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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In hindsight I remember those months as one long get-together, although the
gatherings took different forms: sometimes we'd all just hang and catch up,
sometimes we'd watch a ball game, and sometimes we played poker. One
Tuesday in ...
... took me a few Decembers before I really came to understand the abyss that the
month presents. Like many young athletes, I was having too much fun for such
weighty introspection. The ATP tour is like a kind of traveling neverland, where no
... three Septembers and smiling in my cap and gown for my graduation photo in
the spring of 2001. But something funny happened in my sophomore year that
took me by surprise: I became the number one college tennis player in the
A few weeks later, I made it to the second round of the US Open and took
Australian Lleyton Hewitt, the number three player in the world at that time, to five
sets, before the heat and my work-in-progress conditioning failed me and I ran
out of ...
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 the fast- expiring year. Rather, I had disappointments that
stuck 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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