Terry Crews (better known as old spice guy, or the dude from white chicks) recently released a book titled- simply- Manhood. I wanted to give it a read because of how I see him as a person. I have been on my own search for manhood recently, and here is a guy who is huge, macho, and an ex pro football player, yet he plays these silly roles in movies and is always goofing around and having fun.
Traditionally I often think of manhood as stoicism, being calm, collected, unemotional, and the “rational male”, yet Terry Crews is a very masculine individual despite breaking from the norm. I was so intrigued, that I bought his book right after it came out, and I loved it! I was looking for a book that would describe what manhood was, that might tell me how to be a better man, but instead the book was a biography of Terry’s life, with bits of wisdom thrown in. In the sense that the book was not a how to guide to manhood, I was disappointed, but perhaps the best way to be a man is to simply follow the men that you admire.
If you are looking for a how to guide to manhood, or if you are searching for a philosophical journey through the life of a man, then you need to look elsewhere; but, if you want to see an awesome example of what people are capable of, how dedication and hard work can overcome life’s obstacles, and if you want to read the story of a man unafraid to bare all in the public eye and accept the scrutiny that comes with the exposure, then you have to give this book a read.
Without giving away too much of the story, Manhood starts out with Terry’s troubled childhood; raised in flint Michigan-hell in America for anyone who cares to visit- Terry had a single high school coach that changed his life by offering up some words of encouragement when no one else believed in him.
Those words changed Terry’s life, and he will reflect on this moment several times throughout the book (a powerful testament to ability of a few kind words to change a life). As we walk through life with Terry, he grows into a teen, a young adult, and finally a man; he struggles with things like sexuality, ego, humility, setback, poverty, and many other issues that people struggle with everyday.
The book does an excellent service to painting the picture of success: where people work hard for years for something, patiently waiting and believing that the appointed time will come, just to finally realize that what they had imagined was not at all as it truly is.
Terry goes on to get married, have several children (which he couldn’t really afford), and finally after getting cut from his final pro football gig, he hits rock bottom with a house that he couldn’t afford; he is forced to work as a janitor for 8 dollars per hour after all of the previous success that he has experienced, humbling him and forcing him to lie down against the challenges of life.
Yet, throughout all of his struggles, setbacks, and defeats, Terry does his best to remain strong, to wrestle with his internal demons, and simply to keep on living and improving each day. Many of us seeking out manhood like to think that there will be this perfect status that we will achieve- where we will be flawless, but Terry shows us through his own personal story, that perhaps it is not the strength of a man that makes him a man, but how he deals with his failures and shortcomings that truly defines who he will become.
Overall, the book was great, once I started I couldn’t put it down and his story really resonated with me. If you are looking for an excellent story on one man’s life, the trials he endured, and how he managed to survive through the setbacks in his own life to become a superstar of Hollywood, then I highly recommend this book. Anyone looking for what manhood means, looking for inspiration, or simply wanting to read an excellent story will enjoy this story of becoming a man by Terry Crews.