Gliding with "Slomo"

When on the Boardwalk along Mission and Pacific Beach, the rhythmic chant of "Slomo" can be heard emanating from the fans who know him

By: William Sapphire
Until about 20 years ago, Doctor John Kitchin had dedicated his time and energy to a full time neurology practice in San Diego, which as he describes, allowed him to possess fancy cars, multiple homes, and the other highly seductive parts of our materially and scientifically orientated society. His material successes allowed him to change direction and sample another type of life; a life where one could spend time in a state of prayer or meditation. And so it was some 20 years ago that Kitchin laced a pair of roller blades and began skating to beautiful music on the colorful boardwalk in Mission and Pacific Beach, which he has continued to glide no less than 4 hours a day each day since.

Those who frequent the boardwalk to bike, run, walk or collect recyclables tagged Kitchin with the name "Slomo" for his near motionless, acrobatic stance at perfect balance while gliding on his blades. A continuous, seemingly chant-like calling out of "Slomo" can be heard as he makes his passage in a near meditative state referred by him as the "Zone," a state where we as humans should strive to place ourselves.

It all comes down to balance according to "Slomo" ~ balance in the literal physical sense and balance in a true metaphysical sense. All of us from birth to the end of life are in constant connection by gravity to the center of the earth. What we experience as perfect balance is identical to the state of meditation or prayer. Skating is just one of the many ways one can use to perfect the sense of balance and benefit from the state of mind produced by meditation. 


There seems no doubt to "Slomo" that the act of perfecting one's balance is a type of worship ~ a worship of something more than just cars, houses, and money. The result is contentment from within ~ stronger and everlasting.

It takes but a moment's glance to appreciate how well "Slomo" has mastered the art of balance. His ever-watchful eyes study the faces of those in passing who, might they inquire, would learn how one man left what others might treasure to seek out and obviously find joyful longevity.