Monday, March 23, 2009

Roadies' Guide to Triathletes

  1. We use aero bars even on road bikes simply because it is more efficient. Get over it.
  2. We tend to ride up front and pull because we are trying to get used to riding against the wind - drafting is illegal in most Triathlons - not because we are showing off or trying to prove that the aero gadgets are working.
  3. We tend to bring a few bottles to get used to re-fueling on the go, not because we tend to drink more.
  4. Sometimes we wear Tri suits or shorts to group rides because we intend to go for a transition run after the ride, not because we are anti roadie fashion (is that term an oxy moron?).
  5. Pt 2 & Pt 4 together is why we tend to pull up front for most of the ride, and then slow down and fall back at the end of the ride. We are trying to rest/stretch before going into the transition run.
  6. Pt 4 is also the reason why we don't usually stay for the after ride chat/breakfast. We are actually pretty sociable people.
  7. Pt 4 is also why we wear ankle socks (running socks) rather than the roadie (above ankle) socks.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It's 2009!

As I think about 2009 and what it will bring, I am beset by mixed feelings of anticipation and cautiousness.

This year, I start to teach Sunday School. I have been helping with the Toddler's Ministry at church (for 3 year olds and below) for the last few years, but this year I jump into the deep-end to take on a class of Primary 6 kids (11 to 12 year olds). Pre-teens are a tough bunch to reach, especially when the world has so many distractions for them - e.g. exams, social pressures, X-box, PSP, Wii, Hannah Montana, iCarly, etc... I am praying that I may be relevant to them, and hopefully point them to the fullness of life that Christ came to give us.

Besides Sunday School, I will be continuing to help out with the Kid's Soccer ministry on Saturdays, and also continuing to lead my Care Group "Life with Christ". Kid's Soccer is supposed to be a "soft evangelism" ministry, but we did not quite get there in 2008 as most of the kids were our own church kids, and it did not help that there was a long disruption at the end of the year when the soccer field was not available. 2009 brings a new venue for Kid's Soccer and hopefully we grow this into a outreach ministry for the kids. In terms of my Care Group, it has been a gnawing thought in my mind that I have not done enough as a CG leader. We do not seem to have a clear vision/objective, and as such it is hard to say if we made progress in 2008. I need to figure out a way to balance the group's social needs (we love to chat) and chalk up some tangible spiritual growth.

Perhaps the most important requirement of serving (and my weak point) is a humble, willing and committed heart, especially when the pressures of life set in. Please pray for me, that I will follow through and serve with all of my mind, my heart and my strength in 2009.

Work-wise, I think 2009 will bring new challenges with the anticipated economic slowdown. Some say that the real test of management occurs during hard times, and having managed a team through the Asian financial crisis some years back, I tend to agree. That was one of the most stressful work experiences I have ever had. It doesn't take a genius to cut cost and improve short-term profitability, but the real challenge is how to manage costs and yet still find new avenues of business growth/sustainability. There is already a lot of talk that 2009 will be tougher than the last Asian financial crisis, so things could get rather interesting/challenging.

On the family front, R2 goes to "real" school in 2009 - Primary 1 (i.e. Elementary School) - no more kindergarden stuff. Sigh, my babies have grown up and we have to start getting serious about schoolwork and exams and such... Will R1 continue to do well in school? How will the baby of the house (R2) adapt to school life? What activities/clubs should we sign R1 up for? How do we maintain a healthy balance of academic achievement and just letting them have fun? I still can't believe R2 goes to Primary School tomorrow! With R1 and R2 both going to Primary School, the entire family will be up at 6am every weekday, which is probably a good way for me to get into the discipline of getting up early and getting some exercise in before work.

Talking about exercise, 2009 brings me back to going slow and long after a 2-month hiatus. I am trying not to think about how much fitness/speed I have lost (not that I have ever been particularly fast, which only makes things worse), nor about the pain of getting back into training mode. I did manage to add some cool stuff to the bike, which I will write about next time.
Yikes almost forgot to introduce my young bloggers in the family:

Have a blessed 2009!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Seeing RED...

Bought this Japanese made Pearl Izumi Tri suit for the bargain basement price of SGD$99 (USD$70, 60% off retail price)! Ok, so it is an older model and probably not the best looking suit, but the quality is excellent and the chamois is just about perfect for me - I don't much like those towel thin "terry cloth" type of Tri suit padding so common nowadays.

I was actually checking out another Pearl Izumi suit marked down 40% to SGD$156 (USD$111), which has black/white/grey, and a much better match to my bike. Just before paying, I saw the one above on a rack, which is an even older model with the "unfashionable" red side panels. I had to smile to myself, because less than 2 months ago, I ended up buying a more expensive grey helmet instead of just using the replacement red helmet, just because of vanity - I wanted it to match my bike. This despite my buddy and Mrs Nitrox both preferring the red helmet, and despite the still small voice in my head telling me to stop being so vain. Oh well, another lesson in life, I guess.

On the training front, after a break of more than a month, I am finally easing back into training. Easing being the primary word here. Been a busy stretch at work, been travelling 3 of the last 4 weeks and will be travelling again next week, this time to Sydney & Melbourne.

Monday, August 11, 2008

20/20 Vision

I am writing this, sitting in my hotel room in Malaysia, missing my family and feeling heavy in my heart because it seems R1 may need glasses (he is coming to 8). It has always been my hope that my children will grow up with 20/20 vision, even though nowadays most Singaporean kids develop Miyopia at a very early stage.

Incidentally, my daily scripture reading today brings me to Ezekiel 20:20, which says that God, in His perfect vision, has given us the Sabbath as a means to remember that He is the LORD our God. I have always wondered what's the fuss with the Sabbath, and why God put so much emphasis on it in the Old Testament, and is it still relevant to us today? This verse reminds me that God gave us Sunday to keep us real. He gave us Sabbath so that in coming to church and in worshipping/serving Him, we will be reminded that He is our God, and not be distracted/misled/discouraged by the world. Amen!

Friday, August 1, 2008

My Country, My Home

Singapore's National Day is just around the corner, and this year marks the 1st year where we proudly fly the flag at our apartment. My father has been loyally flying his national flag at this house every August for as long as I can remember, but this is the 1st time we're doing it. Maybe I am getting sentimental with age.

On the bible reading front, would you believe that since my last post on this in June, I have caught up with my "reading deficit" of 40 days and is now right on schedule again? Yup, I have been making use of the extra time during taper and the rest weeks after OSIM Tri to do some mugging. =) Now that I have finally caught up with the daily readings, I am running out of excuses to be still resting...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

"Little Brother" By Mildred Mead

Another semester, another show and tell...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

OSIM Triathlon Pictures

Hi all, my OSIM Triathlon pictures are out and I have put them up on here on FaceBook. I must be gettin vain because this time I am tempted to buy a softcopy of one of them, so while you are there, please do 2 things:

1. If you have a facebook account, add me. :-)

2. Help me choose which photo I should buy. I think my current favourite is this one.