Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
  Somebody's Been Naughty

Martin went to the Team Give Life Website to read my blog and found his blog had been deleted. Not only had the post been deleted, the blog itself moved to Atlanta. So, to give Martin his fair shake, here is his latest email to me, in its entirety, uncensored.

First, I don't really know anything about hemocrit levels, but I hope that you are recovering well.
Also, congrats on your results at the world games. A huge accomplishment.
I'm realize that I'm a little more straightfoward than some people. I also know that tends to bother some people. It's how I am. I call them like I see them. Apparently, everyone doesn't agree with you about "free speech", at least as it pertains to MY free speech. I find it unfortunate that someone has felt it necessary to delete my blog while leaving incorrect information about me posted on the teamgivelife website. I guess my opinion STILL has no merit (I thought it was only a race thing). You are correct when you said that communication could have been much better on this team. It was a crucial failure. I honestly feel that no one other than Mike, Derek, Jacques, Bill and Scott ever really considered any input I had during the race.
The reason that I went to the website today was to take a look at your "Transplant athete" blog. I found some interesting misperceptions contained in it. Two that stood out are you thinking that I "decided" to ride to the parade route at the end. What actually happened is that I was told to ride to the parade route - twice. When I passed you guys when you were in the parking lot, I was told (by the Jet Truck) to continue, then to stop. When I stopped, you passed me sitting on the side of the road. I waited with the Jet Truck for anyone to tell us what to do. Finally, they called and said to ride back down the course to the parking lot where they were and have the Jet Truck follow you. I got on the radio and said I thought we'd be disqualified if anyone saw me riding backwards on the course (Though I didn't say it, I also thought riding on that road without a chase was crazy). They said, in that case, to continue to ride to the parade route. You didn't know that. An appropriate ending. "Miscommunication" should have been our team name.
The second was when you expressed an opinion that my heart was never in the race. Actually, if that were true, I wouldn't have thrown the helmet. Someone who doesn't care doesn't react that way. The REASON I threw my helmet was I was so frustrated with you and Bruce. Again, you and Bruce may have thought Bill and I riding for that long was the plan. That was not communicated to us or anyone in our support vehicles.
Again, communication was awful. As I was part of the team, part of that fault is mine. People seem to like to bring up my military experience. I'll leave you with this: in the military, morale is the responsibility of the commander. It can not be delegated. It is one of the commanders most important responsibilities. The commander influences morale by the command climate he creates. I know that may be an unfamiliar term, but basically it means how they their attitude influences other members of the unit, how approachable they are, if they listen, if they are perceived to care about the members of the team. Communication is key to all of these. We simply did not communicate. The morale was not good. We were not cohesive. Those factors are critical to the success of any military unit or any team. That is why I feel that the failure to handoff the "command responsibility" from Bruce to Mike was such a critical mistake. Bruce may feel that he handed it off, but I know for certain that Mike never felt like it was truly his.
Lou, I wish you luck if you do RAAM next year. As I said, I am considering doing it on a two man team next year. I thought your opinion on that was funny. I actually think it will be EASIER than this was. My experience is that from a logistical standpoint a 2 man, 24 hour race team is easier than a 4 man, a solo effort is easier than that. As I said in my (deleted) blog, I didn't find the riding difficult. I found the logistics difficult. I think with better planning, I'll actually get MORE sleep on a two man team than I did this year. I'm not certain I'll be there next year, but if you are, good luck.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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