Wednesday, April 06, 2005

GAP Analysis - After The First Month!

Can’t believe it has been more than a month since I started this blog! Progress wise I have not come as far as I would have liked.

Sprint Triathlon GAPs
On the Sprint Tri side, I have been using the “comments” in my post on “Couch to Sprint Triathlon - TRAINING LOG” as a training log, but the short of it is that I am still not confident of being able to complete even one of the 3 events (swim, bike, run) within a reasonable time. The main learning point for me this first month has been the awareness of the GAP between where I am now and where I want to be. I was never the athletic sort to begin with, and it is really a challenge to even get to the fitness levels of some of my peers without even talking about a Tri! After a month, the “shine” of entering a Sprint Tri is wearing off and hence motivation is also getting lower.

  1. If I go into the individual events, I am probably most challenged by the swim. I really struggle to swim 800m front crawl non-stop and when I do, even my wife and kids tell me I am slow – to quote my 4 year old “Papa why are you so slow when you swim? The other man is so fast, but you are so slow.” :) The plan here is to try breaking up the swim into 4 “reps” of 200m with overall timing of 8mins per rep – i.e. if I finish in 7 mins, I get to rest 1 min, but if I take 8mins, then no rest between reps.
  2. I should be able to finish 20km on the bike in about 30mins, but if I compare myself to my biking buddies, I am still way slow – I am probably consistenly 2-5km/hr slower than these guys overall, and I am also weaker in hill climbs. My trusty old steel bike is working out well so far, despite the jests about the down-tube shifters, the heavy steel frame, and the colour – seems pink and yellow is no longer in season. ;) I am pretty happy riding it and do not foresee myself splurging $3K on my dream bike – Giant TCR Composite 3 – anytime soon.
  3. I am getting worried about the run. I can consistently finish my usual route in about 23-24mins, and I had thought it was longer than 4km. Yesterday I went and measured the distance (finally) and found it is was more like 3.9km. :( This means I need to extend my run and get conditioned to running 5km or more. At this point I don’t even know how long it will take me to run 5km!

So overall, I think the challenge now is probably to have a good attitude and keep the training interesting – very important to have fun in the process. :) I also need to set realistic “interim” targets – perhaps to be able to consistently/comfortably complete each individual event in 30mins (i.e. 800m swim, 20km bike, 5km run) by the end of April? Only after that can I even think about combining the events and maybe going for a “mock” sprint tri. I remember seeing some Sprint Tri in July/Aug and the Coporate Tri in Oct, so my objective to COMPLETE a sprint tri this year still looks achieveable.

Intentional Discipleship GAPs
On the Intentional Discipleship side, I am also making slow but steady progress - e.g. I have finally written and posted my testimony. Since receiving the touch of the Holy Spirit in Feb, I can truly see the Spirit working daily in me to give me more wisdom (more understanding/discernment of spiritual things), power (the ability, energy, health, motivation to serve) and love (for my pastors/leaders; fellow brothers/sisters in Christ; and non-believers I encounter at work, in the famly, neighbourhood, etc). Similarly, one of the main learning points has been the awareness of the GAP of where I am currently and where God wants me to be. However, that is where the similarity ends because the Lord has also been teaching me that the means to overcoming that GAP is not my self-effort alone, but through the working of the Holy Spirit that is already in me.
”Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” 1 Corinthians 1:21-22
“for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13
I have learnt that the key to having an effective ministry (at home, at work, in church, etc.) is to be CONTINUALLY filled (or re-filled) with the Holy Spirit. And in turn the means towards being filled in the Holy Spirit seems to be

  1. Submission to God and the authority he has placed over us (e.g. the pastors/leaders in church).
  2. Recognizing that the Holy Spirit is a part of the Holy Trinity that lives in us and ministers to us – hence should be treated as a PERSON and not a “feeling” or “attitude” (i.e. just TALK to Him.
  3. Maintaining a close walk with the Lord – thru Quiet Time (prayer & reading His Word). In terms of how much of that I have put into practice, I am ashamed to say that I am still not consistently doing my Quiet Time (i.e. both prayer and reading His Word) daily. There has been some improvement, in that ALMOST daily, I either read the bible using the “Cover to Cover” annual plan or do the Masterlife lesson as part of the church’s Intentional Discipleship program. However, I have fallen way short of my commitment to pray for the church at least 30mins a day.

Again, here I recognize the need to set acheiveable targets for April and mine will be to read His Word DAILY (as opposed to ALMOST daily) and to set aside at least 30mins for prayer daily.