Dr. John Kitchin quit a medical career to pursue his passion: skating along the boardwalk of San Diego’s Pacific Beach. He calls himself “Slomo.”
An extract from The New York Times, written by John Izenberg ~ http://nyti.ms/1lkXluH
I’ve long been fascinated by people who make seismic changes late in life. It goes against the mainstream narrative: Grow up, pick a career, stick it out, retire. I was also curious about Slomo’s concept of “the zone,” a realm of pure subjectivity and connectedness that he achieves through his skating. The only thing Slomo loves more than being in the zone is talking about the zone, so it wasn’t hard to persuade him to take part in a documentary film.
Slomo’s combination of candor and eloquence made him a natural on camera, and his background as a neurologist legitimized his metaphysical theories about skating, lateral motion and the brain. But like many of the people who saw him skating by, I couldn’t help wondering: was this guynuts, or was he onto something? And was his mantra – “Do what you want to” – translatable to those of us without the nest egg of a retired doctor? But just like the throngs of Slomo fans on Pacific Beach, I couldn’t get enough of him, and was determined to capture the effect he had on people in a cinematic way.
Watch the short movie, trust me, this is worth 16 minutes of your life.
Paraphrased transcript for my own personal enjoyment…..
A 93 old-man told Slomo “Do What You Want To!”
Slomo is a very successful doctor who dropped his fame and fortune to be a new person. To do what he wanted to do. A man who did a very scary thing, that is, he went off the grid.
“I don’t want to be a doctor until the end of my life and just keel over.”
“I found out that all I wanted to do is the basic things in life. I just want to skate. The more attention I put to it, the more enjoyable it got. It was the only spiritual part of my life. Every night, I went back to it like it’s some religious thing. I think what I am doing is a kind of flying.”
“Keep the acceleration constant. The feeling of expansion continues to build. You can use this feeling of expansion for meditation because it puts you in the zone.”
“For awhile I thought I might be going crazy because I am too happy!”
“Everybody has the capacity to dream up and believe anything he wants to. And you believe it because you choose to.”
“I am 11 and a half again when I skate, because that’s the last of the idealistic years.”
“Once we see the light, we know that there will be no satisfaction until we experience a kind of divinity. Something as close to divinity as man can experience. And I have that opportunity when I skate.”
Hey, I don’t mean that we should all drop everything we have like Slomo did. But we can still “do a Slomo” by making slight adjustments in our heart and in our head. How? By doing what we like to do, on the side. To take the time, to allow our true selves to re-surface. Sometimes we just gotta drop our rational selves and tap into the zone. Try something new. Think back into your childhood and remember what made you happy. It’s that simple. We are just too caught up in our daily grind. Find your midlife crisis, and embrace it. Here are some reads if you are really struggling about this concept ~ click here for an eloquent love letter from ChiquiPineda.com if you are a closeted artist; or a love letter from yours truly if you still don’t know what you want to do.
But there is a way out. Because that inner child is still there – lurking deep down. We just have to find a way to access it. Tap in. Find a way to bring it to the surface. Unlock and unleash it.
This is the path to the authentic self. This is the path to wholeness. This is what it means to be alive. And happy – not in a blissed out unicorns kind of way but in the sense that your life has directed meaning – a purpose that brings true satisfaction. – Rich Roll
If Slomo has succeeded to capture your imagination, there is more. Here is a riveting interview with Rich Roll that has truly delighted me. And again it is worth the two hours of listening Slomo talk passionately about how he finds and stays in the zone. Listen to it while cooking, walking, driving, folding the laundry…just please have a listen to the very end of the interview! You can thank me later <3