Joshua Foster was born in Birmingham, Alabama and grew up spending his days like most boys his own age. He lived in a small town called Fultondale, which is close to Birmingham. The only real adversity he faced was having asthma, but that didn’t stand in his way of playing sports like football and baseball all the way through high school.
After high school, Joshua spent time working various jobs in hopes of finding something that he would enjoy doing long term. He spent a large amount of time working for a small company installing window treatments throughout the southern part of the United States. When Joshua was not working, he enjoyed spending his time working out in the gym. He had gained a deep appreciation for working out by watching his older brother and his friends workout in their basement at home. When he wasn’t working out, he enjoyed being active outdoors. He spent time outside staying busy playing golf and spending time at the lake. He was always trying to find ways to be happy. All of that changed completely on March 30, 2013.
March 30, 2013 started out like any normal day with Joshua hanging out and watching a movie with his friends. He was enjoying spending time with his friends. The last thing he can actually remember from the day is getting into his car and buckling his seat belt. The next memory he has is waking up in a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama. He woke up disoriented and scared. He had no feeling in his body and tried desperately to move. He called for help, which was answered by a nurse named Hannah. She worked to calm down Joshua. She explained that he suffered a spinal cord injury and his spinal cord was completely severed. In addition to the devastating spinal injury, Joshua Foster also suffered from broken ribs and scapula. These injuries caused him a lot of pain.
Shortly after speaking to Hannah, Joshua was able to see his family. He was incredibly scared about his situation. The best way he could think to handle the situation was to default to humor while talking to his family. He made jokes with his mother about being able to park close to stores for the sales. He also joked that he and his brother could get good seats to any games they wanted to go to. After being able to spend some time with his family that Monday morning, Joshua had surgery. The purpose of this surgery was to kick start his recovery.
He spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit before he was able to be moved to Patient Therapy. He had staples up his back from the surgery and he spent most of his time battling the pain from surgery and his broken bones. He began his physical therapy with light weightlifting with dumbbells and a dip machine. Joshua approached each of his sessions just as he always did with all his workouts. As a result, he made great strides towards improvement. After a month, he was able to transition from Patient Therapy and go home. Even though he was able to go home, he still had a lot of rehabilitation ahead of him.
He was driven to spend his time working on wheelchair bodybuilding to become stronger and more independent in performing various things around the house. Joshua spent months improving his health and healing his body. He worked hard with the goal of participating in wheelchair bodybuilding on a professional level. He taught himself how to perform bodybuilding in this new manner. Joshua constantly reminded himself that he always had things to hope for and encouraged himself to never stop reaching his goals.
Joshua’s dedication has produced amazing results. Eventually, Furst Place Nutrition began sponsoring him. He was afforded that unique position because of his great work ethic. He also maintained a great attitude towards what he was doing and his future in his wheelchair. Since going professional with wheelchair bodybuilding, he has added some great accomplishments to his record. In 2015, he received both the Pinebelt Classic overall and the Vulcan Classic overall. In 2016, he was the Wheelchair Nationals middleweight / overall winner and the International Federation of BodyBuilding and Fitness (IFBB) pro card recipient.
Looking back on his experiences, both good and bad, Joshua has some tips and advice for everyone. He appreciates all those who respect what he has managed to accomplish over the past few years. He encourages everyone to be will to try and learn new things. Joshua would like to encourage everyone to remember they can accomplish anything they set their mind to, as long as they dedicate themselves and keep trying.
On March 30, 2013, I was coming home from spending the day with my friends. The last thing I actually remember about that day is getting in the car and buckling my seatbelt. I was told that my car hydroplaned and crashed into a tree. As a result, I broke my T10 vertebra in half and severed my spinal cord in the process. I also broke some ribs and my scapula.
I got started with Wheelchair Bodybuilding (WCBB) as soon as I could after my surgery. I did this because I knew that being healthy and fit would help my recovery. I wanted to get on the path to recovery as soon as I could. Prior to the accident, I loved being in the gym. Being in the gym again gave me a place to be. It just seemed to make sense to me. It helped me to learn to love the man in the chair.
I wanted to become a WCBB because I am competitive by nature. I have always enjoyed being active and competing in sports like football and baseball. This allowed me to work on my health and still remain competitive. It also helped me to be accountable for myself. I have to be my best and healthiest to be on this stage. The competition is high, but so is my drive for me to be on this stage.
I started very simply using basic movements. In the beginning, I used simple, light dumbbells and rubber bands. As I healed and became stronger, I also became more acclimated to being in the wheelchair and transferring to and from the wheelchair. Once I felt secure in transfers, I began getting on machines and benches. I also began strapping my chair to my body so that I could do things such as pull ups and dips.
I am incredibly motivated by the fact that this is my second chance. I have been given this amazing opportunity to be what I always wanted to be. In the past, I may have been afraid to try to chase a crazy dream. Now, I realize I've been given a second lease on life to do all the things I may have been afraid to do in the past. I want to be a force of something good that was born from a terrible accident. I believe in amazing possibilities. I want to live a truly happy life.
I train like most bodybuilders train. I just ignore the common joke about bodybuilders that they often skip leg day. I actually do skip leg day. I encourage others to always go out and learn new things. Be willing to try new things. Do not be afraid to reach out for help from those that can help you. You can accomplish anything that you set your mind to. You just have to dedicate yourself to it. Keep trying even when things happen that may seem to hold you
• Amateur Contest History
2016 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 1st Place