Photo used with permission from Madelyn Leiter.
“I’ve done gymnastics for 14 years, since I was two years old, and it was my main sport. Nothing else stuck and it was the only thing I enjoyed. Then fast forward to summer of freshman year and I didn’t know anyone coming to mercy, so my mom was like ‘you have to pick an extracurricular activity- I don’t care what it is.’ So I picked Pom because it seemed to be similar to gymnastics as far as flexibility and performing.
I tried out but didn’t expect to actually make the team. But, Surprise! I made the team and was thrown into the deep end of the Pom world and was way over my head. I had no clue how to do half of the stuff, I thought eyeshadow went underneath my eye, not on top because I had never used any kind of makeup or done my own hair. It was stressful and really hard.
Eventually, now that I’m a junior, I started to get the hang of it and, as the years passed, it became more enjoyable and easier. I have the best teammates and absolutely love this sport now. Mercy Pom is my family and there is not a day that I don’t think about them or something Pom related. We practice about three times a week in the morning or afternoon, depending on the day and the situation at school. As competitions get closer we add practices and they range from two to four hours, the latter being on Saturdays during competition season.
Overall trying out for Pom was one of the best decisions of my life and I would never give it up for anything.”