The joy of repetition


The joy of repetition John Kitchin, aka Slomo, does the same thing every day: He rollerblades up and down the boardwalk in Pacific Beach, San Diego. This is his story

Living the California Dream was making me depressed: I was a successful doctor, a neurologist with a private practice in Long Beach. I had a villa, a pool, a tennis court, a Ferrari in the garage and several million dollars in the bank. But 20 years ago, I realized that none of that made me happy.

I used to rollerblade at night, just to relax. Gliding around, I felt like I was eleven or twelve years old again – completely free, without a care in the world. Then I decided to change my life radically, give up everything and just concentrate on skating.


I sold almost all of what I owned and moved into a small apartment on the beach right here in San Diego. I’ve been celebrating my freedom every single day since then. I rollerblade up and down the boardwalk, usually at sunset, wearing shorts so that I can feel the wind blow­ing gently around my legs. I laugh out loud because I’m happy and people laugh with me. I’ve become a permanent fixture on the boardwalk here.

Over time, I developed my own style of skating with my arms outstretched. It feels like a cross between surfing and flying. I acquired the nickname “Slomo” ­because I rollerblade so slowly. Slomo as in slow motion. “Hey Slomo,” people say, “what’s up?” Sometimes my hands hurt from all the high-fives.

People always want to know whether I don’t get bored just skating up and down. I most definitely don’t. But there are days when this surprises even me. It’s probably connected to the fact that I’m doing it of my own free will. Every day, I decide to do exactly what I want to do, and every day, I choose to do exactly the same thing.




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