A Slice Of Cake

Dani Penney

This is Liz. She is a retired Yoga instructor from Roundhay. She has many hobbies including: crochet; hiking; reading and socialising over coffee and cake. She first joined Leeds Girls Can (LGC) in March 2016 at my beginner running/walking group in Middleton. Since then, she’s taken part in some of my other sessions in Leeds and we have formed a very good friendship.


Whilst having a pit stop along our bike ride in Roundhay (one of my monthly rides), it was over a coffee and whopping piece of flapjack Liz began to reveal her background to me. I knew she was a determined and ambitious lady as she had previously told me she was learning to swim and about to climb the three peaks with her husband. It was the first time she’d ever gone on a bike ride with a group, in fact, she’d only just learned to ride her bike a couple of months beforehand! There were some nettle stings along the way but Liz never let it dampen her spirits, she persisted to get back on her crocheted bike seat and carry on building her confidence.


Just last year Liz was inflicted in a tragic accident, as she crossed the road she was hit by a car. The accident left her with severe injuries including a broken hip. She was unable to walk for several months and was told she will need a hip replacement in later life. Having met such a warm, bubbly and lovable person I couldn’t believe how her life had changed so dramatically yet she wouldn’t let it stop her from being active. Liz had to retire from her career as a Yoga Instructor, which she had a great passion for.


She said to me:


I wouldn’t say it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me, but it’s opened my eyes to trying new things and making the most of life whilst I can


I felt amazed that not only had she dealt with the trauma physically and emotionally, she came out of it with a different outlook on life. She was having a go and learning the things she had always wanted to do, without letting her injuries get in the way!


Liz’s doctor advised her not to run in fear of making her injuries worse, instead she is happy to walk during the LGC beginner running session. She is so friendly and welcoming with newcomers and has helped to lead the group. She will be undergoing the walk leaders training to take on the group as a qualified leader. On top of this, Liz is constantly helping to promote our LGC sessions through sharing our posts on social media and telling the people she meets about what we have to offer.


I have asked Liz to be one of the first women to join our new LGC Ambassador programme. She is a fantastic role model for people who don’t believe they can try something new. LGC sessions have helped Liz’s technique when hiking and building her confidence with other activities.


At the end of our cycle ride she thanked me and said:


I never thought I could do this and it’s down to you that I have


It seems LGC has inspired her to try new things but really it’s Liz who’s the true inspiration.


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