10 July 2009

Rudest Email I Have Ever Received

I just received a message from someone else who has been training to swim the channel. It was horribly rude and cruel and I felt the need to share it, followed by my reply. I only hope he finds the inner peace necessary to move on with his own life.

The message:

Hi Everyne

I'm not one for sticking my beak in, but this really P..sed me off. Kyle who has been on the beach for 10 weeks. Booked swims , not sent his paper work in . Cancelled his slot, booked with the other group...Mate I was out Sat in the Harbour & on a channel swim Sat night ...No wind, no tide all night.....Where were you? as there were boats from the CSA & CS&PF in the channel.

So I read on his facebook that he , on Sunday did a 25 mile swim in the Harbour, in 8.5 hours claiming it was an equal distance channel swim........Mate if you have the guts get out there & test yourself.......All you did was an 8.5 hour training swim.......In a wetsuit it looks like......So Kyle, put on a pair of regulation swimmers & test yourself..

We all saw you in the harbour, no one knew when you started, there was no " 0fficial" observer, so we do not know. If infact you actually did the distance, & the conditions were flat. You didn't come over & thank the crew' who supported you through ALL your trainng sessions....I wonder why?
I think YOU know the answer.....

Mate I have spent 17 hrs 11min & 20hrs 28min in the real channel not touching the French coast line....So I can tell you, your Training swim is nothing like the real thing. If I appear a little miffed you are bloody right..........I am sure many people past & present who have trained , & are training in the harbour for their day, (Many did 7 hrs sat & 6 on sunday )will feel the same....Kyle the only person you have deluded , is yourself, & misled your sponsers & supporters.

You also claim that there are no swimable conditions till Aug..... Kyle this is the channel. The perfect day was sat . I am swimming this tide & I'll bet I have a swim.....Kyle I am fron Australia & have been training since late May in Dover. Staying at a B&B & I am not sponsered. I will be here till my swim, or my time runs out. Its the channel or nothing, anything else is a farce......Deal with it mate.... You were offered a delay , & turned down. Stating you were ready...What for a harbour training swim in a wetsuit, in daylight. Standing on the beach for your feed........By the way was this your costal swim?????

I will wait with interest your reply, or will this to be like your training swim .....A non event

To all those who did such good training swims over BOTH days on the weekend ... Well done...Good luck when you take the plunge in the Channel.



My Reply:

Dear Rick,

What a rude, uninformed message. I have never - and will never - speak to any other human being the way you have spoken to me. What's really upsetting to me is that - after having swam that distance and training for 10 weeks all for charity - you failed to note that the purpose of my challenge was to raise funds for a boy who has no legs. I'm sorry that, among everything that is going on with channel swimming, you felt the need to engage in my life in such a tactless, cruel and uniformed way. I feel very bad for you.

I did not and will not claim it as a channel swim because it wasn't. It was exactly what I have said it was from the beginning. With regard to what happened surrounding my swim, you most certainly do not have all the facts and I will most certainly take the higher road and let it remain a private matter. As you said, you're not one for sticking your beak in but apparently that is not true at all, as evidenced by this message.

I did not cancel my swim - my piloting paperwork was lost, I was never put on the email list (the one you've cc'ed with your message, which is also a very mature and dignified thing to do), I misunderstood my pilot booking for the registration and my swim was canceled for me, with Mark Oram sending me a vicious email calling me "incompetent." I have never met him in person. Fortunately, CSA said they would register me last-minute so that I could swim for my charity - a boy with no legs. Saturday the 4th was taken by another swimmer on my tide and Sunday way the first possible day, but my pilot did not want to go. In fact, no swims have gone with my pilot since Saturday the 4th.

While you may have the financial ability to afford hotels, food and so on for weeks on end to make your crossing, I do not. I am a student who has worked for charities his whole life. I'm a first-generation college graduate who has worked tooth and nail for everything in my life and I could not afford to just "wait it out" for a day to swim. Life, for me, had to carry on and I was then able to donate an additional $3000 to the young boy's fund for prosthetic limbs that I was swimming to support. As I mentioned numerous times in my retelling of the story, getting to France stopped being my primary objective several weeks ago. I was under the impression - made by most people on the beach - that crossing the channel is a personal journey and I sit here wondering why you feel the need to find a way to make my experience about you. That, Rick, is extremely upsetting.

I'd like to finish with what - to me - is the most vile portion of your message - that I did not thank the beach crew. I had a massive banner made that said across the top: "Many thanks to Freda, Irene, Barry, Louise and Michelle. You are Saints." I handed personal thank you notes to each of them on the beach last weekend. I brought thank you gifts to each of them when I visited home in California. I have been nothing but thankful to them throughout this entire process.

While my experience may not have worked out the way YOU wanted it to, it most certainly worked out the way I wanted it to. You do not know me, just as I do not know you. I would never assume to understand your life until learning about it from you. It's a shame that you chose to express yourself in this way instead of taking the time to fully understand me and my experience.

Regardless, best of luck with your crossing this year. Just as I learned a great deal and had my life fundamentally changed by the entire journey, I hope it has done and will continue to do the same for you.


Kyle Taylor

P.S. If you can forward my reply to the entire listserv, I would greatly appreciate it. Because my paperwork was lost, I was never added to that list and so never received any information sent over it.


Kyle Taylor


Zeynep said...

Your reply to this asshole is truly admirable Kyle. Very diplomatic and rational, an important lesson to learn!

Anonymous said...

Hmm, the word charlatan springs to mind Kyle. You are a fraud.

Sarah said...

Kyle, I am so proud of you and your ability to inspire others and do good deeds. This ridiculous backlash is just practice for when you have to push an updated set of Great Society programs through Congress. Let's have a margarita and hope that future critics of yours will perhaps be able to construct a meaningful sentence.

Anonymous said...

How amusing you are Sarah. Lying about what you do is okay as long as the grammar is correct? What a strange set of morals you have.

Sarah said...

Kyle, I think having a troll is a sign of your blog's popularity. GOOD WORK!