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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There was nothing too impressive—a lot of bluffing and wishing had been going
on—and we laughed as each lackluster hand was revealed. Finally, we got to
Matt, who had been sitting at the end of the circle with an impenetrable stare, not
In the back of your mind, you know that no matter how good you are, what you've
got is either fleeting or finite—at some point it's going to end, either by choice or
because your body will simply give out. So, much as we welcome our downtime ...
Hard-fought victories pump it up a little faster, as do triumphs over top players. By
the same token, inexplicable losses, or going down to the unknown and the
unheralded, can cause confidence to plummet. The blank month of December
Constantly, I found myself revisiting two encouraging losses going all the way
back to 2001. One occurred when I played Australian Pat Rafter in a Masters
Series event in Cincinnati during August of that year. I played Rafter close in the
You keep playing matches like that and you're going to win. A lot.” All that
promise. All that encouragement. All those believers. And yet, as I took stock of
2003, there was no escaping the fact that I hadn't passed many road signs to
success in ...
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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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