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Girl Basketball, Family, Life (in Chinese)
一直以来，我都认为我女儿在篮球运动上只能算是一个普通人，一个和很多人一样对篮球无比热爱、渴望胜利、但却资质平平的普通人，所以最初我对她选择篮球运动并不抱太大希望。 在她刚接触篮球的时侯，我甚至以我曾是中国国家队队员的经历告诫她“这可是一项野蛮的运动！”我郑重地对她说“你真的确定你想从事这项运动吗？”没有多余的话语，她用“砰砰” 响起的运球声来告诉我，这就是她的回答。 从那时起，我们便在后院开始了她的篮球训练。 只是有谁知道，我的女儿要打好篮球将要面临多大困难，她是平足、没有速度、没有弹跳力甚至连跑动的时候手臂也是笨拙摇摆的。 当然，也许身高是她的一个优势，我身高2米，我妻子身高1.8米，我相信我的女儿应该能长得比较高。 但众所周知，长得高并不代表就能打好球，面对女儿这样的身体条件，我心里不无担忧。
平时我都比较早就去球场的。 今天我依旧早去，只是我的心格外难受。 前几天艾丽克斯曾抱怨说自己的左膝盖有些疼，因为她那里去年做过前十字韧带的修复手术，我不知道现在她的膝盖怎么样了。 应该说本赛季到目前为止，她的状态都很不错，在之前的三场小联赛中，她表现得相当出色。 她不仅没有让手术影响到她技术的发挥，而且她还打出了她前所未有的高水平。 对于她状态的复苏我很激动，甚至感到欣喜若狂。 直到两天前她告诉我她膝盖的疼痛，我才知道她出色的背后，有着强忍伤痛的坚持。
那是在一次球队的例行训练时队友不小心撞伤的。 她的膝盖肿胀了起来，里面充斥了一些淤血。 不过她只是把它当作一般的小伤来对待。 此时我的女儿已经是中学联赛第三赛季的球员。 经过长期艰苦训练，正是在技术上全面爆发、成绩上收获累累的季节。 难过的是，她却不得不经受这样伤痛的考验。 我不敢对女儿接下来的比赛和前途多想，心中满是了担忧、害怕和沮丧。
“你觉得怎么样？”我强忍着自己焦急的心情。 她没有看我。“不舒服……当我收紧肌肉的时候，就感觉里面很疼。” 她的声音微微的颤抖。 我走近她，蹲下来检查她的膝盖，揉捏她的腿部。 手术疤痕仍然红润光滑。 我很难过，默默地站了起来，我觉察到她眼里闪烁着泪光。 然而，当注视我女儿的脸时，我惊讶的发现她的表情充满了坚定。 那一刻，我突然有股把我近期一直萦绕在我脑子里的想法一股脑向她诉说的冲动，虽然我之前并没有打算这么早就告诉她。
“艾丽克斯!”我双手抓着她的肩膀。 “我知道我平时对你非常严格和非常苛刻。 但是，有些事情我得告诉你……。” 突然，我哽咽住了，泪水如决堤般喷涌而出，我无法继续讲下去了。 我发现我的一只手仍在她肩上，但另一只捂着自己的嘴巴，眼泪顺着我的脸颊不住往下淌。 然后我紧紧地将她抱在我的怀里。 此刻时间静止了。
在马尔伯勒学校体育馆，在耀眼的灯光下，我双臂紧紧拥抱着我的女儿，将她完全地揽入我的心窝。 我在她耳边喃喃说： “我多么爱你，多么爱你，艾丽克斯……作为你的父亲我感到非常自豪，非常骄傲……。” 我尝到自己急切亲吻她额头时流下的泪水。 “我也爱你，爸爸！”她啜泣着对我说。 那一刻，我意识到我的眼泪不再是悲伤和沮丧，而是由衷的喜悦和内心的全然释放。 我意识到，她不但知道自己在这项运动上已经取得了哪些成就，而且她知道有什么东西正摆在她的面前，同时她也做好了应对将来困难和挑战的心理准备。 我意识到，她这样如此坚定的信心，足以战胜未来发生的一切。 同时我意识到，我们彼此相爱，无论将来发生什么事情，我们一家人都会幸福的生活下去。 这一刻，我沉浸在她魅力和品格所带给我的激励中。 而经历了这几天难以言状的难过后，我的内心重又回到了平静。 我们是生活的主人。
看着女儿1米85的挺拔身姿，我站在那里，轻声呼喊她的名字。 我对她说：“你已经展现了你自己！你已经证明了你在这项运动中的价值！你是生活的强者！”我欣慰地笑了笑，接着半开玩笑地正色道： “毕竟，那都是源于你遗传了我的基因。” 她倏地笑了起来，犹如一朵夏日清晨绚丽绽放的牵牛花，多么美丽的一幅画面。
GIRL BASKETBALL, FAMILY, LIFE
-A TRUE AND CONTINUING SAGA OF A RETIRED CHINESE NATIONAL TEAM BASKETBALL PLAYER AND HIS AMERICAN DREAM-
By Kai Chen, 1-07-2003
DEDICATED TO MY DAUGHTER ALEX
“The way one approaches the game is the way one approaches life”
I had always thought of her as just another player, with ordinary talent and a big heart and the love of basketball. I remembered that when she just started to get into this game, I even tried to discourage her. “It’s a brutal game.” stating my own experience as a former basketball player for the Chinese National Team. “Are you sure you really want to get into this?” The only answer I got was the sound of dribbling the ball. Sure I got a basketball stand in the backyard the moment she started running. But how did I know she had flat feet, no speed and jumping ability and an awkward swing of arms when she runs? I know she is going to be tall since I am 6’7” and my wife Susan is 5’11”. But being tall does not mean she can play the game. Everybody knows that.
I arrived the gym a little early, as usual. But this day I was unusually distressed. I was concerned about the pain she had complained in her left knee. She had an ACL reconstructive surgery last year on that knee. So far she had felt fine. And she had performed quite well in the last three tournaments this season. Not only she did not show signs of rustiness. She had some of her best games ever. I was excited and even ecstatic about her recovery, till two days ago she told me about the pain. A teammate inadvertently ran into her during a routine practice. Her left knee had swollen and there was some fluid in it. She was just about to put things together when she first had the injury in her sophomore year. Now just when she was about to blossom into herself in her junior season, now just when she was about to taste her own fruit of hard work, she had to…. I did not even want to spell out the fear, the uncertainty, the helplessness.
She was working on a stationary bicycle when I walked in. After she was done, she picked up a ball to shoot at one end of the court while the school varsity was practicing at the other end. I walked over to rebound and feed her the ball as I had done for thousands of times.
“How do you feel?” I felt compelled by my own urge to know. “Shaky.” She answered without looking at me. “When I tighten my muscles, there is a pain inside.” Her voice became a little unsteady. I approached her, squatted and examined her knee. I reached and touched her leg. The surgical scars were still red and shiny. I stood up. I could see a little moist sparkled in her eyes. There was a little helplessness. Yet she was quiet with that typical determined look on her face. I suddenly realized that this couple of days I was preparing something to say to her in my head, a speech I never thought I would come up with this early.
“Alex,” I reached out my hands to hold her shoulder. “I know that I am your harshest critic. Yet there is something that needs to be said….”
Suddenly I was choked with emotions. I could not continue. I found that one of my hands was still holding her, but the other hand was covering my own mouth. Tears started to trickle down my cheeks. Then both of my hands held her tightly in my arms. Time stood still.
Here in the Marlborough School gym, under the glaring lights, I was holding my daughter in my arms, I was embracing her fully in my heart, as I murmured words into her ears: “I love you so much, so much , Alex…. You make me feel so proud to be your father. So proud….” I could taste my own tears with my feverish kisses on her forehead. “I love you, too, Dad.” is all I heard through her sobs. I realized at that moment that my tears were not tears of sadness and disappointment, but tears of happiness and deliverance. I realized that not only she knows how much she had achieved since she started playing this game, she knows what lay ahead and she is ready to face the challenge. I realized that she had such a flare of confidence that no matter what happens in her future, she will be OK. And I realized that no matter what happens in the future in our family, we will be OK. For a few moments, I was immersed in her grace and dignity. I felt a serenity coming back to me after some unspeakable distress. I realized words can not express what I felt: Life is being lived.
As I stood there watching her 6’1” beautiful frame, I whispered her name to myself as I thought. “ You have shown me who you are. You have proven to yourself that you are worthy of this game. You are a winner in life.” I smiled and felt like joking as I extracted myself from the moment: “After all, you got my genes.” She laughed and her face radiated like a Summer morning glory. What a beautiful sight!