Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for September, 2010

Marriage and Family Life — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 9/29/10

Sep. 29th 2010

“OK, we’ve got 10 minutes left in the class. Do you want to start reading the next chapter or hear a story,” I often asked on a Friday when I taught school.

Most high school students in my US History classes never wanted to start a new chapter in their text books. Shocker, I know!

“A STORY, A STORY!” they’d shout. (Sounding like the Knights Who Say Ni when they repeated “A PATH, A PATH!”)

“OK, you choose the story. I can tell you a story where I’m the hero of the story or I can tell you one where I’m humiliated and embarrassed. Which story do you want?”

“Humiliation, sir! Humiliation, sir!” they’d yell in unison.

sigh.

The kids never seemed too interested in hearing stories about me saving a life, or me rescuing anyone from a burning building, or me riding up on a white challenger to save the damsel in distress.

I guess humiliation and embarrassment are universal feelings. And my students wanted to hear about me being more like them and less about me being something they hadn’t been yet. Or they just really really liked stories of my humiliation. Probably a little of both, I reckon.

What do we do when someone around us does something totally humiliating or embarrassing? Or something happens to them that is humiliating?

I sat in a subway one night in Tokyo as the buzzer sounded, signaling that the doors were about to close. That also signaled those who were running to get on the train to sprint if they were going to make it. In the distance I could see him. He was a young Japanese businessman running hard to get on-board. I sat there pulling for him, hoping that he’d make it.

Typically, Japanese businessmen in Japan get on the train or subway near their home at about 6 AM. They work all day and usually don’t get home until 10 PM or so. Long days and hard work are what they have to look forward to everyday. And this young guy was running hard, at the end of his long workday, to get on the subway I was on. If he didn’t make it, he’d be stuck on the platform waiting for another 10, 15, or even 30 minutes for the next train.

Just as the doors were starting to close, the young guy made it … but somehow the toe of his foot got caught on the lip of the train door and he did a full-on Superman style face-plant into the train! He’d made it! The door had closed behind him and he was on-board! But in the process of him sliding into third, his briefcase went flying through the air. When the briefcase landed with a thud on the subway floor it popped open and all of his papers when flying. And there he was, in his business suit, lying on the floor on his face, with all of his paperwork flying through the air and floating down all around him.

I wanted to stand up and make the umpire’s call: SAFE!!! But I knew that wouldn’t be right.

What happened next baffled me and kept me scratching my head for hours.

Expecting people to get up and help him gather his papers and assist him up off the floor, they instead turned away and no one lifted a hand to help him. Even though I’d only been in the country for a few months, I had learned firsthand the wisdom of the old adage: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” And when in Japan, do as the Japanese do.

So I did nothing too.

But this tormented me. I wanted to help this guy. But no one else was helping him and so I didn’t either.

This bothered me to the point that when I met with my Japanese language teacher the next day I had to tell him about what I’d seen the night before. I wanted to know why no one helped him. I wanted to know why people ignored him. I had gotten the impression that the Japanese were so cold and stoic, that they just didn’t care about their fellow man.

My teacher explained it to me.

“Tony-san, the people on the train did the right thing,” he said.

“What??”

“By ignoring him and not looking at him and not helping him, they allowed him to save face. It was as if it never happened,” he explained.

Oh. I’d never thought of that. And that really caused me to consider the whole notion of “saving face” in Asia.

“What did the businessman do after he fell down?” my teacher asked.

“He gathered up his stuff, put it all in his briefcase, and then quietly sat down … as if … nothing had … happened,” I said, as the cultural light bulb came on in my head.

What do we do when someone does something, or something happens to someone, that embarrasses them or humiliates them?

People are different and not everything works for every person. If someone laughs with me when something like that happens to me, as they’re helping me, that’s the best!

A year ago when I tore my knee up in a tennis tournament, my friend Rob Whitsitt, who was watching the match, was one of the first to get to me and help carry me off the court. He knew it was a serious injury, but he was cracking jokes the whole time and laughing at my bad luck as he carried me. This was perfect for me. (I hope someone makes a joke in the last second of my life!)

But not everyone wants you to laugh. In fact, laughing for some people will only make them feel worse. When in doubt, I guess, just be helpful.

All of us share in embarrassment and humiliation. We all know how it feels to show up to a party wearing the wrong thing. Or we’ve knocked a jar of spaghetti sauce off the shelf at the store and seen it bust and splatter all over the floor. Or we’ve knocked over our glass of tea at a business lunch. Or we’ve driven around with the baby’s car-seat on the roof of our mini-van. Or our stomach has growled really really loud during a very quiet moment at church. Or spinach has found a home in-between our teeth at a banquet.

I couldn’t possibly make an exhaustive list of all of the shared moments we have in common that embarrass us and make us blush.

Since this is America, and not Japan, feel free to help your fellow American when calamity and misfortune visit them. It happens to us all.

When I was in college I took a class called, “Marriage and Family Life,” or some such title. It was thirty girls and yours truly! … plus the male professor. I sat in the chair right next to the door. One day the professor walked into the classroom just a few minutes late and with everyone waiting on him. As he walked into the classroom, and with me sitting in my seat, I couldn’t help but notice that his fly was open. His open fly was right on my eye level. Impossible not to see!

I immediately jumped up, put my hand on his shoulder to turn him around, facing him away from the class full of girls, and led him back out into the hallway, all the while saying, “Excuse me sir, but I have a very urgent matter to discuss with you in private before class.”

You can only imagine the shocked look on his face as we walked out of the classroom.

Once out into the hall, I explained why I’d done what I’d done.

“Oh my … ,” he said, as he looked and confirmed what I’d told him. “Good man, good man indeed,” he said, thanking me, and zipping up his fly.

You should always tell a man about his fly.

I got an “A” in that class.

———————————–

RACE FOR THE CURE!

Our own Teri Trotter, a breast cancer SURVIVOR, has a team —
Teri’s Trotter’s — for the Race for the Cure on October 30. You should definitely think about joining it! Questions? Email Teri at Treenatrot@aol.com or call Teri at 901-763-1088 or 647-4018

———————————-

THE RETURN OF THE 0830 CLASS AND THE CONTINUATION OF THE 0645 CLASS

The 0830 Class has returned to ACTIVE DUTY status on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

Don’t forget that there is child care available at the church for this class!

The 0645 continues to march on MWF as well!

——————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training for the St. Jude Half Marathon continues this Saturday, October 2 at 7 AM. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. The Visitor’s Center is the building on the hill just above Patriot Lake and visible from the intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road.

We’ll be running for 1hr and 50 min, using a modified version of Jeff Galloway’s approach to training.

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.

ALSO, Boot Campers who aren’t running the half marathon, but want to get their one hour of continuous cardio are welcome to run with us at no charge!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, a new pricing plan goes into effect in August! Ask me about it! You’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 15 POUNDS BY THE END OF OCTOBER?

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 on Thursday morning at CUMC @ 0530. BOGA is one half hard core boot camp fitness and one half power yoga … BO-GA!

Next Tuesday, October 5 will be the M-16A1 workout in the gym at the church!

——————————————-

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.

———————————————-

CALENDAR

A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
http://www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/calendar.html

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!

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 »


WHAT WOULD CLINT DO? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for September 22, 2010

Sep. 22nd 2010

“The world is full of guys. Be a man. Don’t be a guy,” said Corey Flood in the movie “Say Anything,” a totally awesome movie, by the way.

“You don’t need a man. You need a champion,” the phrase goes from the new Julia Roberts movie.

Where are such men? And who is raising them?

After a decade overseas, living far far away from my own country and my own culture, I returned to Memphis in 1997. When the doors of the Memphis International airport opened, I walked into an America I barely recognized.

In an instant I morphed into Rip Van Winkle.

I had to start learning how my country had changed in the 10 years I’d been gone. The language had changed. Cultural and social interactions evolved. The landscape of politics, social religion, gender roles, entertainment, literature, and the national consciousness had taken on an unfamiliar look and sound. After a week, I wanted to get back on the airplane and go back to Japan.

I wasn’t comfortable here anymore.

And the culture seemed devoid of men.

At least on television and in the national dialog there seemed to be an absence of men. Oh, there were plenty of males. Lots of guys.

I didn’t love Raymond. I found no friends on “Friends.” And while I thought, and still think, that Jerry Seinfeld is a comic genius, neither his show, nor any others, offered up much substance if you were looking for men or for male role models. I mean, seriously? Ross? Joey? Chandler Bing? What kind of men were these?

The men on television were morons, crybabies, cowards, and imbeciles. (The prototype for the Glenn Becks to follow. And pleeeeease don’t write me back if you’re a fan of this charlatan. Glenn, if you’re listening, take your patriotism down to the recruiting office and enlist. Please! We’ve been fighting two wars while you’ve been sitting it out.) The male characters of “Yes, Dear” were disgraceful. They were little boys, insecure and indecisive, in need of a woman to direct them and run their lives. Were it not for their wives and female friends, the men in these television shows were colossal failures, pitiful shells of what I’d grown up thinking a man should be.

Where were the examples of real men on television and in film?

I was struck by how embarrassed I was to be male. The average American male, as reflected on television, was a passive buffoon clearly in need of a butt kickin! I personally didn’t feel the need to have anyone, male or female, validate my life or help me make decisions. I didn’t feel a need to have a female “project manager” or “boss” to give me direction or make alterations in my personality or my way of living. I didn’t need anyone to lay my clothes out for me. I didn’t need anyone to pack my luggage. I didn’t need to live my life “by your leave.” And I blamed television and film for giving the culture male role models that weren’t.

As an aside, I met a woman who had as one of her prerequisites for a potential husband, “must not wear blue jeans, ever.” Huh? She would only date guys who only wore khaki pants. Really? (Did television do this?) She married a guy who didn’t even OWN a pair of blue jeans. Hahaha Seriously!

Don’t get me wrong. I love women and am happy, happy, happy to have lots of female friends who I love and admire and appreciate. And it looks to me that as men started to be less men and more boys, women were forced to step up. It’s hard to know if the world of entertainment influenced reality or if reality influenced the arts. Did the arts give men permission to become idiots or did idiot men start to outnumber real men and that was reflected in the arts? I don’t know.

When I was a kid I had guys like Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood, and John Wayne to look up to. Those were real men. I remember being in a clothing store one time in high school and holding up a shirt and thinking “would Charles Bronson wear this shirt?”

What Would Clint Do?

But more than that, I had lots of real men in my life as a boy. Men in my family, teachers, and coaches who’d fought wars and rebuilt countries and lives. Men who’d stepped up and answered their country’s call for service. Men who weren’t afraid of hard physical labor, getting their hands dirty, or wearing their blue jeans! I was raised by men who were preparing me to take my place among the company of similar men, rough men, perhaps. But men.

Then something happened when our country got attacked on September 11, 2001. Our culture and consciousness changed. In the months and years that followed, men made a comeback on television and in the movies! (Thank you Jack Bauer!) It was easier to find men on television and in film who I could identify with and relate to. I think it was easier because the call to service was being answered by men (and women, of course) who, despite the Chandler Bings, stood up and said “NO!” to those who’d chosen to attack us!

And those kind of men (and women) started being portrayed on television and in film again.

After a hiatus, men are back! It’s OK to be a man who isn’t afraid of being a man, who isn’t waiting for someone to give him instructions or permission and who isn’t paying $200 for a pair of blue jeans with fancy stitching on the butts (why, the very idea!) … and who owns a pair of boots that have already been broken in.

If you’ve got a real man in your life, be thankful. He’s an American classic. He sailed the ocean in a wooden ship for months to carve out a new country out of the wilderness. He forged out of nothing a country that has become the envy of the world. And he has stood up, time and time again, to do violence to any who would take away the liberties of our land. And he will protect you when the lights go out and things rattle in the night and others run the other way.

———————————

September 22, 2009
It’s been a year to the day since I tore my knee up playing in a tennis tournament, September 22, 2009. (Torn quad tendon, major surgery, months on crutches, months in painful physical therapy) To mark the day, I’m heading to the bar area of Old Venice tonight around 7. Join me and we’ll toast the year that has passed …and serve notice on the year to follow!
ATTENTION EVENING CLASS! We’ll go from 5:30 to 6:30 tonight!
———————————–

RACE FOR THE CURE!

Our own Teri Trotter, a breast cancer SURVIVOR, has a team for the Race for the Cure. You should definitely think about joining it! More details to follow!!

———————————-

THE RETURN OF THE 0830 CLASS

The 0830 Class has returned to ACTIVE DUTY status!

Don’t forget that there is child care available at the church for this class!

——————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training for the St. Jude Half Marathon continues this Saturday, September 25 at 7 AM. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. The Visitor’s Center is the building on the hill just above Patriot Lake and visible from the intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road.

We’ll be running for 1hr and 40 min, using a modified version of Jeff Galloway’s approach to training.

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.

ALSO, Boot Campers who aren’t running the half marathon, but want to get their one hour of continuous cardio are welcome to run with us at no charge!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, a new pricing plan goes into effect in August! Ask me about it! You’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 15 POUNDS BY THE END OF OCTOBER?

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 on Thursday morning 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.

———————————————-

CALENDAR

A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
http://www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/calendar.html

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!

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 »


THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 9/15/10

Sep. 15th 2010

If there were any justice in the world, I shoulda gotten my butt kicked.

I’ve been a bit of a smartass my whole life. Shocker, I know. And I’ve been a bit of a jokester too. Anything for a laugh.

So when the new kid in Mr. Ashley’s vocational printing class (think Guttenberg press, not calligraphy) challenged me to a fight after class I shoulda had my ass kicked.

See what happened was, the new kid, already 6’2” in the 10th grade, was named Billy Hill. That’s his real name. On Billy’s first day of class in my high school he encountered me and my immature shenanigans.

And we had a fight.

And it was all my fault.

I might have been a smarty pants, and a funny guy, and a prankster, but for the most part I was a nice guy, pretty decent student, active in student government and all sorts of school sports and clubs and stuff. But I was NOT a bully. In fact, I took up for kids who were bullied. But on this day you’d have thought otherwise of me.

Mr. Ashley always called the roll first name last and last name first.

When he got to Billy’s name. Well. Look at it!

It came out Hill, Billy. Hillbilly?? Are you kidding me?? The 10th grade me just lost it. I laughed and made commentary and the other guys in the class followed me in all the laughter and making fun. But I was clearly the pied piper and responsible for the foolishness.

I hadn’t noticed the look on Billy’s face. It was a combination of hurt, embarrassment, and anger. But the laughter of the other guys only encouraged me more, I’m afraid. I was out of control and Mr. Ashley had to tell me to knock it off.

After class the 6’2” Billy was going to take care of the 5’9” me. He meant to defend himself and his honor and who could blame him. I certainly didn’t blame him. I would have done the same thing. Unfortunately, Billy didn’t know that his tormenter had a black belt in judo and was almost the same rank in karate by this time.

The fight didn’t last but a second or two and Billy wasn’t hurt too much, no broken bones and no bloodshed. But the fight was over pretty quickly. I’d humiliated him twice in an hour. And by the end of the school day I had started to loathe myself deeply for it.

I found Billy the next day before school and apologized to him. But I don’t think he believed me or trusted me. And who could blame him? I felt horrible. I’d never been so ashamed of my behavior in my whole life. And saying I’m sorry before class didn’t seem to do much to make me feel less horrible.

By the time we got to Mr. Ashely’s class that day, my self-loathing had become acute. And to make matters worse I had been getting congratulated by “the guys” for what I’d done to that big tall new kid. It’s a miserable feeling to get praise for doing something despicable.

Before roll call I stood up and asked Mr. Ashley for permission to address the class and then proceeded to apologize to the class for what I’d said and what I’d done the day before. And then, in front of the class, I asked Billy to forgive me.

A couple of the guys gave me that look of anticipation, expecting the punch line. But if they’d studied the look on my face they’d have seen that I was completely contrite and sincere.

We’ve all done things that we’ve regretted and been sorry for later. We’ve either offended and harmed another by accident or on purpose. We’re all guilty of directly or indirectly hurting another. And the only way to make things right is to apologize, make restitution if needed or required, and then purpose to do better and to treat that other person differently.

I once heard someone say that the truest indicator of a relationship’s depth and longevity isn’t how well the people get along, but how well they disagree and resolve conflict and misunderstanding. How fair, reasonable, and even tempered they fight.

I spent the rest of that school year befriending Billy. It turns out that he was rather shy and not very outgoing. So I included him in class projects and whenever we had to break up into small groups I made sure that he and I were partners or that he was in my group. I don’t know if he ever was convinced of my earnest and genuine efforts to make it up to him and to be his friend. But I sure tired.

Life isn’t fair. And you should be glad. It means that we sometimes get mercy and grace when we should get justice and punishment. I should have gotten justice and punishment.

Billy moved away at the end of that school year and I never saw him again. But if you’re out there Billy Hill, I’m still sorry man.

———————————

THE RETURN OF THE 0830 CLASS TOMORROW

The 0830 Class, a MWF class, has returned to ACTIVE DUTY status!

Don’t forget that there is child care available at the church for this class!

——————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training for the St. Jude Half Marathon continues this Saturday, September 18 at 7 AM. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. The Visitor’s Center is the building on the hill just above Patriot Lake and visible from the intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road.

We’ll be running for 1hr and 30 min, using a modified version of Jeff Galloway’s approach to training.

If you’re not sure if you can do it, come on out and give it a try for free. No harm, no foul!

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.

ALSO, Boot Campers who aren’t running the half marathon, but want to get their one hour of continuous cardio are welcome to run with us at no charge!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, a new pricing plan goes into effect in August! Ask me about it! You’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 15 POUNDS BY THE END OF OCTOBER?

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 on Thursday morning 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.

———————————————-

CALENDAR

A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
http://www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/calendar.html

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!

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 »


Seriously? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 9/7/2010

Sep. 7th 2010

“I think we should see other people, “ she said.

That was code for, “Tony, from now on I will be dating other guys, and none of them will be YOU!”

We’d been dating for a couple of months and I thought everything was going pretty well. But she broke that news to me on our way into a high school basketball game … after I’d bought her ticket. I honestly didn’t see the breakup coming.

Our school’s team had an open week so we weren’t playing. Instead everyone from my school went to our cross-town rival’s game to cheer against them! Amanda (not her real name, cuz I hear that she actually reads this newsletter!) broke the news to me as we walked into the gym.

That was a real buzz kill for sure. Actually, to be honest with you, it felt like a punch to the stomach. The kind when you’re not ready and it knocks all of the wind out of your lungs and makes your knees buckle. I felt myself get weak and sick all of a sudden. I wanted to try to talk Amanda out of her decision to quit me.

It wasn’t the first time that I’d heard those words. The first time it happened I cried in my milkshake about it to my older brother Jack. I told him I was going to try to talk that girl out of it. I was gonna plead my case. I was going to convince her that dumping me was a terrible idea. I told him that with a resolve and a new found confidence.

He told me to “shut the ‘firetruck’ up!” (‘cept he didn’t say ‘firetruck.’)

My older and wiser brother explained that if a girl had dated me … and had taken a long hard look at me … and then decided to try her luck elsewhere … I was to LET HER GO!

But it hurt. And besides, I was SURE that I’d be able to change her mind.

I disregarded Jack’s advice and attempted to talk Vickie into liking me again.

Crash. Burn. No survivors.

Jack was right. I was an idiot.

So this time I wouldn’t give into that temptation. I just looked at Amanda and all I could think to say was, “Seriously? You break up with me after I buy you a ticket to get in here?”

I shrugged my shoulders, said “well, see ya round!” and walked away with my heartbroken, but my head held high and walking away nonetheless. No begging. No pleading. No trying to change her mind.

I found some of my buddies already in the stands and quickly joined them and then tried not to look at Amanda during the game.

Moving on with your life after the door has slammed shut is one of the hardest things to do. Sometimes loss gives us an option. Most of the time it doesn’t. There’s often no negotiating. There’s nothing that can be done. Death of a loved one is like that. Losing your job is like that. Sometimes relationships can be fixed, but that requires two people who want it badly enough to do the hard work to fix it. Two people who are still emotionally invested in the relationship. Personally, I think when one person has emotionally “checked out” of the relationship that there’s no fixing it. The relationship either ends or just goes on life support.

Sometimes loss presents us with a chance at a new opportunity. Sometimes letting go allows us to grow. Sometimes the crisis causes us to examine ourselves and choose another path for our lives. Sometimes the hardships force us to look inward and do some real life changing analysis. Sometimes we’re able to take that pain and use it as fuel to redefine and redirect the trajectory of our lives. Sometimes it’s the catalyst to new success and happiness.

I left the game with Susan!

She was in the stands just in front of my buddies and I chatted her up most of the game. We were in the same history class but sat on opposite sides of the classroom and had never really talked. She was way cute, smart, funny, and she thought I was some of those things too. (By the way, Susan and I are still friends!)

Now get this. Amanda got really really mad at me cuz I hooked up with Susan at the game!

Seriously?

On the following Monday Amanda started moving out of my locker. We’d “moved in together.” Which in high school meant that she had moved her books and stuff into my locker so that we’d see each other during the day. And now she was moving out and she called me a mean name when she left my locker for the last time. The name she called me rhymes with “plastered” and casts some doubt on the marital status of my parents.

Seriously?

Didn’t SHE break up with ME? Totally confused, I asked a couple of my female friends what was going on. Apparently there was a grieving period that I was failing to acknowledge and observe. So Amanda was mad at me for not observing that.

Seriously?

But Amanda hadn’t said, “Tony, I like you but we have some problems that I’d like to work on with you.”

She didn’t say, “Tony, I’d really like for us to move to the next level in our relationship, but there are some things that aren’t working for me. Can we talk about them and work ‘em out?”

She just said “I don’t like you anymore and I want to date other guys … guys I DO like. Not you!”

A month later when I was dating Susan, Amanda wanted to get back together.

Seriously.

———————————

THE RETURN OF THE 0830 CLASS TOMORROW

The 0830 Class will return to ACTIVE DUTY status TOMORROW, Wednesday, September 8!

I’m looking forward to seeing you 0830 Boot Campers!! Don’t forget that there is child care available at the church for this class!

——————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training for the St. Jude Half Marathon continues this Saturday, September 11 at 7 AM. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. The Visitor’s Center is the building on the hill just above Patriot Lake and visible from the intersection of Walnut Grove and Farm Road.

We’ll be running for 1hr and 20 min, using a modified version of Jeff Galloway’s approach to training.

If you’re not sure if you can do it, come on out and give it a try for free. No harm, no foul!

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.

ALSO, Boot Campers who aren’t running the half marathon, but want to get their one hour of continuous cardio are welcome to run with us at no charge!

——————————————-

PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST!

The PFT conducted on Tuesday morning was a huge success. We’ll be doing this once every other month. Next PFT will be at the end of October! More details to follow!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, a new pricing plan goes into effect in August! Ask me about it! You’ll like it!

———————————————-

AWOL

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 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! Nothing good is going to happen by staying away!

——————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 10 to 15 POUNDS BY THE END OF SEPTEMBER?

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 on Thursday morning 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.

—————-

CALENDAR

A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website. http://www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/calendar.html

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!

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 »


GOT A NAME, DO YA? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 9/1/2010

Sep. 1st 2010

In 1971 Fred Smith, a former Marine, founded a little company that now employs about 99.9% of Shelby County. He founded the company in Little Rock, but moved it to Memphis in 1973 when airport officials in Little Rock would not agree to provide facilities for the fledgling company’s airplanes.

(Hey Little Rock! … WHAT WERE YOU CLOWNS THINKING?!)

Smith called his little company “Federal Express.” You might have heard of it. That was a pretty grandiose title for a little company with a handful of airplanes and a small cadre of pilots.

After a few years people started using the shorthand, “Fed Ex” to refer to the company.

In 1994, bowing to the will of the people, the company’s name was officially changed to FedEx. It’s even become a verb. (”I need to ‘fedex’ this box to Charleston.”)

There are a lot of people known today by one word names, like Oprah, Madonna, and Cher, or names they weren’t born with at all. “Sting” is not on his birth certificate, but Gordon Matthew Sumner is. Alecia Moore is Pink. Robert Allen Zimmerman became Bob Dylan. And Paul David Hewson is better known as Bono.

Names are important. Aren’t they?

One of the best things you can do to improve your interpersonal skills is to commit people’s names to memory. I’ve been told that I do this pretty well. Maybe so.

Here are a few of my tips for remembering people’s names.

One of the things I do when I meet someone new is to try to say their name out loud when the introductions are made. “Hi Andrew, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

And then I try to work their name into the conversation as much as I can without it sounding weird or stilted.

Repeat their name in your head several times while you’re meeting them.

Look them in the eyes and and study their face, without looking creepy.

Dale Carnegie said, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Our identity is tied to our names, for good or bad. We cringe when someone mispronounces our name or we become crestfallen when someone important forgets our name. But we swell with pride when someone important remembers our name!

So make it a priority to remember the other person’s name. And the next time you meet that new person notice the look in their eyes and the smile on their face when they hear you call them by name!

———————————

THE RETURN OF THE 0830 CLASS AND THE CONTINUATION OF THE 0645 CLASS

The 0645 will continue indefinitely on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

The 0830 Class will return to ACTIVE DUTY status on Wednesday, September 8!

I’m looking forward to seeing you 0830 Boot Campers!! Don’t forget that there is child care available at the church for this class!

——————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training for the St. Jude Half Marathon begins this Saturday, September 4 at 7 AM. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. The Visitor’s Center is the building on the hill just above Patriot Lake and visible from Walnut Grove.

We’ll be running for 1hr and 10 min, using a modified version of Jeff Galloway’s approach to training.

If you’re not sure if you can do it, come on out and give it a try for free. No harm, no foul!

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.

Boot Campers who aren’t running the half marathon, but want to get their one hour of continuous cardio are welcome to run with us at no charge!

——————————————-

LABOR DAY

We’ll have one workout on Monday morning at 7 AM at Christ Methodist.

——————————————–

PHYSICAL FITNESS TEST!

The PFT conducted on Tuesday morning was a huge success. We’ll be doing this once every other month. Next PFT will be at the end of October! More details to follow!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, a new pricing plan goes into effect in August! Ask me about it! You’ll like it!

———————————————-

AWOL

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 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! Nothing good is going to happen by staying away!

——————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

Facebook has now reached a major milestone: 500 million users! One out of every 14 people on the planet are on Facebook.

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 use the Facebook “Places” or Foursquare linked to your Facebook account to “check in” and you’ll get the same discount!

You can use YELP and write an awesome review!

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 SEPTEMBER?

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.

———————————————-

CALENDAR

A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
http://www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/calendar.html

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!

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 »


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