Archive for the ‘fidgeting’ Tag

Slingin’

Ok, so I missed my “optimal” posting time for this week (Monday at noon, according to WordPress).  But I’m keeping up with the at-least-once-a-week goal I set for myself with this sub-optimal šŸ˜œ post about a new hobby I want to share with you. 

I’m a fidgety person. Always have to have something to busy my hands so that my brain stays focused. Flipping and clicking pens, drumming my fingers, bouncing my knees, spinning a top (or my ring) on my desk, rubbing a worry stone, mashing a stress ball, stringing paperclips…you name an annoying fidget and I’m sure I’ve done it. 

Recently, I’ve discovered fidget spinners and fidget cubes. These stress relievers are designed specifically for us twitchy ones. I have a brass spinner made from plumbing parts and a 3D printed plastic one. Both were cheap and quick to obtain. But they don’t really keep my hands busy enough to eliminate the buzz of distraction from my head. 

So when I stumbled on a new skill toy, I jumped in with enthusiasm. I’m still not good at it, but I’m fast becoming obsessed. 

What is it? Begleri. Weird word, I know. It’s a skill toy form of an ancient Greek worry bead set called a komboli. Those are multi-bead strands, typically of wood or polished stones, that are held and counted (like prayer beads) and sometimes flipped. Still used widely in Greece today. The modern begleri, however, is usually just ‘two beads and a string’, to quote one of my favorite begleri artists. (Some sets have multiple beads, though.)

The toy part is in the slinging – flipping the begleri around your hand and through your fingers. The skill part comes in when you learn to control the thing so you’re not slinging it into your head, your neighbor’s head, your windows, or your expensive HD tv. Tricks and techniques are what it’s all about. The result is a mostly useless set of dexterity skills that nevertheless rewards you with tons of fun, some mental focus, and (when you’re good) some street cred. 

I’m not yet brave enough to post video of my own slinging. But I have included a pic of my favorite set. Since I’ve only picked it up in the last couple of months, I’m still a beginner and only doing basic, small combos. But I’m watching video tutorials and reading about it and slowly getting better. It’s a fun hobby that I hope to perpetuate. 

Here’s a link to a YouTube video showing some seriously skilled slingers. Honestly, this video and an article I read online (can’t find the article now) are the reason I started this. 

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