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Hello to the forum, hello to sub 1 minute

maderito

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
24
Location
New Haven, CT
Today I reached my goal: solving the 3x3 in < 1 minute. It took six months during which I stole precious time from my away from family, my job, my profession - but I'm still better person. Outside my family, I've only confessed of my speed cubing addiction to one person, a friend. He asked about my cube solve time and I suddenly felt foolish (best time at that moment was about 2 minutes). So I lied - "1 minute 50 secs." My friend seemed awestruck --- "Whoa!!!" That's when I decided that I was going to crack 2 minutes for real, then 1:30, and then 1 minute.

My inspiration: a college student and Jessica Fridrich.
My addiction started after watching a college student solve a Rubik's cube in front of a ~100 people and synchronized with a dynamic Rap song. I was blown away - first time I'd ever seen the cube solved, although I was very much alive during the cubing craze of the early 1980's. The guy probably took 4 minutes and used what I now know was a basic beginner's LBL method.

Then I read Jessica Fridrich's website - again and again. I was hooked. I bought the official Rubik cube which came with Tyson's how-to video. A few days later, I solved the cube without notes, cues, etc.

My competition: my son - age 6
Once I had "mastered" the beginner's method and was moving on to "advanced" beginner's methods, I asked my son if he was interested. A week later he was solving the cube, and a few weeks after that he was faster than me. My older daughter always reminds me that I'm supposed to let my son beat me when we're competing - but I don't subscribe to that theory of child raising. In any event, I couldn't beat him anyway. And that's when I realized I'd have to move onto CFOP/Fridrich if I had any hope of beating him. I actually taught him the basics of CFOP - which he learned surprisingly effortlessly, but he was frustrated by the slower times, so he stuck with his basic method and lost interest after getting to < 1:30. Meanwhile, I was still trying to get under 2 minutes!

My coach: speedsolving.com
I tell anyone who will listen that there are essential truths in life when it comes to training and competition. You need to practice, there are no successes without many failures, and you need a coach since normal humans don't push themselves into the zone of pain and frustration required to achieve personal excellence. My parents were my earliest coaches; then followed a series of mentors. The forum community here has been my speeding cubing collective mentor - so thanks to all.

Lessons I've learned:
This forum is obviously oriented to serious cubers - the sub-30 crowd. And a lot of the tips and advice have no relevance to slower solvers. There is a state of Common Cube Sense that many of you have, but you often have difficulty in explaining it to others, just as I might have trouble explaining how I learned to speak or understand English or how I can drive a car at 80+ mph and think deeply about a math concept at the same time. I'm getting closer to that state where my fingers move smoothly through an F2L solve, uninterrupted by verbal cues or 1-2 second brain freezes. It seems magical.

Almost everyone has contributed to what I've learned, but I wanted to offer a list of threads, mostly from this forum, that really helped along the way.

Must read links for new cubers:
Jessica Fridrich: Jessica Fridrich, an endlessly fascinating human being. And so what if she didn't really invent the CFOP method. The most popular method in cubing deserves a name label - and hers fits quite well.

Interviews with well known cubers -- not so easy to find on the forum (under "more" on the menu) but a truly inspirational read for those inclined to find something of or for themselves expressed so well in the lives of others.

Forum Awards: Awards, yes, and also an introduction into many of the idiosyncratic members of the forum. This is a great community, but knowing the members better helps prepare you for what they are throwing at you by way of advice, criticism, humor, etc. How else would one be prepared to interpret a contribution by M. Womack?

F2L-Intuitive-vs.-Algorithm-Solving: A great discussion that boils down to everyone learns and advances on the cube in different ways, ultimately getting to their goals.

Is Speedcubing a Sport? Most of my thoughts about how to get better in my cubing drew from experiences in competitive athletics. At the same time, I think that learning the cube recapitulates fundamental aspects of human cognition. How the mind conquers the cube could be a fruitful field of study for neuroscientists.

The Top 99 things All Cubers Should Know: To be read early on - and then re-read a few times.

Can anyone speedcube? A wonderful (and optimistic) consensus expressed by most forum members on the seemingly boundless limit of human potential.

How to Practice: Another thread to be read, savored, and re-read. It helps focus your practice and reminds you that effective practice will be rewarded.

The Carrot Is Hiring New Staff Writers: Laughed an entire evening reading this thread. Congrats to Shelley who started if off. I didn't think anyone bested her "WCA Outlaws G perms" article. Aside from the laughs, I felt very self-satisfied that I had already decided to never learn the G perms . . . err … unless I get to sub-30.

Addiction or Dedication: This is one of several threads on cube addiction. Hello, my name is Maderito. I am a Rubik's cube addict.

learn2cube.com: My F2L bible and reference. The well known Badmephisto videos are terrific and helped me through a several rough spots.

Example TPS Solves and a Few Tips (Video): This well-meaning post was the final catalyst to my sub 1 minute push. The author, jskyler, actually got it wrong in emphasizing and illustrating the low TPS required for a solve. I studied his solves carefully and noted also: instant recognition of each F2L,OLL & PLL case/algorithm; instant knowledge of where each pair sat prior to each F2L solve step (presumably from look ahead - or just basic cube sense); excellent finger/twisting technique; and complete confidence in his cubing skill. I lack all of these attributes at my stage. Others pointed this out to Skyler, i.e. you can't know the cubing mindset of a 1 minute solver. So - although initially impressed, I ended up where I started - knowing that I needed more practice, not false confidence from knowing that I could theoretically solve the cube with a steady 1 TPS.

Finally, thanks to Brest and Kirjava, the moderator and enforcer (of truth).
 
Last edited:

Tim Major

Platinum Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
5,381
Location
Melbourne, Australia
WCA
2010MAJO01
Your post was great. And useful too. I just have to correct one thing. Kirjava isn't a moderator (I read that line a few times, I think you did mean it).
It's an intro thread, that's almost worth a sticky! Good job :tu
 

ThomasJE

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2011
Messages
1,792
Location
England
YouTube
ThomasJECubing
Hi.
Check out the forum competitions - it's a great help way to compete against other people and help motivate you to reach your goals. Good luck!
 

jla

Member
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
326
Location
Gothenburg, Sweden
WCA
2011LANG01
YouTube
jla477
Welcome!

If you keep being this dedicated you'll be sub-30 in no time, I promise. And it's always nice to have a new serious and dedicated member in the community! Hope to see you around!

/jla
 

Bapao

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
1,159
Location
Uranus...
YouTube
bapao76
Welcome maderito,

Despite your obvious dedication and enthusiasm; please don't forget to enjoy the experience. It's human nature to be competitive, but try not to let that become a burden to you or your family ;)

Sorry if I'm merely stating the obvious ;)

Kind Regards,

H.
 

andyfreeman

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2012
Messages
117
Hello and welcome!

Quite an inspiring intro. Good luck with your quest. I know what you mean about F2L: it took me ages to establish a flow where the brain just recognised patterns and solved the pairs without a thought.

If you haven't seen them already, these comps might help you practice:

Race to sub30:

http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/showthread.php?21411-quot-NEW-quot-Race-to-Sub-30!

Last Layer:

http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/showthread.php?34570-Last-Layer-Competition

F2L

http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/showthread.php?34425-F2L-Competition

And the weekly:

http://www.speedsolving.com/forum/showthread.php?34948-Weekly-competition-2012-04

It doesn't matter about your times: it helps you practice and keep track of your times. And more importantly, a bit of friendly competition makes it more fun to practice.
 

MarcelP

Member
Joined
May 24, 2012
Messages
3,863
Location
Noord Holland, The Netherlands
WCA
2012POOT01
YouTube
Rossiehoorn
Hi Maderito,

Welcome. I am a newby here too. My goal is the sub 1 minute. In only a few weeks I went from 5 - 10 minute solves to average of 1:30. I clocked a 1:10 yesterday.

Your post made me enthusiastic! Great first post.
 
Last edited:

Dimeg

Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Messages
54
Location
Netherlands
Hi Maderito,

Welcome. I am a newby here too. My goal is the sub 1 minute. In only a few weeks I went from 5 - 10 minute solves to average of 1:30. I clocked a 1:10 yesterday.

You're post made me enthusiastic! Great first post.
Good luck to both of you. You will get there! :)
 
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