead of my companions and soared up a hill, relaxed and fast and free ...

(cf. Rock Creek Valley Trail (2004-04-30), CoolColorRightOnRain (2004-12-02), ...) - ^z - 2012-06-23