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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During those days in 2004, and the ones that followed in early 2005, my
character was challenged as never before. I was at a major crossroads, a time in
which my life and my career were largely in the hands of fate, despite all the
efforts I was ...
... because I was never supposed to make my living as a jock. If most adolescent
athletes have “sports parents,” then I had “school parents”—a mother and father
who revered education above everything else and treated it as a lifelong pursuit,
While my interracial heritage may seem to be a tailor-made story of adversity, the
adversity never really materialized in many ways because I never allowed it to
overtake my worldview. My parents' inclination toward truly loving life and ...
I'd once heard Jordan say that in his mind, he played for the one person in the
stands who had never seen him before, and how he wanted to make sure that
person saw something he or she would never forget (writer Bob Greene dubbed
I don't do a lot of “sharing” and never really have. But at the end of 2003 there
were two people that I sought out for advice about my situation. One was Brian,
who from the time we began working together had instilled in me a philosophy of
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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