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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... the stereo, beer, chicken wings, and burgers from nearby Archie Moore's
restaurant on the kitchen counter, and friends from every era of my life hanging
out—the fact that they had work, other friends, other lives, didn't seem to matter
At that point, my friends and family were my one and only saving grace. I spent
most days alone, while my friends were off at work, and with the silence of my
house around me, I often wondered if my life had been irrevocably altered. It was
When I reached the semifinals, a bunch of my friends from back home in
Connecticut raced to D.C. to see the match, then stuck around for the finals,
where I beat Paradorn Srichaphan from Thailand. Your first tournament victory is
a milestone, ...
... the Saddlebrook Tennis Center, working out six days a week with the
conditioning guys and practicing just as often with other touring pros who live
nearby, like my old college competitor Jeff Morrison and my best friend on tour,
I'd spend hours hanging with friends and visiting my parents' house, giving off the
air that I was fine, just the same old James. But as I drove around town, thoughts
of improvement consumed me. In the mornings, I'd meet my coach, Brian, at the ...
What people are saying - Write a review
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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