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Breaking back : how I lost everything and won back my life

by Blake, James, 1979-

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 2 copies
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction GV994.B53 A3 2007x
Location  CLP - Main Library
 
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
 
Call Number  GV994.B53 A3 2007x
 
 
 
Unavailable (1)
Location Collection Status
Monroeville Public Library Non-fiction CHECKED OUT
Location  Monroeville Public Library
 
Collection  Non-fiction
 
Status  CHECKED OUT
 
 
Summary

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.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Tennis champion Blake, who has appeared on Oprah and The Tonight Show, shares his string of hard-won successes both on the court and in his personal health. A child of a black father and white British mother in Fairfield, Conn., Blake hooked into serious tennis playing by age 11, when he was paired with coach Brian Barker, who remained his gentle mentor for the duration of his career. Having turned professional by his sophomore year of college at Harvard in 1991, Blake had mixed success on the pro circuit for the first few years. Sustaining confidence seemed to be Blake's biggest challenge, as he struggled to follow the advice of his father, Tom, who was fighting a losing battle with stomach cancer: "You can't control your level of talent, but you can control your level of effort." At age 23, he decided to shave his trademark dreadlocks. Soon after, he ran into a steel net post during a practice game in Rome, fracturing his neck vertebrae. Blake was later diagnosed with paralyzing zoster, or shingles. His memoir is an inspirational account of overcoming the odds to return to competitive playing by 2004. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Blake, James, -- 1979-
Tennis players -- United States -- Biography.
Publisher New York :HarperCollins,2007
Edition 1st ed.
Contributors Friedman, Andrew L.
Language English
Description 275 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN 9780061343490
0061343498
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