When Mary Collier, 8, was younger, she said she was notorious for climbing in and out of cabinets and taking out all the contents.
Her energy has never left, but the second-grader now channels it into gymnastics.
“Well it’s not boring like soccer. Volleyball is nice, but it’s confusing,” she said. “Since I can’t sit down still for more than five minutes, I don’t have to.”
Collier is a level 5 gymnast, the highest being 10.
She has done the sport since she was in kindergarten at the Gymnastics Training Center of Simsbury, which has been open in that location for about 35 years.
“My favorite thing about gymnastics is being able to be with my friends a lot and being able to watch them and cheer them on," Collier said. "Seeing people cheer for you, it feels really good inside that people appreciate you.”
She placed first in the floor routine and uneven bars at the Philadelphia Pink Invitational, which raises breast cancer awareness, in February.
That was her first competition outside of New England. She was one of 14 in her level to go from the center. Twenty-two went total. About 2,200 gymnasts from the United States and Canada competed, her mother, Bre Collier said.
She tied for first on the balance beam, her favorite event, and placed second all-around in her age group (7-8). The beam is 3 to 4 feet off the ground, but she’s not scared, even though she has fallen before.
Collier is not afraid to make mistakes, whether in gymnastics or baking, horseback riding or acting, her other favorite pastimes.
“We only have easy things like handstands and cartwheels on the beam,” Collier said. “When I’m doing it, on beam, I just focus on form. I don’t care if I wobble or fall.
Her team raised $4,995, for the ‘Above & Beyond Team Challenge' at Pink, the fourth highest amount.
She also earned a ribbon for scoring a 9.1 on bars. The event donated $1 to the cause for each athlete that scored a 9, Bre Collier said.
Chuck and Nancy Ford own Gymnastics Training Center of Simsbury. Their daughter, Marissa Pratt is Collier’s head coach. Meghan Goodwin and Nickie Garon are other coaches.