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On Feb. 14, Ryan Belcher heard a loud crash outside of his office at BELFO Property Restoration in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, prompting him to run outside. What he saw was horrific—a Jeep Cherokee flipped on its side, and four men attempting to lift it.
“I heard a women, covered in blood, screaming, ‘Get the kids away,’” Belcher told M&F. That’s when he knew the crash was bad. As he got closer to the vehicle, he saw a man hanging out of a broken window, pinned up against a speed limit sign. The four men weren’t able to move the Jeep—luckily Belcher isn’t like most men.
With only three powerlifting meets under his belt, Belcher has made waves in the Super Heavyweight class (308-plus pounds). He won his first meet—the Michigan State Meet—on March 10, 2018 with a 2,006-pound total. Then, just five months later, Belcher won the Lexen Dog Days meet by totaling 2,230 pounds. His most important lift, though, happened on the day of the crash.
Belcher, who has posted a 905- and 800-pound deadlift in competition, dug his forearms deep under the window and drove his weight up. Then, by himself, pushed the Jeep forward a few feet before heard bystanders telling him to stop. “I didn’t even feel the weight,” Belcher recalls. It was enough to free the trapped man, who was eventually rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, according to Belcher, the man is now paralyzed from the waist down.
He adds, “I got emotional when he told me that I saved his life. I said, ‘I know man, I’m just glad that you’re alive. When I walked into the hallway, there were like eight nurses, and they told me that if I hadn’t been able to move the vehicle he would’ve died smashed against that pole. It immediately brought tears to my eyes.”
Belcher, who is competing at the Xtreme Powerlifting Coalition World’s at the Arnold Classic on Feb. 28-March 2, doesn’t love all of the media attention he’s been getting, saying that its been distracting him from his meet prep. “I don’t care about being portrayed as a hero,” Belcher says. “All I care about is that I got that man out of there.”