There is a big difference between solving a cube and speed cubing. The aim here is to let you experience your body on autopilot.
When you first commit to acquiring the skills to solve a 3x3 cube — you constantly hit barriers that you need to overcome.
Your brain is freaking out as you navigate and experience all sorts of new things. From finger movements, hand placements, colour patterns, 3-dimensional perspectives and a new vocabulary all combines into a utter cognitive overload.
But you persevere, you start hitting a groove. You build confidence and after a little bit of work you manage to crack it and you solve the cube for the first time.
I remember my first time solving the last layer with the beginners’ method. From, what looked like an utter mess, appeared a solved cube. It was magical to see. Watch out for it when you get around to doing it. But I digress.
You keep at it and in a short time, you improve allot! By this point you are well under a 2 minute solve. But something else is going on.
You start to get a sense of something brewing inside. It gets stronger the more you work with the cube. You are not sure what it is or what it means but you feel compelled to continue to seek it out. It feels like there is a destination that you need to reach, like a light at the end of a tunnel or the little chocolate bit at the bottom of an ice cream cone…
So you keep working at it. Solving again and again and again. Getting closer and closer to the unknown destination.
One unsuspecting morning you start a solve and things are just falling into place. You know it is going to be a good solve if you can just keep it together. The cube seems to move along the exact path of your current level of skills. Every step just flows into the next one. No setup moves, no AUFs, every turn is either lining something up or putting something in place. Smooth as butter.
By this point in the solve you have already fallen deep down the rabbit hole of your mind. So much so — that the cognitive overload from before, has turned into a well-orchestrated, sensory symphony of co-ordinated perfection. However, you are not the first violin or even the conductor. In this analogy, you are sitting somewhere in row 4 enjoying the show with a bag of sweets.
In reality, you are looking down at your hands — they are moving but you are NOT in control of it. The narrative of your inner voice is disconnected from what your nervous system is doing. On the inside, you are trying to shout instructions at your hands — but by the time you fill the second F2L slot you give up and just watch the solve unfold.
It feels like you are flying and sitting still at the same time. You feel the wind in your face but you are fully aware it's only your hands moving. Time slows down to a crawl. You have a really stupid look on your face but cannot control the muscles to change it.
Completing the solve you are instantly plucked out of the rabbit hole and plugged back into your body, finally in full control of your face again.
You sit there thinking what hell just happened? Did someone get that on camera?!
The first time this happened to me I was hooked. I needed to do it again. I needed to see how far down the rabbit hole I can go.