Sunday at 11 AM could not come fast enough. I could barely sleep the couple of nights before, a mixture of excitement and nerves, unsure of how the day would turn out. When the Tour was in Dartmouth back in August, I was unable to attend, which ironically, prompted me to meet with Andy outside of the event and ended up proposing to follow his incredible journey across the country on the blog. But seeing photos from other Tour sites and the great things people had to say made me ache a little bit - or a lot a bit - that I had missed out on it.
First of all, I’d never done yoga outside, let alone yoga to support IBD awareness. And it just seemed impossible that the opportunity was so close for me to attend an event and that I’d missed it, that I decided to organize an event here in Halifax in support of Andy’s Tour - a satellite event, if you will. After coordinating with my local yoga teacher who graciously agreed to be of immense help and setting up a Facebook event, Sunday at 11 was set and I was finally going to be on a yoga mat in the great outdoors.
What I’ve found with many Crohn’s events that I have taken part in is that the turn out in terms of numbers isn’t always so extreme, but it’s the spirit and the passion that makes you stop and think, “Wow, this is unbelievable.” We gathered on the grass with our yoga mats, my Mom and I lugged over a cooler of water bottles we had brought, and a canvas ‘Andy’s Tour for the Cure’ for us all to sign to send off to him with the donations. I gave a little spiel about what an important and amazing cause it is and then it was off to the races and we got moving.
I broke poses a few times to run and snap some pictures of the group warrior poses and planks - there were quite a few I’ll add! - and then would hop back on my mat (and shoo off the tiny ants) and continue on. Cars would pass, the curious stares of onlookers at a bunch of people on colorful mats in the sunshine, I would often see them upside down in my downward dog. I tried to pick which moments to run and take pictures, but at one point decided that the most significant moments deserved to be preserved only in memory - which, I think, may be the most meaningful even if I can’t hold the picture in my hand. Being still at the end of class, surrounded by the trees and ants and cars and the sun penetrating through the leaves, it felt so incredible to be at the class and be a part of the Tour. I couldn’t help but be jealous of Andy for traveling across the country and feeling this way at each event!
On Sunday, the 17 people at the event raised $91.50. It may not be enough to buy a new car or even a week’s worth of groceries, but it’s $91.50 more for the cure, for awareness, and for Andy’s tour.
Andy - thank you for persisting and bringing us IBD and self awareness through yoga, you are a survivor, a warrior, and mostly, a true inspiration.