I was born with Cerebral Palsy but never let my disability prevent me from participating in outdoor pursuits, achieving my goals and fulfilling my potential. And now through writing, motivational speaking and mentoring I share my experience that thoughts that can’t help but motivate and inspire others.
My passion for the outdoors began at a young age where I started canoeing, camping, and hillwalking with the local Scouts and with family. Whilst at university I climbed over 30 Munros, paddled race canoes and was a junior leader at Scout camp.
I was labeled as a slow learner at school and was, at one time, put into a class for children with learning disability. I left school at 16 and, after receiving the right remedial teaching, I got enough ‘A’ levels to earn a place at university. I attained a BSc honours degree in Biotechnology a the University of Abertay then, in 1996, graduated from the University of Manchester Department of Medicine with an MSc in Cell & Molecular Biology.
Over the last decade I learned to ski and has made many trips to the French Alps although my passion, without doubt, has become road cycling. Through sheer grit and determination I have achieved, among other things, a trial for the British Paralympic team, taken part in para-cycling races and is a regular participant in Edinburgh Road Club who have been tremendously supportive and made me very welcome.
Below are an example of what I have achieved!
I have been cycling all my life but took up cycling as a sport over 10 years ago. I began cycling with a local cycle touring club called CTC who were very supportive and encouraging towards me.After cycling CTC for a couple of years, I was as determined as ever to take my cycling to another level. I joined Edinburgh Road Club or ERC. Again I found some very supportive and friendly people who really encouraged me to work at my cycling.I continue to enjoy my cycling and have ambitions to do some charity runs and sportives. I want to uses my experience of cycling to inspire others to push themselves further and achieve more than they imagined for themselves.
I have always enjoyed the mountains after having spent a lot of his childhood in nature with family or with the Scouts. Whilst living in Dundee I joined the university Hill-walking Society where he made great friends with like minded people and he climbed around 30 Munros in Scotland. Walking at a slower pace could be a challenge, particularly over the winter months, but through determination and long days, I managed to scale many peaks.
At the age of around 30, a friend of mine was planning a day trip to Glenshee on his own and asked me to go with him to which I said ‘no’. After a bit of persuading I eventually agreed to go on a day trip to the ski slopes with him and that was the start of my passion for skiing. I spent the day falling over and rolling around in the snow, but had so much fun if left me hungry for more. It took me a very long time to get my balance on skis but I was absolutely determined to get there. I have been lucky enough by now to have made several trips to the French Alps and have made some wonderful friends out there. Skiing remains my passion and something I hope I can do for a very long time to come.