This wonderful film by Josh Izenberg via The New York Times, tells the story of Dr. John Kitchin, who renamed himself “Slomo“, who decided to quit a successful career as a neurologist in order to do the one thing that made him happy – inline skating along the Pacific Beach boardwalk in San Diego, California. The words of a chance encounter with an older man many years before and his failing vision, spurned the doctor into reinventing himself to be who he really wanted to be.
I was lost in a rational world…I was hardworking, thinking only about material things, a 12-cylinder BMW, a Ferrari, an exotic animal farm. I lived in a mansion. I remember I would leave the office and I would think to myself how much of today promoted me spiritually and how much did it promote me financially. And it would take a little reckoning. At the beginning it seemed like it was about 90% spiritual and as the years went by it got about 90% financial…and then I had the opportunity to stop…So I was thinking if I’m going blind, losing my vision and it’s affecting my work, and my work is very unsatisfactory to start with…why don’t I just cash it in and start a whole new life. Be another person. Reinvent myself…I found out all I really wanted to do was the basic things and skate…It was the only spiritual part of my life
At times Dr. Kitchin does creep into the conversation, particularly when Slomo talks about his unique style of skating an how three pieces of cartilage in the middle ear can make the body think that it’s flying. It’s his knowledge, his courage and his Southern charm that makes Slomo such an interesting and admirable man.