Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Friday, January 13, 2012

Touched by a stranger

Like many of my fellow bloggers, my heart fell when I read the terrible news that Sherry Arnold is no longer with her family and friends who love her.  Instead, her family and friends are grieving and thinking about planning a funeral.  And those of us in her community (and extended community) are left wondering why such a senseless loss has occurred.

I’m angry.

As you may’ve read in one of my previous posts, I felt like I was being followed on a run one morning and it was very scary.  I posted that post to remind all of us that we can never be too careful.  I don’t know the details of what happened to Sherry and I’m not insinuating that she wasn’t being safe.  But I do hope that, if one positive thing can come of this tragic event, it’s that even ONE of us runners becomes a bit more paranoid, a bit more armed, a bit more suspicious.

It’s awful to go through life looking for bad people.  But my belief is that, if you want to reduce your risk of becoming a victim (of anything), you must be on the lookout.  Sometimes bad things, really bad things, happen to good people.  That’s what I’m angry about.  I’m angry that we as females have to feel so vulnerable.  I’m angry that someone like Sherry who was such a great person in her family and her community was taken so early and so unacceptably.  I’m angry that today’s news made me wonder about my own running routes, how much I share on blogs/FB/etc, and my own vulnerability.

I’m glad Sherry’s family has such a strong support system.  That was evident in the news coverage showing how many people came out to search for her.  I can only hope that her family, her friends, and her kids (both her own as well as her students) can remember Sherry for all the good that she obviously was and did, and replace today’s terrible memory with her goodness.

I’ve been touched by a stranger.  There’s always a reason…..


  1. Thank you for sharing and I agree...we need to think of our safety at all times and I am not questioning anything Sherry did. Anything can happen no matter how safe you are. Years ago I was running in a very public place, on a very busy corner, and was almost punched in the face by a guy I didn't know. Not one other person on the street stopped or blinked or seemed to notice what almost happened inches away from them. Be alert to yourself and all times. You may be that one person who can help.

  2. I agree Lisa. Very sad and very infuriating at the same time.
    I'm very thankful that all my runs lately are with a group. Something to be said for safety in numbers.

  3. Well said Erica. Thanks for finding/following me.

    Mandy, definitely safety in numbers. And I also hope your days are a little brighter as well.

    1. Thanks Lisa. I can't explain why this gripped me so tightly but I am very impacted by this story. I run most at the gym because it is so early but other times I run with my daughter in a jogging stroller and right now I am questioning if that is putting her at risk instead of being confident I am setting a good example of how moms can be active.

      The one after thought I had after originally commenting was that in the case of Sherry I do feel someone was aware of what was going on around them just because of the news saying they were receiving tips. I am so thankful for that and for the family being able to get some answers....even if the answer makes me cry and mad.

  4. I feel the same as you do. Sad and angry at the same time. This should have not happened. We should be able to go run and feel SAFE in this country and not be worried of what kind of man-animal will try to attack us. I will never forget her.

  5. It is so sad and tragic. I feel the exact same way though. It just makes you rethink everything you do. I almost always run alone. Something like this is just so scary.

  6. Absolutely true! While we can't allow this to stop us from the freedom of running, of course we need to be proactive. I often run while my son bikes with me. He notices so many things around us that I never do because I'm so focused on the run. Keep those eyes and ears open!

  7. I so agree Lisa - this has made me both sad and very angry! I have not been able to stop thinking about her and I know I will not forget her.