December 4, 2022
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How Larry found his groove in Jamaica

Larry Savitch sent this email to us recently.  He shares his story of how in the process of  ‘finding himself’ he not only how he fell in love with running but also with Jamaica.  He is looking forward to running in the Reggae Marathon this December.  Enjoy his story:

“Soulful town, soulful people:
Said, I see you’re having fun,
Dancin’ to the reggae rhythm,
Oh, island in the sun:
Oh, smile!

(In Jamaica) C’mon and smile!
(In Jamaica, y’all) Get it together, right now!
(In Jamaica) Get it together, children!
(In Jamaica, y’all)”
~ Bob Marley “Smile Jamaica”

Life changes constantly, sometimes at a glacial pace other times fast and sweeping. In nearly 46 years of life I, like everyone else have gone through a myriad of changes. For the first 36 years I was one of those lucky ones that was blessed with a genetically thin body that could eat just about anything and exercise close to nothing. Every so often, usually in the Spring I would go out for a 3 mile run, go as fast as I could finish in round about 30 minutes and be completely miserable. I would do this for a few weeks hate every moment and then stop until the next Spring. Why should I continue to run I was thin I could run 3 miles right? I had decided distance running, meaning anything over a 100 yard dash, was just a miserable experience. Have you taken a good look at people running on the roads?? Distance runners to me always look unhappy, I had no idea at the time that they were smiling on the inside.

A sweeping change happened with the discovery of a little device called a heart rate monitor. I once ran as fast as I could so that I finished as fast as I could. Running was not fun, but I found it was not the running that was unpleasant it was the way I was running that was unpleasant. With the heart rate monitor in tow and the knowledge of proper heart rates, I found that I was able to breathe without heaving, I noticed that there were trees, animals and things to see, what I really found was the joy of running.

1989 was my first trip to the Caribbean, the palm trees, the turquoise water, I felt a connection like this is where I belong. I have been back to several islands in the Caribbean including Jamaica for my honeymoon 17 years ago. I have loved every minute I have spent there, but that blasted Reggae music that beat it drove me crazy, I just could not stand it. Every song seemed the same, how can anyone listen to this stuff for more than one song every couple of years? This is where the glacial change happened for me. Over 17 years the beat that drove me crazy started seeping into my soul, first of course it was the timeless Bob Marley, but then it was Jimmy Cliff, Toots and the Maytals, Marley’s sons Ziggy and Stephen, any songs that had the Reggae lilt (as I call it). Now the island beat has me smiling on the outside any time I hear it.

I have, over the past 7 years ran 70+ races many 5 and 10K’s, 8 half Marathons and 2 full. The sweeping and glacial changes are bringing  me to the Reggae Marathon this December in Negril, combining  two of my favourite things in the world together for what I know will be one magical day of smiling both inside and out.

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You can find Larry Savitch in two places on Facebook:  Profile and LS Fitness.  If you have a story you’d like to share, send me an email:  [email protected]  We’d love to hear from you.

The Featured photo is by Errol Anderson from the Victory Party at the Reggae Marathon December 2010.

Until next time…

Reggae Marathon RunninGuy

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