Sergeant Tony's Blog

SEE ME!?! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 3/10/10

Wednesday, Mar. 10th 2010 2:25 PM

My dogs are in the backyard.

Drake and Aki (ahh-key) are sitting outside my window looking up at me.

Well … not exactly.

They’re outside the window where I’m standing. I don’t think they see me. They appear to be looking “at” the window. They don’t look “through” the glass and see me. They look at the glass and … sort of see … something. Shadows, maybe. Shapes. Changes in light. I don’t know. But it’s clear that they don’t see the real me. (My apologies to The Who)

During my first Japanese language class in Tokyo the instructor said in very slow, precise, and measured English, “You … will soon … think things … that you’ve never … thought before.” She didn’t speak that way because her English was poor. She said it that way for emphasis. (She was right.)

An older male member of my family once declared, “If I don’t know it by now, I don’t need to know it.”

When I was 19 I stood in an art museum and watched in wonder as an elderly man started to weep as he looked at an abstract painting. Something about that painting touched him. But the painting had no effect on me.

I don’t really get “I Love Lucy.” If you’re female, you probably do … but you probably don’t get The Three Stooges.

A woman I went out with once informed me, on our one and only date, that “Oh Brother Where Art Thou” was the dumbest movie she’d ever seen. She said that right after I told her that it was one of my favorites. “CHECK, PLEASE!”

I heard the Japanese National Anthem the other day and it moved me deeply. It probably would not have the same effect on you.

I get choked up at the end of “Field of Dreams.” Everytime.

There is a fragrance that I associate so strongly with a particular woman, that when I smelled that perfume the other day, standing behind a woman in line at the grocery store who was wearing it, it caused me to long for that person I miss so much. It also, oddly enough, made the woman in front of me appear more attractive.

Illogical, irrational, involuntary responses. Most of them.

Perhaps you’ve heard it said, “A person’s perception is their reality.” How a person perceives and processes the world around them becomes the mortar and brick with which they use to construct their version of reality. And we all do it … differently.

The younger I was, the less tolerant I was. Growing up in my little Arkansas town, I was sure that the world of Fort Smith was all there was. It’s a characteristic of insecurity and lack of knowledge. With age, and education, and an exposure to other people and other cultures, I saw the myopia that was mine for what it was, ignorance, fear, and self-doubt.

Being able to genuinely accept another person who has a different point of view or a different set of beliefs — especially if they’re religious or political beliefs — from our own requires maturity, wisdom, and confidence. It also requires patience, openness, and a desire to truly understand the other person.

People who attack what they don’t know, or what they don’t understand, are usually insecure and they frequently respond with inappropriate and aggressive knee jerk overreactions to things; they try to keep others on the defensive and at arm’s length … mostly trying to keep from being found out.

Being open minded is tough. It requires a willingness to entertain the notion that we *might* be wrong about something. We may be forced to face and overcome our fears, our ignorance, our insecurities, our prejudices, and be honest with ourselves. We may be forced to think new thoughts, or be led to believe new things, or discover a new way to live!

If I asked you “how well do you know yourself?” you might be forced to admit that you really don’t know yourself all that well. Oh, you know things *about* yourself. You know your personal history and the roles you play and the responsibilities you bear: parent, child, employee, athlete … But what would true self discovery reveal about the real you?

Philosophers concerning themselves with epistemology ask questions about the knowledge of knowledge. What is knowledge? Can we truly know anything? Or anyone? And how do we know what we know … or think we know? And then there’s the desperate desire, at times, to unknow what we know; which is different from simply forgetting or choosing not to remember. This is one of the reasons I find the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” to be so fascinating … and unsettling. And why the thought of Alzheimers terrifies me.

So if there is a high probability that you don’t know yourself all that well, what are the odds that you know others well … and that they know you well? Especially when we masquerade behind social masks of social convention, social acceptability, social status, and social expectation. So many layers to peel away. So many masks to take off. So many facades to dismantle to get to the real you.

So why judge anyone? Why label another person with designations of politics, religion, or race? Why pigeonhole another pilgrim on this planet who’s just trying to get along as best as they can … or as best as they know how?

If we have trouble explaining to ourselves why we do the things we do, why we say the things we say … what makes us think that we can know the secret counsel hidden inside the motivations within another person’s heart and mind? How will we arrive at an explanation for what goes on in the hearts and minds of another human being, when we can’t adequately explain those things about ourselves? It’s presumption at best.

There’s a passage in the Old Testament that says,
“The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it?”

I won’t attempt to analyze the first two assertions, but the question is a good one. Who can know the mind of another when our own hearts, passions, prejudices, preferences, self interests, and past experiences — mostly unclear to us — mix in our minds and often lead us to distort our own perception of reality?

We are, in many ways, no better than my two dogs. We look at the world, but we seldom see it. Shadows, maybe? Shapes. Changes in light?

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of our hearts were full of tolerance and acceptance today, quick to forgive and forget, slow to judge, able to see? Like a parachute, our minds work best when open.


BOGA Expands This Week

By popular demand, in addition to the 0530 class tomorrow morning, BOGA will be on tap for the 08:30 AM and the 5:30 PM on Friday!

BOGA is 22 minutes of hardcore Boot Camp + 22 minutes of Power Yoga = BOGA



“Tony, do you know anyone who …?”

I get this question a lot. So I thought I’d compile a list of my “go to people.” Here’s a list of “my peeps!”

I’ve used all of these folks, so you can call on them with confidence! You might want to save this or print it out and keep it handy, just in case. And if I’ve missed including you and your biz, let me know. If you’re listed here but there’s a better contact number or method for you, let me know.

Sergeant Tony’s …
Doctor … Dr. Arthur Franklin (901-756-4338)
Dentist … Dr. John Whittemore (901-754-0540)
Eye Doctor … Dr. Carl “Buddy” Flinn (901-681-4040)
Running Store … Fleet Feet Sports! – Eric and Robin Flanders … (901-901-761-0078)
Veterinarian … Dr. Amy Moffatt – Mobile Vet – she comes to you! (901-569-3683)
Florist … Piano’s Flowers and Gifts … David Strong (901-345-7670)
Painting, Roofing, and Home Repairs … Rodney Stafford (901487-0017)
Lawn Service … George Rose … (901-494-2175.
Website Design and Domain Hosting … Cathy Graham (901-888-2932.
Chiropractor … Chiropractic Memphis … Dr. Dave Kellenberger (901-323-3613)
General Massage … Rick Owings (901-323-1220)
Sports/Athletic Massage Therapy … Kelly Stone (901-754-6008)
Plumber … Kevin Savage (901-674-3637)
Carpet, Upholstery and Tile Cleaning … Dennis Beatty (Tiger Paws) … (901-327-1884)
Heating and Air Conditioning … Greenway Appliance Repair …Mike Miller (901-754-1515)
PC Computer Repair … David Bensman – he comes to you! (901-830-4362)
Interior Design … Karen Pennington at Samuel’s Furniture & Interiors … (901-761-4998)
Vitamins & Wellness products … Rhena Lindsey … Shaklee … (901-647-7636)
Media Transfer Services … Ande Demetriou … (901-213-7890)
Tennis Instruction … Taylor Taylor (Racquet Club – 901-765-4409)
Real Estate Agent … Barbie Clayton … (901-831-0103)
Closing Attorney … Doug Earthman … (901-685-1322)
Pet Grooming … Mathis Young – Aussie Mobile Pet Grooming – he comes to you! (901-497-1128)
Pet Waste Removal … On Doody … Lee Bowling (901-753-9004)
Termite Company … Greg Inman (901-388-0852)
Moving Company … Affordable Moving (901-388-3313)
Auto Repair … Midas Auto Services … CJ Passmore (901-682-6623)
Auto Glass Replacement … Discount Auto Glass – they come to you (901-937-0588)
Tree Service … Woodland Tree Service … Tom Munhollen … (901-652-5750)



A Boot Camper is looking for art instruction in East Memphis. Charcoal and pencil drawing are the things they’re mostly interested in. Do you know of someone who does this?


Sgt. Tony’s Return to Running!

I am planning my return to running in the first annual Freedom Run 5K on April 24.

This is a new race sponsored by the Navy – Marine Corps ROTC unit at the University of Memphis. This is the unit that my son, Matthew, was the Commanding Officer of last year. And our own Pat McGhee’s son, Christopher, is a member of.

I will be a “beginner” runner, so my pace will be slow. Won’t you join me? Maybe run with me and keep me company for a while? Run past me and make fun of me?

Never run a 5K before? Wouldn’t this be a perfect FIRST 5K?!!

What should you do to start training? If you are brand new to running, I’m going to post a training plan on the Boot Camp blog with a training plan for running your first 5K! Look for it!

I’d love to have a big group of us turn out for this run.

My PT’s have cleared me for outside running!! So I’m going to the U of M on Saturday at 9 AM and run around the track there. Join me, weather permitting! I’m only going to run a mile … then walk a lap … and then, if i can … run another mile! And I won’t be running very fast at all, so please join me!



The hottest buzz in internet marketing is the use of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

So far this experiment has been pretty amazing!
Here’s how it works!

Make a Facebook status update and get a discount!

For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, you can take $2.50 off your reenlistment fee! Up to $20 off for any given month!

Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.

So, “I love boot camp!” won’t work cuz there are lots of fake boot camps out there!

“Great Boot Camp workout with Sgt. Tony this morning!” is good!
“I love USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!” is good!
“I love Sgt. Tony and his Boot Camp ROCKS!!” is REALLY good!

You get the idea! Use your own wording and personality, just include the specifics.

Oh, and for you haters, the reference has to be POSITIVE! “Sgt. Tony is mean!” or something similar, wouldn’t really work! But, “Sgt. Tony is wonderfully mean and kicked my butt at boot camp today!” does! “Sgt. Tony is the Devil!” is OK too!

Have fun with this! Be creative!

Restrict yourself to just one of these status updates per day, please. You don’t want 8 status updates in a row going out on the same day!

That would not be in keeping with the experiment!

The deal gets better …

When one of your Facebook friends, who isn’t a boot camper, goes to the website ( because of YOUR status updates and contacts me through the boot camp website, you get an additional $5 off your next enlistment for a max of $20!

Your friend has to actually contact me through the website, not through Facebook. This will help to measure traffic to the website generated from Facebook.

AND … if someone joins because they learned about us through your status update, your next monthly enlistment is FREE!

You could get up to $40 OFF for one month and the next month after that could be FREE, simply by making a few Facebook status updates!

So get started right now! This also applies to Boot Campers who’ve taken some time off to hibernate for the winter! You know who you are!

Log on to your Facebook account and say something like, “Sgt. Tony is the most awesomest man in Memphis!” And your discounts begin!


LOSE THE WEIGHT – The Body You Want in July Begins With a Strategy Today!

A testimony from Boot Camper, Melissa Speck!

“Take Shape For Life” has proven to be a very rewarding experience in my quest for weight loss and healthy living. I am a 34 year old mother of three young daughters, and I decided to take that necessary step in finally losing those extra pounds! I began the TSFL program in January, and 3 1/2 weeks into the program I had already lost 12 pounds! TSFL is a fool-proof, no brainer weight loss program that is extremely easy to follow.

The program allows you to eat their meals throughout the day, including a lean and green meal of your own, so I never felt as if I were “starving” or hungry.

I am currently transitioning into the re-introduction phase of a wider variety of foods. During this phase I am continuing with the program’s bars, shakes, and soups, but I am also eating fruits, vegetables, sandwiches and lots of healthy proteins. I have kept those 12 pounds off, and have lost an additional 3 pounds!
TSFL has had a positive impact on my life, allowing me to attain
my healthy lifestyle goals. If it worked for me, it will work for you!!!”

~ Melissa Speck,

You can go directly to the Take Shape For Life website (below). You can also sign up there as well.

Or feel free to call me. 901-644-0145. I’ll be happy to be your coach too!
Go to: .


Be bold, my friends!

Keep your eyes on the life you want.

Don’t settle!

To your continued good health and fitness!


Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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