My community of friends, family and fellow runners have taken a hit recently. Big ones. This past Thursday a friends’s mother passed away from a brain tumor, then Friday a friend called to say her youngest daughter has been diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Monday morning another friend’s aunt with whom he was close passed away. And of course, there is Boston.

In the face of this heavy load, do not mistake my calmness as not caring, not being scared for you, not grieving. And certainly not for weakness. We are there for each other which sometimes means keeping the pace and other times it means drafting and waiting until you’re needed to pull. But make no mistake we are in it together. I feel my friends’ pain and sadness even if I haven’t experienced just the same situation - yet.

You can’t train for happenings of this sort in life. I am a little dazed and confused by it all. The recent events may cause a detour or two, but we have endurance and perseverance on our side.

We may be shaky and feeling unsteady on our feet, but make no mistake we’re going the distance with each other. Our gaze is fixed on the horizon and we’re putting one foot in front of the other with patience, determination and love, yes, a lot of love.

So huddle up. Find the members of your community and remind them you love them. Give them a hug. Invest in your community because it will give back. It will share in the celebration and the sorrow with you. Your community will hold you up.

Your community - keep them close, because after all, your community is where your heart is.