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I'm a 'Lucky' Man

For the entire week before OmT.O. (Tonic’s Free Outdoor Yoga Festival), the forecast was for rain. I normally don’t pay much attention to weather forecasts, particularly those more than two days out, because they are manifestly inaccurate. And really, what is the difference between a 30% chance of rain and a 60% chance of rain? Do you live your life any differently? Does it really affect your plans? C’mon, the weather app that comes with my phone doesn’t even get the existing weather right.

The OmT.O. events are “rain or shine”. There is no rescheduling. Plan “B” is we get wet. But it’s not as though I’m throwing caution to the wind in hosting an outdoor event in mid-June. It’s typically not a particularly wet time of year in Toronto. This year, however, our late spring pushed all the April and May showers into June.

As the week leading up to the event progressed, the threat of rain morphed into a chance of thunderstorms. I politely responded to the emails and texts of our event partners; the studios, the sponsors, vendors and volunteers. Their concerns were as genuine as my responses - we ride out the rain, we take a wait and see approach with thunderstorms, which struck me as a little bit funny. If we were actually caught in a thunderstorm, I don’t think anybody was going to wait for my decision on what to do - they’d be long gone. And I was careful not to overemphasize my thoughts on forecast accuracy - you don’t want to appear glib with partners.

On Saturday, the day before OmT.O., the forecast for our event was an 80% chance of severe thunderstorms. The emails and texts were getting out of hand (understandable, but out of hand). At an event that morning, the “you’re screwed” and “what are you going to do tomorrow?” comments  from friends were wearying. So that afternoon I made the executive decision to stop watching the forecasts, turn off my phone, go outside and work on my garden.

I continued to respond to the fears the night before the event, but really I had nothing more to say. I’d done all that I could to put myself in the best possible position for OmT.O. to succeed. I’d been working since January to secure the venue, plan the program, bring in sponsors and vendors, market and promote the event. I’d made sure to work with skilled and talented people that I like. I’d done my best, which is all you can do. And in the end that is why I am lucky. Not because we didn’t have one drop of rain, but because I had surrounded myself with good people, who all worked hard and helped me hold an amazing event that was enjoyed by thousands.

The aforementioned garden is featured in this issue of Tonic. See how I took my weedy, crappy backyard and channeled my angst of the doom and gloom weather forecast for OmT.O. into a little bit of creativity (p.26). You might also enjoy reading Kathleen Regan’s article on natural treatments of sports injuries (p.45), Joel Thuna and Claude Gallant’s article on regularity (p. 34) or Carlyle Jansen’s piece on whether sex is important (p. 40). And as you can see from the facing page, I’m “pushing my luck” with OmT.O. Fit For Fall on September 27. I hope you’ll all join me. As always if you want to discuss this note or anything else in this issue of Tonic, please feel free to contact me.