Thinking about Sherry

Sherry Arnold

We all heard the horrible news yesterday about the death of Sherry Arnold, mom, runner, teacher, and cousin of Beth. And we all, on some level, can relate to the horror and tragedy of this story.

It’s just not the way it’s supposed to go. She went out for a run and never came home. It makes me sad, makes me angry, makes me want to scream for the injustice of it all. I’m sure you all feel the same.

It’s easy to say “be careful out there.” And we all should be as diligent as possible. But I’m quite sure Sherry was as careful as any of us. She had the horrible luck of being in the wrong place, at the wrong time. I highly doubt anything she did or didn’t do could have prevented this tragedy.

So here’s the thing: Yes, we need to be cognizant of our surroundings at all times, and as careful as possible. We all know the drill–run with others when possible; let others know your route and expected time of return; don’t wear headphones that cancel out your ability to hear what’s going on.

But we also should  go out boldly for our runs and claim the right that we have to our streets, trails and parks. We love our sport and have a right to it. We should not let the bad guys win by chasing us inside to the safety of our treadmills.

I think that, in some way, we honor Sherry’s memory by showing that we won’t let fear get the best of us.

Rest in deserved peace, Sherry.

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  1. says

    I am of the same mindset, Miss Zippy. I will not be scared into running or working out inside. Once we let ‘the bad guys’ dictate our lives, they’ve won and we’ve lost. I will be careful. I will share my plan/route with someone and call to check in before and after. In honor of Sherry, I will keep on keeping on and being strong and living fully.

    This is so tragic and my heart and thoughts go out to all who knew her. I cannot imagine how difficult the whole situation has been for them :(
    XLMIC recently posted..I’m wondering what’s going on with me, too.My Profile

  2. says

    Amen and amen. We must not let the actions of the horrible few stop us from doing what we love. After all, it was Anne Frank who said, “Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart.”
    We just must never forget.
    Kathy Reed recently posted..Hello Houston!!!My Profile

  3. says

    This is sickening. My heart goes out to her family and friends. What a sad event.

    Thank you for the reminder to be bold and not fearful. Aware and protective. May we all be able to be healthy, fit, and safe!
    Vieve recently posted..Survival of the FittestMy Profile

  4. says

    Well, said. I was feeling the same way when I went out the door for my run.
    I refuse to let fear guide my life. I try to be as smart as I know how but I won’t stop because I’m scared of what might happen to me out there. Then evil wins and I’m not about to let that happen.
    Great post.
    Missy recently posted..Birthday on Friday the 13th, no biggieMy Profile

  5. CJ says

    True. I didn’t skip my run yesterday, but in addition to wearing my Road ID, carrying my phone, telling my family when I’d return, and keeping my ears uncovered, I looped around neighborhood streets instead of more isolated stretches, and I picked up the pace to be home at sunset. Thoughts about Sherry were with me every step.

  6. ~K~ says

    well said. I excuse myself to go for a run alone on a trail by realizing abductions happen in Walmart parking lots too. I try to be smart about it, but i believe whatever is supposed to happen WILL and what isn’t WON’T. The truth is we’re all gonna die sometime when/how/where it’s our time. I refuse to live in fear about it. I mean i TRY to refuse to live in fear about it. This is where my faith in God comes in to help me.

  7. says

    So true. I run at least 95% of the time by myself. It makes me so angry that there are people out there with such disregard for others. I don’t run in what I would consider to be isolated places but I definitely have no issues with continuing to run alone. Be smart, be aware and don’t let fear run your life.
    Karen recently posted..Five Things Friday…My Profile

  8. says

    I have been thinking of a similar post about Sherry. While I did not know her, I saw the news of it while I was traveling this week and totally thought it would be important to discuss and make sure new people to the sport think about their surroundings. This could happen to any of us at any time. Very sad to hear it end in tragedy. Her poor family.
    lauriewalksfast recently posted..My first winners & a tolerant husband!My Profile

  9. says

    I totally agree. I was out running today and had Sherry on my mind throughout the run. It was such a beautiful morning and peacefully quiet and being out there running feels so free – like what life should be. Free. Bold. Forward.
    I will continue to run outside. And I have a friend who will run with me too.

  10. says

    Well said. Such a sad story.

    I myself have had a few scares while running, whether well-founded or not, those experiences set me off and I started to head to the gym. I’m now back outside running regularly and echo your thoughts. It’s one of the few things I can do for myself and I will not let anyone take that away from me!
    Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb recently posted..Spaghetti Squash With MarinaraMy Profile

  11. says

    I think my husband would be pleased if I stayed indoors and “safe” but one has to live. Be aware, be smart but do what you want to do.

  12. says

    I’m angered how another individual could or ever would do something like this to another human being. I used to run with mace, hand on the trigger and always be alert. Now I’m typically with a group, but that doesn’t mean I was safe, I just hoped it meant I would look like too much trouble.

    I’m sad though, as I (we all) really hoped it would not be this.

  13. says

    I think you clearly wrote what I have been thinking. Take precautions, but do not be afraid. What happened to Sherry is rare enough that it makes national news. She truly was in the wrong place and this was an awful, random, heinous crime. But it should not stop us or keep us from what we love.

    Thank you for this post and for caring about her and about me.

  14. says

    This tragedy will haunt me forever, but it will not drive me indoors. I look forward to participating in Beth’s virtual run and hoping that the love and energy will reach Sherry’s family and keep them strong.

  15. says

    i was thinking about sherry and her family on my 18 miler yesterday. my heart was heavy. but i believe what you say is true, and we need to be strong and not let what has happened to her prevent us from getting out there and running on our trails. what happened to sherry is so unfair, so horrifying, so tragic and i will never ever understand or accept it. i pray for her family and for all of her loved ones.
    jessica recently posted..Returning to Running After PregnancyMy Profile

  16. Sarah says

    Very well put. Thanks for expressing what I have been feeling – what happened to Sherry is reprehensible and horrific. I will honor her by continuing to run on streets that should be made for all people and users – whether they be on bike, foot, wheelchair or auto. I will not be ruled by fear.

  17. says

    I know the family is thankful for all the thoughts and prayers. She is my SIL’s cousin and while we don’t live there, I know time was passing very slowly since she disappeared.
    Suzy recently posted..24 Hrs to goMy Profile

  18. says

    Great post! well said and strong but compassionate at the same time. I completely agree with you, it’s just hard knowing people like that exist in the world. I could never harm another…..I can’t even watch movies with too much violence in them as they make me sick.
    Ali Mc recently posted..My water bottle froze!!!My Profile

  19. says

    I will certainly keep her and her family in my thoughts and prayers. It’s horrible knowing that a person can hurt someone else like that. It’s easy to think “that could never happen to me” but you’re right – we ALL have to be cognizant of our surroundings! I’ve been guilty of running at night when I know I shouldn’t have been out…it’s sad that sometimes it takes a terrible story to remind you to be safe :( Thanks for posting this and reminding everyone to be cautious (but to not be afraid to get out there!)
    Kara recently posted..Active RecoveryMy Profile

  20. says

    I haven’t been running outside a lot lately. When we are in VA, I get “weirded” out about not knowing my surrounds and running solo. At home I’m double checking every car that goes by trying to remember if I know it’s driver or not. I’ve needed to do some long routes that take me farther away from home and by houses whose owners I don’t know as well. Let alone all the unfamilar cars that pass me on those 2, 3 hours runs. I’m freaked out that people can actually want to hurt one another. Yeah, I know its a fact (my husband deals with those realitys. it’s why he has a job sadly) but I push it to the back of my mind and get comfortable and confident in my familar routine. Until Sherry didn’t come home. My heart just breaks for them. Leaving me wishing there was something I could do that would make a difference.

    I’ll still get out there sooner or later and hopefully I’ll be a bit more aware and prepared. Maybe in doing that it will help but right now, it just doesn’t feel like enough.
    shelly recently posted..A way of lifeMy Profile

  21. says

    I was last in the USA back in 1997 and the one thing I remember was the way a car would slow down to pass you. (running for cycling) Now here in SA you have to watch every car as theyspeed past, So I’m guessing that she was caught of guard, not expecting a maniac to come by… You don’t want to live you life as if every-one out there is a maniac. Tragedies like this make me a better driver, like it make you a better driver as well.
    Coach Dion recently posted..IF THERE IS A RACE RUN IT…My Profile

  22. says

    Where I’m living for 18 years nothing ever happened that someone was attacked. But just last week a 13 year old girls was hit by a car while crossing the street, she was hit so hard that another car coming from another direction hitted her again. So traffic safety is something I look out for carefully. I run with music but not too loud.

    I’ve read about Sherry last week and talked about it with my husband. He said, and he’s right, that he never knows where I am when I’m running. He doesn’t even know which direction I went. We agreed I will tell him or leave a note which direction I went and what time I estimate to be back. You never know.
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