This week I wish to highlight Kevin’s fantastic book, True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal ̶ and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life (Da Capo Press). I am rereading it for the umpteenth time and think it well deserves a revisit.
First is from Rhonda, our wonderful friend and great reviewer from Georgia who beautifully captures Kevin’s touching memoir. Enjoy!
True Strength – An Amazing Story of One Man’s Journey from the Brink of Death Back to Life!
I’ve always loved autobiographies because I like reading about the lives of people: the struggles they endure, the successes they achieve, and the lessons learned along the way.
That being said, Kevin Sorbo’s new book, True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal ̶ and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life (published October, 2011), is one of the best I have read in a long time.
In this wonderful memoir, Kevin chronicles his early life in Minnesota, the beginning of his acting career, and his big break getting the role of Hercules (in “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys”).
“Hercules” became the most watched syndicated show in the world, and Kevin found himself being a household name. Love soon followed as Kevin met the woman who would become the love of his life and the rock he would lean on during his illness, his wife (actress) Sam (Jenkins).
As Kevin reveals in his book the illness struck suddenly, but not without warning, and turned his world upside-down. He went from a healthy, athletic and muscular man to a mere shell of himself in hours. This led to feelings of anger, frustration and deep depression. Thankfully, he had Sam by his side to encourage and support him. Of course, the illness did put a strain on the Sorbos’ marriage in the beginning, but their love proved to be strong enough to get them through.
However, it was Kevin’s own determination and will to fight back that serves as an inspiration to us all.
The main lesson to be learned here is that you can’t give up no matter the obstacle in your way. I have no doubt that Kevin’s strong faith in God played a big part in his recovery as well.
One thing that I love about the book is that many of Kevin’s friends and family members lent their perspective to the story as well.
Sam wrote several chapters detailing her feelings about his illness and her devotion to caring for him during such a difficult time. Michael Hurst and Bruce Campbell also wrote chapters about how the producers, cast and crew went out of their way to help Kevin when he returned to the set. As many fans remember, Kevin’s participation in the show was severely limited after he did return.
Kevin himself acknowledges in the book that those first few months back on the set were very difficult and awkward, not to mention emotional. In one chapter, Kevin reflects on the death of his “Hercules” costar, Kevin Smith, in light of his illness and the fact that he could have very well met the same fate.
However, miracles do happen, and Kevin tells us about the three most beautiful miracles in his life – his children: Braeden, Shane and Octavia, and how they have brought a peace to his life that he could have never envisioned 14 years earlier.
Back in 2008 when the OIKSFC (Official International Kevin Sorbo Fan Club) was still in existence, I submitted a question to Kevin about the book for the club newsletter. My question and his response were printed in Issue 23 of “The Sorbo Scrolls,” April 2008.
Here they are:
Rhonda: “I am very anxious to read your autobiography – what do you hope people who read it will learn from it?”
Kevin: “Hope people learn that determination and following your own dreams are the keys to a successful life.”*
I truly believe that anyone who reads this book will see that the above statement (from Kevin) is so very true.
From a personal perspective, I was reminded of my own life-threatening illness of five years ago and how I found the strength within me to overcome the situation and have a fulfilling life.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. You will see a side of Kevin you have never seen before.
*Quotes from “Sorbo Scrolls” used with permission – Thanks, Stripe!
Please see the True Strength website: http://www.truestrengthbook.com/
Purchase True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal ̶ and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life : http://www.amazon.com/True-Strength-Kevin-Sorbo/dp/0306820366
(Kevin and Sam wedding photo by Joe Buissink; family photo by Sam Sorbo)
Kevin Sorbo’s True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life is really making waves. It’s a fantastic book that recounts the three strokes and an aneurysm that nearly killed him during the fifth season of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, the number one syndicated television show that brought him fame and fortune, and his journey to recovery. In it he outlines how his frustration with traditional medicine led him to try homeopathy, yoga, and ancient Eastern medicinal practices, among other things, in his quest to be “normal” again.
I highly recommend this book whether you are a Kevin fan, someone who has experienced physical and emotional disabilities, or just simply love a good story. It’s a memoir written from several points of view, including his lovely wife, Sam, and close friends Michael Hurst, Bruce Campbell, and Eric Gruendemann, as well as a love story.
Sorbo traces his life and career history pre-Hercules. He finishes with his life today as a doting father of three young children, devoted husband, and busy working actor/director/producer, a life that on that fateful day in 1997 he thought he would never see.
Sorbo’s compelling writing style draws readers into his plight. He enables them to feel his pain of going from an extremely fit, determined 38-year-old Adonis with the world at his feet to an enfeebled, dependent, and suddenly unconfident, uncharacteristically paranoid individual.
This book deserves the world’s attention as a Number One Best Seller. How can we as Sorbo’s fans help?
I recently asked Sorbo that question for another publication. Here is his excerpted reply:
SW: So, how can we get the word out about your book?
KS: The only way to get the word out is if we can get all 10 or all 100 or all 200,000 (fans) to just constantly post the book on their own Facebook and Twitter (pages). That certainly would make a difference. It comes down to getting some good publicity out there by word-of-mouth. Whatever we can do to get this thing out to as many people as possible, and have those people email, tweet, and Facebook everybody they know.
Very cool! Check out, follow, and post these new links for the latest in True Strength news:
And don’t forget to tell everyone you know about his True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life!
There you have it, my friends. Happy posting!
(Photo right courtesy of Wyatt Counts/AP; Kevin/Sam photo left courtesy of Neurology Now)
Gina from Wisconsin was lucky enough to attend the Twin Cities Book Festival on October 15. Here’s her great story about her adventure, links to her vid and photos, and a cool surprise for another loyal Kevin fan!
When I learned Kevin was going to be at the Twin Cities Book Fair in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I wanted to go so badly. It’s only an eight hour drive round trip.
As always – when at all possible – my wonderful husband, Chris, finds a way to make my dreams of seeing Kevin Sorbo in person a reality. This would be the third time – Marcon 2007, ShoreLeave 2010, and now the Twin Cities Book Fair 2011.
For both conventions my husband worked tons of overtime to pay for the trips. I still need to write a blog post for each con. (I know… way past late on them… Long story.)
Anyway… My wonderful husband made the trip possible. We left the house at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, October 15, grabbed some breakfast on the way, and put a full tank of gas in our minivan. Chris figured we’d get to Minneapolis from where we live then we’d have to fill up again on the way back about half-way home.
Well… We made it all the way back to the gas station about 15 blocks from our house – 400 miles on one tank of gas in a minivan on a very windy day, plus, there was road construction just as we came in to Minneapolis. We were sure all that would use more gas. Oh, and once we got to the college, it took going around several blocks, trying to find a parking space, until we found a parking garage and got inside. Then we had to find out where Kevin would be speaking, and he would be speaking in 30 minutes.
We found the right floor then a nice lady told us where the room was that Kevin would be speaking in. Once a line started to form, we got in line. The doors opened seven minutes later and we all poured in.
My hubby put my wheelchair right at the end of the center aisle so I could videotape the whole 53 minutes of Kevin talking. The isle for walking was like an upside-down “T,” so, unfortunately, people walked in front of me several times and the lighting was dim as well, but the sound came out great.
After listening to Kevin talk for 53 minutes – he mostly did a Q&A and read the first chapter of his book at the end – everyone filed out of the room and some had already bought a book and formed a line. My husband went and bought the two books we needed. I already had mine from Amazon.com. My mom sent money for one, and we bought Alison (Aliykat) one.
We sat at the table and I watched Kevin interact with people. We wanted to wait to the end of the line. One time we got in line and got pretty close to him then there was a sudden surge of people behind us. We would let as many as we could go before us, some didn’t want to, we’d say I needed him to sign three books and a photo.
Well… I had to go to the bathroom really bad, so we got out of line and went to a nearby bathroom. We got back to that same table and waited again for the line to shrink. This time when we got in line we did get to see Kevin. When I was about five people away, Kevin glanced out of the corner of his eyes, smiled, and waved to me, and I smiled and waved back. It’s nice when he remembers us, isn’t it ladies?
The guy in front of us wanted a photo with Kevin. Kevin stood up and walked around me. I was wheeled up to the side of the table next to him. While he was still sitting and talking to the man, his friend John called and he gave the phone to the nice lady who was assisting him to give his friend directions on how to get to the college. She handed Kevin his phone back and his friend had hung up. He asked, “Did he say he was coming here?” She answered, “I think he is.”
So, Kevin apologized to the guy and me saying, “I don’t want to miss him, so I need to know if he’s coming here or not.” He called his friend back and got an answer, and he stood up and walked around me. He was putting his phone in his (pants) jeans pocket, which drew my attention to his butt… LOL! He had on those snug black jeans we all love. Once the man (in line) left, Kevin turned to look at me, and I asked, “Can I have a hug please?” He bent down, hugged me and asked, “How ‘ya doing?”
I answered, “Better now,” which made him smile. He sat back down and I put my three books out in front of him then said, “One for me, one for my mom and this one’s for Ali. She just sent me a tweet saying, ‘write something naughty.’ I can show you the tweet if you want.”
Kevin laughed and signed Ali’s book, asking me how she wanted it signed, meaning Ali, Alison or Aliykat. I told him to sign it Alison, which he did. He asked me where Ali lives and we told him. He also asked where I live, and when I told him he said he thought he remembered I was from Wisconsin. He signed all three books and a photo for my niece. As he was signing he asked me, “So how are you doing?”
“Not so good,” I sighed.
He stopped writing, looked up at me and asked, “So what can we do about that?”
I told him the things my doctors have said and that losing the weight is key, but I can’t exercise because they don’t want me to move the hip. Like everyone always asks, Kevin also asked, “How are you supposed to lose weight, if you aren’t allowed to exercise?”
“They want me to get a weight reduction surgery,” I replied. “I want the lap band surgery, but my insurance says, ‘no;’ (that) it’s a cosmetic surgery and they won’t pay for it.”
Boy, that set Kevin off on a rant. He had a great deal to say about how wrong that is.
After he signed everything, I asked, “Can I get a picture with you and I’ll stand as usual? You know how I hate this chair.” He smiled and we both stood up. I put my arm around his back and my hubby was getting the camera ready, which ended up the batteries died on him. The sweet lady helping Kevin loaned us her spare batteries to take the photo. While they figured that out, I told Kevin, “I want a hug this time.”
“You want a hug this time,” Kevin laughed.
I laughed and nodded, “Yes… All my other pictures with you are always so rushed. I never got a chance to ask you for a hug.”
Then I hugged him, and he joked, “He’s not even ready yet and you’re already stealing a hug.”
“Of course,” I laughed. “I’ll steal as many hugs as I can, Kevin.” (Which is when I stole three more: to hug him for Miffy, Simone, and Ali.) Kevin just laughed and hugged me back.
Once my hubby was ready, he and Kevin decided where it was best for us all to stand. We got the picture and told Kevin, “Thanks” and “Goodbye,” and we left.
We went and got bottled water, and I tweeted, “Oh those black jeans… Sigh.” I love Kevin in those jeans, as I’m sure we all do. Twitter blew up my phone and I was getting a ton of tweets. I decided to try and accomplish my plan, if Kevin wasn’t too busy.
I went back over to his table. There was one lady there, and his friend John had arrived. Once the lady left, I wheeled back over to the side of the table where I had sat before. The lady that was helping him had asked him if he would sign a few books. When he had a free moment, I asked him, “Would you mind doing me a favor and say ‘Hi’ to Ali on the phone?”
He smiled up at me and said, “Sure, no problem once and done with these,” pointing to the books.
“That’s no problem,” I said. “I have to jump through hoops just to call Canada with my cell phone, so it will take me a few minutes to get through to her anyway.”
Kevin nodded, and I went about trying to call Ali. As I assumed it (would), it took three tries or four tries even. Once I got her on the phone, we each said, “Hello,” and then I told her, ”Hold on a minute I can’t hear you very well.”
I held the phone out and waited for Kevin to have a free moment. When he was ready, he took the phone and said, “Hello.” I’ll let Ali tell her part later on this blog.
See my video of Kevin’s 53-minute talk here: http://nyxxkevinheaven.blogspot.com/2011/10/kevin-sorbo-at-twins-cities-book-fair_22.html
Here are a few photos I was able to take before the camera died: http://nyxxkevinheaven.blogspot.com/2011/10/kevin-sorbo-at-twins-cities-book-fair.html
(Photos by Gina)
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He’s the BEST!!!!
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