Who we are Case studies My illness does not define me At Energize we love to hear inspirational stories from local people who have discovered, that despite many potential barriers, getting involved in a sport or activity is not only possible but it can become a hugely positive part of everyday life. Here is Liz’s Story... My name is Liz and I suffer with a hereditary form of pancreatitis which is extremely painful and debilitating when it flares up and generally requires a hospital admission by ambulance. I felt like I was on the scrap heap and was always going to be ill … until I discovered powerlifting. I started as a complete gym novice and quickly built up my strength with the help of a personal trainer. The stronger and fitter I got the quicker I seemed to be able to bounce back from my flare ups - sometimes being back in the gym less than 24 hours after being discharged from hospital. I worked towards my first regional level powerlifting competition in 2019, despite regular hospital admissions and strong pain killers. I managed to compete in all 3 lifts - bench, deadlift and squat on the day and even went home with a trophy! I’ve met a lot of people on my journey with the same condition who feel like giving up because pancreatitis gives such a poor quality of life, and I want to show people that it’s not the end! I am not currently lifting as I have just returned to work from maternity leave, but my dodgy pancreas doesn’t stop me. I have overcome my illness to compete as a powerlifter, work full time as a control room operator for the fire service and, of course, be a mum to three great kids. Liz with her husband Ben and children, Megan 7, Dylan 6 and Ethan 4 months Powerlifting makes me feel, for want of a better word, ‘normal’. That I’m not ill, that I can achieve just as much, if not more, than anybody without my condition. It gives me a physical and mental boost. I find I have more energy when I’m in regular training, and it reminds me that my illness does not define me. I also think being so fit helps me bounce back from flare ups.