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Mrs. Phyllis McGurk of Stamford Hill, England used to be a 168-pound dumpling until she started lifting weights 18 months ago. Last year Phyllis, down to 122 pounds, was a finalist in the Miss Britain contest. Last month in London she lifted a 200-pound weight to become the British women's record holder. The 24-year-old housewife prepped for the record by lifting three smaller weights, and as she struggled with the 200-pound weight, members of the Health and Strength League encouragingly murmured, "Go it, girl." Go it she did, despite the fact that she had just recovered from influenza. Back in her dressing room, Phyllis gasped, "Every girl ought to have a couple of dumbbells about the house. They cost 10 shillings and weigh 10 pounds. Then 20 minutes swinging before bed, and she'll be surprised at the results."

There is hardly a sport that 28-year-old Margaret Varner, an assistant professor of physical education at Boston's Sargent College, hasn't played, and played well. So well, in fact, that her home town of El Paso, Texas last month elected her to the local hall of fame. Margaret recorded her first triumph at the age of 10 when she became a junior expert marksman with the rifle. She was the girl champion of the Southwestern Kids' Rodeo in 1945, and in recent years she has held national rankings in tennis. Just now Margaret is abroad, defending the All-England badminton title she won last year. Her hobbies: squash racquets, basketball and field hockey. "I don't know how she does it and remains so feminine," says an awed friend, "but she does it."