How often do you consider how your health affects your yoyoing?
I have been thinking quite a bit on how one’s health and well being can greatly affect one’s yoyoing.
For example, and we will use a fairly simple one to open this topic. Flexibility.
Some might say “oh but I don’t do Marcus Koh behind the back tricks, I don’t need to worry about that.” Take into account that flexibility doesn’t just apply to how far you can bend back or reach your arm’s behind you. Think about where else your body bends when you yoyo Your wrist and elbows are good examples. When you don’t use much flexibility in your arms and wrist, many tricks can often look “robotic and choppy” for the most part. Do you find this to be the case? Try this little experiment. Before yoyoing, try stretching your wrist a bit in all dirrections. Pull back on your hand as far as you can and shake your wrist out to loosen them up (NOT TOO HARD THOUGH! You silly pup, don’t break your wrist! > . < ), bend your elbows around and get some good circulation in the muscles. After doing this for a few minutes, try throwing again. I have helped some individuals with this in the past and they found that it did have a very positive affect on their throwing.
Now moving forward, while you may not do Marcus Koh type body tricks, having the looseness and openness of freedom of body movement makes a huge difference, even if you are focusing your play in the “torso” frame. When you have good circulation and freedom of movement, you feel more relaxed and open to experiment. Things feel more natural, and thus, makes it more enjoyable for the player.
Let’s talk now about a phenomenon I have come to experience in terms of yoyo contest and yoyo performance, and this can apply to yoyo practice sessions as well. Contest day, you decide to get some lunch before you go up on stage. Hey there’s a pizza place! PIZZA MAH FACE! 20 minutes later, its time to go up, you may find that the pizza resulted in you feeling not completely 100%. Even if you didn’t eat that much, the starches and carbs in the pizza can cause a slight feeling of sluggishness. This goes for any food that contains many carbs and especially starches. Instead, try going for something lighter. My favorite “pre performance” food is a small sandwich of light mayo or mustard, lettuce, tomato, and a single slice of thinly cut turkey. Its light, but filling enough, and doesnt leave that “sluggish” feeling that something like a cheeseburger or pizza (Or ramen ya crazy wannabe asian kids! > . < ) would most likely give you. By eating light before your performance, you will feel lighter, more open to move, and much more energized.
Next, skin health.
Think about it, what is the yoyo string constantly touching and rubbing about? Your skin! Wether it be on your fingers and hands, on on your arms, or even your legs. The way the string slides around your skin could be greatly affected by how your skin is in terms of health. Its also a matter of your own well being. If you have dry skin, the string can cause your skin to crack, leaving small cuts that can hurt quite a bit. If your skin is overly oily and/or dirty. Your string can get dirty quite quickly, and have a negative affect on your tricks. Some simple skin care can do wonders for your yoyoing. My routine? I wash my hands each time before I yoyo using some natural soap infused with olive oil and avacado extracts. I then use a bit of moisturizing lotion all around my hands and arms that last for a while. Keeps the skin healthy, and the yoyo string sliding smoothly. (DONT yoyo right after applying the lotion though! It will mess up the string and make it all gunky and weird, wait a few minutes!)
Finally. Mental state. It goes without saying that one’s mental state can have a huge impact on creativity. Being relaxed opens up the mind and allows one’s soul to express itself freely. However, the yoyo can also be a tool to relax one’s self in times of tension. My findings are that one’s style also changes depending on their mental state. I.e, during a time of my life when I was going through deep depression and intense anger, I recorded myself yoyoing a bit. My throwing was fast, aggressive, and violent. Where as a time in my life I had just had a great experience with a friend that had relaxed me and made me feel overjoyed, I had recorded myself yoyoing and found that my style was very fluid and calm. Mental state can indeed have a HUGE affect on what you do.
In conclusion, take time to ponder these conclusions for yourself. And think about how your body and the actions you do to your body can affect your yoyoing life. And think about ways you too can improve how you care for yourself in ways to further your own growth.