The busyness of college affects everyone differently, and students choose several outlets to relieve that stress such as reading, hammocking, or working out. Senior nursing major Quentin Rohl however, finds his relief in a unique outlet: yo-yoing.
Rohl began his pursuit of yo-yoing as a young kid when a professional yo-yo thrower came to his elementary school and began to teach basic tricks. Rohl said that he gave up throwing for several years, only picking his yo-yo back up every now and then, until his sophomore year of high school.
“I was bored one summer and bought a yo-yo online,” Rohl said. “At first I thought it was broken because it was more complex than I was used to, so I had to Google how the yo-yo worked.”
Rohl said that after looking up the basics of the yo-yo, he was introduced to more advanced forms of throwing. He began to dig into the five different divisions of yo-yoing, beginning with the simplest form, 1A string tricks.
“I played around with [string tricks] for a little bit and I let go of it,” Rohl said. “College is where I picked it up again and learned about all of the different divisions. 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, and 5A.”
He learned each of the divisions, but the one that stuck with him the most was 4A off-string throwing, Rohl said. That is the style that most ACU students who have seen him practice are familiar with.
Rohl said he would practice almost every day, whether that was in school or in church. Through his practice, he met his good friend and fellow thrower, Ben Hewatt.
“As I was throwing in church, I had some people ask if I knew this other guy that yo-yo’s,” Rohl said. “They had introduced me to him and now we try to meet every Sunday.”
Hewatt has also helped Rohl pursue yo-yo competitions. Rohl said that Hewatt is helping organize the competition in Houston in February 2020, one in which he would like to compete in. Currently, it is unknown whether the 2020 competition is a state or regional competition, which will determine if Rohl can compete.
Rohl has also been to see several throwing competitions across America, including the world competition in Cleveland, Ohio. Rohl said that the excitement around the competitions and the yo-yo community is unlike anything he’s ever seen.
“This competition has me a little worried,” Rohl said. “I’m very excited, though. The yo-yo community will always support you whether you bomb your performance or not. They really support each other, and everyone is so nice.”
Outside of yo-yoing, Rohl is a well-traveled individual as well as a full-time nursing student. Growing up in an oil and gas family, Rohl was born in Indiana and moved worldwide. He has lived in Houston, Australia, Singapore and finally Abilene.
Rohl said that he has stayed busy with school and clinical’s at the hospital, but that it has not kept him from pursuing yo-yoing. He also said he performs his tricks at the hospital for kids and other patients who need something to brighten their day.
“We are focused on pediatrics this year and a fellow nurse asked a young patient if he wanted to see some tricks,” Rohl said. “So, I went in there and showed him and his family and it blew their minds.”
Rohl said he plans to continue to pursue nursing and yo-yoing, as well as trying to incorporate it more into his professional work. By competing this upcoming February in Houston, he hopes to fulfill his dream of reaching and winning the world competition.
“I carry it for fun but also it’s so fun to show other people,” Rohl said. “Often times it blows their mind because they don’t know what modern yo-yoing is.”