Saturday Spotlight- Laurie Sarquis

Name: Laurie Sarquis (nickname Slur)
Massage Therapist at Hand and Stone
Married with two boys, Julian 11 and Daniel 8
Two dogs, Sam and Ace
One cat, Sparkle aka Princess aka PBC
One tarantula named Morticia
One Beta fish named Tiger (RIP 12/14/2016) Welcome Sky (new beta fish on 12/15/16)

I grew up in Uniondale (former home of the NY Islanders) with two older brothers and loving parents. My Childhood was spent playing in our pool, out on my dad’s boat, fishing and clamming, helping my dad in his garden, and at Freeport Speedway, watching my brother who did the demolition derby’s. Ever since I can remember my love was horses. Everything was horses. I had my first riding lesson at age 7 at Bethpage stables. I was hooked. I wanted to be a jockey, but being tall runs in my family and that dream was crushed. I continued taking lessons, did ridding summer camp, and eventually competed in horseshows across Long Island. My family didn’t have enough money for me to have my own horse, so I competed on schoolies, and most times placed higher than my friends riding their expensive show horses. I continued riding and showing until I went to college. It was probably the one thing that saved me, as I was hanging out with my friends and roaming the streets late at night doing things that I shouldn’t of. Sometimes I look back and wonder how we weren’t killed (driving through Harlem late at night, being chased by people from the gas station that our lovely driver just stole gas from. It was like something out of a movie). But I always made it to the barn for my lessons and up early to get to the shows.

I went to College at SUNY Cobleskill as an Animal Science major. Got kicked out after my third semester for bad grades (I give credit to my bad relationship at this time. He wasn’t the kindest person). Had some jobs at riding stables as a groom, working for some of the top trainers and riders on Long Island. Alternated between that and some office jobs over the years until going back to Cobleskill to finish my degree. After that, more office jobs, until I was spotted at the Hampton Classic and got offered a job at Sag Pond Farm. So myself and new boyfriend (future husband) moved out east and I worked there for over three years. Lots of wealthy clientele came from the city to come ride their expensive show ponies. Worked 6 days a week driving from East Moriches to Sagaponack. Gotta love that traffic into the Hamptons. But it was a great job that I loved and I made some great friends. The parties, the bars, watching and dipping into the lifestyles of the rich and famous. Became friends with Eleanor Mondale, met Kim Bassinger and Alec Baldwin. Jimmy Buffets daughter rode there. Helped out with magazine photo shoots ( I was in a copy of I think Vogue magazine. I was hidden behind a bush holding the leadrope for a horse). One of the things that got to me was how some of these people thought they were so self-deserving. I guess huge amount of money can do that to people.

Anyway, other jobs, got married, two kids later. Always had a gym membership, but running was never part of any workout. I hated running. In school it was me and a friend that was always last coming around the track, huffing and puffing from smoking. Running was just something I never enjoyed or thought I would ever do. But thanks to FB, I reconnected with an old friend in the UK, and that is where it started. He was not a runner. He smoked, drank, had several surgeries from prior injuries. But one day he posted that he was going out for a run. Just out of the blue! And he kept with it. So almost a year later, after reading all his running posts, I signed up to volunteer at my sons 5k at River Ave. Well, volunteering at this race changed my life. The enthusiasm and support of all the runners was unknown to me. Magical. Who are these people?? They came in thanking us and so supportive of each other. It was after this race that I saw the flyer on my windshield for the Sayville running series. The MacArthur 5k was on it. I got my friend Cathy to do it with me. My first 5k. I was not prepared, but it introduced to me to whole new world. I remember after the 5k, telling my husband how far I ran. 3 miles!!!!! That was the most incredible thing I have done!!!! ME! Doing a 5k! I was hooked, and so was my friend. We did a couple more 5k’s after that, and that fall I got a postcard in the mail for Team in Training. Interesting. Could I do a half marathon? I got a friend to sign up with me and in 2012 completed the Long Island Half. Working with TNT was amazing. The support and training runs were great. Fundraising sucked, but was amazed at peoples generosity, especially from the ones who I never expected (the captain of our annual fishing trip out of Montauk donated. We saw this man once a year!!). Of course after that I had to sign up for the Diva half. Who was I becoming?? I always remember watching the NYC Marathon and talking to my friend Cathy about how we could never do that. Well, from that day volunteering at the River 5K to 2 NYC Marathons, I guess I can call myself a runner. Not the fastest ( I am still trying to get to my goal of a 5k in 30 minutes this year) but I try to do my best. I have made some amazing friends. If it wasn’t for them, I probably would not be running today (my “Island Girls Running” shout out, you know who you are and I love you girls). It was them that introduced me to The Hills. I remember my first hills run. I hated it. It was a cold February, and a birthday run I think, 2013? With Elizabeth Jordon. I didn’t do the hills much that first year, but like crack, they become addicting. And I have made more friends thanks to them and this group. I’m not the overly social type and keep pretty quiet (doing this is killing me), but you all amaze and inspire me, and for that I thank you. My husband probably regrets that day of my first race. He is not so supportive and wonders why I need to get up so early, and pay for races when I could just run around the block at any time (may need a new husband hahahahaha). And as for my friend who inspired me with all his running posts? Well, let’s just say, if things go as planned, me and him have something epic planned for 2017.
Enjoy your weekend everyone and be careful out there.

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