Meet Bill Warburton — Bend Endurance Academy Cycling Director
Lured here by the mountains, Bill, who is originally from upstate New York, moved to Bend in 2002. After years of racing on bikes and skis, Bill started working with various youth programs part-time, eventually working into a full-time position as Cycling Director, when he started the Bend Endurance Academy. Although Bill and his wife, Brenna, and their two kids, ages 2 and 4, are looking forward to traveling throughout the Northwest as a family, Bill purposefully sets aside time to slow down, have no plans and just spend time together.
What is the single best thing you have learned from working with children?
Children always remind me that we adults don’t need to set grand plans or create elaborate schemes to fill our time. Focusing on where we are and what we can do in the moment often leads to our most fulfilling adventures.
What did you learn from your parents about parenting?
They taught me about fairness, how to express my thoughts clearly in conversation or through writing, and they were always modeling how to be aware of the people and natural world around me. I think those skills really helped me in school and are guiding my role as a parent now.
What do you hope your children are learning from you?
I hope I am teaching them to integrate patience and respect into their every action, and I hope they develop the fortitude needed to define their relationships and pathways.
What Superhero power do you wish you had as a parent?
Rip Van Winkle wasn’t really a superhero but he had a heck of a nap; I’m looking forward to catching up on my sleep someday.
How are kids today different than when you were a kid?
They seem to have more on their schedule, which is both a chance for them to grow, but also limits their free time. Kids are accomplishing more at an earlier age. That’s great because kids are super capable and can rise to the occasion if we let them, but it also puts a lot of pressure on those who lag or feel like they’re not able to keep the pace.
Do you have a role model?
I’ve had three role models and mentors who profoundly shaped who I am. One helped me through art and music to shape my total perception of reality; another taught me all about existing in the natural world; and my father exemplified leadership and compassion in his work as a police officer and at home with the family.
How do you keep from being overwhelmed?
I go ride my bike or ski for a few hours, feel the movement, forget the stress. A tired body clears the mind.
What do you think the next generation has in store for us?
That’s a crazy question! They will inherit whatever mess we give them and they will assume control at some point, so let’s try not to make them too angry! I really hope our generation can respect both our elders for what they’ve done well and respect our children for what they want society to be when they grow up.
If parents were to “ask not what the outdoors can do for you but what you can do for the outdoors,” what would
I like to remind people that we are animals. We breathe, we eat and we sweat just like the other creatures of this planet. But unlike other animals, we have science that must guide our future. Teach your children the names of our fellow creatures as you walk in the park, help them feel at home in open outdoor spaces so they have a reason to defend nature. Think about what you get from the outdoors and how you can preserve it so that others may experience the same.