The steep climb to self-confidence: Debbie's story

From helping children suffering from anxiety to forging her own path to self-confidence, Debbie's approach to an active life - and her disability - has made all the difference.

Midlife crisis gone right
Pushing beyond her limits

From an early age, Debbie was told she couldn’t be as active as a normal person. Much later in life, when she started attending gym classes, she discovered how her personal trainers would treat her differently than able-bodied attendees. As a result, they just didn’t manage to challenge her physically.

All of that changed when she tried out Scott Brown Fitness in Ayrshire.

“Scott is ex-military, so he really understands how to push people. If I tell Scott I can’t do 5 reps, he tells me to do 10.”

Yet, her first massive physical challenge, and brutal introduction to Scottish mountain climbing, didn’t come from Scott.

“Last year I saw Ben Lovell from AmpCamp climbing all these mountains. They were coming to Scotland, and I thought, you know what, I’m going to jump on with these guys. Just to see what I can do. I didn’t know they were going to climb the tallest mountain in the UK.”

“I had never climbed a mountain in my life and it took me 14 hours to do it. I was so happy I cried for 3 days.”

Debbie has since then summited 9 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 ft.).

Finding pride in her disability
Discovering running blades

Debbie discovered Levitate through AmpCamp – a social fitness retreat for amputees founded by Ben Lovell. She had no experience with running blades prior to AmpCamp, but she had the chance to try one out when attending the camp. She ended up wearing her blade for 3 consecutive days.

“The day that I left I thought, you know what, I have to get this leg.”

Prior to her attending AmpCamp, Scott Brown had asked Debbie if she was interested in getting a running blade funded through a local fundraiser – hosted by Scott himself.

“Scott had already done a fundraiser for a fellow veteran, whose son is a bilateral amputee, and he asked me if I also fancied a running blade. At the time I wasn’t really sure, but when I returned from AmpCamp, Scott asked me if I liked it. He then secured the funding within 5 days.”

Debbie’s journey doesn’t stop at the Munro summits. She’s already running her first 5K at the end of June.

“I always admire people I see running when I’m out driving, so I’ve always wanted to run. I might not be running the whole 5K, but who’s to say I’m not going to do it in the future? I’ve just gotten started so I think I have done pretty not too bad already.”