I started my cubing journey all the way back in January 2015, when I was about to complete my 7th grade. The only hobby/passion I had back then was playing football. I got injured while playing a match at my Academy. I had no other interests apart from the sport I used to play and to recover, I needed to quit playing football for a few months, this is when Cubing entered in my life. I went to school just a few days after the injury, and that day I saw one of my classmates solving one side of the Rubik’s cube, and that was the first time I saw someone complete aside. My mind was completely blown at the time. That day, when I came back home, I asked my dad to get me a Rubik’s cube, and he got me one the same day. I scrambled it and obviously could not solve it on my own.

I was able to complete aside and one layer without looking up on YouTube for a tutorial.

But since I wanted to solve the whole thing, I finally went to YouTube, watched a few tutorials and managed to solve it in a day.

When I started, I had no dreams or goals to break any sort of records, I was just in love with this new thing that I had picked up. I used to bring a cube with me everywhere I used to go. School, coaching, family gatherings etc. It was an addiction.

Just 4 days into this new hobby, the video of the world record of 3x3, by Mats Valk, came up in my recommendations. I saw him solve it in JUST 5.55 seconds, which was extremely insane to me, for someone who was taking well over a minute to solve it. The same day I stumbled upon a YouTuber named ‘Cubicraze’.

He had uploaded a video of highlights of a cubing competition he went to, in which he said that he got into a newspaper as well. The world record video and the newspaper thing got into my head. I started searching for ways to get faster.

About a week or so in, I could solve the 3x3 in less than a minute using the beginner’s method. And I decided to switch to the Fridrich or CFOP method. I learned the method from the same YouTuber, Cubicraze.

After learning the method and practising it well, I got my times down to around 25 seconds in 3 months. I was practising a lot, up to 6 hours a day, since I had no such pressure of studies back then. This is when I found out about World Cube Association and Rubik’s Cube competitions in India. I looked upon the website, and the competition was going to take place in April 2015. My parents encouraged me to take part in it, so I registered for the same, about a month before the competition.

I started practising even more and learned all PLLs before the comp. Going into the comp I had one big goal, and that was to qualify for the second round, and I wasn’t really nervous either. I finished with an average of 22.11 seconds, which wasn’t enough for me to make it to round 2.

I was extremely disappointed and sad. When I got back home, I cried a little bit as well, since I really wanted to compete in the second round.

My parents cheered me up and told me the only thing that matters is that I gave my best.

Though I knew I could have done better, I started practising again for the next comp.

I finished full OLL in one night (apart from 2-3 algorithms), just a few days after my first competition. I improved very quickly. I was sub 13 by October 2015 and competed again that month. I made it to the finals and got my personal best official average with a time of 11.91 seconds, which was pretty good for me at that time. This is when I realized my potential, and this is when I started chasing the record.

I got my first competition win in July 2016, and my first official sub 10 average in October 2016.

And then I dipped into my first official sub 9 average in January 2017. The national record was 8.14 at the time, so I knew I was getting closer. In August 2017, I competed in Speedcubing Esya 2017, where I tied the 8.14 average in round 1, and broke it in the second round with a time of 8.06. This is when I felt that I have finally achieved something in something that I love doing as well.

Since then I have broken and held the National Record Average 4 times, and currently hold the national record single with the time of 4.91 seconds.

I have had my ups and downs in my cubing journey. I’ve lost a lot of competitions, lost some records too.  Cubing has taught me that it is okay to lose, but if you get back up, you can achieve something greater than you can ever imagine, and that is the real win!

Author
Aryan Chhabra

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