November 30, 2021

My Closest Attempt at a World Record and a Lesson of Resilience

This past weekend, from November 26-28, I attended the CubingUSA Western Championship in Provo, Utah. I had a great time competing, breaking new personal records, and hanging out with my friends!

The main highlights and lowlights of the competition both lie in my results from Square-1 round 1. The main highlight is a 4.76 single, which currently puts me 3rd in the world! My previous record was 5.26, which was 10th place, so it’s really nice to be in the single digits now!

4.76 official Square-1 solve
6.62 official Square-1 average (almost world record!)

There were quite a few lowlights; in fact, there are enough of them for me to put them into a neat, bulleted list! 😆

  • The current North American Record single is 4.75, so my 4.76 is just 0.01 behind it!
  • Right before I went to compete, the cube I was planning to use broke (a small part of the core snapped), so I had to do a last-minute switch!
  • I received a +2 second penalty on the fourth solve (because when I stopped the timer, it was one move away from being solved). This penalty was the one thing that held me back from securing the world record average, which I’ve been striving for for a long time.
  • The scramble for the third solve was the easiest scramble I’ve ever seen at a competition. The solution was only 12 moves, while the average move count is at least 20, meaning it had serious world record potential. Unfortunately, the person who brought my cube to my solving station fumbled with the cube cover, exposing the scrambled puzzle for a split second. Per WCA Regulations, I had to get a new scramble, which was significantly worse than the original. The footage can be seen at this link. I’m not mad at anybody for this, however; it’s clear that it was all an accident, and I just happened to get a bit unlucky.

So, yeah… Numerous unfortunate events unfolded for me during this competition. Moving forward, my goal is to put all of this behind me. I’m trying to accept that it’s already happened and that there’s nothing that can be done about it. I’m hoping to treat this experience not as a setback, but as a way to fuel my drive and teach me to be resilient.

On the bright side, I was able to make the podium (top 3) for seven out of the seventeen events at the competition! I was thus able to take home seven trophies, the most out of anyone at the competition!

Trophies from the competition!

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