Do you have community? Do you feel like you belong?

photoI wake in the darkness, pull on running shoes, headband and clip on a pedometer. There's a new chill in the air. Summer is giving way to Fall. Last night, I had visions and disturbing dreams. I only know one cure for this: a challenging trail run.

And so I go. I run with friends because I've learned I can't do this thing alone. I can't get fit alone. I can't get myself out of my head alone. I can't heal alone. I need community.

We are a rogue, ragtag community of runners. We are not elite. We are in different stages of life and have different beliefs.

Since I began running with these women some of us have lost loved ones, gone through divorce, gotten tattoos, wept over broken hearts, changed jobs, changed diapers, changed hair color. But something remains: the run.

We are bound by pain and we are loosed by it. We grimace and grunt and sweat in the most unladylike of ways. But we also laugh and joke and cheer each other on. I get up in the dark because these are my women, this is my community and I know they're waiting for me.

Do you have community? What does it look like? How does a sense of belonging help you? Or maybe you don't have community...where do you find YOUR sense of belonging?