The tragedy that almost was turns into a triumph as Kevin Sorbo recounts his brush with death. **** 4 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Gosh!TV) 2011/11/10 “I wanted people out there who are struggling with illness like I did to know there is hope, that they can find strength inside themselves and not be slaves to prognostications by others,” says author of True Strength Kevin Sorbo. “The docs told me three to eight months of recovery – that’s it. After that, it was what it was. Well, after 8 months, I was still down for the count, lying on the couch, head buzzing and pounding, feeling dizzy and nauseated 22 hours a day. That was no way to live a life. So i said, “well, they must be wrong,” and my wife was right there telling me that, too, thank goodness.”
Andromeda and Hercules, that’s what most people know Kevin Sorbo for. Like most of us when things are going great we don’t think about any possible health problems that might happen. A sudden health crisis affected his life dramatically. He was partially blind and incapacitated at just thirty-eight years old. Yet he was able to keep working because he managed to hide what was really going on. This is Sorbo’s memoir. He shares how he dealt with his physical health issues and came out the other side a stronger man than Hercules was.
This transformation for Sorbo was filled with many obstacles, but he had the love of Sam Jenkins who Sorbo married while recovering from the aneurysm and strokes that had threatened his life. Sorbo recounts the fears and anger that most will be able to relate to. Sorbo wrote this himself with a few chapters done by Sam and a few friends also contributing. Sorbo’s writing style is engaging and I would love to see a fiction book by him.
The most challenging part of writing True Strength for Kevin was writing about God. “I know people all have their own opinions about whether he exists or whatever, but that voice I heard, and the journey I was on – I talked a lot to god, yelled at him a lot, and finally made my peace with him,” says Sorbo. “Writing that most intimate conversation was the hardest thing to come clean about, after having made the decision to tell my story.”
“Writing it would wake me up,” says Sorbo. “Once I got started, it wanted to be written.”
What was the cause for the aneurysm and blood clots? “The doctors don’t know, but I do,” says Sorbo. “God tapped me on the shoulder, literally, in a very rude way, but he needed to get his point across!”
“I still have to consciously slow down,” says Sorbo. “I want to do everything and I love to work, so I have (still) a tendency to overbook myself.”
“Well, after staring death in the face, it was a long uphill battle,” says Sorbo. “Every little ache and pain (and there were a plethora of them) went straight into my head like another warning shot. I’d say, for my psyche, I was literally about to die every day for about a year. The panic attacks took over several times a day for the first part of that. Eventually I both learned to control my response to them, and they also lessened as my brain ‘re-calibrated.’”
“I’ve joined forces with the American Stroke association to help them out where I can,” says Sorbo.
Sorbo has a charity called a World Fit for Kids, that once a year has a charity Golf Tournament. “We teach mentoring to teens to help the younger children in their communities, and we work with 12,000 kids in LAUSD, with a 98% graduation rate for our kids in a 52% drop out area,” says Sorbo. “Kids today start dropping out of school as young as 5th grade! Talk about giving up…” Find out more at www.worldfitforkids.org
Sorbo was born in Minneapolis and raised in Mound, Minn. He currently lives in the Los Angeles, Calif., area. Sorbo has been busy with six movies in the can. “ I just wrapped a faith based movie for Sony called Abel’s Field,” says Sorbo. “Two more movies to be shot in the next three months.”
Sorbo is on a book tour across the country. You can keep up with him via Twitter at @Ksorbs at Facebook: Kevin Sorbo official or Kevinsorbo.net for all info on movie releases and everything else.
True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal–and How Nearly Dying Saved My Life Hardcover, 296 pages, Publisher, Da Capo Press (October 11, 2011), Language: English, ISBN: 9780306820366 $ 26.00