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Henry David Thoreau

Picture five or six 12 year old boys bicycling at top speed through a small university town in Estonia. One of them is pedaling 50 meters behind, trying to catch the others. That is me, somewhere in 1985. As you see, I was generally a bad biker since I lacked the persistency to train.

I was best in class at ball throwing though, (probably because besides reading, hauling stones into windows at empty buildings next to my neighborhood had filled my slightly delinquent pastime).

Some years later I liked to play squash. The smash of the ball, the familiar squash hall noises always created a special mood.

I liked to solve the impossible game combinations, to rush at top speed, even falling against the walls was fun. But often I was indifferent to victory. My hits often ended straight under the partner’s nose so he could finish me off by a move called "sudden drop".

Why was I not all about defeating the opponent? Sometimes it annoyed me. Achieving was considered to be an ultimate virtue around back then. I could only comfort myself with the fact that I was “achiever” in other areas of my life. At least I could refer to several breakthroughs in my professional development.

But still. Sometimes I recalled long childhood evenings full of soccer. You just played the ball, you felt sheer fun from good company, movement, from the warm air, smell of trees. Who remembered the score the next day? Who cared? The day was always new, the moment the object of celebration. Was this the feeling I was after?

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