News Stories 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.