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.
Results 6-10 of 10
... 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 country. It was a hard fact to 11 THE
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
... and 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
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, sports- casters, and journalists ...
What people are saying - Write a review
It Could Be Worse
Requiem for a Superman
Five Minutes of Hitting
If You Can Win One Set
Fire It Up One Time Bam