This post, and blog for the most part, is a journal for myself. Honestly, besides my family, it is unread, which is completely fine with me. I write here to keep myself on track and with the infrequency of my posts, you can see how off track I get. I feel like I need to write something today though. A local runner and podcaster, Eric Sherman passed away on Tuesday and I can’t kick the emptiness his death has left me with. I didn’t know Eric well, but he was an inspiration to me and my running. Let me tell you a story.
I got out of my car, nervous and not quite ready for my first marathon. I walked around to the back to get my gear ready and heard a distinct voice coming from the hatch of the car next to me. I told my wife, “I think that’s Eric Sherman from DFL.” I looked over and saw Eric, sitting cross-legged in the back of his car, doing an intro to the 2015 Spring Classic episode. I waited until he was done and introduced myself. He was completely sincere from the first sentence. I talked to him about the race and how his recovery was coming along. I remember hearing him talk about the difficulty in attending races while he was injured. He asked if he could interview me for DFL after the race, which he did on episode 49. He also interviewed my wife about how she felt about crewing for me. Alicia had a blast chatting with Eric and still remembers the conversation well. I remember telling him that my first ultra was going to be Pisgah and he mentioned that was his first and probably his favorite.
I met up with Eric again at Ghost Train last fall. I was stoked to see that he had rehabbed and was running the race. He looked great and I thought, damn, what a difference from April. I’m not sure he quite remembered me, but he chatted me up like he did. I only saw him a few times over the next 9+ hours, and he had left by the time I finished my 3rd loop. I really wanted to talk to him about his race and am pissed I never emailed him.
He made me feel welcome and through his podcast, I felt like I knew Eric more than I actually did. He made a difference in the way I looked at training, racing and my life in general. I never got to run with Eric. I never got to pick his brain about the New England Trails we both love. I wasn’t able to thank him enough for the joy his podcast brought me. I can say that in the short time I knew Eric, he made me feel included in the new-to-me ultra community. I always felt that when I talked with him, he was more interested in my story than I was in telling it. I will miss Eric sincerely.