Kevin Sorbo: One Man’s Journey from the Brink of Death Back to Life!
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)