Happy Galentine’s Day from Chicago Muckers, Kelley and Sherry
“What’s Galentine’s Day? “Oh, it’s only the best day of the year. Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style. Ladies celebrating ladies.”
– Leslie Knope
Just in case you needed another excuse to celebrate all the amazing women in your life, Galentine’s Day is here! Whether you want to celebrate your mom, sister, aunt, best friend, co-worker, or another amazing woman in your life, today is the day!
Today is also a perfect day to hear from a Chicago Mucker who lives with MS, Kelley W. She has been mucking since 2014, and in 2019, she was able to get muddy alongside her best friend, Sherry! If you mucked with us in Chicago, you may have seen these two besties, because Sherry was wearing a wedding dress and Kelley rocked a bridesmaid dress and maid of honor sash!
Sherry’s wedding took place in the fall of 2019, but Kelley and Sherry kicked off the celebration early by running MuckFest together in bridal style! To get to know these amazing women better, we talked to Kelley to learn about their special friendship. If you weren’t already in the Galentine’s Day spirit, you soon will be.
First, tell us about the wedding!
The wedding was great! Sherry looked so happy. I gave a maid of honor speech that went over really well. The music was great, and we danced a lot.
But was there any mud? 😉
That would have been pretty awesome, but I think Sherry would fire me as maid of honor if I brought mud anywhere near her dress!
Before you supported her as she walked down the aisle, you and Sherry had been friends for years. How did you two become friends initially?
Sherry and I met through a mutual friend. We actually met playing a pickup game of softball and were on opposite teams from each other. The competitive side in both of us didn’t make for a great first meeting, and we didn’t originally like each other. It wasn’t until right before my 18th birthday (23 years ago) that we warmed up to each other. Eventually we started spending time together and became best friends. The rest is history!
How would you describe Sherry now?
Sherry and I have been friends for so long, I consider her my family. And as a lot of families do, we have had a number of ups and downs. Having said that, the number of ups by far outweighs the amount of downs. We have shared over twenty years of driving around aimlessly, private jokes and special songs, vacations, being Girl Scout leaders together, and many other special moments.
Sherry is a beautiful, kind, intelligent, hard-working person. I think her fiancé hit the jackpot when he met her!
How did you find MuckFest and decide to run together?
I was diagnosed with MS in 2006. Eight years ago, I wanted to be more involved with the National MS Society and to do more than walk. I joined the planning committee, and for the last two years, I’ve been Chairperson. Sherry has been a key part of the planning committee as well as the event day itself! Back in 2014, we received free MuckFest entries from the National MS Society as a thank you for volunteering at Walk MS, so we decided to give MuckFest a try… and from that moment I was hooked. This past year was the third MuckFest we have done together.
But this year was extra special because Sherry was getting married soon after the run!
How did you integrate that into your MuckFest run?
Well, I always love an opportunity to wear something silly. I’m not the best swimmer, so I usually rock a floaty to help me with the water obstacles. When we realized that her bachelorette party and bridal shower were taking place on the same weekend as MuckFest, I joked about wearing wedding apparel to run. There was no turning back at that point!
What were some of your favorite obstacles and memories from MuckFest?
The first MuckFest in 2014 was special. I was very nervous and didn’t know how I would make it through the obstacles. I had such a feeling of pride and accomplishment after!
My favorite obstacle is always the Spinner. I love playing American Gladiator with whatever friend is participating with me and trying to get the other to release rings and fall off into the water. My next favorite is Flying Muckers. Even though I’m not a fan of the deep water, I push myself to do this every year. And course, both of these make for some great photo opportunities!
Why is this event so important to both you and Sherry?
I love the energy at MuckFest. It’s different than any other event. There’s something about watching everyone come together and seeing complete strangers help each other tackle an obstacle. And of course, I love playing in the mud!
What does it mean to be “on a mission” to you?
I want people to know what MS is. So many confuse it with other diseases. I also want people to realize it’s not a death sentence. When I tell people that I have MS for the first time, I hear, “I’m sorry.”
I’m not sorry. I live a full and happy life.
We are so honored and happy to have Muckers and supporters like Kelley and Sherry in our MuckFest family. Their friendship is inspiring to Galentines everywhere and we can’t wait to see that friendship, love and commitment grow in the years to come.