Kelly Slater Speaks On Love, Retirement, And The Distant Intimacy Of Social Media
“I don’t love competing the way I once did.”
With mysterious words, spoken in the direct aftermath of an early Portuguese exit, 11x World Champ Kelly Slater left us wondering if this might really, truly be his final year competing on the CT.
Now, in familiar fashion, the potential Mid-Year Cut victim has put thumbs to screen and given insight into his thoughts on competition, retirement, and the stranglehold of social media upon our collective consciousness.
“Portugal, done and dusted. We judge our success by results in this tour but when I look through the photos and think of the memories, the wins are judged over a lifetime. The emotions we harbor, both good and bad, about our present time run a good spectrum over the course of minutes, days, weeks, years, decades.
I don’t know when these times of competition will end but I am sure that many details I miss in the present moments will reveal a much broader appreciation with time and separation. I don’t love competing the way I once did. But I do hold the presence of mind and intensity of the moment as the highest of highs in my lifetime. And I miss them when I let myself down in the competitive sense.
I don’t post much here anymore. I spend a lot of time on social media, reading, watching, interacting. It’s an odd addiction. The all encompassing ability to enter other people’s worlds for a moment is strange and fun and terrifying. And sad. I wish for a better world but I know the good is there always. Just like in the tenth frame of this post. Thank you to the Portuguese people and crowds for making me feel at home anytime I’m with you here. It was an emotional day after losing but feeling the love from you all makes hard moments worth all the years of energy and output. “
Though his digital transmission does little in the way of clarifying his potential retirement plans, it allows us a rare look into the vulnerability (and massage gun routine?) of our humble pastime’s greatest competitor.
I’m not crying, you’re crying.
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