Nick Wright

How I met the Cube / Why I started Cubing

Nick Wright (37, USA)

My story of “How I met the cube” may differ a little from the younger generation.  I remember my grandparents have an old Rubik’s cube at their how growing up. I played around with it a little, moved some stickers of course, but never got it solved.  It just turned into a frustration for me and I dismissed it at an early age with no real consideration until much later in life.

In June 2016, my 10-year old son received a Rubik’s brand 3×3 cube for his birthday from his grandmother.  One Saturday evening a couple days later, I was getting ready to go to bed when I saw his cube on the kitchen table.  I picked up the cube, began to turn and scramble it thinking, “How hard can this REALLY be?” I quickly learned it’s a mind game for sure.  My frustrations from childhood returned, but this new stickerless, tiled version of the 3×3 prohibited me from an “easy solve.”  After about two hours of standing at the kitchen sink, watching YouTube videos on my phone and trying to make heads or tails of the thing, I realized it was the wee hours of the morning and I had to get to bed.

Fortunately, it was a holiday weekend (4th of July) and I had some spare time.  Over the next two days, I spent a lot of time watching various “How to” videos on YouTube, learning how to solve it.  I was still frustrated with some of the videos, especially the ones that claimed it could be solved with just one algorithm.

By Monday afternoon, I was sitting on the couch working through a solve.  I had finally wrapped my mind around the beginner’s method but hadn’t committed it to memory.  Suddenly, in the presence of my 10-year-old son, the cube solved itself!!! I know that sounds like magic and to both of us, it sure seemed like that at the time.  It felt so good to know I had just solved one of the life’s mysteries.  I felt like I was in an elite group of people now.  A secret society, if you will.  Would there be an ordination ceremony? Underground meetings? Where would this newfound hobby take me? The sky was the limit!

I continued working on the Rubik’s cube to commit the algorithms to memory using the beginner’s layer by layer method.  I took my son’s cube with me in the car and let my wife drive so I could work on my solves.  I worked with my son to help him solve it for his first time as well.

While on a vacation a few weeks later, I worked diligently in the evening to memorize the algorithms.  I would solve the cube, then select one algorithm to repeat over and over until I committed it to memory.  While doing so, I could see what the cube was doing while executing the algorithm.

In the meantime, I decided it was time to upgrade to a speed cube from the basic Rubik’s brand.  I selected a Cyclone Boys 3×3 through Amazon and ordered a 2×2 of the same brand.  It was an exciting day when I returned from vacation and found the cubes waiting for me in the mailbox.  I was FLOORED when I felt the difference between a speed cube and a Rubik’s brand.  I felt like the real deal now that I had a couple of speed cubes.

I continued working on my cubing skills and eventually receive a Moyu Aolong as a gift, which has certainly become my favorite cube.  I have also recently purchased a 4×4 and 5×5 for my collection as well, but I’ve not mastered them yet.

I’ve found cubing to be a great stress relief.  I work in a field with quite a bit of stress.  I’ve enjoyed learning how to solve the cube and engage my mind.  It’s something that’s a little different and I don’t know that many people who can solve the cube.  I like the challenge focusing on it because it takes my mind off the stresses of life.  As strange as it sounds, I like the feel and sound of a cube turning as well.  I feel like the mind workout it gives it surely a good thing to keep my mind sharp.