Nicholas Grotenhuis

The start of my cubing career

Nicholas Grotenhuis

I believe my actual cubing career probably started in fifth grade even though I couldn’t solve a cube. I started trying to solve because my best friend could do it. That is the short answer at least.

My “touching a Rubik’s cube” career probably dates back to when the first Rubik’s cube came out and my brother got it for Christmas. My brother made the checkerboard pattern and I It was the coolest thing in the world. He showed me how to create it and I did, every time I could get my hands on that cube.

rubiks cube dayan

When fifth grade began, my best friend Eric brought his brand new, Stickerless, Dayan Zhanchi to class and started playing around with it. I asked him if I could use it and he said yes! He let me play with it and I made a checkerboard. It looked extremely awesome on a stickerless cube. But Eric wasn’t that impressed. Later that day I timed him during lunch and he solved his cube in one minute. It was insane at the time. After school I went to my mom and asked for a Dayan Zhanchi, “just like Eric’s”. She was clueless as to what that was. I explained it to her and she said she might get it for me, for Christmas. I was stoked. I could not wait. Unfortunately, the holidays were three months away. I came home from school everyday for the next three months asking if I could receive it earlier. She said no every time. In the meantime at school, I would play with Eric’s cube.

Soon it was Christmas. I woke up on a snowy morning and sprinted downstairs. I searched through my sibling’s gifts and finally found a small box. It had my name on it. Unfortunately again, my parents wouldn’t let me open it until the rest of my family was awake. I thought to myself, I could fix that. I ran around the house, shaking family members awake randomly. I told my mom that everyone was up, so then she said that I could go downstairs and wait for everyone. A couple minutes later everyone was downstairs, and my mom informed us that we could open our gifts. I tore into the cube’s wrapping paper, and pulled out the cube with a victorious smile. I opened the, perfect box and made the checkerboard pattern multiple times. I could barely contain my excitement.

Later that year I found out that my “Zhanchi,” was actually a guhong. I was so upset that I never picked it up again, for the next two years. Eventually I ventured up to my grandparents home, where i discovered they owned a Rubik’s cube. I looked at that thing and decided I was going to solve it. I worked my way through the first layer memorizing as I went along. Then I went through the second layer, again, recording the algorithms with my brain. The third layer was where I struggled however. I eventually grinded that out too. My first, official solve, was after school on the ride home. At this point I am in seventh grade. I was really excited. I couldn’t believe it. I had solved it in under two minutes.

That’s how I got into cubing. It certainly took a while, but I got there. Even though I can solve relatively fast, Eric still rubs it in because he learned how to solve the first hour he had his cube. Man that annoys me.