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)
Sorry I’m late with this, everyone. Kevin is such a busy guy with an incredibly hectic schedule. Who can keep up? I’m tryin’…
Anyway… here’s another great story from Kevin’s appearance at the 12th Costa del Sol International Science Fiction Film Festival in Estepona, Spain, last September 19-24, 2011. This one’s from Almudena from Spain. Muchos gracias, Almudena!
My first encounter with Kevin was very special because since I found out that Kevin would come to Spain, please, I’ve been so grateful to my friend Teresa for I could fulfill my dream.
So I started planning my trip.
I was so nervous, but days passed and nerves were getting calmer. When the day finally came to be I got up very calm at 7 a.m. and got ready to go to the bus station to go to Madrid and Malaga.
The trip went very quiet, and I got to Malaga. At noon I was looking for my friends Teresa and Sandra. It gave me great joy to see them on our tour in Malaga. We had enough time and took the bus to the hotel.
When we arrived in Estepona it was very good, and especially the views of the sea. I rested a little and then set to meet with two friends, Jenny and Evelyne. And although the language was a challenge I did not mind.
They had been there for two days until the big day arrived. We took a taxi and arrived at the hotel waiting for Kevin to come, and when he did I got so nervous! There were a lot of greeting cameras and photos and pictures…
It was then lunch time, and Kevin was looking so wonderful and beautiful! He alternated between the two tables. Not sure he had enough time to eat something, but he was wonderful and friendly and time was flying by so fast!
After that they showed the film and I liked it a lot, but an unwanted headache began to bother me. I took no notice until later the pain was so hard that I (missed) the Unicorn Award. The headache got worse the next day, but I had to feel good for all the ladies, and I would take photos and could not feel my legs and prayed for not falling down on the floor… LOL!
I wanted a signed photo and autographs… I finally reached (Kevin) and I got my photos, so my experience was wonderful and I met amazing friends!
At last I fulfilled the dream! I met Kevin, Teresa and other friends, and I got many memories. People were amazing and wonderful, and Estepona, too!
Thank you, Pedro, and all friends for this experience, and if Kevin comes again I’m coming to see him again. And although I was sorry to say, “goodbye,” to my friends, in my returning trip home I took so many memories!
Now, we just have to wait for the next (time), and I’m looking forward to meeting all my friends again!
(Images and video courtesy of Teresa)
Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Soul Surfer” for winning the coveted 2011 Crystal Dove Seal Award for “Best Drama!”
Here’s what the Dove Foundation wrote about this excellent, inspirational film:
“Bethany Hamilton is one of the most amazing people we have come across in years; an avid surfer living in Hawaii who had her arm completely removed by a tiger shark when she was only 13-years-old.
“This film, based on the true-life story of Bethany’s experience, is one of few truly uplifting family films released by a major Hollywood studio in recent memory. The level of faith in God that Bethany and her family have is clearly portrayed in the film. Most of the story takes place on the water with incredible surfing scenes. (Real-life Bethany does all of the one-arm surfing in the film.)
“This inspiring film is well-made and features a very convincing A-list cast: Helen Hunt, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Sorbo and Carrie Underwood. AnnaSophia Robb (“Bridge to Terabithia”) is spot-on as Bethany.
“Dove is pleased to award this moving inspirational story our ‘Family-Approved’ Seal for all ages. Caution to parents of young children: there is a very quick scene of a shark attack.”
Way to go, everyone!
Please see more information here: http://tinyurl.com/7xaaucd
(“Soul Surfer” images courtesy of ©TriStar Pictures)