Thursday, January 05, 2012

2011 in retrospect, 2012 in prospect

2011 was an interesting year, positive overall, with many highlights and achievements.
I began the year with a fairly keen interest in weight lifting, and this developed in 2012. I had ambitious lifting goals and radically failed to meet all of them. That is a little frustrating, indeed looking at numbers from the end of 2010, I am not too much further advanced.

Perhaps most surprisingly, in early July I entered a powerlifting competition, which was something I'd never imagined doing. It was a great experience, and I lifted well. I became more uninterested in lifting after this, and failed to make strong strength gains in the second half of the year.

I also took up barefoot running early last year, which lasted while the weather stayed warm, so for a few good months, and I worked up to 7km barefoot runs.

About halfway through the year a sudden interest in pursuing parkour was realised, and I started watching online tutorial videos and training with some local guys. My focus shifted from lifting heavy weights to doing cool gymnastic-type stuff. I bought some rings, and eventually signed up to an acrobatics class. I've learnt to front somersault, front handspring, and backflip (though all are not-quite-mastered).

I started two spin-off blogs this year. The first is a sermon one (, the second is a fairly boring fitness one (, though I'm hoping the later might have some videos of gymnastic antics from Mongolia in the future.

One of my other main goals last year was to work on my Gaelic. I did do some solid self-study in the first half of the year, and I took some Skype tutor sessions, but these weren't as helpful as I'd hoped. I made a critical decision mid-way through the year to enrol in an online class through Atlantic Gaelic Academy in Canada. This has meant regular 3hr classes online from about Sept onwards, which have been great for my Gaelic. It's coming along well.

It took until June before they finally marked my MTh thesis, and August before the released a transcript, so my academic work was in hiatus for much of the year. I then spend Sept-Dec wrangling through PhD application issues, which are yet to be finally resolved. As we look into 2012 it seems likely that I'll be starting on something shortly.

In August/September my wife and I travelled to Europe, another event that I'd never put into the 'possible' category. We attended my brother's wedding in Munich, spent some time touring Scotland, and a week in Rome.

At the start of the year I took up a new position in a new church, which was definitely God's guidance (Well, it would have been anyways, but it is readily apparent to us). We have had a great year being here, and I've enjoyed the ministry and the friendships formed. It has also been an excellent place for us in raising support and preparing to go to Mongolia.

In 2012 we, deo volente, will be moving to Mongolia, in Feb/Mar. There we will begin by learning Mongolian as our main focus, in preparation for future ministry there. I'm hoping to continue both weight training and gymnastics based training, continue with Gaelic, and commence work on my PhD, looking at patristic exegesis of trinitarian texts in two 4th century authors.