My name is Joshua Rucker. I was born and raised in Warren, Michigan.
Growing up, I always had an athlete’s mentality. I loved to lift weights, work on my fitness and look good. When I was 18, my world changed in ways I could never have imagined. On September 17, 2002, I headed to work and began my normal routine as a technician for a heating and cooling company. I had a job out in Lansing, Michigan, that day. On the way to the job site, the rear axle in the commercial vehicle that I was driving snapped causing the vehicle to flip 14 times. Needless to say, I never made it to Lansing. Technically, I was pronounced dead on the scene, but by the grace of God I was alive. I was in a coma for a month. I had no idea what was going on, where I was and what had happened to me. At 18 years old, I was told I’d never walk again. I don’t need to describe how that made me feel … I’m sure you can imagine. But here I am, living and breathing and making the most of life!
After I accepted and embraced this change in my life, I decided it was time to move forward. I started playing wheelchair basketball and loved it. I always want more so I went to college so I could play at a higher level. I played for OSU (Oklahoma State University) then UTA (The University of Texas at Arlington).
Last year, I ran across a man named “Hannibal For King” and a group called “Barstarzz,” a calisthenic workout group. Instantly, I was a fan. I tried out for the workout team and, thankfully, was accepted as a member. I loved how calisthenics challenged me and conquered everything I set out to do!
Then I saw wheelchair bodybuilding on YouTube! I was pumped! I have followed bodybuilding my whole life, and I knew I could actually do this … in a wheelchair! So I started training that day to become a wheelchair bodybuilder.
I was injured in an automobile accident while working. The rear axle on the commercial vehicle I was driving broke, causing the van to flip 14 times. I was pronounced dead on the scene, but by the grace of God, I was not. I was sent to the hospital via helicopter, and a month later, came out of the coma I was in.
I was always an athlete growing up so that's where all my drive came from. It took a while, but now I love to challenge and test the limits of my body.
I have always wanted to be a bodybuilder growing up! I followed Ronnie Colman and Jay Cutler as my role models, always wanting to be in their shoes.
I saw Colt Wynn one day on the Internet while searching on YouTube . "a wheelchair bodybuilder," I said to myself! :)
Seeing what I love to do and the things that challenge me:)
Never Say Never; It is What It is; and Go for Your Dreams!
Thank you :) Life is what u Make of IT!
• Amateur Contest History
2013 NPC USA Wheelchair Championship : 1st Place
2013 NPC Wheelchair Nationals : 2nd Place