I ran for Sherry.

Don’t know who Sherry is?

Read this and then come back.

Back?

Good.

Now you know who Sherry is.

When I first heard about Sherry’s disappearance, it rattled me. As a mother, and a runner, and someone who does most of my runs alone in the country, it made me think twice about my running routine.

Am I predictable? Well, yes, kind of. I run on the same path almost every weekend.
Am I someone who would be seen as an easy target? Well, depends on who you ask. I’m not exactly the strong, muscular type.

But I think we’ve come to realize that Sherry’s disappearance was just what it is. An awful, horrible, there-are-no-words-to-describe-the-evil event. And, in all honesty, an isolated one. Most of us aren’t going to be threatened in our running routines – but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be careful. I’m always aware of the people and cars around me – thinking of what I will do if that guy on the trail ahead of me isn’t just walking his dog for fun.

This morning, when I got up, the windchill was -6. It was cold. And windy – the wind was gusting up to 17-20 mph. I did NOT really want to go out and run 9 miles.

But I headed out anyway. I will be the first to admit those first miles were hard. I was cold, even with extra layers. Those extra layers were making me uncomfortable because my jacket felt tight and my sleeves felt twisted. My legs felt kind of like cinder blocks. I was plodding along feeling pretty miserable for myself, and I wasn’t even halfway finished.

Then a red tail hawk flew over my head. Not once, not twice, but many times. The hawk circled overhead, soaring on those 20 mph wind gusts. I saw it at 3.5 miles, and then again at 4 miles. I thought of Brian, and then I remembered Sherry.

What Sherry wouldn’t give to have been out in my place plodding along in the subzero windchill.

How her family would probably give anything, even the ability to walk, to have her back with them.

How lucky I am that I am able to go for a 9 mile run in subzero freezing temperatures FOR FUN.

I realized just how blessed I am, just how wonderful life is, and I spent the next 5 miles thinking of Sherry, being thankful for my life, and hoping that in some way this outpouring of support all over the world is bringing her family just a little bit of peace.

The last half of the run was a lot easier than the first half.

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