Real Mack Steve: Exploring the world one step at a time

Steve is not one to say no to an adventure (picture courtesy of Real Mack Steve).
Steve is not one to say no to an adventure (picture courtesy of Real Mack Steve).

A New Book To Look Forward To

I recently stumbled across an Instagram post by Steve aka @real.macksteve letting us know that his book is now at a stage where it is ready to hit the printing press and be available to the public. As I am always on the lookout for good stories and new additions to my book shelf, I reached out to Steve and asked him a bit more about what we can expect from his book. And this is what I learned.


Getting To Know Steve

Bjoern: Steve, less than a month and your book will be out and available. That is great news! But before we talk more about the book, can you briefly tell us a bit about yourself.


Steve: To tell just a bit about myself leaves people with a lot of questions like how did I go from a fully limbed guy who was a paid Anatomy TA as an undergrad at the University of Nevada set to become a doctor to treat chronic pain, to a dual amputee who takes no pills and uses all natural methods and no doctors to manage his pain after 19 surgeries. People don't realize my back is fused from L4-S1 and I also have degenerative disk disease. Also most don't recognize my right foot is amputated at my metatarsals. 



Life Is About Fun And Learning

Bjoern: Looking at your Instagram feed, it seems you are out and about a lot and no one to say no to an adventure and a bit of taking the Mickey out of yourself and the world around you. Tell us a bit more about some of your favorite adventures of recent months. 


Steve: I'm not one to fall in line and I'd agree I do take a Mickey on myself and people being too serious. Life's about fun and learning as much as we can. This August I had a great trip through the North Western United States. I hiked down the fairly steep mile to the only place you get a jump in Crater Lake. There is a little shed which had the best footing to jump off of, especially for me. It had a sign saying "Stay Off." The boulder it was on people were jumping off of, but I wanted to do a backflip off the shed, so I did. All the people there were so excited I did it again and they helped me with my prosthetics. It's a blessing of sorts being able to get people so excited. 


And Now On To Your Book

Bjoern: Now back to the book: What’s it called and what is it all about?


Steve: The book is called "The Hopabout: Right back to where I belong". It's the story of what I did after I lost my leg, which was sell my C-leg on Ebay to buy a car. Then wandered the western United States in search of my purpose in life. I then circle back to how it happened and family reconciliation. Religous differences had always created a massive strain.


Bjoern: That sounds like there is a lot of good stuff in there. So who should buy and hopefully read it?


Steve: Anyone should buy it because it will pull of their heart strings. It will make them laugh and cry and be more accepting of other people and their differences. And possibly come to appreciate them. 


Bjoern: Is this a book especially for amputees and people with limb differences? Or is it a great read for anybody?


Steve: The book is for anyone, but amputees or anyone with physical difficulties will definitely enjoy it. There are issues many of us deal with: Family, religion, addiction, and overcoming trauma. My favorite thing it does is shine a bright light on a dark situation. 


Bjoern: Cool…a good teaser to get people interested. And now... drum roll please... give us the dirt: Share one of your favorite passages of the book.


Steve: One of my favorite passages here aims to display euphemisms don't help people. Rather accepting your situation, whatever it may be, and acting life head on with what you have. "The ‘C’ word can be heavy, but I checked out the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. It says that ‘crippled’ means ‘to deprive of the use of a limb’. That word fits tighter than my prosthetic."



What Made You Write The Book?

Bjoern: What motivated you to take the time and sit down and write this book? 


Steve: This nagging feeling has been weighing me down telling me it's my duty to share my story. After reading Viktor Frankel's "Man's Search for Meaning", I came to understand it's what I need to give back to the world. Currently there is an opioid epidemic and I know my story can help people overcome that. Also after over a dozen people said "you should write a book", I stopped living small and did.


Bjoern: If people want to learn more about you, what you are up to, and where to pre-order the book - where can they find you?


Steve: Austin McCauley is publishing and the book will be available at all major outlets. I haven't been given a way to preorder  yet unfortunately. 


Bjoern: Thanks! And I am really looking forward to get my hands on this book. Sounds like a great read.



Post by Bjoern Eser, the creator of The Active Amputee.

Further Reading

The Road To Recovery


Part I of my journey was all about my cancer year; the year from the diagnosis with an osteosarcoma through the major surgery to remove almost all of my tibia and replace it with an endoprosthesis to the end of the chemotherapy. Today‘s story is all about my road to recovery. Read more



More Trouble Ahead


Part II was all about my road to recovery; several inter-connected journeys that allowed me to get fit again and regain confidence in what I can physically do. During this time I had spent longer stretches in the United States of America, in South Africa and in Uganda. But my journey was not yet over. Read more

Impressions From My Life


,My Journey To Losing My Leg‘ described the long battle between first being diagnosed with cancer in the mid-1980s to finally having my leg amputated in late 2005. A lot has happened since. Since then my journey continued. Here are some snapshots what my life is all about. Read more