Sunday, December 13, 2009

Message from the Captain (#5)

Ahoy Mateys! This is your captain speaking! Furl the topsails! Reef the mainsails! Set the sea anchors! Shiver me timbers! This weather has been so cold and wet that it makes one want to curl up in the fo’castle sipping an extra ration of grog! But my guess is that at least a few of you and your mentees were out training today in this mess. It seems like for the last month or so, we have had more that our fair share of cold rain.

Recommitment for our first port of call, The Big Easy, is this Friday. So it is really important to touch base with your mentees (if any) for this race and see how they are doing. Recommitment is a big decision for every participant, but one that one each of them can make. You can provide information, encouragement, ideas, and support, but you can’t make the decision for them. Let me know if I can help in any way.

We’ll be having a breakfast after training Saturday for the run and walk teams. Triathlon and cycle team members are free to join us. Coach Vicki will have the best idea when training should end, and thus when people will be going to breakfast. Ask your mentees if they are going to join us. We will need a reasonable head count. I am proposing Kitchen 64 up Boulevard, and would like to see if they can set a few tables aside, ergo, the head count.

After a month of so of the spring season, you should start to be able to separate your mentees into two major groups: those you feel are going to do just fine with fundraising and those you have concerns about. For the next week or so, I would concentrate my efforts on the latter group. What concerns do you have about them? Do they have a plan, and if so, where are they falling short? Are you seeing signs that they are struggling, or even worse, just not doing any fundraising? Are any of them appearing to avoid you? This would be a good time to reach out by phone or in person to meet with anyone that you are concerned about. If they seem stymied, help them pick one fundraising method that they want to try, and motivate them to do that one well. Could be letters, could be their webpage and emails, could be specific fund raisers. It could even be getting amazing items for the silent auction next month, although it would be risky to put all one’s eggs in that basket, since the results won’t be known for another month.

At the same time, don’t ignore your other mentees. While the one’s you are behind on fundraising need the most attention, every participant needs some TLC. Maybe they are fine with their fundraising, but just want to discuss the TNT experience with someone who has been there. Or maybe they have gotten off to a great start, but are not sure what to do next. The great thing about being a mentor is that you have been there before, and maybe experienced or felt some of the things that they are feeling or experiencing. Sometimes what a participant needs most is a smile and a pat on the back, and someone who can relate to their concern.

I am always looking for mission moments to remind me of how important what we are doing is. This week, a chance encounter at work was the source of my inspiration. I wrote about it here:

Speaking of mission moments, at the marathon training Saturday I have arranged for Faith Eury to come out and tell us about her experience with stage 4 Hodgkin lymphoma. She just finished chemo a month ago, and has had a really tough go of it, with a lot of time in the hospital.

Let me know if you need help, or have concerns. You know how to reach me so if you need me, get in touch!

Cap’n Art

No comments: