I learned how to play kubb from Eric Anderson in roughly 2007. He was a regular customer at the co+op I started, and we had a great location with a perfect kubb pitch across the street. We called it “peace park” and it was the site of numerous Kubb Friendlies. Adjacent to the Chippewa River, with bald eagles souring overhead and directly on the main bike trail in the center of town. This is what I consider to be the epicenter of Kubb in North America.
Since that fateful meeting, I have played kubb every week, if not every day. Until work got in the way.
In January of 2013 I had the incredible privilege of traveling to Honduras and Guatemala on behalf of the farmer-run organization I work for. (read about it here!) I’ve traveled regularly since learning Kubb and have always brought it along. Particularly when I’m headed south of the border. So it was with great trouble that I left all of my kubb pieces at home and traveled for 21 days with no equipment. I needed to travel light. Despite my fears, it was amazing, and I plan to take a “vacation” from Kubb every so often so I can remember what life was life BK (Before Kubb).
Although I didn’t really think about kubb, and certainly didn’t practice, I was becoming a better kubb player nonetheless. In both countries I was exposed to risky situations requiring all of my senses. I put my life in the control of strangers many times ( I don’t speak Spanish so I was relatively vulnerable) and was “outside of my box” for longer than I can ever recall. Writing this, now months later, I can see how my kubb game hasn’t necessarily improved, but that my mental game is in a much better place. Specifically, I’m enjoying the game more and feeling less stress.
I also used my hiatus as an opportunity to change up some bad behaviors and come back with more natural yet deliberate body motions. I always hear kubbers talking about “changing up the throw”, paying attention to a wrist angle or a foot position. This was my opportunity to reboot, and I took it. We’ll see if it affects my performance this season!