Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for July, 2009

SUCCULENT! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow — Newsletter for 7/29/09

Jul. 29th 2009

I love peaches.

One time when I was really craving one, I left my girlfriend’s apartment to go buy some peaches and when I got back she was on the phone with another guy. I guess I shouldn’t have wanted peaches so bad.

The eating of a sweet, juicy, succulent peach, when you really really want a peach is almost heaven!

The other day I came home from the evening boot camp class, hot, tired, and thirsty. And instead of reaching for the jug of sports drink in my fridge, I took one of the peaches off of the window sill in my kitchen. I checked the firmness of it and it was perfect. Not too firm and not too soft … just right.

I bit into the peach and immediately my entire mouth was full of … well … succulence! That is a word that I think only applies to the sensation of sweet, juicy, goodness in your mouth. It penetrates every taste bud, saturates every nook and cranny of your mouth, and sends your salivary glands into overdrive!

Or maybe that’s just me!

Things take on a different value when they are longed for. Maybe it’s something you haven’t had in a long time. Maybe it’s an experience that you haven’t had in a long time. How wonderful does cold water taste at the end of a long run or workout? As Thomas Paine wrote more than two hundred years ago, “… it’s dearness only that gives everything its value.”

The value of exercise isn’t only physical, in that it makes you stronger or fitter. The value of exercise isn’t only mental in that it effects your attitude and sense of well being. One of the great things about exercise is that it makes things taste better. It’s the joy of tasting that sports drink or that ice cold water … or that peach at the end of a long hot workout. That’s a joy that our non-exercising friends know nothing of.

Our non-exercising friends no nothing of the joy of daily physical discipline or achievement. Things that pay dividends far beyond anything you can imagine or measure. I can’t measure joy. I can’t measure satisfaction. I can’t measure self discipline. But I know the feeling of having those things! I know how having those things effects my daily life.

I was asked by one of you who is looking for a job and can’t pay why I’m allowing them to continue to workout on my Quarterdeck. The answer is simple. It’s the right thing to do. USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP isn’t a class. It’s a community. In many ways, it’s family. (In fact, I like some of you guys waaaaay more than some members of my actual family!)

I know that exercise will make my job hunting boot campers happier and fitter. And happy and fit people interview well! They take enthusiasm and energy into the job interview, making them a better candidate for that job. Increasing their odds of getting that job!

I can’t help qualify that person for the job they’re looking for. I can’t give them new credentials, new work experience, or new academic degrees. But I CAN equip them to take the best of themselves into that job interview! And isn’t that what family and friends do for one another?

How happy will that person be when they find a new job? How excited will they be? How dear will that new job be to them?

And how awesome will it be to have a part in that … and to see it first hand? To share in the joy of that!

Exercise makes a peach more than a peach. And it makes a person looking for a job more than a person looking for a job!

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MOUNT FUJI

Tomorrow morning at 0530 we’ll be climbing the mountain! See you at the parking garage on Zach Curlin, on the campus of the U of M. Bring your dumbbells, mat, water bottle and towel!

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ANNIVERSARY PARTY!

Next month we will celebrate our Ten Year Anniversary! I’m taking ideas and suggestions for a party at the end of the month. If you have a good idea or a party place, pass it on!

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ANNIVERSARY DISCOUNT!

Every August the initial enlistment fee is discounted in celebreation of our anniversary! If you have cheap friends or family, tell them that NOW would be the BEST time to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!

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Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Memphis, TN
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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Inconceivable! — Sergeant Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 7/22/09

Jul. 22nd 2009

I was about 200 yards from the finish line of my first triathlon!

It had been a long day already for this rookie. Inconceivable events had piled up.

* I’d gotten my goggles kicked off of my head during the 3/4 mile swim and couldn’t see crap. Inconceivable!

* I got momentarily passed during the 28 mile bike by a guy riding a Sears “Freespirit” 10 Speed, with his Chuck Taylor basketball shoes duck tapped to the rusty pedals. Oh, and he was wearing cutoff blue jeans and a football helmet! Inconceivable!

* I got passed by a GIRL (the first time a girl had ever beaten me at ANYthing in my life) at about mile 2 of the 7 mile run. Inconceivable!

And now, there I was with just 200 yards left!

Over the music of “Rocky” and “Chariots of Fire” blasting from the giant speakers stolen from Woodstock, I became aware of an unsettling sound. I started to hear a very alarming wheezing noise, as if someone were about to stroke out. Someone behind me appeared to be dying.

Unfortunately the dying guy also seemed to be gaining on me.

WHAT??

How could someone in cardiac arrest actually be GAINING on me?? Inconceivable!

But sure enough, here he came, with the sounds of his expiration getting louder and closer! And when he was right beside me, I glanced over to see the gray haired man PASS ME!!

WHAT??

How was a wheezing guy — ten minutes from rigor mortis setting in — passing me?? Inconceivable!

I tried to stay with him. But I was spent. I was a 24 year old Marine and in pretty great shape, but I couldn’t keep up with Mr. Gray. He finished about 10 seconds ahead of me.

With my gigantic ego in cardiac arrest, I finished the race and went in search of Mr. Gray. I found him inside the big tent with the refreshments. I walked up to him, my tail tucked like a beaten dog.

“Congratulations on a great race!” I said to him, trying to convince myself of my sincerity.

“Oh? Thank you very much!” said Mr. Gray, a little too enthusiastically.

“That was me you passed right there at the end.” I said with a slightly incredulous tone.

“OH?? Gosh, I’m sorry!” Mr. Gray said apologetically.

“No, no, no!! I just wanted to congratulate you on a great race, ” I assured him. “And to ask you … if you don’t mind, how old you are?”

With great pride, and a wide smile, Mr. Gray stood up straight, chest out, shoulders rolled back and announced, “I’m 65 years old!”

Inconceivable!

“You, sir, are my new hero!” I said, and meant it completely.

As I celebrate another lap around the sun on Saturday, I am reminded that age “ain’t nuthin’ but a number.” I know people half my age who are already living an older version of themselves. One that probably resembles an older version of Mr. Gray! And I know people, like Mr. Gray, who refuse to go gently into that good night. There will be no rest from striving and exploring, from doing and achieving.

How much of this is mental? How much of what the Mr. and Ms. Grays of the world do and know is simply a matter of mind over matter? A conscious decision to live life to the hilt?! “Damn the torpedoes, FULL SPEED AHEAD!”

I think it’s about 90% mental.

You are what you decide to be. You do what you make up your mind to do.

What role does exercise play in the process? The greatest benefit of exercise isn’t what you think. The greatest benefit isn’t physical. It’s mental. Exercise makes you feel good. Which in turn makes you want to DO things and to live good. Which in turn makes you want to exercise more. Which in turn makes you feel better.

It’s the opposite of a vicious cycle. It’s a cycle of perpetual benefits!

Next month, USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP becomes 10 years old! Over the years I’ve heard countless boot camp quitters say to me, “Tony, I never felt better than when I was doing Boot Camp with you!”

Then why did you quit? Why do you stay away? I never understand that statement and I’ve heard it many times!

If money is the issue, talk to me.

If you’ve lost your job, talk to me.

If you need to get out of Turdeville, PLEASE talk to me!

Let me be clear, if you’ve lost your job and you can’t pay, you are welcome on my Quarterdeck while you look for a job! I will NOT turn anyone away because they’ve lost their job. (UNLESS you are a HUGE pain in the butt! In that case, in the words of the late great Ike Turner, “You can get up out my face and start steppin!”)

In all seriousness though, I am fully aware of the fact that I’m not running a charity or a non-profit! Some of you have tried to remind me of that. I know! My bills have to be paid just like yours. I got that. But I think in the long run I benefit by keeping you around, especially when you’ve hit a rough patch of road. Do you have to repay me when you get a new job? No. Not at all. Just pick up right where you are, just as if nothing had happened.

“Help me, help you!” Tom Cruise said in “Jerry Maguire.” And I really mean it. The joy of my life isn’t my trip to the bank. It’s seeing you on my Quarterdeck!

If Ford won’t take your car away if you lose your job, I won’t take your BOOT CAMP away either!

I know … it’s … it’s … Inconceivable!

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TODAY’S BIG THREE

1. Natalie Williams (Boot Camper) looking for a Marketing/ Event
Coordinating or Advertising job. Has a degree in Marketing Management
and has several years of experience. Please contact nnwllms1@gmail.com
with any leads or job opportunities.

2. Anna Haug (Boot Camper) is looking for a new job. She’s had experience in outside sales.

3. Cindy Pensoneau (Boot Camper) has an apartment for rent. She sends: “Charming English Tudor duplex, 2BR/1BA + sunroom, 9ft. ceilings, hardwood flrs., 1600 sq. ft. recently renovated, 2nd floor/treetop view, just West of Overton Park. Covered parking, ample storage. $1,100/month. 249 H awthorne Street. 901-270-7450, leave message.

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MOUNT FUJI

Tomorrow, July 23 at 0530! Meet at the U of M in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin!

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“Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to see the beam in your own eye?”
~ Matthew 7:3
To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Memphis, TN
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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NO GOOD DEED — Sgt. TONY LUDLOW’S NEWSLETTER FOR 7/15/09

Jul. 15th 2009

I probably shouldn’t tell this.

Some things I just ought to keep to myself. But I don’t care who knows. It’s too big for me to keep silent about.

Here’s my little secret.

I loved Wicked.

There I said it. And I don’t care who knows it!

I expected to like the Broadway musical. But I didn’t think I’d love it.

You know how sometimes you hear so much hype about something and you just sort of get a prejudice against it? Even before you know anything about it you say that you’re not going to get caught up in the hoopla. “Oh, such and such can’t be that good!”

On Sunday night, I became a “Wicked” fan. I also fell in love with the actress, Marcie Dodd, as soon as she came on stage. Well, that’s probably not the case. I fell in love, for a lot of reasons, with the character she played. Elphaba, the Wicked Witch. I was mesmerized as soon as she took the stage! Completely smitten!

For those of you who didn’t care for Wicked, didn’t see, or didn’t want to see it, I won’t labor you with a scene by scene summary. But …

“Wicked” is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. It’s sort of the back story of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches.

In a 2007 interview, Maguire explained that “the most important thing about the book was not the plot … but the theme.” He went on to say, “The theme is how we demonize our enemies and how we are scared of people who are unfamiliar. We then whittle away their capacity for full humanity in order to justify our being suspicious of them.”

You really ought to read that last paragraph again. And again.

Recently I sat through a religious ceremony and heard the preacher, with arrogant eloquence, declare all of those who didn’t believe as he does, “enemies of God.” Excuse me?? For a moment I had to remind myself that I was sitting in a Christian church, and not at a rally for Islamic fundamentalism. I half expected him to go ahead and label someone like me an “infidel.”

This theme has so captivated my thinking over the past several years that I can scarcely not think about it on a daily basis. Being misunderstood and then being misjudged, vilified, condemned, and alienated for it.

I have learned that I must keep a daily guard posted on my mind and heart so that I don’t do the exact same things. I can be slave and master of the same things I condemn in others. I have to search the hidden places in my own soul for the presence of self-righteousness, arrogance and pride, prejudice, xenophobia, intolerance, snap-judgements, knee-jerk reactions, judgementalism … misunderstanding.

I didn’t know how Wicked would end, but I could feel the tension throughout of “loving” a character so misunderstood and yet unable to rescue. I could feel the knight inside me want to draw my sword and save the damsel in distress. (I sometimes wonder if we men aren’t hardwired to be knights.)

Wicked is a joy for the senses — the music, the singing, the comedy, the drama, the color, the pageantry — and it is a message for the sensible. A candid and clever condemnation of those who condemn. A wicked judgment against those who judge. A call to compassion and understanding for all humanity.

At the end, I enthusiastically stood and applauded … with a tear in my eye … honored to have seen something so magical and meaningful. A moment frozen in the memories I hold dear. Yes, I’m a sentimental sort.

I loved Wicked so much, I’m going to Tulsa next month to see it with friends there!

I hope Marcie remembers me!

Eleka nahmen nahmen!

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TODAY’S BIG THREE

1. David Strong and Nikki Strong (Boot Camper, BNI): Piano’s Flowers & Gifts, 901-345-7670.

2. Rick Owings (Boot Camper): Body Mechanix Theraputic Massage, 3486 Poplar Avenue, (901) 323-1220

3. Cathy Graham (Sometimes Boot Camper, BNI): Grafix Unlimited (website design and lots more!), cgraham@grafixunlimited.com

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CONGRATULATIONS!!

You may have seen the really awesome article in the Commercial Appeal about Leslie Garey’s family business. Leslie is a 0530 Boot Camper! Hollywood Furniture and Hardware has been in their family for 85 years at the corner of Hollywood and Chelsea!! Congratulations Leslie!

http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/jul/13/focus-hollywood-furniture-and-hardware-standby/

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MOUNT FUJI

Next Thursday, July 23 at 0530! Meet at the U of M in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin!

———————————————

“Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye but fail to see the beam in your own eye?”
~ Matthew 7:3

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Memphis, TN
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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Unicycles and Aircraft Carriers — Sergeant Tony’s Newsletter 7/8/09

Jul. 8th 2009

My heart was beating out of my chest as I tried to be quiet in my dark hiding place.

I was pretty scared. Afraid that I was about to be caught and taken to jail.

The police were going through the building I’d broken into and they were looking for me. I could hear them talking and could see the sudden flashes of their flashlights as they scanned the darkened building.

Rewind to two hours earlier.

Kenny Alison, Steve Cox and I were just hanging out and talking about the kind of stuff that twelve year old boys talk about. Probably twelve year old girls. Somehow the conversation drifted to music. Both of them played the guitar a little. I sort of played the drums. But what I really wanted to play was the pipe organ. I loved the sound of a pipe organ and told them so.

“Hey, I’ve got an idea, why don’t we go to the church and you can play the organ there!” Steve suggested.

All of us were members of the Boy Scout Troop that met in the basement at St. Paul’s Methodist Church. The church had a big pipe organ. And since we knew how to “break into” the church (there was a bathroom window that was never locked) we imagined that we could just go down to the church at 9 PM on a Friday night and play the organ.

This was one of those classic nights where I had told my mom that I was staying at Steve’s house. Steve’s mom believed that he was staying at Kenny’s house. And Kenny had told his mom that he was staying at mine.

Oh what little criminals we were.

But our criminal activity was about to be taken to a whole new level.

Once inside the darkened church, I went directly to the sanctuary where the big pipe organ was waiting for me. I sat down at the bench and was amazed! Good grief! All of those rows of keys! And knobs! And pedals! And buttons! I found a switch that looked like an ON/OFF switch, took a deep breath and flipped it ON.

The organ console came to life! There was a low level hum and the illumination of hundreds of indicator lights! Some flashing red, or green, or white! It looked like Christmas decorations! All of those lights meant something. What, exactly, I had no idea.

The cockpit of the Space Shuttle has nothing on the control panels of a classic pipe organ!

I took an deep breath and pressed my finger down on one white key.

Let me tell you this, and I’m not kidding, the whole church came to life and shook from the loud and massive and powerful sound of that one single note! I had never in my life experienced anything remotely close to that feeling in all of my twelve years! It was incredible!

I started playing. Well, “playing” isn’t the right word for what I was doing. I was just randomly mashing keys and pedals in an attempt to sound like E. Power Biggs — one of the most famous organists in the world. Apparently there was more to playing the organ than what I was doing. So while the whole church erupted in waves of organ sounds, nothing I did passed as actual organ music.

Truth be told, it was really just organ noise. But I was having a capital time! It was awesome! Right up to the point where I saw blue lights of the police cars flashing through the stained glass windows.

Organ noise of that magnitude alerted the neighbors that something was amiss at the church. They in turn called Fort Smith’s finest. That sent Kenny, Steve, and yours truly scrambling. I flipped the switch on the organ OFF and that sadly took all of the life out of the place. The organ had quit breathing and all that was left of any sound in the church was the three of us running for a place to hide, since the police had cutoff our escape route.

Fortunately for us, we knew that church building as well as we knew our own bedrooms. We found our little hiding place in the dark and tried to be quiet. But that’s hard to do when your heart rate is off the charts and you’re breathing faster than you ever have in your life!

After what seemed like hours, the police determined that the desperados who’d found their way into the St. Paul’s Methodist Church of Fort Smith, Arkansas had somehow given them the slip and were long gone. They called off the search and headed to the Irish Maid Donut Shop! (Or so I imagined.) And we slowly snuck out of the church and disappeared into the night.

Kenny and Steve and I were inseparable during the summer between 6th and 7th grade. Between Albert Pike Elementary School and Darby Junior High School.

Then something happened that changed our lives forever. But no one told us exactly what it was. Each of us made small decisions that, at the time didn’t seem like much. But somehow those things changed the course of our lives.

I stayed in Scouting for another year and made Life Scout, just below Eagle (which is one of my biggest regrets — not staying in and making Eagle). My Scout Master said that I got lured away from scouting by the smell of perfume. Maybe so! But Kenny and Steve had dropped out of scouting right after our big break in.

In junior high I tried out for the football team and ran for a position on the student council. Kenny and Steve didn’t get involved any school activities. I loved school. They hated it. By the end of 7th grade we had drifted apart and into different circles of friends. By 10th grade they barely acknowledged me in the halls. Both of them quit school as soon as it was legal for them to do so.

The next time I saw Kenny was years later. He was in county lock up and I was a Lance Corporal in the Marine Corps. One of my relatives was a Sheriff’s Deputy and he was giving me a tour of the new jail when a familiar voice called out my name from within the bars.

Kenny and I chatted for a bit and got awkwardly quiet. The young men that we’d become bore little resemblance to the boys we had been. Kenny had gotten involved in drugs and was looking at doing 5 years in prison. I asked about Steve but Kenny didn’t know where he was. That was the last time I ever saw Kenny.

Last summer I was in Fort Smith and ran into Steve’s younger brother Chris, a really good guy. I asked Chris about Steve and Kenny. He told me that Kenny had died in a house fire caused by cooking meth just a few months after being released from prison. He was only 26. And Steve was in prison in Texas. He was a career criminal. Chris told me that Steve’s crimes had included the manslaughter of a girlfriend who had OD’ed from drugs that Steve had given to her. He’d been a thief, a drug dealer, and a murderer. Chris believed that Steve would never get out of prison.

And the three of us had been the best of friends when we were kids.

And the three of us had gone in different directions. And for the life of me, I don’t know why our lives turned out so completely different. We all came from good homes. We all had loving parents. We all had the same background. We all had the same opportunities. I don’t know.

It’s a funny thing. We make decisions everyday that don’t seem to make much difference in the direction of our lives one way or the other. And yet, other decisions do in fact change the course of our lives and send us in another direction. And those that that do don’t ever announce themselves as such. I guess you just have to be ready. Sometimes our lives turn in an instant like a guy riding a unicycle. And at other times they turn slowly like an aircraft carrier at sea.

Take out your life map. Look at where you’d like to be in a year, in five years, in ten. And plot your course for those places. I can’t imagine that Kenny or Steve ever did.

And let me know if you hear of a pipe organ I can play. Preferably one that won’t require any burglary!

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JOHN MADDEN

Our friend and former Boot Camper, John Madden (not the sports caster), has had a very serious medical emergency. After passing out a few days ago, he was taken to the hospital in a coma. As of this morning he is awake and able to communicate a little. Keep John, his wife Wendy, and their little ones in your thoughts and prayers.

John was a 0530 Boot Camper until a he had to quit after taking a new job. He’s one of the good guys!

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SUMMER SCHOOL SPECIAL

Have a student who’d like to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for the
summer? Special discounted program for summer student recruits! Email
me for details

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TODAY’S BIG THREE

1. Natalie Williams (Boot Camper) looking for a Marketing/ Event
Coordinating or Advertising job. Has a degree in Marketing Management
and has several years of experience. Please contact nnwllms1@gmail.com
with any leads or job opportunities.

2. Anna Haug (Boot Camper) is looking for a new job. She’s had experience in outside sales.

3. Cindy Pensoneau (Boot Camper) has an apartment for rent. She sends: “Charming English Tudor duplex, 2BR/1BA + sunroom, 9ft. ceilings, hardwood flrs., 1600 sq. ft. recently renovated, 2nd floor/treetop view, just West of Overton Park. Covered parking, ample storage. $1,100/month. 249 Hawthorne Street. 901-270-7450, leave message.

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A body in motion, stays in motion. A body at rest, just gets fat.

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Memphis, TN
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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PAPER HATS — Sergeant Tony’s Newsletter for 6/1/09

Jul. 1st 2009

“Tony, you don’t have any money … how are you going to take Jill to
the fair?” asked my friend Greg.

Greg was talking about the Arkansas – Oklahoma State Fair in Fort
Smith, Arkansas. It’s Fort Smith’s version of the Mid-South Fair with
all the rides, food, side shows, and games of no chance. Greg and I
were in the 8th grade. Jill wasn’t my girlfriend. We weren’t going out.
We weren’t going steady. We hadn’t hooked up. But I HAD carried her
books to class! (I am sooo smooth!)

“No, dude … I don’t have a dime saved up,” I said.

“Listen man, why don’t you work with me at my dad’s concession stand?”

Greg’s dad owned one of the two concession stands at the football
stadium at Northside High School. And his dad always needed counter
help.

“You can make a lot of money for one night’s work, man!” pressed Greg.

I didn’t really want to work at the high school football games. Those
games were a major social event in our junior high social life and
missing out on one would be a big sacrifice. Like a lot of small towns,
Friday night high school football is the biggest thing going. But we
never paid any attention to the game, we were just there to hang out
with the girls from our school. We were there to flirt and clown …
and try to make it to first base.

I really wanted to take Jill to the fair.

But I was flat broke.

Jill didn’t know that I wanted to take her because I hadn’t asked her
yet. She was tall and pretty with long blond hair. And like all girls
her age, she was as silly and dramatic as they came. The whole gaggle
of girls from which we drew a new girlfriend every 3 or 4 weeks (jr.
high romances had a short shelf life) were pretty much interchangeable.
Silly, goofy, melodramatic, and soooo much fun!

I went to work that Friday night at Greg’s dad’s concession stand.

Mr. Rayburn assigned me to the counter at first. And that was pretty
easy. But in no time he gave me the cotton candy job. I was in the back
part of the concession stand and couldn’t see any of the customers. And
in the beginning I got more cotton candy on ME than on the little paper
sticks. Cotton candy twirling was an acquired skill that had my arms
covered in sticky sugar “spider webs.”

But I just kept thinking about the money I was making and the fun that
it would buy Jill and me!

The concession stand was busy for the first half of the game and then
we got slammed hard at half-time. Toward the end of the third quarter
Mr. Rayburn told me to quit making cotton candy. He had a new job for me.

He gave me a different apron, a money “belt,” a paper hat, and a metal
rack full of Cokes. The rack had a strap attached to it to go around
the back of my neck. I was going to be the “Coke guy.” I was to walk up
and down the steps of the stadium and yell out, “ICE COLD COKES HERE!!”

Great.

The big concrete stadium was pretty nice by high school standards, like
a small college stadium. Mr. Rayburn told me to start with the first
section and work my way to the other end. At the top of the very first
long set of steps was the section where all of my friends would be.
Including Jill and all of the other girls from school.

Wonderful.

So I started walking up the steps, yelling and selling, praying that
I’d run out of Cokes before I got up to the section with my friends. I
wasn’t that lucky. In fact, things started falling apart even before I
got close. One of those knuckleheads spotted me coming up the steps,
and it was on. The taunting had begun.

By the time I got to the section with my friends, all of my buddies —
most of whom didn’t have to worry about earning money to take a girl
out — were giving me grief. I was pretty embarrassed. Everyone was
laughing at me, giving each other high fives, and pointing at me.

Including Jill.

She laughed and pointed at me and made fun of my little paper hat and,
along with everyone else, called me “Coke Boy!”

“Over here, Coke Boy!”

“I’ll take two, Coke Boy!”

“Hurry up, Coke Boy!”

“Got change for a $100 bill, Coke Boy?”

“What’s all that crap on your arms, Coke Boy?”

I wanted to explain to Jill, “Hey! I’m doing this to earn money to take
YOU to the fair! This is all for YOU!!”

But I didn’t.

I was humiliated.

And my feelings were hurt.

But I swallowed my pride and kept working. One man nearby who heard all
the names I was called, took pity on me and gave me a $5 tip for my
pain and suffering. Thank you, kind sir.

That night I was in the stands for most of the fourth quarter, wearing
a little paper hat and selling Cokes.

Of course, at school on Monday I caught more grief from my friends.
Including Jill. And they kept making fun of me for the next few weeks.
I worked a total of three Friday nights and made more money than I’d
ever had in my life.

I never took Jill to the fair.

I took Anna.

Anna was the absolute cutest brunette, with the most amazing brown eyes
and a smile that made me happy. She had a great sense of humor and was
really interesting to talk to. She thought I was funny and smart. (She
was right!). And she was the only one of my whole group of friends at
the games who didn’t laugh at me or call me names or taunt me or point
at me.

She smiled a sweet smile at me.

You see, Anna’s family owned the Coca-Cola company in my hometown. Her
dad thought I was awesome! To him, it seemed like I was supporting the
family business. Single-handedly. In my little apron and paper hat.

I never told Jill why I worked at those games.

Misreading a situation, misunderstanding the actions of another, is
more common than not. Not everything is as it seems.
Some things are more than they appear to be.
Some things are less.
Some things are nothing like what you think they are.
Some things come out of … nothing.
Sometimes life is like a magic show. Your attention gets drawn to something unimportant, a situational misdirection … while you miss the real magic right in front of you.

Update: Recently Jill, not her real name (all the names were changed to protect the guilty!) volunteered to be my date to Wicked next week!

You just can’t make this stuff up!

———————————–

SUMMER SCHOOL SPECIAL

Have a student who’d like to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for the
summer? Special discounted program for summer student recruits! Email
me for details

———————————————

TODAY’S BIG THREE

1. Natalie Williams (Boot Camper) looking for a Marketing/ Event
Coordinating or Advertising job. Has a degree in Marketing Management
and has several years of experience. Please contact nnwllms1@gmail.com
with any leads or job opportunities.

2. Eric Flanders (Boot Camper): Fleet Feet Sports “Running Shoes,
Apparel and Gear”, 901-761-0078. Sgt. Tony’s running store. The store
has moved from Erin Way Shopping Center and is now next door to the new
Panera Bread!

3. Dr. John Whittemore (Boot Camper) Germantown Dental Group,
901-754-0540. Sgt. Tony’s dentist.

———————————————-

FRIDAY, 3 JULY

This year, the 4th of July falls on a Saturday. Since many of you will
have Friday off, we will have our holiday workout schedule on Friday the
3rd. So only one workout at 0700 on Friday 3 July.

—————————————

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Memphis, TN
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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