had to write a college essay, obviously I wrote about yoyos. I though I would share, as this is basically why I yoyo.
Life is often fulfilling, exciting, challenging, problem filled, brimming with success, and so much more. Yet it is always tiring. Even in times of success and definitely times of challenge life can take its toll. An escape is needed, someplace to go to remove yourself and recover. For me it needs to exist beyond this room, beyond where I go on a day to day basis. These common places are where I busy myself, where I work, learn and grow. But these things take energy. What is the use of learning if I am too stressed to think, or the use of growth if I am too tired to apply it? I need a place beyond these which are so closely tied with everyday business. I found it two years ago, in a little piece of molded plastic commonly thought of as a child’s toy.
Yoyos have been many things through their extensive history, a child’s toy definitely being the most prominent. Origins unknown, mentions of yoyos are scattered throughout history, from ancient Greece to ancient China. Yet it was in the last fifteen years that yoyos have become something more than fleeting entertainment. Yoyos rapidly went from ten dollar toys with a few second spin time to twenty five dollar plastic yoyos that can spin for close to a minute to today’s best yoyos which are fully machined aluminum capable of spinning for minutes at a time and can be up to the a hundred dollars. This advancement was driven by the players, who rapidly turned yo-yoing from having a few basic tricks to having a nearly infinite number. A whole culture, including contests on a global level, performances, trading cards, popular players, and clubs, rapidly formed around this toy. I discovered the reason for this growth from the first day I picked one up.
A yoyo rolls off my fingers snapping the string taught. The buzz of the bearing accompanies the slight whiff of air as I swing into a mount. It hops from string to string, forming and dissembling pictures, dancing through the tricks. The yoyo works as an extension of my arm, into it flows creativity, passion and pure joy.
But it’s just a toy.
In the same way, running is just exercise, music is just air being compressed, and literature is just a unique compilation of words.
Whether it is on road trip, standing at a rundown gas station with stiff legs and dreary eyes or stationed barefoot in the center of my room, yo-yoing provides an escape; an escape not in the sense of running away, but in the sense of providing a momentary lull in the business of life. I can take my attention from all the various things and holistically apply myself to this act. It can be a challenge, something to conquer, advancing my skill levels and achieving new heights. It can be my meditation, a chance to express my feeling through its movements, varying from technical and challenging to open and flowing. It can be my social tool, a topic to talk to the interested and mutually addicted. It can be a performance, dazzling spectators.
It allows me to recover. It allows me to apply all these things, hard work, achievement, creativity, social connections, back to my real life. A simple piece of plastic for expressing life’s goals and ideals in the simplest manner.
p.s. -sorry for the wall of text