Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life
Harper Collins, 2007 M07 5 - 288 pages
In 2004, James Blake's life was getting more perfect by the day. A rising tennis star, with each passing year his game seemed to improve. In 2002, he was named Sexiest Male Athlete by People, and along the way he continued to gain in the rankings and earn respect on the court. Each day seemed to offer a new milestone, a new achievement; he was leading a charmed life and loving every minute of the ride.
But that life came to an abrupt halt in May 2004 when Blake broke his back in a freak accident on the court. A few months later, as Blake was recovering from his injury, he suffered another tremendous setback when his father–the man who had raised him and provided the inspiration for his tennis career–lost his battle with stomach cancer. Shortly after his father's death, Blake's situation was further complicated when he contracted Zoster, a rare virus that paralyzed half of his face and threatened to end his already jeopardized tennis career.
Breaking Back tells the story of the tumultous year that followed these three devastating events, detailing how Blake persevered through hardship to become one of the best tennis players in the world. Here Blake explains how the wisdom and words that his father imparted to him over the years gave him the ability to succeed in the face of these seemingly insurmountable odds. Though these trials proved the most difficult of his life, ultimately this trifecta of tragedy became the culmination of all his father's lessons, showing Blake that even in death, his father was still teaching him how to be a man.
In the spirit of Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike and Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking comes this remarkable tale of strength and determination from one of tennis's biggest stars. A story of passion, willpower, and the unbreakable bonds between a father and a son, Breaking Back is one athlete's account of finding hope in the bleakest of times.
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... catchphrase, which he himself coined years ago, as Matt gathered his arms
around the chips, pulling them in and arranging them into neat little stacks. Still
chuckling, I stood up to get some wings, but when I got to my feet, I began to
got to my feet, I began to wobble. Hoping that nobody noticed, I surreptitiously
placed my hands on the table to steady myself. It wasn't the beer. I hadn't even
had a beer. It was the zoster, a virus that grabbed me back in July and hadn't let
As we began the warm- up—tennis has a gentlemanly tradition of preparing your
opponent for competition by ex- changing ground strokes and feeding each other
volleys and overheads—I felt like a split personality. One side of me was ...
When he got up on me, beginning with his break of my serve in the second set, I
began to press, going for too much on my shots and getting impatient. Next thing I
knew it was all over. The last set was as much of a blur as my win over Agassi, ...
... knew he would find too beautiful for words. Not long before I came home for
Christmas, I was in Europe at the indoor tournaments that dominate the last
months of the tennis season. Reflecting back on my year, I began to 26
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Well WrittenUser Review - sugarhill203 - Overstock.com
I found the book interesting and easy to read due to the content and good writting. Being a tennis fan I found the book to show the reasons the commentators use very positive words describing James Blake. James his mother and brother are always shown respect when referring to them. Read full review
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