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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Because my optimistic outlook, my what-ifs took a positive tone: What if, I thought
to myself, I took my game to the next level? What if I stopped losing to guys I know
I can beat? What if I didn't get down on myself when I found myself in a bad ...
I lost in the second round, and later that day, my mother took me and Thomas
aside and shared some potentially grim news with us: our father had stayed
behind, in part, because he said he had to have a routine hernia operation. But
He also took great pride that he continued to exercise: I was with him on one of
those hospital visits when the doctor, on his way out of the room, stopped and
remembered to tell my father how to limit his workouts. As soon as the door
In time, I absorbed this philosophy and really took it to heart.Throughout my
career, I had made it a point not to set any specific goals, and rather than being
hung up about my ranking, a particular opponent, or even the big picture of my