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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If most adolescent athletes have “sports parents,” then I had “school parents”—a
mother and father who revered education above everything else and treated it as
a lifelong pursuit, not just something to occupy you until age twenty-one.
My parents' optimism also carried over into tennis, a sport they both loved. They
were excellent club players, and when we were teenagers, Thomas and I
excelled at it as well, with each of us opting to play for the local high school in
Tennis is an individual sport, so being a player at some level means being an
entertainer, and having that time to connect with the crowd before you turn your
focus to your opponent has always been very special to me. On this particular ...
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