Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life
Harper Collins, 2009 M03 17 - 288 pages
James Blake's life was getting better every day. A rising tennis star and People magazine's Sexiest Male Athlete of 2002, he was leading a charmed life and loving every minute of it. But all that ended in May 2004, when Blake fractured his neck in an on-court freak accident. As he recovered, his father—who had been the inspiration for his tennis career—lost his battle with stomach cancer. Shortly after his father's death, Blake was dealt a third blow when he contracted zoster, a rare virus that paralyzed half of his face and threatened to end his already jeopardized career.
In Breaking Back, Blake provides a remarkable account of how he came back from this terrible heartbreak and self-doubt to become one of the top tennis players in the world. A story of strength, passion, courage, and the unbreakable bonds between a father and son, Breaking Back is a celebration of one extraordinary athlete's indomitable spirit and his inspiring ability to find hope in the bleakest of times.
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It was a hard fact to ignore and it got me, and those around me, thinking that I
might have the goods to go pro. While I tried not to dwell on the idea too much, it
was a hard question to keep in the back of my mind, and in the end, the
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
... although Kuerten, a gangly, affable, loose-limbed Brazilian, had three French
Open titles to his name, he was far more accomplished on clay than he was on
hard courts. In addition, he was only one spot higher than I was in the rankings, ...
Going into 2003, I knew this rationally, but I didn't know it in my gut until I was at
the other end of the year, when I had learned it, over and over, the hard way. I
had begun to develop a reputation: a lot of fans, sportscasters, and journalists ...