Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for May, 2010

The 10/90 Rule — Newsletter of Sgt. Tony Ludlow for 5/19/10

May. 19th 2010

Well, I think it’s official.

I won’t be on Oprah.

Being on Oprah was on my bucket list, my vision board, my astral projection star chart. Oh well.

Since Queen O will be leaving daytime TV and I’m pretty sure she’s got her guest list all worked out up to the last show, I’m thinkin’ I didn’t make the cut. I’da heard from her by now, right?

So I won’t be jumpin’ up and down on the Tom Cruise Couch. dang! And I was all prepared to declare my love for some unnamed mystery woman on “my” episode. sigh.

I admit it. I watch Oprah.

Occasionally.

Every once in a while.

Well, certainly when Kate Beckinsale is on … or Jessica Biel … or Sandra Bullock … ummm, you get the idea.

Brad Pitt and George Cloney watch it too. Remember that scene in one of the “Ocean’s” movies where the two of them are watching it and getting all emotional? Funny stuff.

One show a few years ago was probably the most enlightening and eye opening television program I’ve ever seen.

The show started with a fake crime on the sidewalks outside Harpo Studios, where the show is filmed. The line of people to get into the studio stretched around the block. The Oprah staff staged a purse snatching and had the snatcher running by the crowd followed by the snatchee. Then they pretended to take official police statements from people who saw the “crime” to get their eye witness accounts.

The results were amazing and shocking. Fifty people interviewed saw vastly different things. Their accounts varied in just about every conceivable category. They disagreed on the clothing of the perp and the vic (that’s Law & Order talk). They disagreed on the description of the snatched purse and even on the ethnicity and age of the snatcher. Everything was jacked up.

The theme of the show was misconceptions, misunderstandings, prejudices, presumptions, and general misinterpretations of the world around us based on limited information. Racial profiling and gender profiling were a part of this show too.

They had women rate a man’s attractiveness based on a) the woman having knowledge of the man’s profession and annual income, and b) the woman NOT having any knowledge of those things. They altered the profession and income on the same picture of the same guy, but not the picture itself, to see if the profile would alter the man’s perceived attractiveness.

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being … well … TEN! The guy was rated 4.5 to 6 when there was no knowledge of the man’s profession or income. But when the same guy’s picture was shown on the streets of Chicago to random women, and the women were told of the guy’s profession and income, the results were … sad.

Dude, we’ll call him Bob, when portrayed, as a clerk at the Gap making $35K a year got no love. Bob was a 3 or 4. But when Bob was Robert, the investment banker who made close to 7 figures, BAM! Robert was a solid 8 or 9! (“You had me at ‘trust fund.'”)

And you women call us shallow when we’re attracted to … well … Kate Beckinsale, or Jessica Biel … or Sandy.

When I was on active duty in the Marine Corps I became a part of a drama that changed my life.

My roommate was accused of raping a 19 year old college student.

He and I were roommates, but not friends. You know what I mean? In fact, we didn’t really like one another. But because we lived in the barracks and he and I were both Non-Commissioned Officers, out-ranking the rest of the Marines who lived on our deck, we were forced to room together.

He was innocent of the crime. And I knew it. And I had to testify at his trial. The fact that he and I were not friends actually turned out to be part of his defense.

See, what happened was, I was busy kicking his ass when he was supposed to be out in town raping that girl. He and I got into an argument that escalated into a shoving match that escalated into a butt kickin’ event. I even had to take him to the clinic on base to get stitches because, according the official medical report, he “fell down.” Several times.

At his trial I had to testify to all of that. And don’t’ think I didn’t remind him that I had him by the … well … you know … I had his career in my hands and if he wanted to stay out of prison, he needed to quit being a pain … and other stuff. (Guess who ran my errands for the rest of the time we were roommates?)

He was found innocent of the rape and the girl actually recanted. Turns out that the two of them were in the same continuing education class at the college out in town and she had failed to get his attention in the usual ways, namely, cleavage. So, in her little crazy mind, accusing him of rape would get his attention. Yep. Sure did.

One of the witnesses for the prosecution was a woman who swore under oath that she saw my roommate that evening at the college with the girl who lied about the rape. The woman wasn’t a friend of either the alleged victim or my roommate, just another member of the same class. But she was sure!

That experience really shook me to the core. The prosecution tried to portray ME as a good friend of the accused. Poppy cock! The prosecutor took small insignificant details of my “relationship” with this guy to make it look like we were good friends and that I’d lie for my buddy under oath to keep him out of prison.

It was the first time I’d ever been exposed to something I call the “10/90 Rule of Misinterpretation.” It’s where we have 10% of the available data and our minds construct and fabricate the other 90% based on our personal feelings about the person or thing in question. If we like the person in question, we fabricate a sympathetic 90%. If we don’t, we do just the opposite.

Ever been the victim of the 10/90 Rule of Misinterpretation?

Is there anything more annoying, frustrating, or just downright wrong?!

I hope that today you’ll reserve judgment. In fact, I hope that today, you’ll retire judgment all together and be a little more tolerant and a lot more open minded. “Things aren’t always as they seem,” said my magician friend Ray.

Amen, Brother. Amen.

——————————————————-

WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKOUT!

The WWW has been moved to June 5th. Please make a note of it. Come hell er high water, we’re going for it then!! More details to follow.

———————————————————

SILENT AUCTION

The following are items that have been generously donated by Boot Campers and Friends of Boot Camp. Some items already have been sold. This list is on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website on the Sergeant Tony’s Blog page.

http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2010/04/30/silent-auction-opens-now-43010/

Each item, once bid on, will be active for 5 days. At the end of the fifth day, the bidding on THAT item, and that item only, will close. Thank you so very very much.

To make a bid, go to the website blog page and check out “Silent Auction” and then email me with your bid. I’ll post it ASAP.

Email me at TonyLudlow@aol.com

Thanks everyone for participating in this!

———————————————————

HAVE YOU BEEN A BOOT CAMPER IN GOOD STANDING FROM October 2009 to now?

(Good standing means that you were paid up for those months … and hopefully you attended regularly, though attendance is not part of this question.)

Contact me!

———————————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Agnes’ track. These are cardio (walking/jogging/running) workouts and they begin at 5:45 PM.

St. Agnes is at the corner of Walnut Grove and Mendenhall.

Should the St. Agnes track be occupied or the field being used, making the track unavailable to us, we’ll go to St. Mary’s track, at Walnut Grove and Perkins.

——————————————–

RAMPED AND AMP’ED!

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP is out of hibernation ramped up! Several new workouts (The Shamrock, The Jack Bauer Workout Hour, The M-16 Rifle Workout, BOGA, and Bo-Metrix, to name a few) have been added and some of you are wanting YOUR new favorite to be the workout EVERY DAY! hahahaha That’s awesome!

This month we’ll be returning to the U of M for “Mt. Fuji” workouts at 0530 tomorrow morning May 20 and on May 27th.

The Mt. Fuji workout is done on the campus of the U of M at the parking garage on Zach Curlin. If it’s raining, we’ll use the ground level of the parking garage.

(Turn on to Zach Curlin off of Central, the first light on Central east of Goodlett. The parking garage is all the way down on the right hand side of the street before the big right hand turn.)

GET SOME Y’ALL!!

———————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

“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.

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

So log on and get started now!

——————————

If you’d like to lose weight. Go to www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

——————————

What would you do if money were not an issue, fear were not a factor, and failure were not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
http://www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/esuite/home/combatchallenge/

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Mike’s Grandmother — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 5/11/10

May. 11th 2010

I lied. I’ll admit it.

I was in the O’Hare Airport in Chicago and I lied to a sweet little old lady. I just couldn’t help myself.

I was on active duty and in uniform. (FYI, if you see men and women in an airport and they’re wearing a camouflaged uniform, they aren’t Marines. It’s against Marine Corps regulations for us to wear that uniform when we travel. We’ll either be in appropriate civilian clothes or in a dress uniform.)

I was wearing my Marine Corps dress uniform waiting for my flight. And this little old lady made me lie to her when she walked up to where I was sitting.

“Excuse me, Sergeant … ” she said. I was immediately impressed that a civilian knew my rank. Most don’t know the difference between a Private in the Marine Corps and a Rear Admiral in the Navy. (Actually there isn’t much difference! hahaha That’s for all of you squids out there!) Anyway, this little old lady knew my rank by looking at my uniform. Unusual.

I stood to my feet and said,”Yes, ma’am?” Marines are taught to stand up when speaking to others, as a sign of respect. My grandfather — my Big Dad — insisted that I stand to my feet when I spoke to an adult. “You will NOT sit on your backside when speaking to a grownup,” he taught me. “You’ll get on your feet, young sir!”

He also taught me to take off my hat when speaking to a grown up, especially a lady. He said that I could touch the brim of my hat and nod when greeting a boy or girl my age.

I miss that kind of elegance. (Thank you, Big Dad! You were indeed a gentleman’s gentleman.)

“You’re a Marine, aren’t you?” the sweet little old lady in the airport asked.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Oh, wonderful! Maybe you know my grandson, he’s a Marine too! Stationed in California. Maybe you know him,” she said excitedly with a broad smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

“I might, ma’am.” I said, sure that I probably didn’t.

With great joy, and a face that beamed with excited anticipation, she told me her grandson’s name; Mike something or other.

I didn’t know him.

But that face of hers.

Full of joyful expectation and hope.

“Oh, yes ma’am, I know Mike!” I lied.

“YOU DO??? OH, THAT IS SOO WONDERFUL!!” exclaimed Mike’s grandmother. “I think he’s a very good Marine!” she said.

“Oh yes ma’am! Mike is a fine Marine!” I went on.

For the next five minutes I spun a yarn vague enough to describe just about any good Marine I knew and managed to convince Mike’s grandmother that he was indeed a fine Marine, one of the best. “A Marine’s Marine” we say.

I’m not endorsing lying. But seriously. I just couldn’t tell Mike’s grandmother the truth.

I recently read an article about a guy who had pledged to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth all day everyday for a week.

It was disastrous.

“Honey, what do you think of my new hairdo?” his wife asked.

“Well, it looks like crap.” he said.

That night, truth-teller-dude found out that the couch wasn’t that comfortable.

“Honey, do these jeans make my butt look big?” the wife asked.

“No, your big butt makes them jeans look big,” says truth-telling-dude.

“Hey daddy, here’s the picture I drew at school today! What do you think?” asked his 8 year old daughter.

“That’s not a very good picture of a house and that dog is waaay too big compared to the tree.” said the truth-teller-dude, who discovered how much little girls can cry.

Truth-teller-dude discovered that telling lies is required everyday.

You’re a liar and so am I. We have to be. The unadulterated truth would bring smooth social intercourse to a screeching halt, turning every office, classroom, boardroom, and living room into chaos and conflict. We tell the majority of our fibs to keep from hurting the other person’s feelings.

Lying to ourselves, though, is unacceptable.

Sometimes those lies are in the form of negative self talk. We call ourselves horrible things when we fail. Listen to some of my tennis buddies when they miss a shot or one of my golfing friends when they shank some ball into the street.

No negative self talk. Ever.

Sometimes those lies are the result of too much optimism. That’s right. It’s possible to be TOO optimistic. I know this to my own detriment. I’m sometimes too optimistic for my own good.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t gamble. I’d stay at the table and lose it all, assuming that I’m going to win at SOME point.

My optimism is both my best and worst quality. Being optimistic keeps you moving forward where victory is possible. No victory is possible without optimism and perseverance. But knowing when to retreat (or “attack in the opposite direction,” as Marines like to say) to fight another day is absolutely critical. “You gotta know when to hold, when to fold ’em, when to walk away … ”

Optimism can be a flaw when it keeps you from seeing the reality of a hopeless situation, cutting your losses, and moving on. I’m horrible at that. I’ll keep hope living on life-support systems if I have to, when I really ought to pull the plug. I’ll stay the course far too long. I’ll go down with the ship. I need the realistic counsel of someone who has vision to see the red flags that I choose to ignore. We all need that kind of counsel from someone unbiased and balanced, but not a Negative Nellie.

Thing is, experience tells us that in the majority of cases, perseverance is a virtue that we should celebrate, demonstrate, and teach to others.

Perseverance with realism is what our goal should be. Lying to ourselves and not giving up when we just don’t have the courage or the will to quit, when quitting is the only right thing to do, is pretty unwise … kinda stupid.

Tell yourself the truth today. Be realistic. Perseverance because you lack the courage required to end something, or the courage to become pro-active and decisive, keeps you miserable, enslaved, and unhappy. Marking time. Going through the motions.

My mom reminded me this past Mother’s Day weekend that “life is short, so live it to the fullest … but life is also very very long … sometimes you just have to move on. Being miserable is a poor substitute for having the life you want.” She’s almost 80. I guess that gives her the right to tell me about stuff like that.

Keep your rose colored glasses! I’m keeping mine. I’ll take a road trip through life with an optimist over a pessimist any day!

But take a realistic look at your life and the road you’re on … what’s your life look like a year from now … five years from now? If you’re not headed where you want to be … then have the courage to make that the changes in your life right now that will result in the life you want then. It’s a myth to believe that your tomorrows will be fundamentally different if you don’t change anything about your todays. No lying to yourself. Seriously. Be honest.

I’m glad I lied to Mike’s Meemaw. It made her happy. It didn’t hurt her. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat. But I really can’t lie to myself and neither should you.

——————————————————–

WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKOUT!

The WWW has been moved to June 5th. Please make a note of it. Come hell er high water, we’re going for it then!! More details to follow.

———————————————————

SILENT AUCTION

The following are items that have been generously donated by Boot Campers and Friends of Boot Camp. Some items already have been sold. This list is on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website on the Sergeant Tony’s Blog page too.Each item, once bid on, will be active for 5 days. At the end of the fifth day, the bidding on THAT item, and that item only, will close. Thank you so very very much.

To make a bid, email me with your bid and I’ll post it ASAP.
Item #1 Zoom Teeth Whitening – Boot Camper Dr. John Whittemore has donated this awesome service to be performed at his dental clinic: Germantown Dental Group. This is an $800 value.
First bid: 5/6/10Current highest bid: $200 (Karen Massey, 5/11/10)

Item #2 Pickwick Lake House – Boot Camper Lisa Taylor has donated a weekend at her Pickwick Fun House! A 3 bedroom/3 bath house close to the lake. There are pools, bbqs, weight room, volleyball, etc. This house rents for $250 a night. Minimum bid for the weekend is $400. If you want more info before bidding, I can put you in touch with Lisa. Thanks Lisa!
Current highest bid:

Item #3 Facial Chemical Peel donated by Dr. Todd Preston. This is a way to take 5-10 years off the appearance of your facial skin. Many plastic surgeons will charge upwards of $1200 for this procedure. Minimum bid is $100.
First bid 5/5/10 Current highest bid: $150 (Whitney Peattie 5/5/10) SOLD! Congratulations Whitney! Thank you to everyone who bid on this item.

Item #4 Piano’s Flowers and Gifts will donate 10% of your orders from now until Mother’s Day! This is soooo cool! Thanks David Strong and Nikki Strong. 901-345-7670.

Item #5 Garmin Nuvi 255w auto GPS. Brand new. Donated by brand new Boot Camper, Eileen Paternostro. Thank you Eileen!
First Bid: 5/6/10. Current highest bid: $50 (Jay Lawler 5/6/10)

Item #6 One Year of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP. $525 value.
First Bid 5/5/10. Current highest bid: $450 (Alan Schaeffer – 5/10/10) SOLD! Congratulations Alan! Thank you to everyone who bid on this item!

Item #7 A screening with Ashley Hofeditz, a registered dietitian and nutritionist.
Current highest bid:

Item #8 An Awesome Basket of FIVE Bottles of Assorted Rodney Strong Wines donated by Karen Massey.
First Bid: 5/9/10. Current highest bid: $50 (Ashley Hofeditz – 5/9/10)

Item #9 Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses (black) donated by Dr. Alan Schaeffer. $150 value.
First bid: 5/5/10. Current highest bid: $50 (Cindy Rickert – 5/6/10) SOLD! Congratulations Cindy! Thank you to everyone who bid on this item.

Item #10 Beach House for Rent in Atlantic Beach, FL donated by Lou Geib.

Two bed/2.5 baths/pool in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Five minute walk to the beach. The town center with restaurants, nightlife, coffee shops, yoga studios, spa, art galleries and boutique shopping are within walking distance. A skateboard park, basketball courts, soccer fields, racquetball and tennis courts are across the street. Two nature preserves for hiking, canoeing and kayaking are within one mile. Nearby points of interest include St. Augustine, Amelia Island, TPC and Sawgrass PGA golf courses and the ATP tennis headquarters and courts.

Package is four days/three nights. If flying, in/out of Jacksonville. Dates of stay are negotiable with owner. Minimum bid is $300.
Current highest bid:

Item #11 a $200 Gift Certificate to Joseph’s (that wonderful store in Laurelwood Shopping Center!) donated by Barrie Wurzburg!
First Bid 5/5/10. Current highest bid: $125 (Andrew Forsdick) SOLD! Congratulations Andrew! Thanks to everyone who bid on this item.

Item #12 Mobile Pet Grooming $75 gift certificate- donated by Mathis Young of Aussie Pet Mobile. Entitled to a luxurious Aussie Pet Mobile 15 step wash and/or groom for your pet. The best part, they come to YOU! 1 on 1 with your pet with no cages and a less stressful environment.
First bid: 5/6/10. Current Highest Bid: $25 (Ashley Hofeditz, 5/6/10)

Item #13 Two tickets to a Grizzlies game for the 2010-2011 season. Donated by Sara Adams. The seats are the first row behind the players bench….so close you can read the tattoos on all the players arms and hear the plays that the coaches make! Game of their choice!
First bid: 5/6/10. Current highest bid: $60 (Alan Schaeffer – 5/9/10)

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO DONATE? GOODS? SERVICES? Questions about the above?

Want to make a bid?

Email me at TonyLudlow@aol.com

Thanks everyone for participating in this!

———————————————————

HAVE YOU BEEN A BOOT CAMPER IN GOOD STANDING FROM October 2009 to now?

(Good standing means that you were paid up for those months … and hopefully you attended regularly, though attendance is not part of this question.)

Contact me!

———————————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Agnes’ track. These are cardio (walking/jogging/running) workouts and they begin at 5:45 PM.

St. Agnes is at the corner of Walnut Grove and Mendenhall.

Should the St. Agnes track be occupied or the field being used, making the track unavailable to us, we’ll go to St. Mary’s track, at Walnut Grove and Perkins.

——————————————–

RAMPED AND AMP’ED!

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP is out of hibernation ramped up! Several new workouts (The Shamrock, The Jack Bauer Workout Hour, The M-16 Rifle Workout, BOGA, and Bo-Metrix, to name a few) have been added and some of you are wanting YOUR new favorite to be the workout EVERY DAY! hahahaha That’s awesome!

This month we’ll be returning to the U of M for “Mt. Fuji” workouts at 0530 on May 20 and 27th.

This morning we had an awesome M-16 Rifle Workout!

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are at the track at St. Agnes on Walnut Grove. (Actually behind St. Dominic)

GET SOME Y’ALL!!

———————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

“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.

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

So log on and get started now!

——————————

If you’d like to lose weight. Go to www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

——————————

What would you do if money were not an issue, fear were not a factor, and failure were not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
http://www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/esuite/home/combatchallenge/

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


My Hero! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 5/5/10

May. 5th 2010

When we were kids we learned important life lessons everyday.

You know the ones I mean.

Dirt bad, ice cream good.

Cute little dogs *will* bite.

Cats don’t fetch.

Kissing dogs, good. Kissing girls, better.

In my early 20’s, I ran my first triathlon. I also thought that by 21 I’d accumulated most of all the life lessons I’d need already.

I was wrong.

The triathlon lessons began two days before the race.

At the encouragement of an older wiser friend, I applied a liberal coat of this new rubber enhancing product to my very narrow bike tires. I’d never heard of Armor All, but my friend suggested that I put some of this rubber rejuvenation on my tires because he thought it would increase traction and make me faster. Sounded good to me.

I was wrong.

On a short bike ride two days before the race, and with a nice liberal coat of that new stuff on my tires, I leaned hard and fast into a sharp right-hand turn. In a nanosecond my bike slid out from under me and we both went airborne. But only momentarily.

My whole right side, from my right ankle to my right shoulder, became a human eraser sliding across the pavement.

Good times.

Grinding along the asphalt at about 25 miles an hour, small rocks, pebbles, and other road debris got embedded into fleshy places on my body that weren’t really designed for that. The result was something euphemistically known among cyclists as … wait for it … “road rash.”

Road rash. Yeah. Whatever. (Hey Scot Bearup, sound familiar?)

I lined up for my first triathlon two days later with my whole right side covered in a liberal coat of … Neosporin.

First Life Lesson Learned from First Triathlon: Armor All on bike tires, bad. Neosporin on road rash, necessary.

If you’ve ever done a triathlon you know that the scariest wildest part of the race is the swim start. There’s just too many bodies and not enough water to swim in. It’s chaos. It’s a human washing machine.

Back in those early days of the sport, the race organizers just aimed us toward a small eddy of water in a lake. Then they fired the starting gun, stood back watching the madness, sending hundreds of running athletes toward the same little 16 ounces of water to swim in.

Immediately it became a thrashing and kicking and slapping and elbowing affair, similar to marriage … to the wrong knucklehead. All of us tried to make some sort swimming motion; all of us in this little fishbowl flailing about. You kicked others as others kicked you. You gouged others in the head, as others gouged you in the head. It looked a bit like Moe abusing Larry and Curly, but without the funny sound effects. “Why youuuuu … I oughta … ”

Second Life Lesson from First Triathlon: Don’t take it personally when others kick you. They’re just trying to do the best they can.

Thankfully all of that foolishness at the beginning of the swim start only lasts for a few minutes, though you’re sure it’s taken forever. About 200 yards into most triathlons the field of participants starts to spread out and you can find a little pocket of water to swim in. At that point you can actually start to make strokes that resemble swimming, instead of just treading water and doing kung fu moves trying not to get drowned by your fellow triathlete.

Unfortunately in that initial chaos of elbows and legs flopping about, my goggles got knocked off my face and were up on my forehead and cockeyed. Plus the road rash stung from the water. And even though the other swimmers weren’t trying to hurt me, every time they kicked or grabbed my right side, it hurt more than just a little. But I didn’t dare stop. THAT would have caused all kinds of stupid stuff to happen. Think massive pile up in the middle of a lake cuz one jughead stopped.

“Why am I doing this again?” I asked myself.

Third Life Lesson from First Triathlon: Keep swimming! You’ll drown if you stop!

After about 20 minutes of swimming, I saw the finish line of the swim leg coming up. It felt great to finally reach water shallow enough to stand up in and start running! In a mad dash, we were all running out of the water trying frantically to find our cycling clothes and get into the changing tent.

Yes, the changing tent. Singular. One tent. For everyone. Boys AND girls. Same tent.

In those days we changed out of our swim suits and put on full fledged cycling clothes, as if we were going to race in the Tour de France. Nowadays we compete in one suit, never stopping to change. But that wasn’t the case back in the early 80’s when the sport was brand new and none of us really knew what we were doing. So we changed clothes for every event.

The changing tent was an old nasty giant green army tent from the Spanish American War with very little, if any, light inside. You could barely see anything inside. There also wasn’t a boy’s side or a girl’s side. We all ran into the tent and tried to find a place to change. Once inside, my eyes slowly, but finally, adjusted to the dimly lit conditions and I could actually see the person next to me.

The attractive naked female person next to me.

Jackpot!

Not really.

Ordinarily, an attractive naked woman within arms length of me in a dimly lit room would have been cause for celebration and high fives! I’ve had awesome dreams that started out like that! But such was not the case! I couldn’t have cared less. I was in a hurry to get moving. I hardly paused at all in my frantic fumbling, trying to change into my Tour cycling clothes and get out of that tent! Imagine that, ME running away from a pretty naked woman!

Fourth Life Lesson from First Triathlon: Sorry Sigmund, but it’s not always about sex.

Once I had changed, gotten on my bike, and was riding down the highway, I found some other guys to group up with. Drafting was allowed in the early days of the sport, so we formed up like the peloton seen in professional bike races. There were about 10 of us riding together, taking turns at the front of the pack.

Being the lead rider isn’t being in the lead, is it Gary Thompson and Andrew Foresdick? Being in front is a duty. Being in front means doing most of the work.

See, the front rider in those groups is working hardest because he’s riding against the wind resistance. Everyone behind the lead rider can kind of coast in the slipstream. Group riding etiquette says that everyone takes their turn at the front for a minute or so. It also means that there’s a fresh rider at the front every minutes or so, ensuring that the group will ride faster as a group than a single rider could do alone.

So there we were, riding like the wind on our fancy expensive Italian and French made bikes, wearing fancy cycling shoes, fancy cycling shorts, fancy aerodynamic cycling helmets, and fancy tight fitting colorful cycling jerseys. We were doing our best to imitate those colorful cycling teams seen racing in Europe. And I have to admit, I felt pretty cool, riding fast and looking like a Tour de France dude!

After about 6 miles into this 35 mile bike race, we became aware of a faint mechanical noise somewhere in the distance behind us. Somewhere back there, something was making an awful sounding noise.

It was making a grinding scraping metal mechanical noise. Because we were in a rural area, we thought a farmer had entered the road behind us driving an old tractor, draging an old rusty combine or plow, or something like that. None of us turned around to look. That would have violated proper peloton protocol. And it would have looked uncool too. And we were all about the cool.

As the noise got closer I became aware of a sound that was missing. There was no tractor engine noise. But that sound of rusty, grinding, metal against metal noise kept getting louder and closer. We murmured among ourselves about the noise and the source of it, but none of us could figure it out and none of us looked back.

Finally the noise reached us. And the noise started to pass our peloton. That’s when we got our first look at the rusty old combine.

Turns out that it wasnít a rusty old combine after all. It was a guy on a bike!! ONE GUY!!

We looked to our left and saw him passing us. Yes PASSING us! It was a dude riding a nasty old, rusty, dirty looking 1970’s era Sears Free Spirit 10 Speed “Racer.” And to make matters worse, he was wearing a ratty old t-shirt (that probably had “Cutters” handwritten on it), cutoff blue jeans, a football helmet — that’s right, a FOOTBALL HELMET — and Chuck Taylor high-top basketball shoes … that were LITERALLY duct taped to his pedals. Basketball shoes duct taped to the pedals! WHAT???

And he was PASSING US!!!!

Awwwww haaaal nooo!!!

This would NOT do!

So we stood up on our pedals and started sprinting as fast as we could. We HAD to drop this guy, this upstart hayseed racer wannabe! How DARE he try to pass US!!! Did he not see how cool we looked? How showy?

But the thing is he gained on us and the only thing that kept him from passing us altogether was our united efforts to work as a team and keep him from passing us!

Fifth Life Lesson from First Triathlon (Learned long before Lance Armstrong gave us the phrase): it’s not about the bike … it’s about the motor.

The rest of the bike race was finished without any sign of “Chuck Taylor.” We raced as fast as we could to the end of the bike leg and to the transition of the bike to run. The organizers had porta potties at the transition area, so I ducked into one of them, changed into my running clothes, and started off on the last leg of the triathlon, a 7 mile run up and down some horrible hills.

At about 2 miles into the run I heard another sound. No, not the sound of grinding metal against metal, but the sound of feet. I could hear the footfall of some guy gaining on me.

Since I’m not a big fan of being passed, I thought I’d better speed up a little. I increased my speed thinking that it would hold him off. But I could still I hear the sound of his feet hitting the deck moving quicker than I was.

INCONCEIVABLE!

“OK, time to make this guy hurt,” I thought. So I sped up a little more. I knew one thing for sure, I didn’t know if he was hurting, but I knew that I sure was! I thought I’d just keep that pace long enough to make that sound fade away into the distance.

But nooooooooooooo, this dude kept coming.

“OK man, … you wanna race, fine, c’mon then … I’ll let you get up close and then I’ll really make you hurt, I’ll start sprinting,” I conspired. That’s what I did … right up to the point where she got right next to me!

SAY WHAT??

That’s right. SHE.

And she passed me. Like … whooooosh!!

It was the first time in my life that a girl ever bested me in a sport of any kind. My Neanderthal ego took a big hit that day as the pitter patter of Little Ms. Speed Demon’a footfall passed me, as her cute little ponytail swayed in the wind and her even cuter booty pulled further and further away from me. That’s just … great.

Sixth Life Lesson from First Triathlon: It’s not about gender either.

(By the way, I did this triathlon 5 years in a row and this same girl passed me at the same spot EVERYTIME! By the third year I was paranoid approaching the 2 mile mark. “Where IS she???”)

The rest of the run leg of that first triathlon went as expected. Up and down hills in the sweltering July heat and humidity. The finish line was on a horse racing track inside a fairgrounds. Runners were to enter the fairgrounds, run to the track, and then run one lap around the track to finish.

So with “Rocky,” “Chariots of Fire,” and “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from the big speakers set up in the infield, I entered the horse racing track and tried to pick up the pace a bit. I wanted to finish strong.

With about 150 yards to go, I started hearing a wheezing gasping sound from somewhere behind me. “Good lord, someone is dying back there,” I thought.

But the thing was, the sound was getting closer! What???? The dying guy was gaining on me???? With about 100 yards left the dying guy, with the gray hair, passed me. I tried to keep up with him, but I was spent. I had nuthin’! The old dude was crusin’! No way!!! You have GOT to be kidding me!!!

I crossed the finish line, proud of my first triathlon finish, but very eager to find the dying dude.

You know how people linger after races, eating free snacks and gulping Gatorade. The gray haired dying man was eating a banana when I found him.

“Great race! Congratulations!” I said to the man who humbled me at the end.

“Oh, thanks,” he said, kind of embarrassed.

“You kinda passed me right there at the end … you were moving pretty fast!î

“Oh, I’m sorry,” he said with a slight chuckle. And then he added, “I hope you’ll forgive me.”

“Um … I hope you won’t be offended by my question … but, if you don’t mind me asking … how old are you, sir?”

Sticking his chest out with pride, he said, “I’m 65 years old!”

“You, sir, are my new role model … my goal … my new HERO!!!

Seventh Life Lesson from First Triathlon: It’s not about age either.

Those are the things I learned in my first triathlon. Not the lessons I thought I’d learn, but proof that one of the cool things about life and about sport is that there are lots of things we can learn, with or without the humble pie!

It’s certainly not all about sex … it’s not about being showy … it’s not about the bike or the car or the house or the toys or the other crap that can entangle and distort our perception of life … it’s not about gender … it’s not about age. It’s about heart and soul. It’s about desire and passion. It’s about determination and courage. It’s about finding your depth and going deeper. It’s about getting out of your comfortable stagnation and standing in the rain for the experience that getting wet will give you. “Comfort doesn’t always serve us.” (Thanks Hannah Phillips).

“We must remember that one man is much the same as another,
and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.”
~ Thucydides
Historian, “The Great Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)

Be different. Keep amazing your slacker friends!

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WEEKEND WARRIOR WORKOUT!

Due to circumstances beyond my control, the WWW has been moved to June 5th. Please make a note of it. Come hell er high water, we’re going for it then!! More details to follow.

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SILENT AUCTION BEGINS NOW

The following are items that have been generously donated by Boot Campers and Friends of Boot Camp. Some items already have been bid on. This list is on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website on the Sergeant Tony’s Blog page too. As others donate, I’ll list them there. Check it often to see what else has been donated. Each item, once bid on, will be active for 5 days. At the end of the fifth day, the bidding on THAT item, and that item only, will close. Thank you so very very much.

To make a bid, email me with your bid and I’ll post it on the website blog ASAP.

Item #1 Zoom Teeth Whitening – Boot Camper Dr. John Whittemore has donated this awesome service to be performed at his dental clinic: Germantown Dental Group. This is an $800 value.
Current highest bid:

Item #2 Pickwick Lake House – Boot Camper Lisa Taylor has donated a weekend at her Pickwick Fun House! A 3 bedroom/3 bath house close to the lake. There are pools, bbqs, weight room, volleyball, etc. This house rents for $250 a night. Minimum bid for the weekend is $400. If you want more info before bidding, I can put you in touch with Lisa. Thanks Lisa!
Current highest bid:

Item #3 Facial Chemical Peel donated by Dr. Todd Preston. This is a way to take 5-10 years off the appearance of your facial skin. Many plastic surgeons will charge upwards of $1200 for this procedure. Minimum bid is $100.
Current highest bid:

Item #4 Piano’s Flowers and Gifts will donate 10% of your orders from now until Mother’s Day! This is soooo cool! Thanks David Strong and Nikki Strong. 901-345-7670.

Item #5 Garmin Nuvi 255w auto GPS. Brand new. Donated by brand new Boot Camper, Eileen Paternostro. Thank you Eileen!
Current highest bid:

Item #6 One Year of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP. $525 value.
Current highest bid: $250 (Anne Kenworthy – 5/5/10)

Item #7 A screening with Ashley Hofeditz, a registered dietitian and nutritionist.
Current highest bid:

Item #8 An Awesome Basket of 4 Bottles of Assorted Rodney Strong Wines donated by Karen Massey.
Current highest bid:

Item #9 Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses (black) donated by Dr. Alan Schaeffer. $150 value.
Current highest bid: $40 (Mark Wells – 5/5/10)

Item #10 Beach House for Rent in Atlantic Beach, FL donated by Lou Geib.

Two bed/2.5 baths/pool in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Five minute walk to the beach. The town center with restaurants, nightlife, coffee shops, yoga studios, spa, art galleries and boutique shopping are within walking distance. A skateboard park, basketball courts, soccer fields, racquetball and tennis courts are across the street. Two nature preserves for hiking, canoeing and kayaking are within one mile. Nearby points of interest include St. Augustine, Amelia Island, TPC and Sawgrass PGA golf courses and the ATP tennis headquarters and courts.

Package is four days/three nights. If flying, in/out of Jacksonville. Dates of stay are negotiable with owner. Minimum bid is $300.
Current highest bid:

Item #11 a $200 Gift Certificate to Joseph’s (that wonderful store in Laurelwood Shopping Center!) donated by Barrie Wurzburg!
Current highest bid:

DO YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO DONATE? GOODS? SERVICES? Questions about the above?

Thanks everyone for participating in this! You guys are wonderful!

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HAVE YOU BEEN A BOOT CAMPER IN GOOD STANDING FROM October 2009 to April 30, 2010?

(Good standing means that you were paid up for those months … and hopefully you attended regularly, though attendance is not part of this question.)

Contact me!

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TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Agnes’ track. These are cardio (walking/jogging/running) workouts and they begin at 5:45 PM.

St. Agnes is at the corner of Walnut Grove and Mendenhall.

Should the St. Agnes track be occupied or the field being used, making the track unavailable to us, we’ll go to St. Mary’s track, at Walnut Grove and Perkins.

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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

“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.

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

So log on and get started now!

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If you’d like to lose weight. Seriously. Go to www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com

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What would you do if money were not an issue, fear were not a factor, and failure were not an option?

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
http://www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/esuite/home/combatchallenge/

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