David Foster Wallace once wrote an essay, "How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart." In the essay, he describes our fascination with great athletes: "There is about world-class athletes carving out exemptions from physical laws a transcendent beauty that makes manifest God in man." When I first discovered professional skateboarder, Lacey Baker, I was captivated by her keen psychokinetic abilities. It was radical, profound, inspiring, so intensely beautiful that, as Wallace writes, I wanted "to get intimate with all that profundity... to know how it feels, inside, to be both beautiful and best." While Wallace goes on to argue that "Great athletes usually turn out to be stunningly inarticulate about just those qualities and experiences that constitute their fascination," Lacey has only proven to increase my admiration as she consistently moves beyond binaries and stereotypes, understanding the limitations of assuming fixed identities and adhering to capitalist systems. Lacey's is an inspiring story of depth that allows us all to question our relationship to established systems, beliefs, and ways of being, to encourage each of us to get intimate with our own profundity and feel the beauty and best within all of us.
AW Episode 24: Profundity in Motion
Reference Number: DO.8355.Mo
Location: Digital Online
Acquisition Date: 9/21/2014
Collection: KCHUNG Archive