AFTER months of gruelling exercise and rigorous dieting, reporter Liz Mackley was finally ready to hurl herself from a plane, 10,000ft in the air, raising £440 in the process for the 160 Appeal.

The skydive in aid of Prospect Hospice on Sunday was the culmination of 12 weeks of intense physical training in a bid to lose three stone and meet Redland Airfield’s weight restriction.

The phrase ‘no pain no gain’ was never brought closer to home for Liz as when she found herself at last stood at the plane door and let go.

“It is definitely up there with some of the most amazing life experiences I’ve ever had,” said the 24-year-old.

“I am not entirely sure when excitement became fear, but what I do know is that the whole experience coursed so much adrenaline through my veins I spent the rest of the day on a perpetual cloud nine.

“Tumbling out of the window of a small plane also tends to give you a little bit of perspective on things, like how you really need to make the most of every single moment in your life.

“I mean, you are very much aware that you are on the wrong side of the aeroplane.

“You watch it falling away from you and then you can see the ground rushing up towards you, and you really focus on every single detail around you, from the brickwork on a particular farm house some horrible distance below you to the texture of the clouds over your shoulder.

“The best of it is that there was not a pigsty in sight.”

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Having to lose three stones was certainly not part of Liz’s plan when she first signed up for the skydive. But at 99kg, she was kindly yet firmly reminded by organisers that she was too heavy for the jump.

The challenge in aid of Prospect was all the motivation she needed to become fit and healthy.

“Losing all the weight was definitely worth it,” she said. “For one thing, I would probably have fallen a lot faster and had less of a chance to enjoy it.

“Really though I feel a little cheeky. The skydive is like a reward for me for what I’ve done, and really it’s all been down to my trainer Ronny Terry. Without his support I’d never have lost all the weight, and it does seem a bit rotten that I get the treat just for staying off the pies for a while and doing what I’m told.”

The skydive was a proud moment for trainer Ronny.

“I created the diet and fitness frameworks but Liz had to put in the hard work,” he said.

“Three stone in three months is a real challenge, which is what attracted me to get involved.”

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