When I was in the second grade I wanted to be the next Nadia. No, I specifically wanted to be the next self-taught Nadia to go to the Olympics. Don’t laugh. Okay, maybe you should because I grew up in a place that didn’t sell leotards let alone offer gymnastics classes. But. But! But, I was hopeful. I had dreams! Big unrealistic ones. Despite the many obstacles beyond attire I naively fantasized about performing a floor routine to Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain (think Fantasia 1941) complete with bubbling cauldrons and flashes of lightning shooting down from the rafters. I had carefully choreographed handstands, splits, round-offs, lots of hand gesturing, arm waving and pointed toes, smiling and! And. And, for the grand finale, wait for it! A flying aerial off the stage. Never mind that I could have landed in the laps of my audience. Despite that oversight I had it all worked out. My adoring fans would be bug-eyed amazed and I would bow to dozens of thunderous standing ovations. There would be roses.
Alas. It was never meant to be.
I thought of that aspiration as kisa and I set up camp at the base of Bald Mountain in Townshend, Vermont. Not quite the dramatic electrifying elevation of my dreams but suddenly the Nadia-inspired routine came back to me. I remembered the entire routine as if my seven year old self could bust out a back bend. Frightening. I almost tried it. Instead, I went for a run. My adult self’s idea of a thrill these days.
Since I didn’t have GPS I couldn’t map out six miles. Since I suck at determining pace I just had to wing it. I thought 65 minutes should give me 6 miles and then some. I didn’t care. Just running down a mostly dirt road with a canopy of vibrant green trees overhead was enough. I finished with 6.4 miles in 65 minutes. Perfect. It was a night to remember on Bald Mountain…without the leotard.