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Archive for December, 2009

BRIDGE OF SIGHS — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 12/30/09

Dec. 30th 2009

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”

– Zig Ziglar: American author, salesperson, and motivational speaker

This is a good thing to think about this time of year.

But it’s an even better thing to put into action.

The three keys to success are simple: Character, Commitment, and Discipline.

Of course Zig isn’t the first to put these attributes together. The core values of the Marine Corps (you KNEW this was coming) are Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

All of these things are similar in nature.
But they’re just words.
Just words.

Honor, Courage, Commitment …

Character, Discipline, Loyalty …

Heroism, Valor, Determination.

Those words were painted on the walls, the stanchions, and the common areas of the barracks I was assigned to as a Marine recruit. I had hardly even known such words before that. They became the catechism of my conversion.
They’re words.
Just words.

The point at which you put words into action is the point at which your life changes. It’s the point where you take your life to a new dimension, paint with a new palet, journey in a new direction.

2010 can be a year of greatness and accomplishment. Greatness and accomplishment defined by you, your definition of what it means to be successful. Success on your terms.

Have you written — or are you writing — goals and resolutions for this new year? Have you at least thought about it?

Include the key areas of life in your goals and resolutions: health, fitness, faith, career, family, finances, service.
1. Put it in writing.
2. Make it specific and measurable.
3. Give yourself deadlines.
4. Set intermediary goals.
5. Make it realistic.

You can use the acronym SMART to help you formulate your goals: Specific.
Measurable.
Attainable.
Realistic.
Time Defined.

Some of you joined with me to formulate goals to be accomplished by January 1, 2010. How you doin with that?

A friend of mine said this to me about her life: “I won’t settle for anything less than amazing. I just don’t want to waste time confusing contentment with real love. Too many people don’t realize there is a huge difference.”

I am determined not to settle. Compromise in which everyone wins is one thing. Compromise in which I lose is another. And settling is something all together different.

If settling has a sound (my apologies to Death Cab for Cutie *) it’s the sound of a resigned sigh. The sigh of resignation. It’s the sound of a missed opportunity. It’s the sound of absent courage. It’s the sound of mediocrity. It’s the sound of a lifeless rut, a loveless relationship, a lonesome heart.

I surprised my mom for Christmas and it was wonderful! My mom is bedridden in a nursing home in my hometown of Fort Smith, Arkansas. She and I have grown closer than we ever have been in these past two years. (Thank you WJG) And we’ve had the deepest conversations.

On Christmas morning I woke her up, just like I did when I was a little boy on Christmas morning. She cried tears of joy and held me and told me how “beautiful” I am! Then we spent the next two hours just talking. One of the things she told me was this: “Life is both too short and too long to settle.”

My mom can’t give me presents wrapped in paper anymore. What she gives now are the gifts of wisdom.

Don’t settle. Don’t sell your soul for comfort and ease. The road less traveled isn’t a well worn trail. Passion will have a different path.

I hope you’ll take off the bridle and the bit and let 2010 run free!

*My thanks also to Robin Trower and his “Bridge of Sighs.”

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NEW WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

In the 10 year history of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP I have never endorsed a weight loss program. I have always given the advice, “eat less, move more.” Which works. But is very hard to accomplish.

For this reason I’m officially recommending, and partnering with, the Take Shape For Life weight loss program! This is a VERY successful and results oriented weight loss program developed by physicians, recommended by over 20,000 physicians, and endorsed by John’s Hopkins Hospital. And now by USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!

I’ve written a short description of why I’ve chosen Take Shape For Life on the website blog: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2009/12/01/take-shape-for-life/

As a personal testimonial, after I had knee surgery I spent the next 2 months doing little that resembled my normal level of activity. Result? I gained 10 pounds. I started Take Shape For Life in early December and lost those 10 pounds in two weeks!

You can go directly to the Take Shape For Life website and bang around there for a bit. You can also sign up there as well. Go to: www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

I’m excited by the success that many have already had in just the first month! Let me know if you’re interested. I can help you with this and can be your coach!

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BOOT CAMP SWEATSHIRTS

The black and gray zippered hoodie have arrived! Embroidered BOOT CAMP sweatshirts are the way to show your coolness! Sizes are available in S to XXL! Get yours ASAP! $35 each or two for $65! If you’d like to buy one during the holiday break, just email me or give me a call (901-644-0145) and I’ll hold one for you!

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BOOT CAMP GIFT CERTIFICATES

I’ve still got them! They make a GREAT NEW YEARS present for that friend or family member!
As you know, the first month of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP is $180. Then it’s $75 per month after that. BUT a Boot Camp gift certificate that YOU purchase costs YOU only $75 to give to your friends or family members! The certificate you buy takes care of their first month’s fee.

Only members of USMC Fitness Boot Camp can purchase these gift certificates at this savings.

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TWO THOUSAND TEN!

Our first workout for the new year is Monday, January 4!! It looks to be “cool”, so be sure to dress appropriately. In other words, LAYER!

The 0530, 0645, 0830, and 5:45 PM classes will ALL resume on the 4th!

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WHY ARE OUTDOOR WORKOUTS SO GOOD FOR YOU IN THE WINTER?

Q: Tony, why must we workout outside? You’d make more money and you’d have more recruits and you’d make more money and you’d have more recruits (see a theme?) if we worked out inside! So …how ’bout it?

A: 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 inside your schnozz and making you sick.
5. Bragging rights! You get to tell your sissy “indoor” friends how tough you are!

* If I moved us inside, my Marine Corps buddies, including my Marine Corps son, would abuse me, harass me, and laugh at me. Plus, in shame, I’d have to remove the “USMC” from our name and replace it with USAF. hahahaha

What should you wear? Layers. Layer your clothes so that you can adjust your body temperature as you get warmed up.
One more thing to remember about our outdoor winter workouts: hydrate! Because we’re not hot and sweaty, like in the summer, we often don’t drink enough water in the winter time. So hydrate y’all!

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“The only thing that scares me is a succession of ordinary days.”

Make your days extraordinary!

To your good health and fitness for 2010!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Cove
Memphis, TN 38117
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

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Rip Van Winkle — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 12/23/09

Dec. 23rd 2009

I have always been cool.

It’s true.

Don’t be no hater.

In school I was voted “Wittiest Boy.” There wasn’t a “Coolest Boy” category or I’d have locked that one down!

Unfortunately, a few years ago I lost my cool. It was a sad and near tragic chapter in my life. I left the United States bound for Tokyo in the late 80’s a pretty cool guy. I had popped Izod collars and pushed up jacket sleeves like the dudes on “Miami Vice.”

I returned in the late 90’s, ten years later, not cool at all. Pop culture, music, vocabulary and social interaction ques had all changed during the decade I was gone.

You probably didn’t notice the changes. You were here and absorbed and assimilated it all in small daily doses over time. Hardly aware of it. Sort of like how parents of little children don’t really notice how much the little ones grow, but others who don’t see them very often do.

I was like Rip Van Winkle woken from a very long sleep.

Life didn’t change too much back in Rip’s day while he was asleep, but modern American pop culture and humor sure did. Those things had changed drastically while I was gone. Things that were funny when I left, were old and not funny anymore. And things that everyone was laughing at in conversation and at parties when I returned were very confusing to me.

This was allegedly MY language and MY culture, but I was lost in translation. I had no idea what any of it meant. I remember laughing a lot in conversation … but faking it. Clueless. “Why is THAT funny?” and “What does THAT mean?” I asked myself constantly.

I was not hip. I was not cool.

I was a wallflower at parties and frustrated because I couldn’t contribute to conversations. I found out quickly that few, if any, wanted me to tell them all about Japan and the Japanese. In fact, the average person thought Japan, Korea, and China were all pretty much the same. And they didn’t care to hear about the differences. But that’s ALL I had been experiencing for the last 10 years. Those 10 years had ill-prepared for the new millennium in America.

By the time I left Japan, I was marginally funny there. I’d learned the language and the culture and the history so that I could be hip, sort of … in Japan. For example, when a foreigner speaks Japanese in Japan the Japanese are usually shocked! Even THEY consider their language too hard for someone not born into it to learn. And they would always say, “OH, Tony-san! Your Japanese is so good!” And I would say, “Oh, well … somehow I get by.” And they would always laugh and be even further impressed! Why? Because the exact expression I used, and the way I said it, was a pop culture expression I’d learned from watching a popular Japanese TV show.

So I reasoned, “If it worked in Japan, it’ll work here in America too.”

So I started watching a lot of TV. What I found out was that the two American TV shows that had the most significant impact on American pop culture and humor were “Friends” and “Seinfeld.”

I started watching reruns and videos of those shows. You have NO idea how much those two shows influenced American culture, perspective, language, and catch phrases. It was like having the Rosetta Stone and unlocking the mysteries of my own language.

Let me just say this, the casts of both shows were magical and talented. The characters they played, however, made me want to scream! I didn’t relate to any of the the guys in those shows. No real men were sitting on the couch at “Central Perk.” And all of the girls were neurotic whack-a-doodles. But they were very funny and the impact of those shows could NOT be denied.

And that brings me to today, December 23, 2009. Festivus.

Festivus is a made up holiday, thanks to the writers of “Seinfeld.” In an episode made famous by Jerry Stiller, the comedic genius father of Ben Stiller, we are introduced to “Festivus,” the holiday for the “rest-of-us.” It’s silly and goofy and funny. And that episode aired a couple of years before I returned from Japan. Imagine how ignorant I felt the first time one of my hip and funny friends said “Happy Festivus!” and then started laughing and talking about “feats of strength.”

I thought he was crazy.

Whatever your persuasion and celebration this time of year, I hope yours is merry and happy! I hope that however you celebrate this season that it promotes hope and love, goodness and peace, generosity and kindness, openness and tolerance. That you have no litmus test for your acceptance of others and no conditions for your love of your fellow man. I hope that you will always give the other person the benefit of the doubt and that your celebrations this season are a recommitment to charity toward all and malice toward none.

Happy Festivus Everyone!

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HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Tomorrow morning at 0530 we will have our last workout of 2009! No other classes will meet. We will stand down until 0530, Monday January 4, 2010. All classes will be back on active duty on 4 January 2010.

Tomorrow’s workout is also the optional “Speedo Workout!” This is a Jim Steiner invention! He always said that the last workout of the year ought to be done wearing a Speedo. (Of course HE never wore one!! But he encouraged others to!) And no, it doesn’t have to be a Speedo brand suit. In Sport, Tyr, Mizuno, Nike … all acceptable! 😉

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CONDOLENCES

Our condolences go out to Teresa Faulk and her family. Both of Teresa’s parents passed away this past week. Her Mom & Dad’s Memorial Service/Visitation will be tomorrow, December 24 at 11:00 AM, Bartlett Funeral Home, 5803 Stage Road.

Please keep Teresa and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

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NEW WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

In the 10 year history of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP I have never endorsed a weight loss program. I have always given the advice, “eat less, move more.” Which works. But is very hard to accomplish. For this reason I’m officially recommending, and partnering with, the Take Shape For Life weight loss program! This is a very successful and results oriented weight loss program developed by physicians, recommended by over 20,000 physicians, and endorsed by John’s Hopkins Hospital. And now by USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP.

I’ve written a short description of why I’ve chosen Take Shape For Life on the website blog: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2009/12/01/take-shape-for-life/

If you’d like to go directly to the Take Shape For Life website and bang around there for a bit. Go to: www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

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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.

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SNOW DAYS!!

In the event of snow, we will follow Memphis City Schools. If MCS shuts down, we will stand down.

If the snow comes while MCS is on break, check the blog on the USMC Fitness website where I’ll post my decision at 0500 of that day.

Likewise, if MCS shuts down in the morning and we stand down, but the streets are clear and fine by the afternoon, I’ll post my decision regarding the evening class on the blog by 1600 (4 PM).

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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. That’s an ad for prospective Boot Campers!

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ORDER YOUR NEW YEARS AND/OR SUPER BOWL BOSTON BUTTS NOW! (I think saying “Boston Butts” is funny!)

Boot Camper Shelley Thomas, and also President of the Memphis in May Championship BBQ team Pit & The Pigulum II, extends a great offer.

The team is cooking up Boston Butts for just $30 each (8.5 lb. butts cooked to about 6 lbs.). The team’s trailer was stolen, which included most everything they owned, so this fundraiser will hopefully help purchase everything needed to compete again by May.

Place orders at PitandthePigulum@yahoo.com or at 237-9104. Orders received by Christmas allows for pick up (in Germantown) Thursday, Dec. 31. Orders received by Jan. 31 allows for pick up Saturday, Feb. 6.

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Let me say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the wonderful gifts that you’ve given me these last few days! You are too kind! I appreciate it very much!

Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!
Tony

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

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WWJD? — Newsletter of Sgt. Tony Ludlow for 12/16/09

Dec. 16th 2009

Jim Steiner saved Boot Camp.

Most of you only know Jim from the exercise I named after him, “Starting Up Jim Steiner’s Woodchipper.” But Jim was a real person. A real Boot Camper. And one of the best people I’ve ever known.

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! He was one of those kinds of people who just naturally attracted others to him. He was winsome and warm, intelligent and funny, a prankster and practical joker. He loved everyone and everyone loved him. You just couldn’t help it! To me he became an older brother, some 12 years older than me. And a role model for personal relationship building. Jim Steiner could have taught seminars on how to make friends with anyone, anywhere, anytime.

For over two years we enjoyed Jim’s daily dose of fun, fellowship, and enthusiasm for life. If he had a story to tell or an anecdote to share, I’d gladly yield the floor! 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.

And he saved Boot Camp from extinction.

This is how he saved Boot Camp. During the first winter of our first year, in the pouring rain, one dark cold morning at 5:25 AM, Jim and I sat in our cars, waiting to see which of us would get out first. He rolled down his window and yelled to me over the pounding rain, “WHAT DO YOU THINK?”

“I DON’T KNOW!” I sadly admitted.

“LET’S GO TO PERKINS AND EAT PANCAKES!” he suggested with a laugh!

Since it was only the two of us that morning, and since I happen to love pancakes, and since I’m not particularly fond of getting cold soaked, I thought flapjacks and a warm restaurant sounded like a great idea.

Over breakfast that morning I whined to Jim that maybe “USMC Fitness,” as we were 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. And I spent my marketing and advertising budget on 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 coach and seemed resigned to admit that my little 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’s words of encouragement gave me a new commitment to make Boot Camp work. “If Steiner says it’ll work, then it’ll work,” I thought.

He had that kind of effect on people. If it weren’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. But in the weeks that followed we discovered that it wasn’t a stroke that Jim had experienced. Jim had a brain tumor.

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

Jim was back on the Quarterdeck on October 24, 2003, over a year and a half since his last workout. 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. New boot campers who’d joined since Jim had become sick got the wonderful opportunity to meet the famous Jim Steiner!

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 I was profoundly heartbroken when he was taken from us. I wore one of those WWJD bracelets for a while. The “J” stood for Jim. I had no idea how Jesus would run a Boot Camp program, but I knew how Jim Steiner would.

Jim passed away six years ago this coming Saturday, December 19, 2003.

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HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Our last workout of 2009 will be Christmas Eve morning at 0530. We will “stand down” until Monday, January 4th.

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 2010!

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NEW WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

In the 10 year history of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP I have never endorsed a weight loss program. I have always given the advice, “eat less, move more.” Which works. But is very hard to accomplish. For this reason I’m officially recommending, and partnering with, the Take Shape For Life weight loss program! This is a very successful and results oriented weight loss program developed by physicians, recommended by over 20,000 physicians, and endorsed by John’s Hopkins Hospital. And now by USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP.

I’ve written a short description of why I’ve chosen Take Shape For Life on the website blog: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2009/12/01/take-shape-for-life/

If you’d like to go directly to the Take Shape For Life website and bang around there for a bit. Go to: www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

———————————————————–

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.

————————————————————

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. That’s an ad for prospective Boot Campers!

—————————————————————–

ORDER YOUR NEW YEARS AND/OR SUPER BOWL BOSTON BUTTS NOW!

Boot Camper Shelley Thomas, and also President of the Memphis in May Championship BBQ team Pit & The Pigulum II, extends a great offer.

The team is cooking up Boston Butts for just $30 each (8.5 lb. butts cooked to about 6 lbs.). The team’s trailer was stolen, which included most everything they owned, so this fundraiser will hopefully help purchase everything needed to compete again by May.

Place orders at PitandthePigulum@yahoo.com or at 237-9104. Orders received by Christmas allows for pick up (in Germantown) Thursday, Dec. 31. Orders received by Jan. 31 allows for pick up Saturday, Feb. 6.

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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SPEECHLESS IN SOUTH CAROLINA — Newsletter of Sgt. Tony Ludlow for 12/09/09

Dec. 9th 2009

Female problems.

Before you assume that I’m about to dish on my personal life and my struggles to find the perfect woman, you can relax.

Sort of.

I grew up in a household where all of the men in our family would be reduced to mystified silence by my mother. As a kid I remember hearing conversations that might be about my Aunt JoAnn, for example, and my father might say something like, “So, what’s wrong with her?” And my mother would pause …

for effect.

And then, with all of us Ludlow men leaning forward waiting to hear what was wrong with Aunt JoAnn, my mother would say, in a hushed tone, “It’s ‘female problems.'”

ooooooohhhhhhhh??? “FEmale problems. ohhhhh.

What are “female problems?”

Whatever it was, this announcement would bring the conversation to a screeching halt. All of the Ludlow men would just stop, and look all slack jawed and clueless.

And what was an 8 year old me supposed to do, or think, or ask when all of the older Ludlow men looked confused … and then they NEVER asked for an more fuller explanation? That was it. Discussion over.

Once when I was in the second grade I went home after school and walked into our kitchen where my mom and her friend Jean were talking. Jean had a new baby and … well … she was breastfeeding. Now, I had never seen anything like that before in my life. In fact, I was getting an eyeful of something else I had never seen before. And apparently I was just standing there gawking. I had no idea what was going on, but I was very interested. And I wondered if that was one of those female problems. My mom saw that I was gawking at Jean and whatever the little baby was doing and scolded me and sent me to my room. Apparently I wasn’t supposed to look at that. Whatever “that” was.

Women are so confusing, I thought.

Is it any wonder that by the time most boys are 14 we are absolutely clueless and confused about women. When I was in the 9th grade I remember asking my older brother Jack about girls. Being eight years older than me I knew that he would have the answer. He said, “No one knows about women, not even Sigmund Freud.” I didn’t even know who Sigmund Freud was. But I assumed he was the wisest man in the world. Why else would Jack mention him?

If the Ludlow men didn’t know. And if that Sigmund dude didn’t know. How would I ever know?

Today … I got nothin’. I still don’t know.

I graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp in early December. And this time every year I am reminded of one of the most amazing days in my life. I could write a book about what it meant to me to become a Marine that day. But as awesome as that was, that day was also spectacular for another reason. It was the first time I saw a woman in over three months. During the three months of training I never saw a woman. Not even one.

After the graduation ceremony I stood around with my fellow new Marines shaking hands, taking pictures, congratulating one another and meeting members of our respective families who’d made the trip to Parris Island. My Marine buddy Michael, a member of my platoon, introduced me to his family from St. Petersburg: his mom, dad, and his two beautiful sisters, Susan and Ellen.

I remember standing there speechless. Amazed. Silent. The sound of female voices in conversation was so pleasant, with it’s sing song cadence and lilt. The allure of Susan and Ellen’s laughter, the smell of their perfume. I stood there unable to even make small talk. I was smitten. I remembered Michael’s family sort of laughing at me and his mom saying to Michael, “Tony hasn’t been around many women?” And my buddy coming to my defense and explaining that we hadn’t seen or heard a woman in over three months.

I remember Michael’s sister Susan smiling at me that day in December, extending her hand to me when we were introduced, with a twinkle in her eyes, and saying in a voice that sounded like an angel, “Hi Tony, it’s nice to meet you.” And I just smiled back and said … nothing. Not a word. Not a sound. Very smooth.

I don’t understand women any better today than I did when I was eight, but I’ve never forgotten the great appreciation for the fairer sex that I learned that day in early December. And I’m reminded of every December.

Women are a great treasure. Maybe the greatest treasure. I know I give you ladies a lot of grief, but I’m blessed to have many women as close friends, some of you reading this newsletter! The “grief” is all tongue in cheek fun.

One of my dearest friends to this day is a cutie I dated when she and I were teenagers. A few years ago I was challenged to make a list of 10 people, not family, I’d want to talk to if I only had an hour to live. Jane was on my list.

For you guys with amazing women in your life, be thankful for the color, softness, perspective, friendship, laughter, and beauty that they bring into your life. And for you women with wonderful female friends, you’ve got rich relationships that most of us guys can only envy.

Susan, call me … 😉

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HAIL AND FAREWELL

Boot Camper Allen Redmond and family are moving to Nashville. Boo! Boo! Boo! Allen you’ll be missed!

The Redmonds are selling their house. It’s located in east Memphis on Rosser Rd. just off White Station, north of Walnut Grove. It has three bedrooms and two baths. The school district is Richland/White Station. If you or someone you know might be interested in their home, you can email Allen at redmonda@bellsouth.net

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YUMMY SPAGHETTI

Boot Camper Karen Almand’s husband Sam has started a side business, a dream, if you will, called Sam’s Signature Sauce. Sam’s spaghetti sauce is very good and very reasonable. I enjoyed some just this week! A family serving is only $10! You can place your order by contacting Sam Almand at creativealmand@gmail.com or call him at 901-685-3378

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BEDTIME FOR RICHARD!

My 0530 Assistant and Executive Officer, Richard Bourland is pursuing a dream too!
Need a custom bed made? – Richard is making custom bunk beds, beds and bed assesories. Each bed is made to order in his workshop. There are several models to choose from and will stain to the color of your choice. For more information contact Richard at any of the following: 826.6695, 1-800-bunkbed, www.1800bunkbed.com/901.

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SHELLY IS DREAMING OF A NEW JOB

A new boot camper is looking for work. She’s got years of experience in marketing and communications, and is extremely organized and gifted in account/project management. She will consider both part or full time, as well as organizational/administrative work. If you know of something that might work for her, let me know.

————————————————

St. JUDE FULL & HALF MARATHON!!

Congratulations to all of you who finished the half marathon and full marathon! That’s awesome! I was so happy to be out there cheering for you!

I’d like to compile a list of all Boot Campers and people I trained and include that list in next week’s newsletter. Let me acknowledge your accomplishment and your incredible achievement!

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0645 and 0830 CLASSES ARE ACTIVATED!!

The 0645 and 0830, both MWF classes, are back in session!

——————————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Mary’s track. Those classes begin at 5:45 PM. St. Mary’s is at the corner of Walnut Grove and Perkins. In the event of rain, these cardio only classes will be canceled.

—————————————————-

NO MT. FUJI WORKOUT THIS MONTH!

—————————————————-

NEW WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

In the 10 year history of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP I have never endorsed a weight loss program. I have always given the advice, “eat less, move more.” Which works. But is very hard to accomplish. For this reason I’m officially recommending, and partnering with, the Take Shape For Life weight loss program! This is a very successful and results oriented weight loss program developed by physicians, recommended by over 20,000 physicians, and endorsed by John’s Hopkins Hospital.

If counting calories and keeping up with what you’ve eaten isn’t working for you, let me recommend TSFL.

I’ve written a short description of why I’ve chosen Take Shape For Life on the website blog: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2009/12/01/take-shape-for-life/

If you’d like to go directly to the Take Shape For Life website and bang around there for a bit. Go to: www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

—————————————————

HIRING?

A former boot camper is looking for a job. She’s got experience in marketing, sales, copy writing, and real estate (she’s got her license). If you know of something that might work for her, let me know.

——————————————-

HOLIDAY HAMS & MAKE A WISH!

Eat at any Holiday Deli and Ham on Wednesday – or cater from there and Make-A-Wish will get 20%! Or stop by the Germantown Rd and Poplar location between 10-2 on Wednesday and by a t-shirt! Or you can call 680-9474 and make a donation or buy a t-shirt, long sleeve or short!

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
www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


SELFISH! — Newsletter of Sgt. Tony Ludlow for 12/2/09

Dec. 3rd 2009

Mini-van.

Nothing says “cool” more than “mini-van.”

In the back area of every mini-van — EVERYONE’S mini-van — you’ll find at least one car seat. And along with the car seat you’ll find a vast assortment of toy parts, pacifiers, sippy cups, doodads, and whatnot. You’ll also find a variety of Goldfish, animal crackers, french fries, Cheerios, gummy bears, and half eaten stuff that no longer resembles whatever it was in it’s original form. And though the mini-van is probably only a couple of years old, carbon dating will prove that the “food remnants” excavated from those seat cushions is probably several hundred years old.

Unfortunately you’ll also find dried throw up, spit up, and a couple of used diapers that had been folded up and taped into that little bundle of toxic waste that somehow didn’t get thrown away, but instead rolled under the front seat … a couple of weeks ago.

And of course you’ll also find all manner of dirty and smelly clothes. Not all of which belong to the kids!

Indiana Jones wouldn’t venture into most of the mini-vans in Memphis!

This is the state of the mini-van next to you in traffic. The driver, usually a mom, looks stressed out and haggard, with a look on her face that is … well, scary. She’s got a ball cap pulled down on her head with the ponytail sticking out the little hole in the back. In the morning she’s racing down Poplar or Walnut Grove or wherever, juggling her coffee cup, putting on makeup, driving with her knees, negotiating traffic, going over vocabulary words with little Johnny, screaming back at little Suzy to quit crying because they left the house without her favorite stuffed animal.

Then there’s the whole Nazi carpool line at the school. You can’t be on your cell phone, you can’t talk to the teachers, you can’t make eye contact with the principal, you can’t chat with the other moms, you can’t cuss at your kids, you have to keep your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2, you have to keep your eyes to the front, you can’t have inappropriate hip hop music blaring on the radio. Good lord!

I know these things because I was a carpool dad. I had a life in the mini-van … for years! I was very cool. Since I was the parent who got up early to workout and run, I was also the parent who got the kids up and out the door and into the mini-van. The mini-van would have my kids and the Nelson’s kids … five kids in all. Five different sets of issues and needs. Five potential car-sick victims.

And this is just the “getting the kids to school” part. When you add to this scenario the over scheduled schedule of after school clubs, teams, and lessons … it’s enough to check yourself into the nearest mental health facility.

This is my public service announcement to you drivers of mini-vans (yes, your aircraft carrier sized Suburbans, your SUVs and the other “mom-mobiles” are included).

Here’s the announcement: Ease up!! Your kids do NOT need to be involved in all that crap. Trust me! Over-scheduling their time and depriving them of the opportunity to be creative, and even bored on occasion, isn’t helping. I promise! Learn to say “no!”

But here’s the real announcement: you moms need to exercise! You guys aren’t being good parents by depriving yourself of the exercise you need to be healthy and to de-stress your life. You can’t be any good to those little knuckleheads if you’re stressed out, over-weight, and out of shape. Take care of YOU first. When the flight attendants give their pre-flight instructions they tell you what to do in the event of a loss of cabin pressure. You put the mask on yourself first, and then you put the mask on your child.

When I’m in traffic next to one of those mini-vans … I always look over at that mobile zoo and say a little prayer for the mom driving that four wheeled circus down the road. “Lord, don’t let her kill me!”

Take care of yourself, y’all … you’re no good to anyone else if you’re no good for yourself.

Be selfish!

——————————————–

YUMMY SPAGHETTI

Boot Camper Karen Almand’s husband Sam has started a side business, a dream, if you will, called Sam’s Signature Sauce. Sam’s spaghetti sauce is very good and very reasonable. I enjoyed some just this week! A family serving is only $10! You can place your order by contacting Sam Almand at creativealmand@gmail.com or call him at 901-685-3378

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BEDTIME FOR RICHARD!

My 0530 Assistant and Executive Officer, Richard Bourland is pursuing a dream too!
Need a custom bed made? – Richard is making custom bunk beds, beds and bed assesories. Each bed is made to order in his workshop. There are several models to choose from and will stain to the color of your choice. For more information contact Richard at any of the following: 826.6695, 1-800-bunkbed, www.1800bunkbed.com/901.

————————————————

SHELLY IS DREAMING OF A NEW JOB

A new boot camper is looking for work. She’s got years of experience in marketing and communications, and is extremely organized and gifted in account/project management. She will consider both part or full time, as well as organizational/administrative work. If you know of something that might work for her, let me know.

————————————————

St. JUDE FULL & HALF MARATHON THIS SATURDAY!!

The training is over!! It’s time get to the starting line and “DO IT!”

I’ve posted my tips and strategies for race week and for race day! You can find that on the website blog: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog

I’ll be out on the course cheering you on! Look for me at about the 6.5 mile mark on South Parkway! I’ll be in the median to your left! Run by and I’ll give you a high five and a pat on the booty!

——————————————————

0645 and 0830 CLASSES ARE ACTIVATED!!

The 0645 and 0830, both MWF classes, are in session!

——————————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Mary’s track. Those classes begin at 5:45 PM. St. Mary’s is at the corner of Walnut Grove and Perkins. In the event of rain, these cardio only classes will be canceled.

—————————————————-

NO MT. FUJI WORKOUT THIS MONTH!

—————————————————-

NEW WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!

Today marks a first in the 10 year history of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP. I’m officially recommending and partnering with the Take Shape For Life weight loss program! This is the first time I’ve ever officially endorsed any weight loss program. This is a very successful and results oriented weight loss program endorsed by John’s Hopkins Hospital! It was developed by doctors and recommended by over 15,000 physicians.

I am very excited about the prospects for Take Shape For Life and you!

I’ve written a short description of why I’ve chosen Take Shape For Life on the website blog: http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2009/12/01/take-shape-for-life/

If you’d like to go directly to the Take Shape For Life website you can go to: www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

Feel free to email or call me with your questions!

—————————————————

HIRING?

A former boot camper is looking for a job. She’s got experience in marketing, sales, copy writing, and real estate (she’s got her license). If you know of something that might work for her, let me know.

——————————————-
HOLIDAY HAMS & MAKE A WISH!

Eat at any Holiday Deli and Ham on Wednesday – or cater from there and Make-A-Wish will get 20%!

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Why Take Shape For Life — Weight Loss Program?

Dec. 1st 2009

If health and fitness were a coin, Exercise would be on one side, and Nutrition on the other. USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP addresses the Exercise component and addresses it well!

But in 10 years of leading USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP and training literally thousands of people, I’ve seen a lot of clients become fit and strong … but not everyone loses weight.

The dirty little secret of the fitness industry is that exercise is a bit of a minor player in weight loss. It’s absolutely important, no doubt. But nutrition — what you eat and how much of it you eat — is the star of the show!

It’s just the opposite where fitness is concerned. Exercise is the star!

The Take Shape For Life program addresses the weight loss — the Nutrition — side of the coin.

The decision to introduce the Take Shape For Life program to the members of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, and to anyone else who wants to lose weight, came after more than a year of observation and study of the program. My friend, Dr. Dave Kellenburger, introduced me to TSFL in October of 2008 and asked me to consider getting involved and becoming a TSFL Health Coach.

I declined.

Why?

Well, basically I’m skeptical. Let me rephrase that. I’m extremely skeptical of just about everything related to diet and weight loss. There are just so many of those programs out there with false claims, doctored “before” and “after” pictures, overpriced food, little science, and no support. Those programs seemed gimmicky and unrealistic.

I dismissed those programs and stuck to traditional wisdom and advice. “Eat less, move more.” This works. This is sound advice. But it’s also too easy to foul up. Counting calories is confusing, time consuming, and difficult for a lot of people. In fact, for most people.

I’ve always wanted to be able to recommend a program that would address the weight loss component of health and fitness. A program or a system that would address the need for calorie reduction and weight loss that was doable, uncomplicated, affordable, didn’t require keeping a food journal, was goof proof, and had a successful transition phase for keeping the weight off for life!

After giving Take Shape For Life a careful study for over a year, and after watching 8 of my friends do the program, lose weight, get healthy and maintain their weight loss over the past year, I’ve embraced the program! I’m even doing the program myself! And I’ve become a Take Shape For Life Health Coach.

Take Shape For Life is a program that takes the guess work out of the equation. No calories to count. Its been done for you. Solid science. And the program has a system of personal support from your Health Coach. And I’ve seen first hand how effective and successful this is! It’s AMAZING!

And because I’m also doing the program myself I’m putting the program to the personal test. I want to be able to recommend the TSFL program and be able to coach you from a position of both knowledge AND experience.

If you’re interested, go to our TSFL website: www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

Take a look around the site! Read about it for yourself!

Don’t hesitate to contact me if you’ve got questions. I’ll be glad to share the details of the program with you. I’ll be YOUR Take Shape For Life Health Coach!

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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