A young Cuber

By Michael Moad
Do you remember your favorite pastime or hobby at 10 years old? Some kids love to play outside, others like to play sports, and some enjoy reading. Recently, our oldest son, now 10, embarked on a journey to master the Rubik’s Cube. Michael has an interesting personality. He enjoys playing sports, rough-housing with his brother, and generally being a rowdy boy, but this newfound passion has taken him over like nothing we’ve experienced as parents up to this point.

The journey to figuring out the rather challenging puzzle, however, didn’t quite come on his own. Michael first got a taste of the 3×3 cube while watching his older cousin effortlessly rotate the mixed colors back into order. It was almost inconceivable how quickly Grant could move one color around the six sides of the cube and into its rightful place. Michael was intrigued since Grant was the only family member, out of nearly 20 immediate members, that could solve the cube. Fast forward several years later, Michael acquired a cube or two from birthdays and Christmas, but the code to bringing the colors back into order after scrambling them seemed to evade him.

It finally happened after I spent nearly three hours on YouTube dissecting an expert’s tutorial on how to easily solve the Rubik’s Cube. Once I had the several algorithms memorized, I set out to instruct Michael in a step-by-step manner that I became very familiar with in my Army training. Less than two weeks later, Michael could easily solve the cube within three minutes or so – very fast for any non-professional “cuber.” My reign as the household speed champion only lasted about a week or so. Michael spent every waking hour practicing the algorithms. It rapidly became more than a hobby and is now an obsession. The slightly annoying click of the turns of the cube has become a familiar household sound, amusing onlookers and this proud dad.

The regular Rubik’s Cube is a great starter toy, where everyone learns the fundamentals. But if you want to be fast – I mean faster than one minute – you need a specially designed speed cube. This is what the Pros use, and it really does make all the difference. Suddenly, with a lot of hours of practice, more hours of watching professional YouTube tutorials and videos, and then a speed cube in hand, Michael became the champion of the house…by a long shot.

He still has a lot of ground to cover before he is ready for the big show, but for now, I am so proud of him for taking on a mentally strenuous challenge. He has really impressed us with his devotion to achieving excellence. I can only imagine what other things Michael will take on in his life that will impress me more than solving a Rubik’s Cube in 40 seconds. By the way, I’ve improved too, out of necessity, since I can’t have my 10 year old totally walking away with every Rubik’s Cube show down we do.


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2 Responses to “A young Cuber”

  1. Karen Rush says:

    Go Michael! We have a ten year old cuber too! It’s fun to hear the rapid clicks and know the finish is near. Keep on keeping on…it’s so impressive!

  2. ACE says:

    Congratulations, Michael! I am 80 years old and have never mastered Rubik’s cube. You are a very smart young man.

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