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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One Tuesday in September, it was a poker night and gathered around my dining
room table were a bunch of guys I'd known since high school, or earlier: Evan
Paushter, my best friend and the gang's designated wise guy; Matt Daly, another
The scene was typical of that summer, and even though it was a “school night,”
poker chips and good-natured taunts were flying across the room late into the
evening. As usual, we went around and around swapping unwanted cards for
On this Tuesday—just like every other day when zoster ravaged my body—I didn'
t want them to worry, and I didn't want to let those negative thoughts into the
carefree air of the night, so I steadied myself on the table and walked to the
It was only when the nights and weekends rolled around, when my friends and I
were together, that I was able to lose my worries in the comfort of their company.
During those days in 2004, and the ones that followed in early 2005, my ...
One night, early in their courtship, they were dining at a restaurant and my father
caught an- other man staring at them. “I have nice teeth, too,” my father said,
grinning broadly at the guy. It was a private joke between him and my mom, ...
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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