My favorite Esquire magazine feature is called “What I’ve Learned.”
It’s not written by a magazine staffer. it’s written by famous non-staffers. Guys like Dennis Hopper, Robert De Nero, Jeff Bezos, Rodney Dangerfield, John McCain, and Evel Knievel have contributed.
Sunday was my birthday and I thought maybe Esquire would ask me to write for that feature. But so far the phone hasn’t been ringing.
But since I’m sure that they will, I’m going to give you my rough draft.
“What I’ve Learned, “ by Tony Ludlow
Best advice my mother ever gave me: “Son, you can do anything or be anything you want … if you put your mind to it.”
Worst advice my mother ever gave me: Everything she told me about girls was wrong, wrong, wrong. Sorry mom, but “be nice, be sweet, be complimentary, give them lots of gifts” was a little flawed. Besides, bein’ sweet feels icky.
My grandfather told me that it was unnecessary to tell others “how smart you are, how much money you have, or what you’ve accomplished in life.” They’ll know without you telling them.
What he told me about being smart: the person who speaks last, or not at all, is the smartest person in the room. Never quit learning. Knowledge is power.
What he told me about money: the love of it is evil. Opulence and extravagance are sins. Live below your means. Pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month. Always stop at a charity car wash and give them more than they charge. Be a good tipper.
If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
What he told me about accomplishments: accumulate them for your own benefit because no one is going to be that interested in hearing about them.
Most profound thing I was told at 18: “Your country has provided you with 18 years of freedom, opportunity, security, and happiness … now it’s time to give something back. Join the Marine Corps or the Peace Corps, but find a way to serve your country and your fellow man.”
What the Marine Corps taught me: the meaning of self discipline, perseverance, courage, pride, leadership, honor, and the power of humor. My academic vitae will not be on my headstone, but “Marine” will.
For my sons and the players I coached I composed a list of 50 Things Gentleman Should Be. Here are 10 of them.
1. A Gentleman stands up to greet a woman, an older person, or a superior. When in doubt, get to your feet.
2. A Gentleman dresses appropriately for the occasion. When in doubt, dress up.
3. A Gentleman reads books. He knows that the written word feeds his mind, gives him pleasure, and helps to make him a more interesting man.
4. A Gentleman places great value on honor and loyalty.
5. A Gentleman’s handshake is as good as his word and his word is as good as a signed contract.
6. A Gentleman is confident without being arrogant.
7. A Gentleman can say “I’m sorry, I was wrong” and mean it.
8. A Gentleman knows the names of those who serve them – the janitor, the clerk, the salesperson – and treats them respectfully and without condescension.
9. A Gentleman doesn’t stare, leer, or gawk at an attractive woman.
10. A Gentleman doesn’t scratch, yawn, spit, or make “body noises” in public.
Women who are confident and clever are the most attractive women I know! And if they like to smile and if they have a great laugh … that’s the best!
I don’t trust extremes.
I don’t trust people with agendas.
I don’t trust people who don’t have very many friends, especially very many long term friends.
I don’t trust people whose friends all come from one pool and one color.
I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs and I don’t trust the people who aren’t liked by dogs.
There is no accounting for taste (“WHAT does she see in THAT guy?”).
Attraction is not a choice.
The true measure of a man has nothing to do with numbers or possessions.
Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, a second opportunity, and a chance to be forgiven.
I’ve learned the difference between style and substance.
I’ve learned to define “enough.”
When I meet someone new, I fully expect to like them.
I’ve learned that the attitude someone has, the way they process the world around them, the spirit that they use to engage life, and the energy they exude everyday are more important than looks, money, beauty, or education. A good attitude will compensate for a lack in those four things. An abundance of any of those things will never compensate for a foul or negative spirit.
Knowing who you are is the most important knowledge you’ll acquire. I am not my khakis, my bank account, my car, my house, my status, my age, my job, or my family name. It took me a long time to figure that out.
Everyone has these three things in limited supply and they must be respected and treated with care: time, energy, and money. I won’t waste yours.
I’ve made many mistakes and I have many regrets … but not even God can change the past, so move on as best as you can … and purpose to do better. Find out what the right thing is to do, and then do that.
Try and do better tomorrow.
COLLIERVILLE LOCATION OF USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP MOVES
Starting this Monday the Collierville Battalion of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP will officially move to the Cordova/Arlington area!
Sgt. Les Bonnett and the Cordova-Arlington Battalion will be training at 0515 (15 min earlier than our East Memphis location) at the Woodland Hills Church of Christ at 10011 Woodland Hills Drive, Cordova, TN 38018
CALL SGT. LES for more information at 901-592-7097.
The classes have been postponed. The main group for whom I agreed to do the class have run into unforeseen scheduling problems. I’ll reschedule and let you know ASAP!
So sorry for any inconvenience.
SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!
It’s getting close.
Training for the St. Jude Half Marathon begins on Saturday, September 4. This is perfect for the first time beginner half marathoner or even a half marathon veteran.
Can you do this?
If by August 31st you can run 3 miles without stopping in under 35 min, you’ll be ready to begin training. This assumes that you’re doing an hour of continuous cardio on the weekends. There’s 5 weeks to get ready! Not sure? Let’s talk.
Training is open to all. Cost for the three month training is $75 for members of USMC Fitness Boot Camp and $120 for non-boot campers.
Beginning today, anytime the heat index is 100 or above the class will go inside.
If the conditions warrant it, the evening class may also be found on the courtyard inside the day school area. So if we’re not on the playground we’ll be there.
And speaking of the evening class, Tues/Thurs are at St. Agnes school track for cardio workouts on the track … at your own pace!
NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES
If you’re part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, a new pricing plan goes into effect in August! Ask me about it! You’ll like it!
AUGUST IS ANNIVERSARY MONTH!
Next week we celebrate 11 years of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!!!
To mark the occasion all new enlistments next month will only be $90 and a One Year Tour of Duty will only be $475.
Other celebrations and such are planned and you’ll hear more soon!
Have you been away from USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for a while? Comfortable in Turdeville? Wanna come back? C’mon then!! I won’t bite you! I promise!
I know how it is. You miss a day or two … and then it’s been a week or two … and then it’s a month or two …
Get back on track. Come back to the Quarterdeck!
BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!
Facebook has now reached a major milestone: 500 million users!
That’s the population of the US, Japan, and Germany combined! Half a BILLION people are on Facebook.
In the world of cyber-marketing, Facebook usage can’t be ignored.
So here’s our experiment.
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 for each update, 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.
You can also use Foursquare linked to your Facebook account to “check in” and you’ll get the same discount!
Use your own wording and personality, just include the specifics.
So log on and get started today!
WANT TO LOSE 10 to 15 POUNDS BY THE END OF AUGUST?
Take Shape For Life is the BEST weight loss program I know of. If you’d like to lose weight talk to me. This is the program I used to lose the almost 30 pounds I gained after knee surgery. Let me help you!
You can also go to www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/
BOGA tomorrow at CUMC @ 0530. BOGA is one half hard core boot camp fitness and one half power yoga … BO-GA!
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.
A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
For you visual learners, you’ll find this an easy way to glance at the week or month and see where the workouts will be, if there’s a venue change.
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!
SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!
Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145