Month: May 2016
Last Sunday, the kids had fun at Connors Cube Day. It was a fundraiser for the RCD Foundation. Their dad took them in the morning and I joined them at lunchtime to bring Zac home.
During the morning, I was following the boys progress on CubeComps.com and was excited to see Nat coming first in the 2x2x2 event! He ended up coming first in that round, faster than Feliks Zemdegs! He ended up finishing third in the final, with Feliks coming first.
I was pleased to see Zac’s first few solves in the 3x3x3 event. He finished 82nd in the 2x2x2 event and 90th in the 3x3x3 event. He’s so happy that he was able to compete and didn’t care too much about his times.
I had fun catching up with some of the other mums I chatted to at the last competition before taking Zac home. He was so exhausted after a busy morning he fell asleep in the car, and fell asleep on the couch when we got home!!
Nat had an amazing day, coming home in time for dinner. He had one podium finished (for 2x2x2 event), and a number of personal bests. Unfortunately, his camera wasn’t working so he wasn’t able to put any of his solves up on YouTube.
He was still on crutches, but this didn’t stop him at all!
My 12 year old has myalgic encephalomyelitis, more commonly known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or ME/CFS. There are a quite a few symptoms, but in my son the biggest ones are lack of energy and brain fog.
When his older brother started solving cubes, Zac took it up too. He can solve a cube, but isn’t nearly as fast as his brother is.
Next Sunday, he will be attending his competition as a competitor.
Because of his ME/CFS, we have had to plan things carefully. On Saturday, the only thing he has is a piano lesson. The rest of the day will be quiet so he can have energy for the next day. He will be going to his dad’s on Saturday night, so we need to make sure he has an early night.
Solving a cube may not take much energy for most people, but for Zac, mental exertion can be just as tiring as physical exertion. This means we have had to restrict the events he can sign up for. He has chosen to enter the 2x2x2 and 3x3x3 events and doesn’t expect to get through to a second round. Brain fog may also impact on his times…
Add to this the excitement of a competition, all the people, noise, and cubing. This can drain energy too. The last competition we went to, he was exhausted by the end of the lunch break and was glad to go home, even though he really wanted to stay.
Instead of spending the whole day at the competition, I will be picking him up at lunchtime so he can rest, hopefully able to go to school the next day.
I’m posting this here as part of the Millions Missing campaign. My 12 year old is missing the fun and excitement of being a full participant in these competitions. I am grateful for the program he did last year with the Royal Children’s Hospital that helps us plan for these events so he can participate for at least part of it.
This year, we’ve had the unfortunate issue of many visits to emergency. The staff at the hospital have been AMAZING, and they remember us when we come in (I’m still not sure this is a good thing…).
The reason the staff remember us is not because he’s been unwell with some pretty extreme pain, they remember us because of his cubing!
It’s not unusual for a nurse or doctor to see him cubing and call over other staff members to watch him.
When we are in the waiting room, Nat sits there and cubes. It’s not unusual to have an audience there too! People offer to scramble cubes, little kids want to try them out, adults remember their time solving them back in the 1980s and tell stories about how they would just take the stickers off (Nat does his best not to roll his eyes too loudly), and generally practicing to get faster.
There was one memorable visit when the pain was in his left hand and he couldn’t move it, so instead of practicing one-handed solves with his non-preferred hand, he practiced solving his cube with his feet! That really impressed the others in the waiting room!
Having a cube has been useful when we have long waits, it’s also helped me gauge how much pain he’s in. If the pain is too bad, he doesn’t cry and carry on, he doesn’t feel like cubing…
On one visit, he created the following video to give tips to other cubers on what to do if they have to wait in a hospital waiting room… If you’re the parent of a speedcuber, they may be worth keeping in the back of your mind if ever you need them.