Woman with rare brain condition becomes 'Scotland's Strongest Woman'

Dundee mum-of-four Izzy Tait has battled injuries, seizures and depression to become a champion weightlifter.

A Dundee mum says it feels “amazing” and “surreal” to have been crowned Scotland’s Strongest Woman.

Mum-of-four Izzy Tait started weightlifting in 2019 to build back strength after a rare brain condition left her temporarily paralysed along the right side of her body.

She developed brain separation syndrome and epilepsy following an injury on a night out in 2015 – which has left her with recurring symptoms over the years.

Four years later, she has won Ultimate Scotland’s Strong Woman competition.

The 41-year-old told STV News: “It was unbelievable, I had worked so hard for it.

“I had had a bad year there last year and had ended up having seizures, so it was really important to me to go out this year and show them what I could do.

“So it was good to be able to go out and show them the real me and what I am actually capable of.

“I’ve had a really good prep going into that comp I was quite confident in myself and the work I had put in.

“I felt quite confident the events suited me quite well so I was quite confident I was going to do really well.”

Izzy trains around four to five times a week and can deadlift 252kg as well as lift 140kg stones.

As part of the challenges she had to complete, Izzy managed to lift a 70kg weight 18 times in 75 seconds.

The second-placed competitor completed it 11 times.

It hasn’t been an easy journey to get to this point – after her injury, Izzy battled depression and has had to balance her medical conditions with training.

But she said finding her passion for weightlifting helped her recover and gave her a new lease of life.

“Obviously, having stronger muscles and bones and things like that helps everything,” she said.

“It helps your mind more than anything, so with a strong mind you can kind of overcome things better.

“Having strong people behind you and a great community, it all works so well.”

While Izzy now enjoys her newly earned title of Scotland’s Strongest Woman, there is no time for rest.

She has more competitions planned in the next few months and has a world record attempt to prepare for.

She plans to head to Europe and America with her friends from the community for the World’s Strongest Woman competition this year.

Izzy said: “I met some of my closest friends through Strong Woman.

“You’re competing with them, but you’re out there shouting at them to do just as well as you.

“They are so supportive. Someone always has your back.”

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