My Dear Soccer

My dear Soccer,

Thank you for accompanying me in the last decade,
During which joy interwove with tears.
You drove the 16-year-old boy to step on the green grass
And gave me those lifelong friends.

When this clumsy and reckless boy always dashed into the crowd
You did not give me up.
Instead, you called for the best Captain that I have ever met
To teach me a philosophy of YOU:

Sometimes, passing backward is poised for a better step-forward.

As a reward for your great kindness,
I trained myself harder
Under Cantonese scorching heat
Or relentless lightning storm.

Though I had no talent in speed,
My stamina made me the fastest in any long-lasting game;
Though I was not born to be tall,
My reasonable exercise of positioning helped me control the aerial ball;
Though I could not cover every square of the field in person,
My precise passing accomplished it on my behalf.

Gradually, you endorsed me
By putting the Captain armband on my hand
And Jersey Number 10 on my body.
Leading our team to enter the pitch,
I kissed the big “C” on my left arm.
It should have been the sweetest memory between you and me
Before I lost myself in the Final.

As a runner-up, I thought about stopping my relationship with you
By asking one question:
What is the real meaning of being engaged with you?
For trophies, recognition, and advocacy?

The truth is, in sports as in life,
Every victory comes at a price;
Every painful experience holds back a pleasure.
All you want is my heart on you
And my smile towards the failure.

I took off the Captain armband and
Changed the Jersey Number from 10 to 16,
Returning to the origin to savor every moment we had together.
But no one can fight against the stream of time.

This year is all I have left to give.
My heart can take the pounding
My mind can handle the grind
But my body knows it’s time to say goodbye. (Adopted from a letter written by Kobe Bryant on The Players’ Tribune)

We both know this farewell is not the ultimate terminal of our lives
But a starting point of a new journey.
No matter what I do next
I wish you a brilliant future
That another 16-year-old boy makes your acquaintance
With a smile from the bottom of his heart…

Love you always,
Kun (Jan 03, 2020)