For Joshua Rucker, exercise means independence


Joshua Rucker survived a near-fatal accident and rediscovered himself — living and breathing and making the most of life with exercise.

Joshua Rucker originally shared his story with Yoocan, a global collaborative community where people with disabilities share experiences and knowledge — so that no one feels alone. Yoocan and Why We Play are a natural match and overlap in the most important thing for our community INSPIRATION. FanSided is excited to partner with Yoocan and share some of their stories on our website — exciting and fantastic sports stories from people with disabilities. Come check out more of our joint material, and keep following for collaborations!

My name is Joshua Rucker. I was born and raised in Warren, Michigan. Growing up, I always had an athlete’s mentality. From an early age, I had a passion for lifting weights and for fitness and wellbeing in general. That came from my father. He got me pumped up for sports, especially football, and encouraged me to train physically to achieve my goals. I loved football but began to realize I loved the preparation for sports more.

When I was 18, my world changed in ways I could have never imagined. On September 17, 2002, I was headed to work and tragedy struck. My work vehicle’s axle had DETACHED; causing my work vehicle to flip 15 times. I never made it to work that day. Instead, I was pronounced dead on the scene! But by the grace of God, I survived. I was in a coma for a month.

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. My life was forever changed. For a while I let it get the best of me. I went through a dark period of time.

And then one day I had enough. I remembered who I was! And I knew who I wanted to be! And now, here I am, living and breathing and making the most of life with exercise. Working out is more than just a great physique to me, it is my life. It helps me to be strong and live an independent life being paralyzed from the belly button down.

Many people look at exercise/working out as a chore. I look at it as my independence in life. I am a personal trainer, I want to help people with exercise and nutrition, showing the benefits from it and how it can help them in their life in so many ways.

More. Why We Play. light

Why We Play features stories about the power of sports to bring us together, overcome obstacles, make positive change and reach everyone. Read more here.