Just Act Natural, A Memoir
From the age of five, Steve Lemig was thrust into a progressively bizarre world of psychic churches, spiritual cults, and political activism by a bipolar stepfather and his soul-searching mother guided by voices in her head.
At age nine, his family attended a church pastored by a clairvoyant medium who channeled a dead Indian Chief in the basement of his hair salon. His mother soon left his disengaged father for a passionate 22-year-old bartender who later joined Scientology and tried to sign Lemig and his older brother away to its abusive Sea Org program. As Lemig’s parents became increasingly paranoid, they joined the far-right, anticommunist John Birch Society attending the group’s Constitution Summer Camp to be indoctrinated with the most extreme conspiracy theories.
Just Act Natural is the fascinating true story of Lemig’s offbeat, coming-of-age odyssey from the sleepy shores of Connecticut to the wide open coast of California to the rugged mountains of Colorado, and how he found salvation from the weird in the wild as a trail runner, skateboarder, mountain biker, rock climber, and even a wildland firefighter.
Spanning the dynamic, colorful decades of the 1980s and 1990s, Lemig’s powerful saga explores mental health issues, delves into the human need to commit to a religion, and reveals the power of nature to teach us everything we need to know about life and to heal our deepest emotional wounds.
Some Nice Things People Are Saying About the Book
"I know Steve. I know he survived the trauma of his childhood and a series of harrowing outdoor adventures.
Yet I still found myself wondering as I read his book if he would make it out alive by the end."
--Corey Rich, outdoor photographer and Nikon ambassador
"Truth is stranger than fiction, and nowhere else has that been more evident than in the pages of Steve Lemig's Just Act Natural. A memoir with the impact and richness of a novel, it's a whirlwind tour of Lemig's life, from cult-surrounded kid to fear-conquering adult. And almost everything imaginable in between."
--Jason Heller, author of Strange Stars
"I’m in shock that a friend who I thought I knew when we skated together as kids, was in fact living in a hell of abuse and confusion. The fact that Steve’s found some peace as an adult and has built a family should be comforting to anyone going through their own personal struggles."
--Jared Prindle, Producer at Tony Hawk’s 900 Films
"At an early age, skateboarding taught me life lessons in self-discipline, self-motivation and a love for being outdoors, rolling with the wind in my face. Steve's memoir perfectly captures that experience and shows the ability of outdoor sports to heal many wounds."
--Andy Macdonald, 9X World Cup Skateboarding Series Winner