The Dream She Dreams
By: Becky McCulley
It was quite by accident that Kimberly Hart came upon the things that would end up being all
she strived for in life. She was just three years old when her mother, a dancer of years gone by,
took her daughter down to the local Y for her first dance class. Already, pictures were dancing in
the mind of Janice Hart, who's only goal was to see her daughter eventually get into Julliard and
become the great dancer that she herself had been. But God had other plans for little Kimberly.
Plans that began on that day and would eventually make her a champion at the Pan Global
"Hi, my daughter's here for her first dance class." Janice stepped up
to the reception desk, a tiny, dark haired girl clinging to her leg.
The woman behind the desk smiled. "What's her name?"
"Kimberly. Kimberly Hart."
The woman shuffled through some papers in a file on her desk, frowned,
and thumbed through them slower. Finally, she looked up at Janice, a twinge of confusion on
her face. "I'm sorry," she said regretfully, "but I don't see her name."
"What??!!" Janice exlaimed. "There has to be a mistake."
"No, I'm afraid there's no mistake. The class is full, and your daughter's name is not on the list."
"But I called-- I mean I--" Janice's cheeks turned bright red with embarrassment. "I didn't," she said softly. "I called once and left a message on the answering machine after hours, but I never paid the fee...." In her mind, Janice cursed herself. How could she do something that stupid? With a warm smile, the woman behind the desk said, "Well, I'll tell you what. All the dance classes are full for this semester, but I do have an opening--" she paused and looked over some information on her computer-- "Yep, I have an opening in a beginner's gymnastics class for kids just Kimberly's age."
Janice didn't reply. To see a daughter of hers become a great dancer had always been her dream, but... Finally, she decided, yes, I'll do it. After all, next semester, I'll enroll Kim in a dance class and she could still make it.
"That sounds like a great idea," Janice said. And so, Kim was signed up for the class. And with that signature, although none of them knew it, Kim was beginning her career.
Kimberly loved her gymnastics class. Everything about it was new, exciting... and fun. But the end of the 18 week session came all too quickly.
Because she was only 3, Kim did not understand that her mother didn't plan for her to go back to gymnastics the following semester. She thought the new shoes her mother had bought her-- two pairs, one with taps and one without-- were some new part of gymnastics. But after one day of class, Kim found out. This was not what she had enjoyed for those 18 weeks. This was NOT fun. The next week, Kim yelled and screamed at her mother all the way to the Y. "NOOOOOOO!" she exclaimed. "I don't WANT to go back there!" Tears were streaming
down Kimberly's face, and it was obvious to Janice that Kim was NOT happy.
"What do you want, sweetheart?"
"I want Sarah!" Sarah had been Kim's gymnastics teacher the semester before. Janice sighed as she parked her car in the back parking lot of the Y. "C'mon, sweetie, let's go." "NOOOOOO!!" the shout was even more forceful than before, and Kim refused to move from the car. "No more dancing!"
With another sigh, Janice studied her daughter. There was such a look of conviction in the tiny face. Janice hadn't known a 3 year old could have such strong feelings about any one thing, but it was completely clear that she was not going to get Kim back in that dance class. It was not what the girl wanted. It was not what made her happy. And so, as if giving up part of herself, Janice pulled Kimberly out of the dance class and re-entered her in gymnastics. She did not know that by giving up her dream for her daugher, she was letting her daughter create a dream for herself.
Over the next four years, Kimberly became stronger and more confident every day. Her
mother watched from a distance, seeing her tiny little girl slowly grow into a strong, athletic
seven year old. Janice had to admit, Kimberly was really very good at what she did, and even at
this young age, she seemed to posess the makings of a champion.
In March of that year, Janice and her husband, Kimberly's father, got divorced. It tore the
little girl's heart in two, but somehow, she managed to keep her focus on her gymnastics. She
still trained at the Y, now a Class C competitor.... and just 3 weeks after her father moved out,
Kim competed in her very first gymnastics competition.
"How do I look?" Kim asked her mother. Her hair was tied back into a ponytail at the back of
her head, and she was wearing pink leotard with blue and white stripes from her right shoulder to
her left hip. Already, the color pink was a daily ritual, although its significance would not be
revealed for another eight years.
"Cute as a button," Janice replied.
"Mom..." Kim squirmed. "This thing is uncomfortable. It's giving me a giant wedgie."
"You'll get used to it." Kim looked up. Her teacher/trainer Sue was standing in the door to
the locker room. "You almost ready?"
"Good. Here, put these on over your leotard and come on out." She handed Kim a blue and
white windsuit, and the girl quickly slipped into them.
"Good luck, honey," Janice whispered, giving Kim a quick kiss on the cheek.
"Thanks." With that, Kimberly followed Sue out into the arena to join the rest of her
The competition that day was for Class C only, and Kimberly was the youngest competitor
there. All the other girls had at least a year's age and experience on her. But I can win, Kim
thought to herself as she stood with the other girls from the AG Y through the national anthem.
When it was over, she followed them to their first rotation: the uneven bars.
"Hey, Squirt, you all right?"
Kim looked up. It was Cassie, a 9 year old in Kim's class. "Yeah. I'm a little nervous, but I'll
Cassie smiled. "Don't worry." She looked around. "Wanna know a secret?"
"At my first competition last year, there was a seven year old on another team. We all were
like, she'll be no problem, and we picked on her while she was performing... but she ended up
showing us all up. See, we've been doing this longer, sure, but you're smaller and faster. If you
can just keep your cool and remember to keep your body tight and your toes pointed, you-- we--
can kick some Stone County behind."
Kim giggled as she sat down alongside the platform that the bars were mounted on. She
started stretching, slow and easy. She was already warmed, but she didn't want to risk pulling
anything. Cassie was the third competitor up at the bars, and Kim wished her luck as she walked
by. Cassie smiled as she stepped up to the bars.
Kim was much to inexperienced to pick out the errors in Cassie's routine. It looked good
from where she was. But the judges only gave her a 9.6.
"But you did so good!" Kim exclaimed, giving Cassie a warm hug.
"I know I did, Squirt. I tried my best. That's all that matters. Now it's up to you."
Kim was the 4th and final competitor from her team to confront the bars. She tried to smile as
she stepped up to them. They seemed to loom ten feet above her head. She started to panic,
but then she remembered Cassie's words. Stay focused, keep your body tight, and point your
toes, she told herself. Stay focused. Stay focused.
Kim's bar routine was actually a variation on Cassie's, the variations being, things that made
it easier for her small body. From her point of view, she performed it perfectly, except for the
hop on the landing.
After holding her "finish" for a few seconds and waving to the applauding crowd, Kim ran
back to her teammates and trainer. They enveloped her in a group hug. "That was excellent!"
Shannon exclaimed. Shannon was the team captain, and Kim envied her position.
"Thanks," Kim replied, taking a sip from her water bottle and anxiously awaiting the
announcement of her score. Finally, it came: 9.85.
The reasonably high score gave Kim a bit of a confidence boost. The next event was the
vaulting horse, but Kim would be sitting this one out. There were five competitors on her team,
and one sat out on each apparadus. Kim could only watch from the sidelines and give out
congratulating hugs as her teammates vaulted. Their scores were not the best, but they would
keep Angel Grove in the game.
Now, it was on to the floor. For her floor routine, Kim was performing a routine to some
song she didn't know... Sue had chosen the routine for her. But Kim did ok. She got out there
and did as well as she could, showing off, smiling... and soon it was over. The score from the
judges was 9.725, and Kim new that to win, her scores needed to be higher. She was tired and
sweating, and she knew her team needed better scores if they were going to win.
The beam was Angel Grove's final rotation. And it was on that beam that Kim found her
calling. She was the last of four competitors. Cassie was sitting this one out, but as Kim
stepped up to confront the beam, Cassie gave her a reassuring smile. "Go get 'em, Squirt," she
Kim reguarded her with a nod and a smile. At the same moment, the announcer was saying
something like, "Angel Grove's Kimberly Hart has certainly proven herself in today's
competition. However, now she has the greatest challenge of all. In order for the Angel Grove
team to finish in second place, Kimberly must score a 9.95 or higher on this, her last
Don't remind me, Kim thought. She saw the green light go on, and there was no more time to
worry. She closed her eyes for half a second and blocked everything from her mind until all she
saw was the beam in front of her. Then, she hopped up on it and began her routine. She knew
that this routine had been designed especially for her. She knew that she was doing everything
perfectly... but that to get that 9.95, it needed something more. Sue had been working with her in
practice, trying to get her to do a round-off into a back layout with a back tuck sumie as her
dismount, and Kim had been so close. Now, her entire routine had gone perfectly. Now, she felt
she could conquer the world. She went for the difficult ending....
All the remembered was the applause of the crowd. She looked around, as if waking from a
daze, and felt her teammates' warm embrace and praise. She had done it, she knew she had.
With a glimmer of pride in her eye, Kim looked up at the scoreboard and saw her score: 9.98.
In the end, the Angel Grove team took second, loosing only to the Stone Canyon School of
Gymnastics. In the personal standings, Kim was ninth out of 35 competitors... which made Kim
feel VERY good. But as she would learn, this was only the beginning.
Kim's first day of High School. It was a terrifying day. Or at least, it started out that way.
But as it turned out, entering High School would bring about some very interesting and exciting
changes for Kimberly and for the friends she would meet.
Kim wouldn't have been so scared if her mother hadn't moved over the summer. Now, Kim
was in a new school district and instead of going to Angel Grove Southside like the rest of her
elementary and Jr. High friends, she was going to Angel Grove High School.
Kim entered the building with a tinge of fear in her stomach. She looked at the piece of paper
in her hand-- her schedule-- and went in search of her locker. She walked down one hallway at
random in search of locker 184. She didn't find it, so she tried another. And another. And
another. Just when she was on the verge of tears, she heard a voice.
"Excuse me... are you lost?"
Kim looked up. Standing there was a young Asian girl wearing a soft yellow dress. Her hair
was pulled back into a braid. "Um... yeah."
The girl smiled. "I'm Trini. Trini Kwan. I take it you're a freshman... transfered?"
"Kimberly Hart," Kim replied. "And no, I didn't transfer... my mom and I moved over the
"I'm a freshman, too, but my older brother goes to this school. He's a senior now... hot shot."
Trini giggled. "Ok, what are you looking for?"
"My locker," Kim answered, feeling a tad embarrassed. "Number 184."
"Looks like we're neighbors! I'm in locker 180. Come on, follow me."
Already, Kim felt a strange bond with Trini. It was nice to have found a friend. Especially
one who knew the school.
Kim got through her morning fine. And it was at lunch that she met the people who were to
become some of her best friends-- and future teammates. Trini took Kim with her to the Juice
Bar, a local hang out for teens.
Kim took a seat at a table with Trini and a moment later the two were joined by three guys: a
big, muscular guy in red who looked WAY older than fifteen; a small, geeky, nerd-type guy with
thick rimmed glasses and wearing overall bibs and a blue t-shirt; and a normal looking African
American in black jean shorts and a brightly colored shirt.
"Guys, I'd like you to meet Kim," Trini began. "Kimberly Hart, this is Jason Scott--" (big
muscular guy) -- "Billy Cranston--" (geek) --"And Zack Taylor."
After that first lunch together, Kim felt at home with Trini and "the guys." Sure, Jason was a
bit scary and Billy a bit... nerdy at first, but once you got to know them, they were great. And
Zack... Kim had yet to decide what Zack was all about. Jason was into martial arts (he had said
so) and he lifted weights. Billy was into computers and stuff (duh) and was sweet-- if you could
understand what he was saying. But Zack...
Kim didn't find out what Zack was all about until 7th period. She asked Trini about
"Zack's cool. He's good with the girls, loves to dance.... but mostly, he just likes to show off."
Trini giggled. "At times he's full of himself, but what can I say? Boys will be boys."
Kim's freshman year in high school was great. She became the best of friends with Jason,
Billy, Zack, and especially Trini (mostly because she and Trini were both girls.) The summer
that followed was equally great, and Kim excelled in her gymnastics even farther. But for Kim
and her friends, their sophmore year would bring about changes so out of this world that none of
them could have ever imagined it would (or more accurately, could) really happen.
It was only about a week into the school year. Kim and the others were at the Juice Bar as
usual. Billy had just finished his first karate lesson and Kim and the others were trying to
reassure him he had not done as badly as he thought he did. It was just as Ernie brought their
drinks to their table that the ground began to shake.
The events that immediately followed the quake were strange and confusing for all of them.
The whining robot, the big floating head, the strange structure called the Command Center that
Kim never knew existed even though she'd lived in Angel Grove (or it's suberbs) basically her
whole life. It was way to unreal for Kim, and Zack seemed to share her feelings. Billy was
facinated with the place and all it's technology, Trini seemed torn as to what she should do and
Jason... Jason actually appeared to believe from the very beginning that it was all true.
"Guys, we shouldn't have left," Jason insisted as the quintet made their way out of the
mountainous area and back to town. "He chose us to save the world."
"Do you really think we can?" Trini countered, glancing over her shoulder at Jason. Kim
shook her head slightly, trying to clear it. Her mind was spinning with all that the big floating
head had told them. Zords? Power morphers? A robot that seemed to drink too much caffine?
A giant floating head, for gosh sakes? Zack seemed to read her exact thoughts.
"Guys, I mean, you don't know what you're talking about. We were talking to a giant floating
head," he replied.
Following this comment, things happened equally as quickly as they had during and directly
after the mysterious earthquake. Kim and her friends were attacked by strange looking gray
creatures... in Kim's eyes, they were totally disgusting. But they were STRONG. Even Jason, in
the end, was thrown into a heap by the goons. But he, unlike the others, had not forgotten the
Power Morphers that Zordon (the big floating head; NOW Kim remembered his name) had given
"Zordon said these power morphers would give us power. Let's do it!" he exclaimed. The teens followed Zordon's instructions and within moments, they were each transformed into a superhero in his or her own color of spandex. Suddenly, in the moment she had to rest before she and the others were teleported to downtown Angel Grove, Kim made a startling realization. She had always wondered why, her whole life, she had been compelled toward the color pink. Now, as she saw herself in her pink spandex uniform, she knew. It was some sort of weird fate. For all of them, it was something they maybe had always known in their unconcious mind. This was why. And now, she and her friends had a special secret. A bond. "You need each other now. And the world needs you."
After that first day, and that first battle, Kim really started to enjoy being a Ranger. And it
wasn't much later... a few months at the most... that Kim and the others met Tommy. He was
equal, if not greater than Jason in size and strength and martial arts ability. But in Kim's eyes,
Tommy possessed something that Jason did not: he was drop dead gorgeous. Of course in
other girls' eyes, Tommy and Jason were both equally handsome... there was something about
Tommy that Kim just couldn't resist. It truly was love at first sight.
And anyway, things turned out fine, after a tiny (ok, not so tiny) battle with Rita Repulsa as
she turned Tommy into an evil Ranger. Eventually, though, good overcame evil as it always
should and Tommy became the sixth member of the Ranger team.
Kim was a Ranger for years... she saw many of her friends leave the team, and as they did,
she gained new friends, but never lost the old ones. And in the very end... somehow she knew
her time was almost up, even before it all happened.... Kim lost her own power coin. Within
very few days of this event, Kim's future REALLY began as she was introduced to the world
famous women's gymnastics coach, Gunther Schmit. It had been a dream since she was a
beginner in the sport... to meet this man, who had taken gymnasts to the Pan Global Games
and watched those gymnasts receive gold medals.
"I don't know what I'm going to do," Kim told Tommy one night as the couple sat on the
Oliver family's back porch, her head resting on his shoulder as the porch swing swayed back and
forth slowly. "I want this... to train with Coach Schmit, to possibly go on to the Pan Globals..."
she looked up at Tommy... "But you guys... I made a commitment to being a Ranger..."
Tommy put a finger to Kim's lips. "You heard Zordon this afternoon, Kim... he said it was
ok. He gave you permission to persue this dream." He kissed the top of his girlfriend's head
gently and pulled her close. "I just... I don't want to lose you, Kim..."
"I know. I know." Kim seriously had dreams of making it to the Pan Globals, and now, with
Coach Schmit's help, there was no doubt in her mind that she could do it. That was not the
question. The question was, did she WANT to?
The next week or so passed very quickly... there was a brief interruption by Rita and Zedd
and an accident that landed Kim in the hospital... but it all seemed to pass before Kim's eyes like
a dream. Before she knew it, it was the night before the competition... the one that would
determine if Kim would qualify for the Pan Global Games.
"I should get home early," Kim told Tommy. This time, the pair were in Tommy's car...
parked out by the lake, which was nearly deserted because of the late hours. "Tomorrow's the
Tommy kissed Kim one more time... passionately.... and as he pulled away from her,
something inside his heart snapped. He knew-- it was beyond explaination, but he knew-- that
Kim was going to win tomorrow's competition and qualify for the Pan Globals. Somehow, he
already knew that Kim's Ranger days were over. However, he did not let it show. He drove her
back to the Cambell's house, gave her a long kiss goodnight, and watched until she was safely
inside before driving away. He had put on his best acting for Kim in those last few moments and
had let her think he was ok... but when he was in bed, he cried himself to sleep.
Tommy sat with his fellow Rangers through the competition the next day. The other girls
were good... but Tommy knew Kim could do it. She was the last competitor, and as she climbed
up onto the beam, a smile lit up her face. She performed her routine with near perfection, and
when she finished, Tommy was the first to hug her with congratulations on her near perfect
The party that followed the meet was in Kim's honor... a surprise party... and it was
wonderful, but it revealed what Tommy already knew was coming, and as Coach Schmit
approached Kim and her friends, Tommy cringed. This was it.
"Kimberly," he began in his thick German accent, "You are by far the finest gymnast I have
ever coached. It is my sincerest wish that you would consider moving to my facility in Florida to
begin training full time for the Pan Global Games. Together Kimberly, we can bring the gold
home to the United States."
The scene that followed in the Command Center was a highly emotional one. There were
tears... strangely, they were mostly Kim's. In the end, Kim turned her power coin over to
Katherine... it was rightfully hers, she had earned it.
There wasn't much said as Kim prepared to board her plane for Florida that weekend. Kim
had already said goodbye to her friends. Now, she was ready for what was to come. She knew
Rangerhood was truly behind her and that the time had come, as it had for others before her, to
move on. With a final wave, Kim stepped aboard the plane and disappeared, leaving Angel
Grove, her friends, and her past behind her.
Florida was much more than Kim could have ever imagined. She trained in a big gymnasium
with others, hopefuls just like herself, just as she had in her beginning days as a gymnast. Coach
Schmit, though stern at times, was kind and patient, and watched out for Kim's emotional well-
being, as she was now in a new place, away from her family and away from the friends she had
Kim had not been in Florida long when she met Chris. He was a male gymnast a couple
years older than she, and although she still had feelings for Tommy... those feelings faded the
more time she spent with Chris. Before she knew it, she was alone in her room, writing a letter
to Tommy that she knew would break his heart, but she just couldn't bring herself to call him up
and tell him that she had met someone else.
Time passed very quickly. Kim and Chris grew inseparable... and when Kim went back to Angel
Grove for a short while the summer after she arrived in Florida, her suspicions were confirmed...
she had no feelings towards Tommy anymore, and he too had moved on... to Katherine.
And now, it was time for the Pan Globals. This would be a challenge for Kim... for the first
time in a long time, she would compete on all four apparatuses.
"You can do it," Chris told her, kissing her good luck as she stepped up to face her nemesis...
the uneven bars.
"Oh, I hope so..." Kim returned his kiss, totally aware that their kiss would be broadcast on
the television coverage of the Games... but Kim didn't mind. Confidently, she headed up to face
"Well folks, have we got a story for you," the announcer (Kim gathered this one's name was
Mike.) "If you're just tuning into these games... boy, have you missed a heck of an afternoon. A
young woman by the name of Kimberly Hart has come out of nowhere and taken the pros by
surprise. She is now tied in second with the last year's all-around champ, Romania's Svetlana
Torgishkiav. After a tense third rotation, with Kimberly performing an excellent floor routine
and the leader, Li-Chan Shoung of China taking a fall from the beam, the gap is closing."
"That's right Mike," the other announcer (a woman, Terri) went on. "Now Kimberly's best
event is the beam, and she has that as her fourth rotation. If she scores a 9.95 or higher, America
could go home with it's first Pan Global gold in women's gymnastics since the 1970's."
"Alright, Kim. Go get 'em," Chris whispered in her ear.
Kim nodded, ignoring the twinge of nervousness in her stomach. This was for the gold. This
was all that mattered now. With a final glance at her coach, Kim mounted the beam and began
Kim was oblivious to the background noise. She could not hear the voices of the announcers
as they pointed out to the viewers at home what was right and wrong about her performance.
She did not care about the camaras. All that mattered was her and the 4 inch wide wooden
"Look at that," Terri said in amazement. Tommy was sitting on his living room couch
watching the meet on television back in Angel Grove. He was almost on the edge of his seat.
"Come on Kim..." he whispered.
The camara left Kim for a moment and landed on her coach, who was standing below the
platform that the beam was on, whispering, "Yes... yes..."
In Tommy's eyes it was all perfect.
"Now just the dismount..." Terri's voice sounded as apprehensive has Tommy felt.
"YES!!!" Terri exclaimed. "Just an extraordinary performance by Kimberly Hart... and now
we just have to wait for her score, but I think it is safe to say that the gold is hers."
Kim snapped out of her focused state as her feet hit the floor. She threw her arms up in a
victorious finish as she knew-- knew-- that she had won. She hugged her coach and kissed him
on the cheek, then threw her arms around Chris. Her score, when revealed, was no shock to the
crowd... 9.989. Kim had won, and would take home a gold medal to Angel Grove.
Later, Kim stood up on the medal stand as her medal was placed around her neck and she
was handed a boquet of flowers. She stood and listened proudly as the Star Spangled Banner
played. Tears of pride and joy threatened in the corners of her eyes, but she blinked them
It wasn't until later that night, after all the excitment and celebrating was over, that Kim let it
all sink in. Her dream, the ultimate dream, had been fulfilled. It was all she'd ever wanted, and
now it was hers... Pan Global gold.
Kimberly looked up at the sound of Chris's voice. He was standing in the doorway to her
room, leaning against the doorframe. "C'mon in," Kim said, smiling at him.
Chris entered the room and sat down beside Kim on her bed. "Congratulations," he told her
for about the millionth time that day. He gave her a big hug and a long, tender kiss.
"Thanks." Kim looked down at the medal around her neck. "This is all I've ever dreamed
all I've ever wanted out of life and now it's mine."
"So... what are you going to do now?" he asked her, a little afraid of his own question.
She was quiet for a few moments as she thought about his question. "I have what I came for,
and my family and friends are back in Angel Grove. I'm going back there."
"Then I'm going with you." His tone was serious, and Kim knew he meant it. "I love you,
Kimberly, and I am willing to follow you to the ends of the earth if I have to." He put his arms
around her and held her close. "Besides, I've always wanted to live dangerously. I figure...
monster attacks in Angel Grove is about as exciting and dangerous as it gets."
Kim giggled... he didn't know how right he was.
Kim and Chris left Florida three days later. The Pan Globals were over, and Kim was a
"I will come back to Angel Grove and visit you, Kimberly," Coach Schmit promised. "You
have made me the proudest man on earth. You are the daughter that I never had, and I will
never forget you."
"I could never forget you either," Kim replied, giving her coach a big hug.
Gunthar Schmit turned to Chris. "You take good care of my little champion," he told the
"Oh, I will sir," Chris replied, puting an arm around Kim's shoulders.
Not ten minutes later, the couple was aboard a plane bound for Angel Grove. The only dream
Kim had ever dreamed... the only thing she had ever wanted.... was hers now. Her dream was
fulfilled, and it was time for a new dream. With a smile, she looked at Chris and took his hand.
This was where her dreams lie now-- in her relationship with this young man. This was what
mattered now. She knew she would never be a Ranger again, but that didn't seem as important
as it had when she held the power. Her dreams had changed... but her home remained the same,
she realized as the plane landed on the runway in Angel Grove.
"I'm home," she whispered to herself. "I'm home to stay."