Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for April, 2009

DIRTY HARRY — Newsletter for 4/29/09

Apr. 29th 2009

I was standing in line at the grocery store the other day, doing what we all do. I was looking around at the stuff to buy on impulse. It’s usually junk you don’t need.

Tabloids and gossip magazines with their titillating headlines. Usually filled with information about people and things I don’t know about or don’t care about. I don’t watch American Idol or Dancing with the Stars or The Hills. I’m not interested in the latest young starlet’s bi-curious experimentation or the unflattering beach photo of the star who has cellulite or a beer gut.

I don’t care if Brad is moving out or not.

And the Octo-mom is waaaaay scary! Enough of her already!!

The women’s magazines have articles about men written by … women. Huh? Umm, shouldn’t those articles be written by … oh, I don’t know … MEN? “100 Ways to Please Your Man” written by … some lady. First off, that list ain’t THAT long y’all.

But I digress.

One of those tabloids was an astrology booklet. It said something about using the stars to be happy and lucky. Oh??? The stars, eh? OK. If that’s something you follow, good on ya!

But the mention of luck reminded me of an article I wrote about increasing your luck. Some people “seem” to be luckier than others. And most of the time, there’s a pretty good explanation for someone’s luck. A few weeks ago I wrote in a newsletter: “Luck favors the prepared.”

Let me give you a few ways to increase your luck. I gave this to you a few years ago and Matt Green reminded me of it a few weeks ago while we were running. Here it is again, Matt. Thanks for reminding me of it.

Ten Ways to Increase Your Luck

1. Pay attention to your surroundings. You won’t spot the $20 bill on the sidewalk unless you’re looking. Be alert! Look around! Keep your eyes and ears open!

2. Strike up conversations with strangers. (Ladies, you probably need to be a LITTLE cautious here.) You never know who you’ll meet, the contacts you’ll establish, or the new friends you’ll make. This is one of my favorite things to do! I made some new friends this weekend in Louisville by doing this!

3. Stay relaxed, especially in pressure situations. People who are sad, depressed, or tense tend to have tunnel vision.

4. Vary your daily routine. I know a woman who believes God is going to give her a husband. She’s been waiting for over 20 years. She goes to work, comes home, and goes to church. Her routine never varies. I guess she’s going to marry the FedEx guy. I don’t think she’s met anyone new in years.

5. Be aggressive and decisive about making the changes you want in your life. I’ve learned a little about sailing. A sailboat isn’t maneuverable unless it’s moving. It needs wind in its sails. When it’s dead in the water, it’s impossible to steer. MOVE! Nike said, “Just Do It” And Shakespeare said, “The bow is drawn, make straight the arrow.”

6. Follow your hunches and gut feelings. Pay attention when something doesn’t feel quite right. I’m not talking about daily paranoia or constant suspicion of everything around you. But listen when the universe talks to you.

7. Expect good things. If you think something good is going to happen you’ll be more likely to spot it when it does. And associated with this is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Miserable people assume the worst and usually get it.

8. Smile. Not only does this inspire others to smile back, but it is the easiest and fastest thing you can do to make yourself look more attractive and accessible … unless you’re missing a lot of teeth. Then you should contact my friend, and sometimes Boot Camper, Dr. John Whittemore, DDS. This morning I had the 0530 class smile at the end of the workout. Some of those smiles were pretty scary! And the best I got from one of you was a sneer. Ask me if I had some fun at her expense! 😉

9. Outlast bad luck and look for opportunities. Often a negative turn of events creates unexpected opportunities for good things. I started USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP because I was strapped for money ten years ago and needed to supplement my teacher’s salary to make ends meet. Now look at the EMPIRE that has grown from me being broke!

10. Be positive, grateful, and thankful. Ever notice how people who exhibit those things seem to be happy … seem to be so lucky? Putting positive energy out there into the world comes back to you! As one of you told me recently, “Tony, when people whine and complain they just become big ‘crap magnets'” Well said Lisa! The opposite is true too!

I hope all y’all get lucky today! 😉

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0645 CLASS CALLED TO DUTY!

The masses have compelled me reactivate the 0645 class on Monday, May 4!

This is a Monday, Wednesday, Friday class and will follow the same routine as the 0830 class!

So all of you 0645 Boot Campers, dust off your dumbbells and clean the spider webs off your rolled up exercise mat gathering dust in your garage!

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USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP RUNNERS!!

In the past couple of weeks you guys have been running all over the place!

We’ve had runners in Oklahoma City, St. Louis, Louisville, and Nashville!

Many of these ran their very first half marathon!! How awesome is that. Most of the following were members of my half marathon training platoon that started training at the end of January!

Congratulations to all of you guys!

Nashville Runners (half marathon, unless otherwise noted)
Austin Nichols
John Winford
Matt Green
Elizabeth Stacey
Dana Whitmore
Blake Elliot
Kevin Johnston
Bethany Chism
Laura Land
Bryan Smith
Will Levy
Ahmed Morad
Amy Johnston
Ashley West
Hank Brown
Josh Miller
Chris Bell
Greg Baudoin
JoAnn Jones
Courtney Humphreys — Full Marathon!
Nina Sublett
Laura Rogers
Angela Haug
Karen Saenz

Louisville Runners
Scot Bearup
Scott Irwin — Full Marathon!
Sherry Irwin
Lisa Park
Pam Jones
Tammy Townsend

St. Louis Runners
Holly Spraker
Amy Cone

Oklahoma City Runner
Tawnette Baker

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THESE ECONOMIC TIMES

I try to promote and patronize Boot Campers in their businesses. I am also a member of a business networking group (BNI – Business Networking International) that meets weekly to promote one another’s businesses.

Starting this week I’ll include folks looking for a new job or career change. Only current Boot Campers in good standing will be listed.

If you’re not a business owner, or you work on commission, and would like to be mentioned here, send me your info!

Today’s Big Three are:

1. Calvit Ratcliffe (BNI, Boot Camper) Farmers Insurance Group: All lines of insurance, personal and commercial: Auto, Home, Life, Health, Disability, Business, and Workers’ Compensation. 901-761-6083, phone. cratcliffe@farmersagent.com email.

2. Katherine Aden-Vermilye (Boot Camper — Job Seeker!)

“I like office work, but I’m pretty open. I’ve worked in a law firm – recently as a fill in for answering phones and then a little paralegal work. In the past I’ve worked at Starbucks and a law firm as a filing clerk and then promoted to head of billing.” khakimoose@yahoo.com

3. Rob McGregor (BNI) — Mr. McGregor’s Garden — Full service landscape and lawn maintenance. Residential and Commercial. Free Estimates! 901-428-6401.

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BOOT CAMPER TO BE HOMELESS 😉

One of our Boot Camp ladies is looking for a new place to live ASAP! She’s looking to rent in the east Memphis area. She doesn’t need a big place, it’s just her. She has no pets and she doesn’t smoke. She’s sweet, adorable, and pays her bills. She even pays ME on time! If you know of a house or an apartment that might work, let me know! Time is of the essence! Thank you!

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“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?”

Dirty Harry says, “Get lucky!”

To your continued good health and fitness,

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

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CAT BALLOU — Newsletter for 4/22/09

Apr. 22nd 2009

Both of them were named Danny.

But that’s where the similarities ended.

To protect their identities, I’ll name them “Danny Pitt” and “Danny Wilson.” Some of my friends from junior high, who also read this newsletter, will remember these two guys.

Danny Pitt was the quarterback on our football team, almost 6 ft. tall in the 9th grade. He was a rich boy who flaunted his privilege and the power of his old family name, with their old family money. He had that swagger and arrogance that usually accompanies those things. He wore the best and coolest clothes. (A year later, when he turned 16 his daddy bought him a new Corvette. He was that guy.) Pitt didn’t mind putting people in their places and reminding them of his exalted station in life. He was a showoff in the worst possible sense of the word. His girlfriend was the captain of the cheerleading squad. They were that couple.

The guy was King of Darby Junior High.

The only reason I pretended to like him is because I played wide receiver on the football team. He had a habit of not throwing the ball to receivers he didn’t like, no matter how open they were. And I wanted him to throw me the ball.

On the other hand, Danny Wilson was a relatively new kid at my school. He’d only been there since 8th grade. He wasn’t outgoing, played no sports, was kind of overweight, and he had a case of acne that was about to get worse. He was pretty quiet and didn’t really speak up in class unless he was called on to answer a question. He was a good student and a good guy.

He and I were in the same Spanish class together and were often paired up to practice. Danny had lived in Arizona and could actually speak some Spanish. When I would butcher up a word or phrase, he’d help me to say it correctly. But when our Spanish teacher called on him to read aloud in class, Danny would mispronounce and stumble as if it were ME reading it. I asked him why he didn’t speak correctly and he just shrugged his shoulders. He was humble like that.

I liked Danny Wilson. He thought I was funny — I always like people who think I’m funny — and I liked making him laugh. Not only was he a good guy, kind, and polite, but he also shared some of the pastries he brought to school everyday. His mom would stop at the donut shop on their way to school every morning and Danny always had a white paper bag of yummy donuts! He preferred the jelly filled. And even though I was more of a cinnamon roll kind of guy, I never turned down a gift donut! By October of my 9th grade year, in addition to jelly donuts for Danny, his mom started buying a cinnamon roll for him to give to his friend Tony.

The two Danny’s hardly ever crossed paths except for Danny Pitt to taunt Danny Wilson before school. For absolutely no reason at all, Pitt singled him out to be ridiculed. Pitt was strong, good looking, and popular. The other Danny wasn’t. I guess that meant that he was fair game. Pitt started calling him “Donut Boy” and “Pillsbury Doughboy” when my friend would walk by in the morning.

I should have said something. I should have told Pitt to knock it off and leave him alone. But I was afraid of angering the one guy who could make me a football hero, or just another number on the team.

I was a hypocrite of the worst kind.

But one day everything changed.

That Friday started out just like the day before had, standing around in front of the school waiting for the bell to ring. But it was a game day, so our coach had us wear our football jerseys to class. Nothing too odd, really. I saw my friend Danny Wilson start to pass by the group of rich kids that included Danny Pitt, who was holding court, along with his queen, the head cheerleader.

I heard Pitt start to taunt him with the usual name calling. Then something new happened. Pitt, for reasons I never knew, stepped in front of him and blocked Wilson’s path. And then Pitt pushed him in the chest. What happened next was something I have replayed in my head a million times.

Imagine this scene in slow motion.

Danny Wilson drops his books — along with the white paper bag of delicious donuts!

From under Danny Wilson’s left arm slowly tumbles his notebook, Algebra book, Social Studies book, and other papers. From his right hand falls the white paper bag of splendid sugary sweets. See in your mind’s eye Danny Pitt tilt his stupid head slightly forward with his eyes fixed on, and following downward, the books and white paper bag of confectionary delights. And now freeze that scene in your imagination. The books and white paper bag of yummy-ness suspended in midair. And now look closely at Danny Wilson’s right hand. Do you see it? That’s right. It has become a fist.

When you push the slow motion play button in your mind, you will see Danny Wilson’s right uppercut make contact with Danny Pitt’s nose. A right uppercut that Pitt never sees because his eyes are fixed on the falling books and white paper bag of wonderful goodness. Pitt’s nose was broken before the books and the white paper bag of … well, you know … hit the deck.

Pitt grabs his nose. Blood gets on the front of his #14 football jersey. Almost unseen, with all of the attention on The King holding his nose and crying like a little girl, was Danny Wilson, who calmly picked up his books and the white paper bag of you know what, and walked away with the same regard as if he’d just put a letter in a mailbox.

The kingdom had a new king.

But the new king wasn’t interested in the job. Danny Wilson shunned the spotlight … but he was never taunted again.

Danny Wilson, and every magician, knows the value of distraction and misdirection. When we take our eyes off the main thing, off the most important thing, and put our focus on the distraction, the misdirection, the illusion, true success will elude us. We may ultimately fail. We might get poked in the nose.

Evaluate what’s important in your life. Find out what the main thing is and focus on that.

And watch out for that right uppercut!

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CHUCK NORRIS IS A SISSY BOY

Every Monday I ask for a show of hands if you did your one hour (minimum) of continuous cardio over the weekend.

This past Monday, Teri Trotter — yes, the same Teri Trotter who just recently had breast cancer surgery and who started chemo therapy yesterday — was at the 0830 class.

That fact, all by itself, would be enough to admire and praise her!

But she was also the ONLY PERSON at the 0830 class to raise her hand. She got her one hour of continuous cardio! That’s right! And she just had breast cancer surgery!

Teri, YOU, dahlin, rock, Rock, ROCK! We hope and pray that you’re doing good today.

Chuck Norris hears your name and trembles with fear!

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0645 CLASS CALLED TO DUTY!

The masses have compelled me activate the 0645 class on Monday, May 4!

So all of you 0645 Boot Campers, dust off your dumbbells and clean the spider webs off your rolled up exercise mat gathering dust in your garage!

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FOURTH THURSDAY MOUNT FUJI AT 0530

The popularity of the “Mt. Fuji Workout” has inspired me to schedule it again! Because you asked for it, we’ll be doing it every third and fourth Thursday of the month! Thanks everyone for making this so much fun! The attendance has been great!!

So tomorrow morning the 0530 class will again meet at the University of Memphis for our Mt. Fuji workout! Meet in the parking lot in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin. Bring your dumbbells!

There will be no 0530 workout at Christ Methodist.

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THESE ECONOMIC TIMES

I try to promote and patronize Boot Campers in their businesses. I am also a member of a business networking group (BNI – Business Networking International) that meets weekly to promote one another’s businesses.

Starting this week I’ll include folks looking for a new job or career change. Only current Boot Campers in good standing will be listed.

If you’re not a business owner, or you work on commission, and would like to be mentioned here, send me your info!

Today’s Big Three are:

1. Jay Lawler (Boot Camper) -Sales Manager-Tom James Company of Memphis-

World’s largest manufacturer and retailer of custom-made clothing. We save our clients time by coming directly to their home or office for all of their ready-made or custom-made clothing needs. We also have a complete business casual and casual line and a full line of accessories for any occasion.
cell 277-3694 j.lawler@tomjames.com … www.tomjames.com

2. Katherine Aden-Vermilye (Boot Camper — Job Seeker!)

“I like office work, but I’m pretty open. I’ve worked in a law firm – recently as a fill in for answering phones and then a little paralegal work. In the past I’ve worked at Starbucks and a law firm as a filing clerk and then promoted to head of billing.” khakimoose@yahoo.com

3. Art Johnson (Boot Camper — on leave) — Savvy Spirit — personalized, high quality, but simple brochure-style web site design. http://www.savvyspirit.com/abj/

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Keep the main thing, the main thing.

To your continued good health and fitness,

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

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FLIPPY FLOPPIES — Newsletter for 4/15/09

Apr. 15th 2009

Once upon a time there was an elephant and four blind men.

The blind men wanted to know what an elephant was like, so their caretakers took them up to the elephant so that they could touch it.

The first man was taken to the front of the giant beast, where he grabbed the elephant’s trunk and immediately declared to his friends, “The elephant is like a mighty snake!”

The second man, with his hands holding the elephant’s leg, said “Oh no, you’re mistaken, the elephant is like a tree!”

The third blind man, with both of his hands on the side of the animal, protested “You are both wrong, the elephant is like a massive wall!”

The fourth man, totally confused by what he heard his friends say, shouted out “NO! NO! NO! What is wrong with you three, the elephant is like a rope!” while holding the elephants tail.

I’ll bet you’ve heard this parable before. It illustrates the error of assuming that the whole of a thing can be understood by knowing only a fraction of a thing.

Have you ever been misunderstood, criticized, and wrongfully punished? This happened a LOT when I was young (see last week’s story!). My kid sister — I love my kid sister! — was also my first audience and my first victim. But she was a pretty good actress too. She and I would get into an argument and she’d run off to our mother and start crying fake tears on the way. My mother would immediately assume that I had done something wrong and punish me. No trial. No evidence. Only my sister’s crocodile tears to convict me. One Friday afternoon I got grounded for the entire weekend because of those fake tears. Thanks a lot, sis.

Don’t feel too sorry for me. (Not that any of you would!) But I got even with my sister. A LOT! Once when she went off to summer camp she came back to find that I’d turned her Barbie Dream House into Bordello Barbie’s Chicken Ranch. My G.I. Joes, all sailors and Marines, in with the fleet, were partying with her Malibu Barbies. Brown-chicken-brown-cow.

Oh, yes. I got punished for that one. BIG TIME! But it was SO worth it! My mother didn’t think Boogie Nights was that funny. Whatever, mom.

A literary device used for centuries — found in books, ancient stories, and modern screenplays — has the innocent hero misunderstood, wrongfully accused, and often unjustly punished. The audience knows the truth, yet understands the circumstantial evidence that has led others to come to the wrong conclusion. The audience is drawn into the hero’s struggle to be vindicated and absolved. We pull for the wrongfully accused and hope that he will get justice and be found innocent. We also want the accusers to feel sorry and ashamed.

Greek tragedies, Shakespearian tragedies, and movies like “Mystic River,” have no vindication and no absolution. At the end there is only hopelessness and error.

The teaching point from these stories is this: we know the truth yet we know why the hero is misunderstood — and we relate to both! We are guilty of the same mistake. We take 10% of a story and fabricate the other 90%. And here’s the evil of it. If we like the person in question, we assume the other 90% is good or benign. If we don’t like the person, we assume the other 90% is malicious.

And we jack this up all the time.

There is an elephant in front of you today.

Be patient.

You may be holding the tail.

Be slow to presume the whole. Be quick to assume the best. The odds of you knowing 100% of anything about another person is zero and none. Especially since you struggle to know yourself or why you do the things that you do.

Every major religion has a teaching of reciprocity. The golden rule. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.” it says in Matthew 7.

Add this Shinto teaching to your dealings with others today: “The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form”

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FACE BOOK AD

If you see an ad on Facebook for USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, do NOT click on it!

Facebook charges me for every click on that ad! That’s how Facebook makes its money! One of you told me that you click on it EVERY TIME!!

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WHO ARE YOU?

Many of you took the short version of the Jung-Myers-Briggs personality survey when you joined USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

If you’ve not taken the survey you should! It’s very interesting. The above link will take you there. It only takes about 10 to 15 minutes to take. Not only does it help in your understanding of yourself, but it can give you guidance into other things like your career choices.

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THIRD THURSDAY MOUNT FUJI AT 0530

Tomorrow morning the 0530 class will meet at the University of Memphis for our Mt. Fuji workout! Meet in the parking lot in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin. Bring your dumbbells!

There will be no 0530 workout at Christ Methodist.

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SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING

Your training is complete! You are now a Half Marathon Jedi!

Your only running between now and then should be short distance tempo runs or easy runs of no more than 3 to 5 miles.

Boot Campers will be running half marathons in Nashville, St. Louis, and Louisville! How cool is that?!

There will be no organized run this coming Saturday. Good luck to you all! Be sure to email me your post race stories!

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THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES

I try to promote and patronize Boot Campers in their businesses. I am also a member of a business networking group (BNI – Business Networking International) that meets weekly to promote one another’s businesses.

Every week I’ll be introducing you to three businesses, either owned by one of you guys or one of my BNI buddies. Maybe you’re not a business owner, but you work on commission and would like to be mentioned, please send me your info!

Today’s Big Three are:

1. Dr. Amy Moffatt (Boot Camper — slacker) MobileVet Memphis — bringing the clinic to you! A fully equipped clinic on wheels for wellness care, routine surgeries, dentistry, bloodwork and more. She has been practicing veterinary medicine in Memphis since 2002 and went mobile in November 2008. Evening and weekend appointments available. $10 off your first trip fee if you mention Boot Camp! 901-569-3683
www.mobilevetmemphis.com

2. Will Levy (Boot Camper) Oak Hall — Special Promotion: Buy one, get the second at half price SALE! Call Will or go into the store and let him help you get something awesome for spring! 6150 Poplar Ave # 146
Memphis, TN 38119 (901) 761-3580

3. Art Johnson (Boot Camper — on leave) — Savvy Spirit — personalized, high quality, but simple brochure-style web site design. http://www.savvyspirit.com/abj/

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If you knew that you only had one hour to live, and could only speak to 10 people, who would they be? They’re the ones who count the most!

To your continued good health and fitness,

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

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MONSTERS and GYPSIES! — Newsletter for 4/8/09

Apr. 8th 2009

He was my older brother and my best friend.

Brothers mess with one another a LOT and Jack and I were no exception. He played and pranked and involved me in all sorts of tomfoolery and mischief. You can almost lay all of the blame for me being mean on him! Thanks bro.

When I was 9 or 10 he thought it would be hilarious to put a bra on me. While I was asleep. So while I was sleeping he got one of our sister’s bra’s and put it on me … and then took some pictures. These he showed to everyone. (Years later, he continued showing these pictures to my buddies and to girls I dated! “Oh Honey, you don’t really want to date my ‘pervert brother,’ right?” he’d ask my dates, after showing them the picture.)

I needed to get even for that one. I needed revenge! And my 10 year old brain concocted an awesome plan.

I would stowaway in his car.

On a date.

Before he left the house to go pick up Diana, I crawled into the back floorboard of his car and hid under a blanket. (Why did Jack have a blanket in his backseat?)

No one, including our parents, knew I was doing this. I didn’t tell anyone for fear of a breach in security. I was afraid someone would tip him off. Plus I was pretty sure that my mother wouldn’t let me do it.

It was really fun hiding away in the backseat as we rolled down the road and him not knowing I was there. hehehe wooohooo!! I thought of myself as a super cool spy like James Bond or one of the guys on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” At one point he started singing along with the radio and I had to bite my hand to keep from laughing out loud. And he must have put on a gallon of Old Spice, or whatever he took from my dad. He was only 16, so I guess he hadn’t learned that cologne shouldn’t announce your arrival before you arrive! I could smell it even under a blanket in the back floor board. Poor Diana. I hoped she could breathe shallow.

After she got in the car, I heard Jack say that he was taking her to the drive in movie. Oh boy! We’re going to the movies! I love movies! This is going to be LOTS of fun!

Riding along in the back floorboard under the blanket, I was only aware of the movement of the car, the music on the radio, and the muffled conversation in the front seat. A bench front seat, like the kind you find in Buick’s and pick up trucks. The kind of seat that allows the passenger to sit right up against the driver. I imagined that Jack had his left hand on the steering wheel and his right arm around Diana. Cute.

When we got to the drive in, Jack took the speaker and attached it to the window inside the car. Not long after that the movie started I couldn’t hear those two in the front seat talking anymore. I guess they were trying to listen to the movie. I knew they were still there because I never heard the car door open. And I could hear some unidentifiable sounds. They were at least moving around up there. I wasn’t sure why they couldn’t seem to sit still.

I started listening to the movie and trying to figure out what the movie was all about. Monsters and gypsies I thought. Unfortunately the sounds in the front seat started getting a little louder and I couldn’t hear the speaker very well. What were they up to? And all of that moving around too! They sort of sounded out of breath, like they’d been riding their bikes, or running fast, or doing some sort of exercise. I really wanted to see what was going on, so I got out from under the blanket and popped my head up over the seat back.

“Hey! Whatchall dooin’?” I asked.

“OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD …!!” screeched Diana!

“#&%&!=$#*?#&%!!!!!!!” shouted my brother!

They both jumped away from one another as if they’d been zapped with electricity! Then quickly and awkwardly fumbled around with re-buttoning and refastening items of their clothing that had somehow managed to become unbuttoned and unfastened. Whatever had gotten them out of breath had somehow made their buttons come lose. It had also messed up Diana’s hair something awful.

After her initial shock, Diana immediately seemed happy, almost relieved to see me, as she readjusted herself and smoothed down her hair. It seemed like I had just rescued her from something. I felt proud … for about a second. Jack on the other hand did not share Diana’s joy. He seemed to be really, really, REALLY upset with me! More than I thought he would be. It was as if I had just ruined something for him. Whatever that was. At any rate, I had apparently torpedoed some grandiose plan of his. He was not happy with me.

I stayed in the car with Diana while Jack went to the snack bar to call our parents and tell them where I was. (I hadn’t really thought through what the repercussions were going to be for me when I got home. They weren’t good. I’ll just tell you that right now. My joy at getting even was short lived.) While at the snack bar, Jack bought us all a bunch of fun movie food too.

Unfortunately, he banished me from the car for the rest of the night. I was ordered, on threat of death, to sit on the hood, watch the movie and eat my snacks. I was to look straight ahead. Under NO circumstances was I to turn around and look inside the car. “No matter WHAT,” he said. Bless his heart, he still thought he had a chance with Diana after this fiasco. You gotta love that kind of persistence and wishful thinking. As you can imagine, I kept turning around and checking to see what was going on in the front seat of the car. Nothing was going on. Unless you call Diana smiling and waving at me and Jack scowling and giving me a different kind of hand gesture, something.

It was a fun night until we got home. I was in deep trouble. Jack silently laughed at me standing behind our mother as she “got all up in my bizness.” It was pretty funny actually. I was grounded. Until forever.

Jack dated other girls, but I never got to go on any of those dates. A couple of years later my brother preceded me in the Marine Corps. Years later when he was home on leave, he ran into Diana again. They started a long distance relationship and guess who was his best man when they got married? To get even, I thought about wearing a bra on the outside of my tux, but thought better of it.

Diana is the mother of my nephew, Jeff, my brother’s only child.

We lost Jack 18 years ago last Thursday. And a day never goes by that I don’t miss him.

There’s no real moral to this story. No real teaching point. But maybe today might be a good day to tell a brother or a sister … or a really cool uncle or aunt … that you love them and that you’re thankful that they’re in your life! It’s never wrong to tell someone special that you love them.

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APRIL IS OUR ANNUAL “BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH”

In honor of my friend Tom Farrar, I made April our “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp Month!”

You can bring a friend to Boot Camp during April for a FREE DAY! No strings attached.

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends in April will get $100!! US Legal Tender. Not 100 Dollars in Boot Camp Bucks! Real money!!

Here are the only rules:

1. Your visiting friends must be prospects for membership, so no out of town visitors will count toward your total number of friends for the contest.

2. Repeat visitors don’t count beyond their first visit – so you can’t bring your friend Bob 15 times during April and count it as 15 friends! (You get that John Winford?!)

3. Friends who join are counted twice!

In addition, your friends can join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for only $90 in April! Only your friends and family can take advantage of this deal. New recruits taking advantage of this special discount MUST have a sponsoring friend who IS a Boot Camper in good standing. It’s for our friends and family only.

——————————————————————

OFFICE SPACE IN EAST MEMPHIS!

668 Colonial (Across the street from Target). Two awesome spaces available.

Office Suite #1 is 2,400 square feet.

Office Suite #2 is 1,600 square feet with 4 dental operatories. Perfect dental office or even solon space.

Call Boot Camper Kim Mullins at 901-283-5913

—————————————————————–

AWESOME Boot Camp Service Project! — Organized by Anne Emmerth

Anne says:

Boot Campers are coming together to help Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that provides shoes for people in need in the United States and around the world. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used).

Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS. Soles4Souls distributes shoes internationally and in the US (they’ve served over 30 US states, including Tennessee). The web site is: http://www.soles4souls.org/.

For the next two weeks we’ll collect your used athletic shoes at Boot Camp then we’ll ship them in bulk to the distribution center. Take a moment to look in your closet – if you’re replacing shoes as often as Sergeant Tony recommends, you should have some spares. Tie the laces together and bring them to Boot Camp on these days:

Friday, April 10
Monday, April 13 (last day!)
————————————————

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING AT SHELBY FARMS

Half Marathon (13.1 miles) Training for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 25, 2009 (or the Louisville Half Marathon or St. Louis Half Marathon) will continue at 0800 this coming Saturday, 11 April!

We’ll meet at 0800 in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms.

The training schedule is posted on the blog page of our website: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/

————————————————————–

CONGRATULATIONS!!

Boot Camper Daniel Shaffer completed the Ironman Triathlon 70.3 in New Orleans this past weekend! A 70.3 triathlon is a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run!

OUTSTANDING JOB DANIEL!

You, sir, rock the house!

——————————————————

Everyone is important. Everyone matters.

To your continued good health and fitness,

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

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


HILLBILLY — Weekly Newsletter for 4/1/09

Apr. 1st 2009

Once upon a time, in a land far away, I went to a Toyota Motor Corporation banquet.

I was the guest speaker.

Don’t ask me why I was invited to speak — in Japanese, no less — you wouldn’t believe me anyway. You’d only say I was making stuff up. (“Tony, you lie!” “Don’t play, be serious!”)

This extravagant event was held at Toyota’s World Headquarters in, where else, Toyota, Japan. Gathered in this enormous and ornate banquet center, were all of Toyota’s corporate executives and their wives. More than a thousand people. And it was a very very formal affair. When the Japanese do formal, they eclipse any European potentate or aristocracy. Formal in Japan means FORMAL.

In attendance at this banquet was Mr. Toyota himself. (Yes, there is such a man.) The city is named after his family … his family is responsible for the company. He is a third generation car man, about 73 years old.

If I were asked to speak in English at such a banquet it would have been nerve-wracking enough, but doing it in JAPANESE?!! What was I thinking??

I was supposed to speak after the meal but I could barely eat anything at all because I was so nervous. So instead of eating, I decided to drink the wine. On an empty stomach. Not my best decision.

If you know me very well, you know that I’m a cheap drunk. Two, maybe, three beers, and that’s about it. Yes, I know, I drink like a teenaged girl. Whatever. I’ve heard it all before. Let’s move on.

The glass of wine I drank not only settled my nerves, but probably made my Japanese a little comical. Hopefully the jokes I had in my speech would work better this way. Or not.

The program began. My part came. I gave my speech. Everyone laughed at the right times. I got applause. I sat down. I nearly passed out. People came up to me afterwards and were very very nice. “Oh, Tony-san, your Japanese is so … so … interesting.” they said.

The most important thing that happened that night wasn’t anything about what I’ve just told you. That was just the back story.

No, the most important thing was what happened when I was standing back stage waiting for my turn in the program. While the MC was conducting other parts of the program, giving out awards and whatnot, I was back stage with others who would have a part in the program too. Including Mr. and Mrs. Toyota!

I was standing off to one side by myself, reading over my speech, trying to prepare myself, when THEY came over to ME! Oh lord! Mr. and Mrs. Toyota!!! Mr. Toyota’s personal assistant led the way and proceeded to make the introductions. OMG! OMG! OMG! MR. TOYOTA AND HIS WIFE!!!

They were the preeminent picture of Japanese grace and elegance. On the other hand, my socks were FULL of sweat. I could literally feel, and hear, the sound of my soaked feet in my soaked shoes. And I just knew the wine was going to totally screw up my Japanese and I was going to sound like a buffoon. Stupid wine.

Introductions in Japan are extremely important and very complicated. Who is introduced first? Who bows first? Who bows lowest? How many times do we bow? Who quits bowing first? Who looks at whom? Who hands their business card first? What is the proper way to receive the business card? How long do you look at the business card before putting it away? How do I properly put the card away? And on and on it goes. It’s very choreographed, rooted in Japanese culture and tradition, and based on who is considered the “superior” and who is considered the “inferior.”

There was NO question as to who the inferior was.

I somehow managed to survive this minefield of cultural exchanges and introductions without sounding like a goober and without embarrassing myself. And then there we were … standing around making small talk. Mr. and Mrs. Toyota were asking ME questions about myself!?? They asked the usual kinds of questions that most Japanese would ask me. Where are you from? What do you do? Do you miss America? Why did you choose to come to Japan? Do you realize that your nose is enormous? Stuff like that. (By the way, big noses are considered attractive there … explains my interest in Japan, huh!?)

And then this happened.

We were just chatting along casually when I mentioned, very off the cuff and without any agenda whatsoever and just trying to make conversation, that my brother-in-law owned a Toyota truck. When I said that, both of them, Mr. and Mrs. Toyota … the head of Toyota Motor Corporation and his wife … bowed to me … low … low … low … and remained bowed … and said, while bowing, in the most formal and polite Japanese, “Thank you very very much, most Honorable Mr. Ludlow sir, for your most honorable family’s support of our most meager company and for your most honorable trust in our most inferior products.”

Say WHAT?

Didn’t they know my family is from Arkansas? That my brother-in-law hauls around deer carcasses in the back of his Toyota truck? That the car that brought them to the banquet cost more than the house I grew up in? That the personal assistant standing in front of me makes more in a year than my father made in a decade?

And they remained bowed for so long that I was embarrassed. People were staring. Those back stage saw the head of their company, AND his wife, honoring me as if I were the most important person at the banquet. The fact was, THEY were the most important people there! He was one of the most important people in the world! And the treatment they gave me was the kind of thing the lowest worker on the Toyota assembly line would show to them! The honor they gave me was so embarrassingly respectful that I returned their bow to them, time and time again, and then started begging them, in whispered and respectful Japanese, to please stop, that I was unworthy of such an honor.

When we finally stood up straight, I had tears in my eyes. I’d never been treated that way in my life. I didn’t know what to say or do.

I’ve never forgotten the lesson they taught me that night. Never have I seen such class and elegance … such humility and kindness … all extended to a hillbilly from Fort Smith, Arkansas … from one of the most powerful men in the world.

GET OUT!

Ask me how everyone treated me the rest of the night.

Like royalty.

When I returned to my seat from giving my speech, and it was evident that I hadn’t had a chance to eat before hand, and that my food was now cold, two waiters came quickly and brought me hot food. One of them stood just a few feet away from me for the rest of the evening to ensure that I was completely taken care of. I was entirely and completely humbled and embarrassed by the preferential treatment I was shown.

What was I taught that night?

Mr. and Mrs. Toyota taught me that everyone is important. Everyone matters.

Everyone is important. Everyone matters.

That’s why I remember your name.

Let me take this opportunity to tell you, those who come to Boot Camp, who make this program possible by your support, who have stood by me through thick and thin, who have been more friend than client — and even to you who are in your very first month of Boot Camp — thank you … thank you so very very much for your honorable trust in my meager and inferior efforts to serve you. I will continue to work hard for you and will, to the best of my ability, abuse you with enthusiasm and humiliate you — most honorable Boot Campers — with humor and great affection!

—————————————————–
APRIL IS OUR ANNUAL “BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH”

My friend Tom Farrar was a great guy and an excellent CPA.

Former Air Force vet and a numbers genius, but an overweight, hyper-type-A personality that concerned me from the time day I met him.

I worried that Tom was a walking time bomb … a heart attack just waiting to happen. Tom was my CPA and I badgered him, sweetly invited him, tried to shame him, and attempted to humiliate him over the years in an effort to get him to take care of himself and get in shape. I tried everything.

“Tom, you need to come to Boot Camp … I promise not to kill you.” But he would always laugh it off and promise me that he’d come “one of these days.”

Tom ran out of days in April 2007. Unnecessarily. Completely preventable.

He never came to Boot Camp. He never let me help him.

Tom walked out to pick up his morning paper and had a heart attack. He died in his front yard.

In honor of my friend Tom, I made April our “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp Month!”

You can bring a friend to Boot Camp during April for a FREE DAY! No strings attached.

What’s in it for you?

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends in April will get $100!! US Legal Tender. Not 100 Dollars in Boot Camp Bucks! Real money!!

Here are the only rules:

1. Your visiting friends must be prospects for membership, so no out of town visitors will count toward your total number of friends for the contest.

2. Repeat visitors don’t count beyond their first visit – so you can’t bring your friend Bob 15 times during April and count it as 15 friends! (You get that John Winford?!)

3. Friends who join are counted twice!

In addition, your friends can join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for only $90 in April! Only your friends and family can take advantage of this deal. New recruits taking advantage of this special discount MUST have a sponsoring friend who IS a Boot Camper in good standing. It’s for our friends and family only.

——————————————————————

OFFICE SPACE IN EAST MEMPHIS!

668 Colonial (Across the street from Target). Two awesome spaces available.

Office Suite #1 is 2,400 square feet.

Office Suite #2 is 1,600 square feet with 4 dental operatories. Perfect dental office or even solon space.

Call Boot Camper Kim Mullins at 901-283-5913

—————————————————————–

AWESOME Boot Camp Service Project! — Organized by Anne Emmerth

Anne says:

Boot Campers are coming together to help Soles4Souls, a nonprofit that provides shoes for people in need in the United States and around the world. Shoe companies, retailers, and individuals can donate footwear (both new and used).

Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS. Soles4Souls distributes shoes internationally and in the US (they’ve served over 30 US states, including Tennessee). The web site is: http://www.soles4souls.org/.

For the next two weeks we’ll collect your used athletic shoes at Boot Camp then we’ll ship them in bulk to the distribution center. Take a moment to look in your closet – if you’re replacing shoes as often as Sergeant Tony recommends, you should have some spares. Tie the laces together and bring them to Boot Camp on these days:

Friday, April 3
Monday, April 6
Friday, April 10
Monday, April 13 (last day!)

————————————————

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING AT THE U OF M

Half Marathon (13.1 miles) Training for the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville on April 25, 2009 (or the Louisville Half Marathon or St. Louis Half Marathon) will continue at 0800 this coming Saturday, 4 April!

We’ll meet at 0800 in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin at the U of M. We’ll be going 1hr 10 min.

The training schedule is posted on the blog page of our website: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/

————————————————————–

THESE TOUGH ECONOMIC TIMES

I try to promote and patronize Boot Campers in their businesses. I am also a member of a business networking group (BNI – Business Networking International) that meets weekly to promote one another’s businesses.

Every week I’ll be introducing you to three businesses, either owned by one of you guys or one of my BNI buddies. Maybe you’re not a business owner, but you work on commission and would like to be mentioned, please send me your info!

Today’s Big Three are:

1. Ande Demetriou (BNI) Gemini Media Transfer Service — Transferring video imagery from different media to DVD, 901-584-0010.

2. Tom Dorian (Boot Camper, BNI) American National Insurance Co.– Multiple line insurance company specializing in the personal market. Claim free benefits. 901-328-5858×151

3. Lloyd Caldemeyer (BNI) Alliance Services — Health Insurance. 901-338-2501

——————————————————

Everyone is important. Everyone matters.

To your continued good health and fitness,

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117
901-644-0145

www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

www.shaklee.net/tonyludlow/main

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


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