I forgot my yoga mat tonight. So I used a studio one. 15 minutes in, we start the first of many Chataranga’s. I smelled the mat, it had that new mat, just taken out of the plastic smell. That specific smell that only gymnasts are really familiar with, and suddenly I was 10-years-old again. The smell of chalk was coming from somewhere, but it was there, being soaked up by me. It was wonderful, I was in my happy place, the first real gym that wasn’t an old storefront with no heating in the middle of Illinois, or a YMCA gym that had to be built up and broken down every night. The floor was a real floor, spring-based and everything. The leather on the beam, mixed in with the sweat, blood and chalk of every gymnast that came before me. Hard work, and satisfaction in one whiff. Perfection attained by a young body, well before real, physical maturity. Precision and wisdom, well beyond years, with a drive to satisfaction, unequaled by those beyond years. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Heaven.

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