Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Dundee mum overcomes paralysis, seizures and online abuse for global strongwoman contests

Dundee strongwoman Izzy Tait.
Dundee strongwoman Izzy Tait.

A Dundee mum is gearing up to compete in a series of global strongest woman competitions – despite suffering from a serious brain condition.

Izzy Tait, 41, says her passion for the sport has helped her escape the “dark place” she was in after her diagnosis.

The mum-of-four, who only discovered the world of strongwoman training in 2019, suffers from brain separation syndrome and epilepsy as a result of the injury she sustained on a night out in 2015.

Paralysed on right side

But despite experiencing bouts of temporary paralysis, as well as frequent blackouts and seizures, she has managed to forge a successful career as a strongwoman competitor.

Izzy, who holds Scotland’s deadlift and atlas stone record, was left paralysed on her right side following the incident.

She says her recovery has been accelerated by strength training, which has given her a new lease of life and helped her to manage her symptoms.

Dundee mum Izzy Tait discovered strongwoman training in 2019 after suffering a serious brain injury.

She said: “I was in a really dark place before. I had depression and anxiety and I was under a psychologist and things like that – I couldn’t leave the house.

“The strongwoman training has helped me overcome all that and now I’m so much more confident and so much happier.

“It’s made me physically and mentally stronger.

“You have to have quite a good mental strength to do it. The training for it is quite vigorous. The events are really quite gruelling.

“Obviously managing that along with my condition can be quite difficult at times as well, but I just do what I can and plod on.”

In January, Izzy suffered a “really bad” relapse of her brain condition, which left her unable to walk for three weeks.

But she didn’t let it stop her from pursuing her goals – and just days after getting back on her feet she was hitting the gym.

Izzy has come a long way since her first charity competition three years ago.

Currently, she is preparing to take part in a stone lifting competition in Norway in July and to compete for the second time in Britain’s Strongest Woman in August.

Dundee strongwoman Izzy Tait can lift 140kg of stones.

She is also hoping to qualify for World’s Strongest Woman for the first time, when it takes place in Ohio in November.

Izzy trains about four times a week for three hours at a time and can deadlift 252kg as well as lift 140kg stones.

She says female competitors still face many “barriers” in the sport.

She said: “There’s still such a long way to go.

‘I get called a man’

“Obviously World’s Strongest Man is on TV every December. It’s a huge thing. But you’ll never ever get to see the women’s side of it.

“The guys get paid so much for it, whereas we don’t get anything really. We get a little trophy and that’s about it.”

But she says things are “moving in the right direction”, with the UK’s Strongest Women competition “starting to get the recognition that it deserves”.

The contest was televised for the first time this year.

Dundee strongwoman Izzy Tait says her kids are her biggest supporters.

Izzy has also had to contend with abusive comments from people on social media.

She said: “I get called a man.

“People ask me, ‘Why would you want to do that? Why would you put your body through that? Why do you want to have muscles like that? That’s a men’s sport, you shouldn’t be doing it’.

“I’m like, ‘Well, because I can’.”

Kids are ‘biggest motivation’

But she says the comments just make her more determined to make her kids proud.

Izzy is mum to Conor, 23, Keiran, 21, Kyla, 14, and Sophie, nine.

She said: “My kids are hugely supportive – they all love what I do.

“I thought the boys would maybe have a bit of an issue with it. But they absolutely love it. They come to my comps – they’re my absolute top supporters.

“They’re my biggest motivation.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password?

[[title]]