Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for December, 2008

QUITTING — Newsletter for December 18, 2008

Dec. 18th 2008

Jim Steiner saved Boot Camp.

I told you last week that I’d share the story.

Jim joined us because his wife had given him a month of Boot Camp as a Christmas present in 1999. And when he showed up, he wasted no time making a difference! He quickly became everyone’s best friend! To me he was an older brother, some 12 years my senior, and a role model.

For over two years we enjoyed Jim’s daily dose of fun, fellowship, and enthusiasm for life. Unless he was out of town on business, he never missed a day on the quarterdeck! He was a faithful Boot Camper and a wonderful friend to me personally.

And he saved Boot Camp from extinction.

During that first winter, in the pouring rain, one dark cold morning at 5:25 AM, he and I sat in our cars, waiting to see which of us would get out first. Instead, Jim rolled down his window and suggested that we go to Perkins instead! Since it was only the two of us that morning, and since I happen to love pancakes and not particularly fond of getting soaked, I thought it sounded like a good idea.

Over breakfast I whined to Jim that maybe USMC Fitness, as it was known then, just wasn’t going to “make it.” This was on the cusp of the dot com explosion. There was no Boot Camp presence on the Internet. There was no MySpace or Facebook. I didn’t send out a weekly newsletter by email, I printed them and handed them out one by one. No one had ever heard of Yahoo or Google. We hadn’t partnered with the U of M yet and my marketing and advertising budget would barely cover the cost of our breakfast that morning.

“Maybe this should be our last month,” I said with a sigh. I loved my career as a high school teacher and athletic director and seemed resigned to admit that my early morning exercise experiment had perhaps run its course. I was reluctantly ready to face the fact that Memphis just wasn’t ready for this kind of fitness program. Maybe it was just time to pull the plug.

“Tony, don’t do that! This is the best program I’ve ever been a part of. Hang in there, just wait! They’ll come out of the woodwork! You’ll see!!” Jim insisted. (It was sort of his “If you build it, they will come,” speech.)

In those days, five people at boot camp was considered a pretty good crowd. That morning I was discouraged and ready to quit. But Jim encouraged me and gave me a new commitment to make Boot Camp work. “If Steiner says it’ll work, then it’ll work,” I thought.

If it wasn’t for Jim, I might have thrown in the towel that morning. I might have quit.

Two and a half years later, while Jim, Carole, their son Rob, daughter Meredith, and I were making plans to run the Marine Corps Marathon together in November of that year, Jim suffered what we all thought was a mild stroke.

In the weeks that followed we discovered that it wasn’t a stroke at all. It was a brain tumor.

Because of medical treatment, Jim had to quit coming to boot camp in June of 2002. I made regular visits to his home to check on him and continued to receive an invitation to the Steiner family Christmas party.

In October of 2003, with the aid of his brother and sister-in-law, Jim came back to Boot Camp at 0530.

In a wheel chair!!!!

He had dumbbells in hand and worked as hard as anyone there that morning! You should have seen him!

Always upbeat. Always an encourager. A huge capacity for joy and fun! I never heard him say a single bad thing about anyone. Not even about me! He laughed that morning in October and clowned as if nothing were wrong with him.

It was the last time Jim would be on the Quarterdeck.

I have often said, “In the Kingdom of the Kind and in the company of gentlemen, Jim Steiner was royalty.” I was privileged to have known him, deeply honored to have been numbered among his friends. And profoundly heartbroken when he was taken from us.

Jim passed away five years ago tomorrow, December 19, 2003.

————————————————————-

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Our last workout of 2008 will be Christmas Eve morning at 0530. We will “stand down” until Monday, January 5th. The Holiday Challengers will weigh in on January 5th!

In honor of Jim Steiner, you who are Boot Campers may purchase a gift certificate for the first month of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for only $75. Give one to a friend or family member for them to use anytime in 2009!

—————————————————

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE …

Here are the FIVE BENEFITS OF COLD WEATHER WORKOUTS

1. Strengthens the immune system.
2. Naturally increases the body’s production of saratonin, a natural calming chemical in your body.
3. Increased calorie burn!
4. Runny noses keep the cooties from taking up residence and making you sick.
5. Bragging rights! You get to tell your sissy “indoor” friends how tough YOU are!

Dress for colder temperatures by layering. Pay attention to the wind and note the wind chill.

————————————————————

NOTE THE CHANGE IN USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

At Christ Methodist
0530 Monday through Friday
0645 Will Stand Down after the December 22nd workout and go on hiatus until the Spring.
0830 M-W-F
5:45 PM: M-Tu-W-Th, (5:30 PM on Friday). M-W-F are weight days, Tu/Thu are cardio days.

At Evergreen Presbyterian
0530 Monday through Friday

COLLIERVILLE BATTALION
Sergeant Les Bonnett and the Collierville Battalion have moved from Faith Lutheran Church to Forest Hill Community Church just north of Collierville on Houston Levy Road. It’s the big white church in the curve on your right just after you cross over Wolf River via the new bridge.

—————————————————–

NASHVILLE HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) Training for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 25, 2009 will begin on Saturday, January 24, 2009. More details to follow!

————————————————

FACEBOOK

Find me on Facebook and make me your friend! (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629618416)

I’ll make you mine! Then join the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Group!

While you’re on Facebook, you might see an ad for USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP pop up. Do not click on it! Facebook charges me for every time someone clicks on it.

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
5358 Denwood
Memphis, TN 38120
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


DANCING! 12/10/08

Dec. 10th 2008

You would not believe me if I told you. You would not believe me if I showed you pictures to confirm it. You wouldn’t have believed it, even if you’d seen it with your own two eyes.

But it’s true.

I sang a solo before an audience of hundreds.

At the end of my song, “Froggy Went a Courtin'” (which you can download from iTunes) I bowed, as I had been instructed in the manner of gentlemen upon the stage, to the audience which I was certain numbered in the thousands. I was seven years old.

My voice cracked during my song. This brought laughter from that great host of people. My face turned bright red and I broke out into the worst “flop sweat” you could imagine. I could feel myself blushing with shame before that multitude as I struggled to sing above the laughter.

I don’t think I’ve been as frightened as I was then. Nor have I been as embarrassed.

Nothing like that awaits you if you come back to Boot Camp. Some of you have allowed a missed day to turn into a missed week … and a missed week to become a missed month … Until you’ve found yourself months in Turdeville … maybe even longer. And embarrassed about coming back. Don’t be.

As I’ve said often, when you return, you will be welcomed back like the Prodigal of the New Testament. I’ll put a ring on your finger and we’ll dance (not the Baptists, though) and we’ll feast and celebrate!! I might even sing again!

It’s seldom easy to do things that are hard. But the rewards, both physically and mentally, can hardly be cataloged, or overstated.

This morning I commended the hearty souls who mustered on the Quarterdeck in a cold drizzle. I counted upwards of 40! This is the gist of what I told them.

“The benefits of doing this are more than just physical. Yes, there is the exercise of the body that results in physical strength and vitality. But there is an emotional, spiritual, and mental benefit that comes with it too. It begins the night before when the decision is made to get up early, while the house is still and cold and the bed is warm and beckons like the Sirens in “Ulysses,” or the ones in “Oh Brother” if you prefer. Then the alarm goes off and the decision to get up is followed by the decision to dress and get outside where it’s dark and wet … and cold.

That decision is followed by the next one and the next one until at last you’ve staked your claim to your own piece of the Quarterdeck. Then for the next hour you’re harassed and badgered and worked like a mule … and then at last, it’s “DONE, ALL DONE!” … and you’re dismissed … and you sound off with a renewed strength and an “AYE, AYE SIR!” And driving home you feel the feeling that only comes with accomplishment, knowing that you’ve done something that few will ever do … and there is reason to be proud and satisfied in that … and there are few things in this life that give you those things. And you would be hard pressed to find one rich man in ten, with a satisfied mind like that.

—————————————————

CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Congratulations and “WELL DONE!” go to the following Boot Campers and those who trained with me for the St. Jude Half Marathon! Some, you will note, did the FULL marathon, 26.2 miles!

I am enormously proud of you all!

In no particular order, here are our finishers:

Teri Trotter
Matt Prince
Sherry Irwin
Rob Norcross
Joe Fracchia
Bryan Smith
Kirk Johnston
Bridget Rose
Joey Bland
Ruth Wilkins
Tammy Townsend
Danny Loe
Cheryl Loe
Malise Culpepper – Full Marathon
John Mercer
Christina Clark – Full Marathon
Hilde Haynes – Full Marathon
Sarah Bowen
Rob Johnston
Elizabeth Terry
Donald Williams
John Pender
Amy Klesges
Courtney Humphreys
Jenny Engler
Holly Guthrie
Mary Linder
Anne Emmerth
Lindsey Scrip
Matt Green
Leslie Garey
Elizabeth Collins
Hank Hill
Elizabeth Stacey
Wyatt Aiken
Margaret Caffey
David Caffey
Wendy Greenlaw
Jean Johnston
Nina Sublette
Laura Rogers
Holly Spraker
Amy Rhodes – Full Marathon
Ahmed Morad
Daniel Shaffer
Estelle Winsett
Kelly Gerhart
Jeb Fields
Buck Cerulli
Sarah Trouy
Celeste Autry
Nancy Miller
Lexie Johnston
JoAnn Jones
Amy Moffatt
Alison Ryan

——————————————————-

HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Our last workout of 2008 will be Christmas Eve morning at 0530. We will “stand down” until Monday, January 5th.

The last workout of the year is always dedicated to Jim Steiner. I mentioned Jim to you recently. It’s his name that is attached to the “wood chipper” exercise. Jim, one of the very first Boot Campers, passed away from brain cancer on December 19, 2003. He was, by far, one of the finest men I have ever had the pleasure to know. I will tell you next week how he saved USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP from sure ruin and you have him to thank for the cult that it has become!

Jim was the friendliest, most outgoing, and genuinely sincere of people. He was also quite the jokester! He believed that the last workout of the year, on Christmas Eve, should be “The Speedo Workout.” That is, everyone should wear their Speedo to Boot Camp! Fortunately, no one ever took him up on it!

It is fitting that at the last workout of 2003, all of Jim’s family came to Boot Camp that morning in honor of Jim. More than 30 of his family and friends gathered on our Quarterdeck to remember him and to participate in something that had become a part of Jim’s daily life.

In honor of Jim, you may purchase a gift certificate for the first month of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for only $75. Give one to a friend or family member for them to use anytime in 2009!

—————————————————

THE WEATHER OUTSIDE …

Here are the FIVE BENEFITS OF OF COLD WEATHER WORKOUTS
1. Strengthens the immune system.
2. Naturally increases the body’s production of saratonin, a natural calming chemical in your body.
3. Increased calorie burn!
4. Runny noses keep the cooties from taking up residence and making you sick.
5. Bragging rights! You get to tell your sissy “indoor” friends how tough YOU are!

————————————————————

USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

At Christ Methodist
0530 Monday through Friday
0645 M-W-F
0830 M-W-F
5:45 PM: M-Tu-W-Th, (5:30 PM on Friday). M-W-F are weight days, Tu/Thu are cardio days.

At Evergreen Presbyterian
0530 Monday through Friday

COLLIERVILLE BATTALION
Sergeant Les Bonnett and the Collierville Battalion have moved from Faith Lutheran Church to Forest Hill Community Church just north of Collierville on Houston Levy Road. It’s the big white church in the curve on your right just after you cross over Wolf River via the new bridge.

—————————————————–

NASHVILLE HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) Training for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 25, 2009 will begin on Saturday, January 24, 2009. More details to follow!

————————————————

FACEBOOK

Find me on Facebook and make me your friend! (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629618416)

I’ll make you mine! Then join the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Group!

While you’re on Facebook, you might see an ad for USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP pop up. Do NOT click on it! Facebook charges me for every time someone clicks on it. The ad is NOT for you knuckleheads!

————————————————

“The Few, the Proud, the BOOT CAMPERS!”
~ Sgt. Tony

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
5358 Denwood
Memphis, TN 38120
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Weekly Newsletter | No Comments »


Sissies — Running, Fitness, Exercise, Weight Loss, Life Coaching 12/5/08

Dec. 5th 2008

Here’s some practical information regarding what to wear for wintertime workouts.

First of all, there seems to be a nasty rumor going around that we go inside when it’s cold.

We don’t.

We go inside if it’s raining, genuinely raining, and if it’s lightening.

Second, pay no attention to the likes of Ron Childers on Channel 5 and those other TV weather sissies. They make their living by making the weather appear more interesting or more dramatic than it is. Most of them are like Pooh’s friend, Eeyore, always talking about the bad weather to come. One day recently when the weather was very fine, one of those gloom and doomers said, “Well, it’s a nice day today, but don’t get used to it, in a couple of days it’s going to rain.” Or some such nonsense.

My point is, those people are playing for ratings. They get us to watch by teasing us about the weather, hyping the conditions, and over-dramatizing it. Of course, when there are real threats, like tornados and floods, I watch them too. They don’t have to make the weather dramatic in those cases. It’s already quite dramatic!

In other words, the morning weather guys aren’t really going to give you a good picture of the temperature. They’ll talk about how cold it is as if you were going to go outside in your bare feet and stand in your yard in your pajamas.

So here’s the tip about how to dress. Pay attention to the temperature AND the wind speed. If the wind speed is 8 mph or more, subtract 10 degrees from the temperature to determine how you should dress. The wind chill is the guide. Or in some cases, like on weather.com, they’ll tell you what it “feels like.” Dress according to that. Wear layers. You’ll soon start to take off scarves, coats, and hats as you warm up.

Likewise, for example, if it’s 20 degrees outside and no wind, you will be very surprised at how pleasant it will become 15 minutes into the workout! Seriously!

——————————————————–

TUESDAY EVENING CLASS CHANGE

Beginning this evening, and until further notice, the Tuesday evening class will be back at CUMC.

The St. Mary’s track is, for the most part, unusable for our speed workouts due to construction on the west end of the field.

——————————————————-

JIM STEINER’S CHRISTMAS GIFT CERTIFICATE

Most of you know of the exercise I call “Starting Jim Steiner’s Woodchipper.” I will write more about this dear friend, and one of the first boot campers, during the month. The anniversary of Jim’s death is December 19.

Jim joined USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP in January 2000 because his wife Carole bought him a Christmas Gift Certificate in December 1999. It was the first gift certificate I ever sold. In fact, I hadn’t even thought of the idea of gift certificates until Carole contacted me and asked if she could purchase one. I had to admit to her that I didn’t have any gift certificates, but that I would immediately make one!

In honor of Jim, I’m making Christmas Gift Certificates available to you Active Boot Campers, and even our friends who’ve wandered into Turdeville, for only $75! As you know the first month’s fee is $180, but you can purchase a Christmas Gift Certificate for only $75 to give to family and friends. They will never be required to pay the $180 fee!

So give the gift of health and fitness!

Jim’s wife did and it changed my life forever.

———————————————

ST. JUDE HALF MARATHON RUNNERS!

Your training is complete, you’re ready, and the countdown is on!

Congratulations to all of you who trained with me this year! You’re going to have an awesome half marathon!!

Check my blog on the website (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) for tips, advice, and race day strategies for a successful half marathon! ALSO, at the end of that blog you’ll find an invitation to a party on Saturday evening to celebrate your accomplishment!

Good luck everyone!!

———————————————————-

BEFORE AND AFTER PICS

The before and after pictures from the first Combat the Fat Challenge are on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website. You’ll find of the first, second, and third place winners before and after pictures on the Success Stories page. The pictures have been there for a number of weeks, I just forgot to tell you. My apologies Greg, Steve, and Sarah!

Take a look at those pictures for an extra dose of motivation! http://www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/success.html

———————————————-

HELP WANTED

Do you know of someone who could be another Sergeant Tony?

I’m looking to expand the empire beyond Memphis. Les Bonnett successfully launched USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP — Collierville in July and is doing great!

I’d especially like to move into north Mississippi or northern Shelby County. Like Hernando or Millington!

Here’s a little of what I’m looking for in a prospective “Sergeant Tony.”
* Former military, preferably a Marine.
* College degree, or working toward it.
* Exercise certification, military or civilian, or working toward it.
* Personally interested and involved in a lifestyle of fitness and athletics.
* Good communication skills, written and oral. (I answer about 40 emails a day, write a newsletter, and answer more than a half dozen or so daily Boot Camp related phone calls)
* Outgoing personality with a GREAT sense of humor!
* Genuinely likes people, hiding behind a sadistic facade.
* Humble, modest, caring, and sensitive (ok, ok, whatever) You get the idea.

If you know of someone who would be a good fit, please forward this on to them and direct them to the website:www .usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

————————————————————

USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

At Christ Methodist
0530 Monday through Friday
0645 M-W-F
0830 M-W-F
5:45 PM: M-Tu-W-Th, (5:30 PM on Friday). M-W-F are weight days, Tu/Thu are cardio days.

At Evergreen Presbyterian
0530 Monday through Friday

—————————————————–

FACEBOOK

Find me on Facebook and make me your friend! (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629618416) I’ll make you mine! Then join the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Group!

————————————————

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
5358 Denwood
Memphis, TN 38120
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Weekly Newsletter | No Comments »


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