Fifty-four-year-old Liz McTernan should be an inspiration to us all!
If this mum-of-two can fight back and achieve world class sporting status, then we can all be spurred on to taking steps to improve our health; ensuring we live a greater life, and for longer.
Back in 2005 Liz was scuba diving in Cornwall when a fault in the equipment meant she was sent 66-metres back to the surface within a minute. Missing out on an hour of decompression time, the resultant ischemic damage left her with a permanent spinal cord injury and the news was broken to her that she would never walk again.
It has not been an easy journey for Liz, but her determination and spirit has won the day. She is now a world-ranked Para-cyclist, a World Ironman Champion, is well known across the globe for her Paratriathlon success and is currently training at Meridian for the Life-Time Tri ParaTri Series Championship, which takes place in New York this summer.
With the trained lifestyle consultants at Meridian Leisure Centre putting Liz through her paces with specially-designed programmes, the honed athlete is keen to stress that not everyone has to take sport to the level she has – but that everyone really should do something.
Commenting on the latest national figures that prove a link between certain cancers and obesity, Liz said: “I used to be more than a stone heavier than I am now and yes, I have a reason for doing the work I do here at the gym. However, keeping fit and healthy is something that everyone should think about.
“When you look around, you see how many people are not aware of how much weight they are putting on, perhaps gradually over the years. Obesity seems to be becoming more and more accepted as a cultural norm, but we now know that it is not good from a health perspective,” she added.
As Liz continues her training, she is also appealing for sponsors, especially to help with transport, and anyone who can help is asked to contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org