Customer Review

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming and Real A Good Read, October 19, 2011
This review is from: True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal--and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life (Hardcover)
I have always found it fascinating how each person dealing with a crisis in their lives deals with what is handed to them. As a rehabilitation professional for over 30 years I have worked with many individuals who were dealt difficult hands in the life of poker. Some folded, while others bluffed and hoped for the best and still others put on their game face, weighed the odds and decided to play out their hand with everything they had. I have also found that while 3 people can all have the exact same illness/condition, all three will cope with it differently, have varying degrees of ability due to it and will ultimately recover form it differently. Kevin gave us a look at the horrible hand he was dealt and how that hand effected him, his career, his love life, his future and how he ultimately won the pot in that game.

I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like to be a 38 year old man, doing all the right things as far as health goes, (eating right, exercising, not smoking, limited to no drinking, etc), no previous health issues, no hereditary issues, at the top of his career and finally finding the love he had pretty much given up on to be hit suddenly with several strokes and an aneurysm. These are things that happen to unhealthy people, older people, people with high blood pressure, but they don't happen to healthy, young men. The psychological issues that came along with the physical issues certainly played a huge role in Kevin's illness, as is seen in the book and with good reason. The fear alone in wondering why, could it happen again, what caused it and can it kill me would be enough to sideline a large number of people. While Kevin had those fears, he found ways to keep moving through it, to keep playing the hand, even when it was overwhelming, beyond frustrating and excruciatingly difficult to face, he kept playing the hand.

However, Kevin didn't play this hand alone and he makes it very clear in the book how much he depended on Sam, how much her strength and pragmatic manner helped him get passed each hurdle. He was very lucky to have her with him during this time, because without someone there to support, push, hold, cry with, talk too and love these life crisis can be almost impossible to manage.

There are many people out there who have faced some very serious, unknown, health issue that has sidelined them as well. Kevin's book gives a look into what he and I am sure others in similar situations, must endure during the time they are trying to find answers in order to recover. I found the book enlightening as there was no way I would have ever imagined Kevin had been going through all of that for the length of time he did. I was amazed at the raw feelings Kevin put into the book, showing us his weaknesses, his fears, as well as his overall frustration, anger, physical and emotional pain. I also found it touching to see how much he allowed Sam to be a part of his recovery. It is not unusual with men for them to push their partner away, fearing their illness implies they are no longer a `man'. Denial usually is much stronger in men, especially men who have `had it all' throughout their lives. Kevin was popular in school, has always been attractive, worked hard and achieved success and I'm sure was never really lacking for companionship if he wanted it. Suddenly he isn't that guy, this illness has striped him of all he was and his insecurities surface and instead of retreating, instead of wallowing, (at least not for long) he steps up and looks to Sam for support. That willingness to let her be a part of this, to show her who he really is deep inside and his upbringing to never give up, never give in and work hard is what pulled him through.

The book was real, not whiney, it explored all the various emotions anyone going through this sort of thing is bound to experience, it completely exposed Kevin, it was encouraging and shows us what love, hope, strength and determination can do when you work them and work them with a good support network. I have no doubt this book was extremely difficult emotionally to write, but I have no doubt it was also very good therapy. Thanks for sharing your story Kevin!
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Initial post: Aug 8, 2013 10:43:09 AM PDT
Rose M. says:
This review is excellent! Thank you! I have been a Kevin Sorbo fan since the first Hercules movie aired on TV. Yes, I watched the series faithfully and knew that Kevin had suffered an aneurysm. I didn't know that he had also suffered several strokes, of course. I have read his inspiring book and told myself as I read it, "What I've been through is nothing compared to Kevin's ordeal". I was nearly killed in a car crash last year because a guy ran a red light and hit me at 50 mph. As a result, I sustained several serious injuries including heart damage. I will never be back to 100% but I am thankful that I am still here and have not had the difficult recovery that Kevin has had. God bless Kevin and his family.
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