Linda Hogan had it all. She enjoyed fame and fortune as the celebrity wife of a bona fide icon. But after her marriage to Hulk Hogan imploded in a very public and acrimonious spectacle, she’s been waiting to tell her side of the story. In “Wrestling the Hulk,” she does just that. Here’s an excerpt.
I am digging. The ground is hard. The dirt is heavy. I keep pushing forward with my shovel, digging deeper and deeper and deeper. But this is nothing new to me. I’ve been digging myself out of holes my entire life, and I’ve played many roles while doing it. Linda Hogan, wife of the wrestling icon Hulk Hogan. Linda Hogan, mother to Brooke and Nick Hogan. Linda Hogan, television personality. And now Linda Hogan, farmer?
Yes, sir. I am standing in a ditch at my avocado farm in California, Sunny Girl Avocados. My newest role is a reminder of my freedom. When you endure the public and private battles I have and survive, you’re lucky to be the one holding the shovel! And it’s not a coincidence that I am growing avocados. They have one of the thickest skins of any fruit, and early on I learned the importance of having a thick skin.
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Since the divorce became final two years ago, people have often asked me when I was going to tell my side of the story. Friends, family, colleagues, and even strangers on the street would come up to me and ask what really happened. I was married to an icon, and I was fiercely loyal to him and to my children. Then, after the two decades we spent building an empire together, that empire crumbled. The family that was my life force for so long seemed to be taken away in a flash. My husband was gone. My son was in jail. My daughter lived in Miami. The ensuing divorce battle has now become Hollywood folklore.
It took a long time for me to realize that I needed to leave. Or maybe he just wanted me to leave. Either way, I knew that I had to make a decision and probably face the battle of my life.
Sure, I had access to the media to tell my story as the divorce was unfolding, but I never took advantage of it. I was dealing with Hulk Hogan, somebody with a huge ego. Somebody who doesn’t like losing at anything. He shot back at me in the media when I wasn’t even shooting in the first place. If you let the fire smolder, it will eventually go out, I thought. I knew that there would come a time when it would need to be discussed publicly. That time has come. That time is now.
It’s the end of the day. The sun begins to set with deep gold and orange tones across the mountains. I put down my shovel and sit on a rock after an honest day’s work. Honest is an interesting choice of words. My husband wasn’t being honest in our marriage, and it was time for me to be honest with myself. This is my story, an honest account of my life that I hope will offer others inspiration to move on in their own lives in a more positive way. I was forced to learn these lessons the hard way, but as the saying goes, “Without the lows, the highs wouldn’t be so incredible.” Now that I’ve had my hardships, I am much more grateful for the new doors God has opened for me.
I hope this book will help you learn from my mistakes and find all the joys I found once I summoned the courage to take the first step toward happiness.
From "Wrestling the Hulk: My Life Against the Ropes" by Linda Hogan. Copyright © 2011. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins publishers.
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