Sunday, February 10, 2013

Running for Sherry

There were a lot of reasons not to run. The trails were shrouded in a foot of new snow. The roads were glazed with a slippery white icing. The sun sulked behind overcast, cloudy skies. I was only going to be home for ten days total this month. Running lately has been combat style, draped in layers and skidding on ice. It has been slow and perilous. For a long time, that feeling of effortless motion has been lost to me.

But Saturday was the second annual run in remembrance for Sherry Arnold, the Montana runner who was grabbed off the street only a mile from her house and brutally killed. It was a run to remember her spirit and to take back the trails and streets for women everywhere, to say: we are not afraid.

So I went running, climbing the hill that eventually drops down to the frozen lake. It's stories like Sherry's that make me sometimes believe that I want to shut myself away in  a snowbound cabin far away from people forever, and it's running that allows me to believe that a spark of goodness lives on. As I ran I thought about how Sherry and the other missing and lost women will never be able to go running again. How we get all tangled up in our own insignificant problems when Sherry will never come home from a run, ever.

My run yesterday won't bring Sherry back. It's meaningless. But all over the world hundreds of women were running, alone and with others, in memory of someone they never knew. I imagined that we all ran shoulder to shoulder, an army of women, just asking for one thing: freedom to run where and when we want.

1 comment:

  1. I hope the cousin and others who have worked so long and tirelessly to honor Sherrie's memory will somehow read this post and know her influence and her spirit has spread far beyond her home in North Dakota.

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