Do What You Want To

Last week defeated me in more than one way. I felt drained, stressed, anxious, and like I had no extra room for happiness in my brain. My happiness and spirtuality didn’t seem like a priority.

On Sunday morning, my husband Ryan, who had an equally grueling week, said, “I know you want to rush out the door, but just take 16 minutes to watch this video with me. It’s important.” The video opened my eyes.

I curled up in bed with Ryan and was introduced to SloMo, the eccentric 70-year old who can be found performing a type of Tai Chi on roller blades while blasting classical music in San Diego nearly every day. The 16 minute video about SloMo instantly changed my perspective and I found myself re centered and awake. Ready to live.

At first glance, SloMo appears to either be a crazy homeless man or a mentally handicapped person aimlessly skating along the boardwalk. But oh was I quickly reminded to not judge a book by its cover! SloMo is John Kitchin, a retired neurologist who abruptly gave up his career in medicine and moved to a studio near the beach to live out what he loves doing most, skating in slow motion on the boardwalk.

Before he transformed into SlowMo, John Kitchin lived an all too ordinary life, one that was overworked, over scheduled, and obsessed with money and material objects. He was lost and unhappy and  had turned into a self-proclaimed “asshole”. One day while working at the hospital, Dr. Kitchin met a 93-year old man who was relatively youthful and was smiling.

Dr. Kitchen asked him what his secret to living such a long life.

His response? “Do what you want to”.

Twenty years later a lost and unhappy Kitchin gave his life a hard look. He was living by society’s rules that hard work, making money, and buying nice things will make your life complete. Here he was depressed and frustrated – living a life that was 90% about money and only 10% about spirituality. He was ready for a change.

At this time he also began to start seeing things a little fuzzy. Faces were beginning to be a little out of focus for him. He made a spastic decision to quit his former life as a capitalist and live a life doing what makes him happy.

Fast forward to his life living in a studio apartment on the beach, living out his day creating art and music and smiling and high fiving passersby as he happily skates toward the horizon for hours a day. He’s made his own rules. He has discovered that his one-legged way of slow motion skating provides a way for him to experience a sort of religious ecstasy and a connection with himself, calling it The Zone.

At first he thought this was all connected with his mental breakdown and he was going to continue to lose sight of himself and deteriorate until it killed him. Seven years later he has never felt more connected, happy, or centered. “Do What You Want To” has become is mantra for living.

Is he on to something? Decide for yourself. Believe me, it’s worth the sixteen minutes of your day:

SloMo has reminded me to slow things down. Forget the rules that others are making for you and make your own. Simplify your needs. Find what makes you happy. Reframe your life. Do what makes you happy a little bit each and every day. I will like my life depends on it, because it does.

xoxo Katie

  • Aww, isn’t it great how just when you need some relief you get a reminder from life that it’s OK to slow down, not worry and have some fun. How nice!

    • kwalshmac

      Yes, I’m not much of a religious person, but when his story made it’s way to my little home on Sunday it felt like a sign from God. Life is ours for the taking. Don’t let it slip away.

  • Do you know why this makes me so happy? I ran with him for years. Not WITH him per say, but along that beach in that beautiful area for years while he skated in SLOMO. And, he’s so sweet. He says hi, carries a little conversation as he moves by in such an amazing slow movement. It’s almost like watching ballet.

    I also can’t say how happy it makes me that he’s touching so many people’s lives simply by doing the same exact thing every single day for years. As kids we’d wait for him to come, and slide by with a smile on his face.

    • kwalshmac

      That is so cool! As an adult- that must have been such a lovely daily reminder to live your life! What a great personality to look up to in your community. Thank goodness his story is now being told. I’m still in such awe over his eloquence, charm, and brilliance. Whenever that “awe” comes over me I know that I simply HAVE to share in on the blog.

  • THIS IS SO GOOD. What a perspective on life!

    • kwalshmac

      I’m SO in love with slomo and happy that is message is getting spread near and far!

  • I can’t thank you enough for this simple, yet difficult reminder. I love it!

    • kwalshmac

      I was so inspired by this message I had to share it immediately. I need to have little reminders like this every week or so or I just lose sight of what truly matters in this rat race of life.

  • Love this Katie! Thanks for sharing.:) By the way, I just sent you an email.