When Merril talked about his dream of playing in the NFL all he heard was, that will be too hard, you can't beat those odds, it's impossible, and son don't put all your eggs in one basket! That inspired him to write Find a Way and put it on the top of the wall above all his goals. Find a Way would become a life-long philosophy that helped him achieve his dream of playing in the NFL, but also has helped him deal with the near loss of his hand as a young boy, the loss of his mother at a young age, overcome severe head trauma and battle and beat cancer. It has also become a parenting tool and helped him realize the magic that exists in all of us!
Find a Way: Three Words that Changed My Life allows the reader to observe Merril Hoge as he applied skill, intellect, will, and faith to his successes and challenges in life.
I am very pleased that I received this book as part of a GoodReads giveaway. I am not a football fan but was familiar with the names of many of the well-known players such as Mean Joe Green, Walter Peyton, and Terry Bradshaw. Don't let the fact that much of the book relates to his experiences in the NFL deter you from reading the book. Find a way is about Hoge's relationships growing up, about his career in the NFL and early retirement, as well as about his fight against cancer. It is also about how all of his experiences have prepared him for the important job of becoming a dad.
Find a Way is about dreams and victories. Moreover, it teaches how challenges and disappointments can offer lessons that lead us to discover what we value most in life.
One of my favorite passages in the book was "Growing up it seemed the things that should have mattered got lost in the grind. And those that didn't really matter , mattered more than they should." Though this applied to Hoge's childhood, it is a lesson that many adults could learn to value.
Hoge highly respected Pittsburgh Steeler's coach Chuck Noll. The coach's ". . . highest ideal of success was not victory but maximum effort." Hoge demonstrated that maximum degree of effort in every challenge he faced.
Merril Hoge discovered the power of the positive affirmation to "Find a Way" at an early age. Those words lead him to many successes and also helped him discover the healing affects of positive words.
I admire Merill Hoge. I plan to share this book with my husband and then encourage my junior high school students to read it. Many of the boys aspire to a career in football. I would never discourage them but would hope to encourage them with the lessons Hoge shares in his biography. Hoge believes lessons are imparted by teaching rather than by telling. Hoge doesn't preach but does share the lessons he has learned through experience. His book is a very worthwhile read.
On the whole, I enjoyed this book. Not life-changing, but it was an easy read. It was a little heavy on the schmaltz at times, but I suppose someone who survived cancer has earned the right to be a little schmaltzy. I know he intends the message to be more on the inspirational side, but that didn't really do it for me. What I really enjoyed were his stories of his days with the Steelers and about Chuck Noll. I felt like it gave me a new insight into life in the NFL, playing for the Steelers, and even more respect for Noll. Those were the parts that had me really engaged and wanting to read more.
And the man knows his football. That's for damn sure.
Wow! This book is really an inspiration. From small town, to tragic accident, to college, to the NFL and finally cancer, Merril keeps a positive attitude. This should be a must read for all parents. His rule of always taking time out to play with his kids is something we should all strive to do. This is not an "expose" or "tell all" book. If you're looking for juicy gossip and scandal, go elsewhere. If you want a book that in these hard times makes you feel good, this is it. This book is a MUST READ.
I'm gonna give this book the rare 5 stars. It was EXTREMELY motivating. Also, it had great family and moral values in it. Including overcoming abuse and being a better parent than he ever had and the football stories are great, with deep lessons and reminders interspersed. How many guys go to the NFL from Idaho State, seriously, this guy has something to share. Oh yeah, did I mention beating cancer, lets throw that in to boot.
This was really a nice little read. I remember Merril when he played pro football and was a fan, but I am even more of a fan now that I know what his life had been like and the kind of person that he is now. While it is an uplifting account of someone fighting cancer, it would probably be more enjoyable if you were a fan of the NFL. Very nice read though.
Awesome!!! Even if you aren't a football fan...or a Steelers fan...you DO have someone in you life that has been touched by cancer. I did enjoy the Steelers memories though that flooded as I read...but the true story is the journey that Hoge travels. I thank him for sharing his story. Bravo.