The other night we had a Fireside Chat in the CLYW Discord server and it was truly great to catch up with people, update them on what we’re working on, and just talk about yoyoing.
The two most interesting questions that came up were some that I wasn’t expecting, but answering them felt really good. So I wanted to call them out here and elaborate a little on my answers.
This one caught me off guard a little, but when I thought about it I realized something important about my work with CLYW. I don’t consider what I do with this brand in terms of “accomplishment”, I consider it to be maintenance and infrastructure.
CLYW is not a vehicle for me to accomplish things, it’s a scaffolding for other people to accomplish things. It’s a platform for our team, for our fans, for the community at large. I’ve accomplished plenty on my own in my career and I don’t feel that kind of drive anymore…for me now it’s more a matter of approaching everything as “what can I build to help others” because looking back it’s clear that a lot of my own accomplishments were courtesy of the infrastructure that someone built before me. So I feel a strong obligation to give back. It’s why I started running the US installments of the World YoYo Contest, it’s why I put so much into CLYW, and it’s why I’m still involved in yoyoing at this level at all. I’m many, many years past contributing to yoyoing as a player, now it’s time to build the next stage for the next wave of players.
The next question that got me was in a similar vein:
And the answer here is: I don’t. I really don’t. But the yoyoing I do make time for is more deliberate, more thoughtful, and more meaningful to me.
I used to have all the time in the world to put towards just playing but I abhor a vacuum and I’ve always been one to fill all the empty space in my life. And because I’m forever curious about the world I’m always saying “yes” to things just to give them a look and see if I connect with them. A little over a year ago I said “yes” to helping a friend with some project management and ended up becoming co-founder of a small tech company. It eats up a lot of my time in a delightful and challenging way, and I’m really enjoying it. I also have four kids, ranging from 5 years old to 17, which presents me with a wide range of daily tasks and challenges. I also manage an online store for some artist friends, have recently started writing a blog again for myself, and need to rewatch all 7 seasons of Buffy The Vampire Slayer once a year. I’ve filled all the empty spaces with a lot of things that are not related to yoyos so while I have yoyos around me at all times I don’t pick them up unless I have a very specific idea or question.
I’ve often built tricks around questions: “What would happen if I did this instead of that?” or “Can I make the yoyo move like that juggling trick I saw my friend Jay do that one time” or “If I start this with a reverse spin, will that make the trick work better?” That’s been my modus operandi for a really long time and that hasn’t changed…it’s just now those aren’t the only questions floating around in my head, or even a majority. I’m solving for other things these days, and I feel pretty content to have answered what I’ve answered for myself with yoyoing. I still love it, and I still immediately identify myself as a yoyo player, but now I guess I don’t feel like I have to prove it all the time.
Anyway, I’m going to try and more regular chats in the CLYW Discord, and possibly bring in some special guests to chat with, so make sure you join.