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Slomo: Do What You Want To

Slomo VideoMy wife found the video below on the NY Times website this morning and shared it with me. Almost one year out from quitting my 10-year career as an academic to build a new career around my passion for running, this speaks to me on so many levels.

Do want you want to. Don’t be an asshole. Words to live by.

For more, go to the Slomo Movie website.

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About Peter Larson

This post was authored by Peter Larson. Pete is a biology teacher, track/soccer coach, and dad (x3) with a passion for running, soccer, and science. If you'd like to learn a little bit more about who I am and what I do, click here, or visit


  1. Lindsay Knake says:

    I love this guy! He’s so correct.

    For about as long as I can remember, my greatest fear has been mindlessly living the life I was “supposed to,” the stereotypical white picket fence American Dream life. Although I basically grew up in that life and am very grateful for everything I have, I’ve never wanted to live it myself. I needed more, something deeper. That’s why I love running so much. It’s my great adventure.

  2. Out of curiosity Pete, why did you want to do academia?

    • Good question, and honestly it was just something I kind of fell into. Started doing research as an undergrad, that led me to grad school, and pretty much the only option out of grad school for people in my area was academia (teaching or museum work). It was never my life’s dream. I enjoyed teaching, still do, but the rest of the stuff that comes with that job held little for me.

  3. There’s got to be a happy medium between being an asshole with a 12 cylinder BMW, a Ferrari, and an exotic animal collection and being a Chris McDougall-esque freak who likes to skate on one leg next to the ocean. What’s wrong with just being a normal dude doing the best you can? Life doesn’t have to always be one great adventure and epiphany after another.

    BTW, this dude’s previous life of affluence has made his present shiftless thrill-seeking lifestyle possible. So, I mean, yeah, do what you want, but just realize there are practical considerations for living in the world. And no, I don’t give a shit about what kind of car I drive or that kind of crap.

    • Absolutely, but for me that was kind of the point and the movie made me think.

      You can’t really make a living doing what he does, but he’s at the extreme. The point I took was that lots of people, much like I me in my prior career, live life working a job we don’t really love because it’s what we are supposed to do without ever really considering that there are more fulfilling way to go through life. Yeah he made his fortune, but he could have kept working another 10-15 years like he said. My guess is reactions to a video like this are going to vary based on how happy people are in their current career/position in life.

  4. The world would be a much better place if more people simply lived by the “don’t be an asshole” ethos.

  5. rovatti says:

    I was conflicted… inspiring? or grim?

    I decided on grim.

    – rovatti

  6. Chuck W says:

    Sure must be nice to be able to afford to pay for food, rent, gas, bills, etc, without having a job.

    • I think you missed the point. This guy was nearing retirement, but plenty of people are miserable in their jobs and have left to more fulfilling paths. He’s basically saying to follow your passion and to make a life out of things that make you happy. In his case he no longer needs a career, but for others a change in career can achieve the same result. It spoke to me because I’m one of those people.

      • I do understand the sentiment, and I wish it were easier for more people to follow their passions. I am miserable in my current job, and desperately looking for another career path. But the decision to leave a miserable but paying job is not lightly made for those of us who have pressing bills, debts, and responsibilities to loved ones. And just because we want to follow a passion, does not mean that we will automatically find paying work in that passion.

        • All very true. I started laying the groundwork for leaving my job several years in advance of actually making the jump. I had started this blog on a whim and had no idea I could make a career out of it at the outset. Once that became an option, I waited until the income could support my family and then made the switch. It’s tough to leave the security of a steady paycheck, and our income will be lower this year, but our happiness as a family makes up for that.

  7. Portercat says:

    I find his theory on linear acceleration (and bliss) facinating. Maybe this is why I have been so drawn to skating and cycling for so many years, and never taken to running. I am not saying that you cannot achieve this through running, but the flow and feeling of flying that is associated with skating is unmatched IMO.

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