Walking the Walk with Bryan Wendell

Bryan Wendell
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Bryan Wendell

Senior Editor of Scouting magazine
Boy Scouts of America

Years With Scouting

From Tiger Cubs at age 6 to today, Scouting has been a major part of my life for 20 years. Along the way, I earned the Eagle Scout Award, became a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, went on two Philmont treks, attended four national jamborees, and made countless great memories. But as I see it, I'm just getting started.

Favorite Physical Activities:

Running, hiking, biking, and playing basketball.

About Me

I'm the senior editor of Scouting magazine, the official magazine for adult volunteers in the BSA. I also write the magazine's blog, Bryan on Scouting. As an Eagle Scout with a journalism degree, I see my job with Scouting magazine as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to combine two passions into a career. Working for Scouting offers new, exciting challenges each day.

Why the BSA Walk-the-Walk Activity Challenge Is Important to Me

In Scouting magazine, we publish advice on exercise and healthy eating, and we run stories about Scout units and their exciting adventures. The pages of our magazine are filled with active adult volunteers, so shouldn't we follow their lead? It's important for our readers to see that we're on board in the effort to maintain an active lifestyle.

Something Interesting About Me

My whole family is still active in Scouting. My dad volunteers at the council and national levels, my mom is a Venturing Advisor, and my sister works at the council level for the Girl Scouts in Seattle.

My Blog: Week 1

I waste a lot of time in the mornings.

Between leisurely eating breakfast and casually scrolling through my favorite news Web sites, there’s a lot of time that could be better spent.

So I made a change.

Inspired by the Boy Scouts of America’s Walk-the-Walk challenge, I decided to change my morning routine. I now exercise at the gym every morning before work. And you know what? I didn’t have to wake up any earlier to do so.

I still get up at 6 a.m., but instead of casually getting ready for an hour, I leave right away for the gym near the BSA office. I arrive there by 6:45 and have 45 minutes to exercise and cool down. That still leaves me 30 minutes to get ready and get dressed before heading to the BSA office down the street.

Oh, and did I mention that now I avoid the morning rush hour? I get to zip down a traffic-free highway every morning, which saves even more time.

Getting home from work each day knowing my workout is already done gives me a wide-open schedule in the evenings, too. It’s a win-win, and I’m proud to say that the Walk-the-Walk challenge gave me the impetus to try it out.

I’m glad I did!

My Blog: Week 2

With enough practice, I’ll be the next Dirk Nowitzki.

Well, in my driveway, at least.

My birthday was this past weekend, and my wife got me a basketball hoop for the driveway.

Setting it up on Friday night took about four hours and was a workout in itself. The thing is heavy, and when they say you need two adults to put it together, they’re not exaggerating.

But now that it’s up, it gives me another way to get exercise in during the day. I’m the kind of person who needs several ways to be active.

Jogging around the block on the same route every day just wouldn’t work for me. So it’s nice to have the gym, the basketball hoop, and a nearby park to mix things up a little. That way nothing gets stale, you know?

Anyway, I better get back to working on my jump shot.

My Blog: Week 3

After a week of practicing basketball on my new driveway hoop, I figured it was time to put my skills to the test.

Just like in Scouting, a little bit of healthy, friendly competition can be great motivation to try harder. So why not find some competition at my local rec center?

I played two hours of pickup basketball with strangers. And you know what? I didn’t completely embarrass myself! And believe me, there have been times when I’ve done just that, releasing airball after airball until I was compelled to stop shooting altogether.

There were still misses this time, of course, but I made a few shots as well. Knowing that I was going to count my basketball time as my workout for the day, I made sure to hustle on the court and keep my heart rate up.

The result was a few extra rebounds to help my team. We won some and lost some, but it was a fun way to get in some exercise.

By the two-hour mark, though, I was thinking I shouldn’t have hustled quite as much! My legs ached, and my shots were bricks.

Still, I think I’ve found my new favorite form of exercise. It’s different every time, and it doesn’t feel like working out. I encourage you to try to play more of a sport you enjoy!

It’s like when Mom or Dad would hide vegetables in your dinner. You don’t realize that it’s actually good for you!

My Blog: Week 4

More of the same this week, as I’ve continued to play basketball whenever I have free time in the evenings.

Before I go to the local rec center to play against other people, I warm up in the driveway, shooting a few in the 100-degree Texas heat before heading to the air-conditioned rec center.

By the time I get to the gym, it’s always too crowded to warm up effectively, so this works better anyway. I’n not saying my game has improved, but I’m having a lot of fun.

One concern, though, is about variety. Basketball works a lot of different muscles and offers a great cardio exercise. But I’m neglecting weight training in favor of basketball. Sure, playing hoops is more fun, but next week I’ll try to use the circuit machines more to keep some diversity in my workout.

My Blog: Week 5

Last week I mentioned that I wanted to get more weight training in, and I’ve done a decent job of that. I could be doing better, though.

Whenever I’m at the gym, I notice that the basketball court beckons me. It’s like I can hear the hardwood hollering, “Hey, I’m more fun.”

I have to shut that out and stick to my planned routine. I guess not all exercise can be fun.

One idle thought: What do you listen to when you exercise? I’ve found that my music tastes change based on the activity I’m doing. If I’m riding in the car to or from work, I usually prefer talk radio—maybe a local sports station or NPR or something.

Even at the gym I’ll mix it up. If I’m on the treadmill, I like some fast-paced rock music, but if I’m playing basketball or lifting weights, something with a slow, steady beat seems to work best.

It’s amazing how music can shape your routine—for better or worse.