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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And so, for the first few years, it was enough that I was having a great time
traveling the world, playing in front of fans, and earning a pretty good living, all
while chasing the sun around the globe to play wherever it happened to be
summer, or at ...
... and the announcer called out his name—“Ladies and gentlemen, Andre
Agassi”—drawing it out like Ed McMahon introducing Johnny Carson, the place
went stark-raving mad. The crowd gave me a pretty rousing reception as well.
From the ...
Even less pretty was that the most memorable part of that match for most people
was not my performance but an outburst from Lleyton when he accused a
linesman of making calls in my favor because we shared the same skin color. “
Look at ...
Like most people, I happen to come from oblivion, and I was always pretty happy
there, so the thought of going back didn't bother me too much. No, my personal
abyss wasn't the prospect of losing matches, or fading out of the top hundred, ...
I was a very recognizable presence on the ATP tour—not just because I was one
of the very few African Americans out there, but also because I had a pretty
serious network of dreadlocks protruding Medusa-style from my head. It had
been in ...
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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