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• Last updated: October 6, 2020

A Peek at What’s Been Going on at The Strenuous Life

Man blowing bugle in front of people.

Last year we started The Strenuous Life: an online/offline platform that’s like a scouting program for grown men. Each month, members receive The Strenuous Life Bugle, a newsletter that highlights what’s been going on at TSL. We thought AoM readers might enjoy a peek at it. If you’re interested in becoming a member yourself, sign up for updates here; the next enrollment opens at the end of March.

Geographic Group Meet-Ups From Last Month

Group of people at different venues for hiking.

This year, we designated the third Saturday of every month as “Strenuous Saturday” – the official monthly meet-up day for members of TSL.

Jan 20th was our Inaugural Strenuous Saturday and it was a big success! 30+ meet-ups took place across the globe, with members meeting together to exercise, hike, work on badge requirements, and do community service.

Here are just 5 of the meet-ups that took place last month:

Illinois Meet-Up

Men taking picture after rock climbing.

Members of the IL contingent of TSL met up for rock climbing at the Vertical Heights gym in Glendale Heights. Afterwards, they went to a brewery for a late lunch, beers, and conversation.

Germany Meet-Up


Three men holding their bags up in front of a statue.

Three members of the fledgling Germany TSL contingent inaugurated their first meet-up with a ruck around a park. Afterwards they shared a meal and made plans to meet up again.

Oregon Meet-Up

Group of men taking picture in open field.

@lessandoz, @chase_ted, @jtrabue, @arg, @jmcneal, @jcuellar, @jared, and @trulmy1 gathered for a “Gentleman Barbarian” meet-up, so-called for its combination of culture and physical exercise. The men first gathered at Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem before taking a ruck/hike at Minto-Brown Island Park in the Willamette River. Afterwards they adjourned to a brewpub for dinner and drinks.

Colorado Meet-Up

Men in ammunition shop.

TSL members in the Denver area met up at the BluCore shooting range to work on requirements for the Sharpshooter Badge. Afterwards, the guys went out for beer.

Tennessee Meet-Ups

Tennessee boasted not just one but two meet-ups.

Members in Nashville hiked the Volunteer Trail in Hermitage.

Members in Nashville hiked the Volunteer Trail in Hermitage.

Men in graveyard.

While members in Chattanooga met together at the Chattanooga National Cemetery to perform community service; they helped to retrieve and dispose of the 19,000 wreaths laid at markers last December.

The next Strenuous Saturday is February 17th. You can see a list of scheduled events on the TSL homepage, and also check what’s going on by visiting the forum of your specific Geographic Group. I’ve noticed that several Geographic Groups have started using Whatsapp to facilitate communication and your group may want to consider implementing something like that as well.

Make your best effort to attend a meet-up in your area. It’s always tempting to follow the path of least resistance and just stay home and laze about. Embrace the friction and get out there to do something cool and meet your fellow Strenuous Lifers!

Badge Work

How’s your badge work been going? Here’s a look at some of the things your fellow TSL members have been working on:

Routine and diet of Joseph-Vandeventer.

@joseph-vandeventer, with a bodyweight of 180-lbs, hit his 1 rep max goal on the squat — 275 lbs — for the Barbell Badge, @amorse26 read Education of a Wandering Man for the Gentleman Scholar Badge, @s-c-hughes visited various sites in Washington D.C., including the White House, for the Citizenship Badge, and @thomaswsdyer made a pot roast for the Kiss the Chef Badge.

Man traveling and enjoying with friends.

@wandering-traveler hosted a poker game for the Host Badge, @the-winter-fox replaced a window pane for the Handyman Badge, @cssl completed a GoRuck Tough for the Rucking Badge, and @wedge played the guitar for the Music Badge.


Alan-Meyer started skiing 200 miles for the Mountain Ranger Badge.

@alan-meyer started in on skiing 200 miles for the Mountain Ranger Badge (he’s up to 18 and counting!), @lbridgeman practiced his penmanship, along with his two boys, for the Penmanship Badge, @y2pascoe changed the air filter on his car, saving himself $60, for the Gearhead Badge, @clarkp practiced tying knots for the Knotsmanship Badge.

Armstrong earning Sharpshooter Badge for skeet shooting.

@armstrong went skeet shooting for the Sharpshooter Badge, @gentleman-scholar-beast-brooklyn held his 11th family meeting for the Paterfamilias Badge (combining it with their monthly game night, a tradition also started for the badge), @ronc, though he had already taken the MSF Basic Rider Course years ago, in the spirit of strenuosity, took the Basic E-course for the Easy Rider Badge, and @gentlemark gave a speech at his church for the Orator Badge.

Class Callouts


Different company's logos.

Classes 000, 003, 006, and 013 finalized their Class’ logo designs. These designs are being turned into patches, stickers, t-shirts, etc., according to each respective Class’ desires.

Once your Class has finalized a logo, let me know, as I can swap it out for the default TSL logo on your forum, like this:

Strenuous life's page.

Several Classes have started book clubs. As mentioned last time, Class 013 started one, and chose to read The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt during the first quarter of the year (it’s a big book, and a bully good one!). In Class 014, @florian started a book club specifically centered on self-improvement, and they’ve chosen to read The Productivity Project. Meanwhile in Class 017, @scooter started a book club that will first be reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — another good one!

Picking up on Class 013’s idea of forming small accountability groups that we highlighted last time, several other Classes have formed their own accountability groups, often by using a shared Google doc for members to check in with each other. The way that Class 013 set up the groups was to give each one a separate thread in the Training Log forum. Numerous options can work.

Keep on living strenuously, everyone.

“The man who has not got great tasks to do cannot achieve greatness. Greatness only comes because the task to be done is great. The men who lead lives of mere ease, of mere pleasure, the men who go through life seeking how to avoid trouble, to avoid risk, to avoid effort, to them it is not given to achieve greatness. Greatness comes only to those who seek not how to avoid obstacles, but how to overcome them.” –Theodore Roosevelt.

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