Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for March, 2011

The Horsemen Cometh — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 30 March 11

Mar. 30th 2011

I was 21 when I coached my first season as a high school basketball coach at Battery Creek High School in Beaufort, SC (Go Dolphins!)

The team and I got off to a very rocky start. Their previous coach had a stroke and had to retire just before the preseason practice was to begin. I was asked to take the job because, well, I think they were desperate and I was handy. The vice principal and I were friends and had worked together in a teen mentoring program. He thought I’d do an adequate job because of my qualifications: I actually owned a basketball and knew the rules.

I was barely older than the seniors on the team, and they knew that. They also knew that this was my first coaching gig. They also wanted their old coach back and were resentful towards me for taking his place. The fact that the man was 60 years old, nearly died, and was still in the hospital when practices got underway didn’t keep them from being less than enthusiastic about me. Their former coach was a legend. I was a nobody.

Getting those boys to listen to me became a losing proposition. They couldn’t care less what I said. I might as well have been talking to myself.

We won our first two games easily. A monkey could have coached those two games. I could have sat on the bench and read a magazine. The team ignored me.

By our third game I was pretty frustrated with the whole thing. The starting five were all seniors who’d played with one another since they were in middle school and I was clearly an unnecessary distraction to them.

The team we were playing in the third game was better than the other two, but we were still rolling along. Midway through the third quarter of that game, with us ahead by 10 points, I called time-out. Although we were winning, we were lucky to be ahead. I knew this. They thought it was because they were so great. I was at a complete loss as to what to do with a team that ignored me. During the time-out I announced that I wouldn’t be coaching anymore for the rest of the game and that I’d tender my resignation to the Athletic Director after the game. They were on their own, I told them.

Then I sat down.

The looks on their faces was a combination of shock, disbelief, and “oh really, well fine, we don’t need you anyway … we can do this without you!”

What followed was almost unbearable as a coach. I watched my team wilt right before my eyes. I watched the momentum swing and the other team mount a comeback. I did nothing. The boys on the bench and the fans in the stands let me know that I HAD to do something. “Call time-out!” “Get control of the situation!” I heard everyone grumble. “What is he doing?” “Why doesn’t he do something?” The atmosphere was awful. And still I sat there doing nothing. Quite honestly I didn’t know what would happen next. I was gambling, but not bluffing. I was completely serious about what I told them.

In the middle of the fourth quarter, with the other team up by 6 points, our team captain called time-out and they all came over to the bench. “Now what?” I wondered. The guys on the bench stood up. I didn’t move and kept my seat with a stone face. The team captain spoke first.

“Coach, we’re sorry! We need you to coach us … please?” And then they all looked at me, waiting to see what I’d say.

It was the first time any of them had called me “coach,” I’d been “Tony” to them before that. In the beginning I had been trying to win their acceptance and be their friend. I had allowed myself to be called by my first name by subordinates. A decision that had backfired. They only seemed to resent me more.

The other boys on the team chimed in with the same request. I was being begged to coach the team.

I stood up and looked them all in the eyes and then went “Drill Instructor” on them. Bobby Knight would have been proud! After I chewed them out, we formulated a plan and I sent them back out on the floor. I got my substitutes ready to go in and execute the plan and give the guys on the floor a break.

And then I crossed my fingers and held my breath, hoping that my gamble would pay off.

What happened was remarkable! That group of belligerent rebellious showoffs transformed into a disciplined team with a plan.

We came back.

We won by 2.

We went on to win our conference championship that year! And even though winning the championship was exciting, nothing compared to that third game, the game I became coach.

After that first season, when I was mostly just relying on a fundamental knowledge of the game and a broad idea of what we should work on in practice – there was no internet to use to download a coaches handbook, practices, or plays – I realized that I needed to have an organized practice plan. I put together a binder of basketball coaching fundamentals and topics/situations that had to be covered from the very first practice to the last game of the season. For example, what do we do when we have the ball under their basket with one minute left and we’re behind by 3 points … or ahead by 3 points? I got advice for my binder from books I borrowed from other coaches and whatever books and magazines I could find in the libraries. I photocopied what I could and made notes and diagrams on notebook paper.

One of the most fundamental aspects of coaching a successful team is the same fundamental in leading a successful life.

Every sport, and every life, has certain simple fundamentals that have to be worked on and executed in order to be successful. In basketball you have to be able to pass, dribble, and shoot.

One of the other fundamental things a basketball team has to do is something called “transition.” If you’re a fan of the game, you hear basketball announcers talk about a team’s “transition game” quite a bit. You’ll hear them say that a certain team “isn’t very good in transition.”

Simply put, transition is the moment when a team goes from being on offense to being on defense, or vice versa. A team’s ability to make that “transition” at lighting speed is an essential of a winning team. A coach will drill and drill and drill a team on “transition recognition,” and then responding, changing gears, and executing a new strategy in nano seconds, without thinking about it. A team has to recognize the moment of transition exactly when it occurs and then respond instantly and without hesitation.

Life is a series of transitions. Situations in life change, hardly ever as fast as in a basketball game, but nonetheless transitions occur and a successful life manager responds. It would be great if the signs of transition were as obvious as who’s holding the basketball. A job transfer, a job change, or a loss of a job are obvious transitions that require strategies. An illness, an injury, a divorce, or a breakup are obvious game changers too. All requiring action.

Contingencies, alternate plans, readjustments, and boldness are required in successful life management. The universe rewards action. And if the situation can’t be prepared for ahead of time, then what guiding philosophies and values will dictate the next action taken?

I have a friend who is mediocre at best at life management. She has no Plan B. Ever. If Plan A can’t be executed or doesn’t work out like she thinks it should, she has no Plan B. Unless you call crying, pouting, mopping, sulking, and throwing up your hands a “plan.” It’s not that she is incapable of formulating a Plan B. I think she is. But for her, Plan A MUST succeed! For her, Plan A fell from heaven. Plan A is engraved in stone like Moses’ tablets, and equally nonnegotiable and irrevocable. (I wonder how her poor husband suffers through this adolescent life management technique.)

Imagine a basketball team on offense who loses the ball, and then instead of getting back on defense, they just stop, stand around, and start pouting and blaming one another for losing possession of the ball. All the while, the other team goes down court and scores. The only teams that might do that are immature, undisciplined, poorly coached youth teams. You won’t see that in any of the teams playing this weekend in the NCAA Final Four. (By the way, of the more than 6 million people who filled out a bracket on ESPN.com – me being one of them – only TWO picked this year’s Final Four! TWO out of 6 million!!!)

Take a moment, or a weekend, to think about your life and the situations and roles that occupy you. What would you do if x, y, z happened in those situations and in those roles? What are your contingency plans? What are your Plans A through Q? What is your guiding philosophy? What are your leadership principles?

Or will you just use The Force and hope that everything works out ok?

If a high school basketball coach will take the time to prepare a team of teenaged boys for game situations that may or may not occur, just so that a basketball game can be won during a season that only lasts four months, how much more important for us, living our lives and being responsible for the lives of others, to have a “binder” prepared to deal with life’s transitions.

One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament is from Jeremiah 12:5, loosely translated it says: “If you have run with the footmen and they have worn you out, what will you do when the horsemen come?”

Failure to prepare is preparing to fail.

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JAPAN RELIEF

I’ve designed t-shirts to sell for the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund. I should have them next week. There are two designs to choose from. I hope you’ll buy one or more! All proceeds will go to the Red Cross. Thanks ahead of time!

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CREDIT CARDS?

Would you like to use your credit card to make your payments for USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP? If you would, click on “reply” and say “YES!” If at lease 10 of you say yes, I’ll get set up to take your credit card payment!

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EVENING CLASS TUESDAY & THURSDAY @ ST. AGNES

Starting next Tuesday, April 5, the Tues/Thurs evening class will meet at St. Agnes track at 5:45 for track running/walking or running in the neighborhood.

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FRIEND MONTH CONTEST

April is our annual BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH!

This is in honor of the late Tom Farrar, my former CPA who died of a heart attack in March 2007.

Tom was only 54 years old. He was my friend but I couldn’t get him to come to Boot Camp. He was a type A personality with high blood pressure and a weight problem. His heart problems were preventable.

I hope you can get your friends to join you. They can visit for a whole week in April for FREE! So start sewing the seeds now!

Here’s how the contest works:

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends for the month of April will get $100! Legal tender, not “Boot Camp Bucks!”

For every friend you bring you get one point (one point per different person, not the same person every time!) For every friend who joins in April, you get 3 points AND a free month of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for every friend who joins! The person with the most points at the end of the month gets the cash!

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SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training continues this Saturday at Shelby Farms. Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 7 AM.

—————————————

M-16 WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 5 AT 0530.

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WIND CHILL AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

When the wind chill is 29 or lower, we’ll go inside.

Check with weather.com or The Weather Channel. I’ll post it on my Facebook page and the Boot Camp website Blog page (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) if there’s a question. And if you’re not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.

What about inclement weather days?

We’ll follow the Memphis City Schools decision. If they close, we’ll stand-down. If they close in the morning but the streets are clear and good to go by the afternoon, the evening class will meet. I’ll post that status on Facebook and the Boot Camp Blog page.

———————————–

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: 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 next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take 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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!

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PERSONAL TRAINING!

I’ve got a few prime hours open during the week if you know someone looking for a trainer. I use the facilities at Christ Methodist and the hourly rates are standard for Memphis. Over-all fitness training, boot camp style workouts, strength training, sports specific conditioning and agility (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.)
TonyLudlow@aol.com or 901-644-0145

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LAW SCHOOL RACE JUDICATA

5K Run/Walk Downtown
April 9 at 5 PM

Proceeds support Memphis Area Legal Services

To register go to www.RaceJudicataMemphis.org

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THE 0830 AND THE 0645 CLASSES!!

The 0830 Class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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

ATTENTION 0830 CLASS MEMBERS: please remember that no cell phone usage is allowed while you drive your car on the campus. So when you pull onto the campus, no cell phones please!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, ask me about it! I think you’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS BY THE END OF NEXT MONTH?

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/

——————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL APRIL

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until April.

However, I’ll be running at 4:30 PM at St. Mary’s track on Tues and Thursday and you’re welcome to join me for an informal jog fest!

—————————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Half Marathon Training Update — 25 March 11

Mar. 25th 2011

Attention Half Marathon Crew: We’ll run on Sunday morning instead of tomorrow morning. The weather nerds say it’ll be raining on Saturday. See you Sunday at 0700!

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


The 47 — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 23 March 2011

Mar. 23rd 2011

It turns out that I’m bi.

Who knew?

I took some graduate level cultural anthropology classes when I lived in Richmond, just before I moved to Japan. The University of Richmond professor challenged us to think about the process of cultural expression, culture shock, cultural differences, cross-cultural exchange, cultural conflict, cultural acquisition, and ultimately becoming bi-cultural.

If I was going to live long-term in another country and immerse myself in the culture of that country I had to become something of an amateur cultural anthropologist. I had to understand academically what I was about to know experientially.

The Professor cautioned that becoming bi-cultural comes with a price. There are pros and cons, we were told. One of those cons would be a constant longing. “When you’re in your adopted country you’ll miss your home country,” he said. “And when you’re in your home country you’ll miss your adopted country.”

Since the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, the news has focused on everything from the disaster itself to the people of Japan themselves. Besides the reporters mispronouncing Japanese names and words, they also seem to get a lot of things about the Japanese wrong or only half right. It’s like they skimmed “Japan for Dummies” on the flight over and only got a quarter of the way through the book before they went on air.

I’ve tried to overlook the superficial attempts that the reporters and their assistants have done to translate the language, understand the people, and explain the culture of Japan. I know that they’re just doing their jobs as best they can and that they don’t mean to get it wrong. They just don’t know any better.

One of the things that all of the reporters have focused on is a word that describes, to a small extent, the resilience of the Japanese people and their commitment to doing their best or doing their duty. The word is “ganman,” pronounced “gawhmmahn.”

There really isn’t a good English word that translates the meaning of ganman. And like most words, context tells a great deal about what a word’s nuances are supposed to convey. And context is everything in Japanese.

The verb form of ganman could have a casual meaning of “do your best,” or “good luck.” For example, before a child plays his piano recital his parents will say “gambatte kudasai.” Meaning, “please do your best.” “Good luck” in that case would be a pretty good translation.

There are 50 workers who have stayed on at the troubled nuclear reactor in Fukushima. A reactor that threatens to become a meltdown with an almost Armageddon-like effect on the Japanese people and the environment that would be felt for decades to come.

These workers, knowing the risk to themselves personally, have not abandoned their posts. They know that if they don’t stay that a nuclear disaster is inevitable. They also know that they will more than likely suffer and die because of their exposure to such high concentrations of radiation.

The wife of one of those workers was interviewed on Japanese television about her husband, with whom she’d just had a telephone conversation. They wanted to know how he was and how she was holding up. Calmly, but visibly shaken, she explained that he was fine and that he was doing his duty. She said that he had explained to her that he was prepared to die in order to prevent a disaster. He was prepared, if necessary, to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country. This was an engineer speaking, not a soldier in combat. But none of what he said was surprising to the Japanese interviewer. And I dare say that it wasn’t surprising to the 127 million Japanese who watched that interview.

Japanese people expect everyone to do their best, from the counter worker at McDonald’s to the Prime Minister. (If you ever go to Japan, go to a McDonald’s and then prepare to be amazed!) Japanese adults don’t complain or whine. Everyone is patient. There are no riots or looting after an earthquake, hurricane, or tsunami. Everyone knows that everyone is in the same boat and that everyone has to pull together and work as a team for the benefit of all.

When asked what she told her husband, the wife said that she told him “gambatte kudasai.” She did not tell her husband, who would most likely become a casualty himself, “good luck.” In that context the meaning is much more like this: “please do your duty to the very best of your ability, do your very best to accomplish success for yourself and for all of us who are dependant on your bravery and courage. Do not give up. Never give up. Do not fail to persevere. Do not do anything that would bring shame or embarrassment upon you or your family name.”

During World War II there weren’t many Japanese prisoners of war. Advancing Marines in the Pacific Theater found, after months of fighting on one horrible little island after the other, that the remaining Japanese soldiers – knowing they were fighting a losing battle without reinforcements or resupply — committed suicide rather than be taken prisoner. They fought to the last man. The shame of defeat, the shame of being taken alive as a prisoner was too great to endure and death would be preferred. “My enemy will not have the pleasure of seeing my face lowered in shameful defeat.”

A few years ago three company presidents, friends since their college days, had each seen their respective company’s success and profitability suffer because of the economy, not because of their mismanagement. Their companies were on the verge of ruin. Together the three men checked into a hotel in Tokyo, had a final meal together in the hotel restaurant, then they stood and bowed to one another and went back to their own rooms and privately killed themselves.

Failure to do one’s duty is a shameful thing to the Japanese. And the sense of shame and “losing face” is so strong among them that it would be impossible to overstate it.

In Japanese history there’s a very well known story of 47 samurai who committed ceremonial suicide together at the grave of their fallen lord. After avenging their lord’s death, the 47 became outlaws and hunted men with a price on their heads. But rather than submit themselves to the shame of capture, they went to the grave of their lord, and in a scene like the one in “The Last Samurai,” committed ceremonial suicide. The 47 have been the subject of countless heroic plays, movies, and stories.

Today the sense of “ganman” among the 50 workers at the Fukushima power plant is being compared to that of the 47.

I’ve been asked what we can do to help. All that I know at this point is to make a donation to the Red Cross designated for Japan relief. The link is below. Boot Campers making a donation to the Red Cross can deduct that donation from their next Boot Camp enlistment. Just note your donation in the memo of your check. Thank you everyone.

Gambatte Japan.

https://american.redcross.org/site/Donation2?5052.donation=form1&df_id=5052&idb=0

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IN HIS STEPS!

Our kind and gracious hosts, Christ Methodist Church, has it’s annual spring 5K on Saturday, March 26 at 8 AM! You can register at the church or online by going to www.cumcmemphis.org

—————————————

FRIEND MONTH

April is our annual BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH!

This is in honor of the late Tom Farrar, my former CPA who died of a heart attack in March 2007.

Tom was only 54 years old. He was my friend but I couldn’t get him to come to Boot Camp. He was a type A personality with high blood pressure and a weight problem. His heart problems were preventable.

I hope you can get your friends to join you. They can visit for a whole week in April for FREE! So start sewing the seeds now!

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends for the month of April will get $100! Legal tender, not “Boot Camp Bucks!”

For every friend you bring you get one point (one point per different person, not the same person every time!) For every friend who joins in April, you get 3 points AND a free month of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for every friend who joins! The person with the most points gets the cash!

—————————————

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training continues this Saturday at Shelby Farms. Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 7 AM.

—————————————

MT. FUJI WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY, MARCH 22.

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CALORIE CONSUMPTION AND WEIGHT LOSS

Boot Camper Ashley Hofeditz, a well known, published, and highly respected Registered Dietitian, has given me a more accurate formula for calculating daily calorie consumption for moderately active men and women.

“For moderately active men and women (3-5 times a week of exercise), their weight multiplied by 15 for men, and by 12 for women. This is for weight maintenance. To lose one pound a week decrease calories by 500 a day.”

Thank you, Ashley.

————————————-

WIND CHILL AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

When the wind chill is 29 or lower, we’ll go inside.

Check with weather.com or The Weather Channel. I’ll post it on my Facebook page and the Boot Camp website Blog page (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) if there’s a question. And if you’re not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.

What about inclement weather days?

We’ll follow the Memphis City Schools decision. If they close, we’ll stand-down. If they close in the morning but the streets are clear and good to go by the afternoon, the evening class will meet. I’ll post that status on Facebook and the Boot Camp Blog page.

———————————–

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: 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 next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take 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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!

————————————-

PERSONAL TRAINING!

I’ve got a few prime hours open during the week if you know someone looking for a trainer. I use the facilities at Christ Methodist and the hourly rates are standard for Memphis. Over-all fitness training, boot camp style workouts, strength training, sports specific conditioning and agility (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.)
TonyLudlow@aol.com or 901-644-0145

———————————-

FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP FOR YOU!

Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program because of your recruiting them, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!

———————————-

THE 0830 AND THE 0645 CLASSES!!

The 0830 Class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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

ATTENTION 0830 CLASS MEMBERS: please remember that no cell phone usage is allowed while you drive your car on the campus. So when you pull onto the campus, no cell phones please!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, ask me about it! I think you’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS BY THE END OF NEXT MONTH?

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/

——————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL APRIL

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until April.

However, I’ll be running at 4:30 PM at St. Mary’s track on Tues and Thursday and you’re welcome to join me for an informal jog fest!

—————————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Mt. Fuji tomorrow — 22 March 2011

Mar. 21st 2011

ATTENTION 0530 BATTALION: Just a reminder that we’ll be climbing Mt. Fuji in the morning! (3/22/11) See you at the University of Memphis campus in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin. GET SOME!!!

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Thank You, Mrs. Gooch! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 15 March 2011

Mar. 15th 2011

“It doesn’t work that way,” he said.

“But why not?” I protested.

“Do you like Almond Joy candy bars?” he asked, knowing that I hated them. “No, you don’t, right? But they’re one of MY favorites. It’s like that. It’s not a choice. It just is or it isn’t.”

I had a crush on a girl at my junior high school but she wasn’t interested in me. My brother was trying to explain the adage that “attraction is not a choice.”

I wanted “Kim” to like me, cuz I liked her. But since she didn’t, I thought that if I was a better student, a better athlete, had bigger muscles (or muscles of any kind!) a smarter boy, a more polite person, and a nicer guy that Kim would like me instead of that idiot “Mike.” But nothing worked. Kim was attracted to Mike … for reasons that eluded me!

When I was seven years old I fell in love. (Not with Kim!) And I’m still in love with her. In fact, my love for her has stood the test of time and trial; a love that has spanned the whole of my life. And even now, I’ve found myself longing for her in new and unexpected ways. I think about her everyday.

I didn’t choose her. I didn’t sit down when I was seven and write down the pros and cons of her attributes and shortcomings compared to others and choose her based on the results of that analysis. I just fell in love. How can you explain that?

And I remember the day that it happened like it was yesterday. Decades have passed, but the moment my heart embraced her is as clear to me as any memory I have.

At seven years old I knew that it would be a long time before we could be together. I would just have to be patient. I’d have to wait to be with her.

No one really understood my love for her. Friends thought I was weird. Even family members thought it was silly and just a phase. And when I think about it, I suppose it did seem pretty odd. I mean, how does a little kid “fall in love” anyway? And then stay in love?

Today she’s hurting and in trouble and there’s little I can do. I’m forced to sit back and watch. Helpless.

I was seven years old when I fell in love with Japan. She has been my “mistress” since I first heard her name.

It happened like this.

One of my classmates in second grade was half Japanese. We became friends and he invited me over to his house to play after school one day. On the outside his house looked like my house. But on the inside … it looked nothing like my house. Everything was decorated with items from “the Orient” and in a style that was in direct contrast to my own home. My mother was the queen of bric-a-brac and lace doilies and pictures, and clocks (lots of clocks!) and house plants galore. But my friend’s house was stark, by comparison — Japanese minimalism, I’d later learn. And when my friend’s mother, Michiko, came to the entryway of her home to greet us as we took off our shoes that first day, I was transfixed.

It was the first time I’d ever met a Japanese person. She was elegant and refined and calm and pleasant and beautiful and she moved with the grace of a woman who could have been royalty. Even the way she adjusted the folds of her kimono seemed to be a part of some larger context that I didn’t understand. Think of the Japanese woman who played opposite Tom Cruise in “The Last Samurai” and you’d have her! That character in the movie was Michiko!

She was the perfect ambassador of her home country! I found myself filled with an eagerness to learn and know everything I could about this enchanting new land. Recognizing my interest and hunger to learn compelled her to teach me more, much to the frustration of my classmate who wanted to play and who had little interest in Japan himself. I became a regular visitor — a student actually — to their home. With no internet and no access to library books on Japanese history, language, and culture, I took advantage of the best teacher of all, a Japanese princess thrilled to share her country with me.

When I was seven I declared that one day I would go to Japan and live. How comical that must have sounded to my friends and family! But as the years passed those close to me knew that it was just a matter of time.

My sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Gooch, at Albert Pike Elementary School in Fort Smith, Arkansas, gave me my first Japanese language book, a book that I still own.

When I was 15 I proposed to my girlfriend! I told her that we’d honeymoon in Tokyo. She seemed OK with that! That young romance ended before any “I do’s” were exchanged, but my love for Japan only intensified. When I was 19, I told the woman I’d later marry that I would live in Japan someday.

I didn’t choose Japan. Japan chose me.

In the late 80’s, as a civilian teacher and coach, I landed in Tokyo with my wife and three little children in tow to start my life in Japan. I was finally fulfilling the dream of my lifetime!

Japan chose me in ways that I can’t describe. I have the most cosmic of connections there, things that can’t be explained. I knew things without having been taught or shown. I often knew people’s names without ever having met them.

I once took off on a day excursion to Kyoto, a city I knew nothing about, and ended up at an old ancient house, way way off the beaten path, that had been turned into a mostly unknown museum. I was the only visitor that day. It would be like going to Mississippi and taking hiways, side roads, and gravel roads that you’d never been on before, only to arrive at a preserved antebellum mansion out in the middle of nowhere, but somehow you “knew” it was there. Somehow I’d been drawn to that house in the obscure foothills of Kyoto. I knew the floor plan of the house and even the art work that would be in the next room to the absolute amazement of my friends, and to my own shock as well. I have no idea how I knew those things. But I knew. And this kind of thing happened frequently. My Japanese friends were convinced that I had been Japanese in a previous life. “Tony-san, you’re more Japanese than I am!” said my friend Keiji.

Had it not been for my father’s terminal illness and family concerns that required my return, I’d still be living in Japan.

The recent earthquake and tsunami have brought untold pain and misery to my beloved adopted homeland. The videos and the images of the devastation are gut wrenching.

In one newscast the reporter followed an elderly Japanese man as he searched for his missing wife and daughter. (I knew the man’s first name before the reporter even said it. Don’t ask, I don’t know how I knew.) The English translation of what Masahiro said as he searched was accurate, but so lacking in the depth and emotion of what he actually said. The words he used choked me up. And when he at last found his wife and then finally his daughter, their words to one another and their words of gratitude and repetitive bowing to their rescuers had me in tears. I suppose anyone watching that would have been moved by the scene and by the emotions of that reunion, but their language touched me deep inside.

A friend’s grandmother was in a grocery store that was washed out to sea. No one from that store has been seen since the tsunami hit. Toshihiro’s parent’s home is gone, along with all of their possessions, including the family dog. All they have are the clothes on their back. Toshihiro is trying to evacuate them to his home in Nagoya.

Over 6,700 people are still missing, many of them children who were at school when the disaster began. Tens of thousands are displaced and homeless. Radiation concerns extend for hundreds of miles. Rolling blackouts, water rationing, and limited grocery store hours with limited food availability are affecting over 35 million people! Most Japanese people get their groceries from small local grocery stores, not big chain stores like a Kroger or Schnuck’s. Aftershocks, over 250 since the initial quake, continue to shake the ground across the country and create uncertainty and new concerns. Many huddle in fear, in the dark, cold, and hungry, wondering if the next aftershock will unleash a new terror that will trigger the start of another national nightmare.

I’ve been asked what we can do to help. All that I know at this point is to make a donation to the Red Cross designated for Japan relief. Boot Campers making a donation to the Red Cross can deduct that donation from their next Boot Camp enlistment. Just note that in the memo of your check. Thank you everyone.

——————————————

THIS WEEK ONLY, THERE IS NO 0830 CLASS – Spring Break will be over next week and we’ll be back on duty!

—————————————–

IN HIS STEPS!

Our kind and gracious hosts, Christ Methodist Church, has it’s annual spring 5K on Saturday, March 26 at 8 AM! You can register at the church or online by going to www.cumcmemphis.org

—————————————

FRIEND MONTH

April is our annual BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH!

This is in honor of the late Tom Farrar, my former CPA who died of a heart attack in March 2007.

Tom was only 54 years old. He was my friend but I couldn’t get him to come to Boot Camp. He was a type A personality with high blood pressure and a weight problem. His heart problems were preventable.

I hope you can get your friends to join you. They can visit for a whole week in April for FREE! So start sewing the seeds now!

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends for the month of April will get $100! Legal tender, not “Boot Camp Bucks!”

For every friend you bring you get one point (one point per different person, not the same person every time!) For every friend who joins in April, you get 3 points AND a free month of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for every friend who joins! The person with the most points gets the cash!

—————————————

WOMEN’S DISCOUNT FOR FEBRUARY – HELD OVER!!!

The response has been awesome!! But some of you have friends who haven’t been able to join us until March … so … THE FOLLOWING DEAL IS EXTENDED FOR MARCH!

For the month of March, all new female recruits can join for only $75!

In fact, TWO can join for that price! Tell your cheap, and or frugal, girlfriends that it’s the best time to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!

————————————-

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training continues this Saturday at Shelby Farms. Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 7 AM.

—————————————

MT. FUJI WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY, MARCH 22.

————————————-

CALORIE CONSUMPTION AND WEIGHT LOSS – CORRECTION

Boot Camper Ashley Hofeditz, a well known, published, and highly respected Registered Dietitian, has given me a more accurate formula for calculating daily calorie consumption for moderately active men and women.

“For moderately active men and women (3-5 times a week of exercise), their weight multiplied by 15 for men, and by 12 for women. This is for weight maintenance. To lose one pound a week decrease calories by 500 a day.”

Thank you, Ashley.

————————————-

WIND CHILL AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

When the wind chill is 29 or lower, we’ll go inside.

Check with weather.com or The Weather Channel. I’ll post it on my Facebook page and the Boot Camp website Blog page (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) if there’s a question. And if you’re not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.

What about inclement weather days?

We’ll follow the Memphis City Schools decision. If they close, we’ll stand-down. If they close in the morning but the streets are clear and good to go by the afternoon, the evening class will meet. I’ll post that status on Facebook and the Boot Camp Blog page.

———————————–

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: 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 next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take 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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!

————————————-

PERSONAL TRAINING!

I’ve got a few prime hours open during the week if you know someone looking for a trainer. I use the facilities at Christ Methodist and the hourly rates are standard for Memphis. Over-all fitness training, boot camp style workouts, strength training, sports specific conditioning and agility (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.)
TonyLudlow@aol.com or 901-644-0145

———————————-

FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP FOR YOU!

Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program because of your recruiting them, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!

———————————-

THE 0830 AND THE 0645 CLASSES!!

The 0830 Class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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

ATTENTION 0830 CLASS MEMBERS: please remember that no cell phone usage is allowed while you drive your car on the campus. So when you pull onto the campus, no cell phones please!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, ask me about it! I think you’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS BY THE END OF NEXT MONTH?

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/

——————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL APRIL

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until April.

However, I’ll be running at 4:30 PM at St. Mary’s track on Tues and Thursday and you’re welcome to join me for an informal jog fest!

—————————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Quit Waving Your Arms! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 9 March 2011

Mar. 9th 2011

There’s a video that’s been floating around on YouTube and Facebook that I get a kick out of watching. It’s one of a UFC type fight between a dreadlocks-sporting-showoff and a Marine.

Have you seen it? (I’ll post the link at the end of this newsletter)

Let me play spoiler and just tell you what happens.

The arena is packed and the fans are all excited and yelling. The referee starts the fight and the dreadlocks dude, instead of closing with this opponent and fighting, starts prancing around the ring doing gymnastics/martial arts/showoff moves around the ring; flipping, hand-standing, and grandstanding. The Marine just stands there and waits.

Finally the showoff does some sort of cartwheel toward my brother Marine. As soon as the target is in range, BAM! The Marine punches the dude in the jaw and knocks him out. Game over.

Tomorrow I’m the guest speaker at a professional business luncheon. When I was approached about being the speaker I was told that they wanted me to come and talk to them because I’m “so inspirational.” I’m a “motivational speaker,” she said.

Rather than being inspirational or motivational, I think I’d rather be known for something else because I see motivation and inspiration to be like the dreadlocked showoff.

Motivation and inspiration are like that guy doing all of those flips and flamboyant moves after the fight officially started and just before he gets his ass kicked. Motivation and inspiration can create buzz words and bumper stickers. Motivation and inspiration can give you a sense of momentary excitement and zeal.

How many of us have been forced to attend corporate “rah-rah” meetings? Your employer forces you to go listen to someone who might be a good speaker, might be entertaining, and might even be funny. But the bottom-line always seems to be about the bottom-line. Theirs, not yours.

The speaker’s job is to inspire the employee to work harder, longer, and more enthusiastically. Fire the troops up so that they’ll go win one for the home team. Is it any wonder that former military leaders, athletes, and coaches find secondary careers as motivational speakers. And in my case, I’ve been all three!! I must REALLY be awesome!!

There’s a time and a place for rah-rah. I understand that. There’s a time and a place for firing up the troops. But more than anything else, the thing that matters is vision and a commitment to that vision.

Vision is the Marine standing in the ring waiting for Mr. Dreadlocks to get in range. Vision is the thing that fuels success beyond the inspirational flash in the pan. Inspiration may move you to register for college, but vision gets you through those long all-nighters, endless papers, mid-terms and final exams and ultimately to graduation day.

In the Old Testament Book of Proverbs it says in chapter 29 verse 18, “where there is no vision, the people perish.” That’s pretty strong language. It doesn’t say, “where there are no cheerleaders, the people lose.”

I don’t like to see football and basketball players waving their arms up and down trying to fire up the crowd as if to say, “get up people and inspire me to win.” Dude, you got the cart before the horse. YOU inspire ME with your level of play, and I’ll get up and cheer! YOU play inspired ball, and I’ll get up. Give me something to cheer about and I’ll cheer.

Motivation and inspiration are like the rantings of Charlie Sheen. Vision is the decision by the executives who decided to toss his crazy ass overboard. That Charlie is inspirational, on some whacko twisted level, is apparent. (He has the world’s record on Twitter for the person to get a million followers in the shortest amount of time.) But he has no vision.

Sleepy early morning boot campers sometimes ask me questions that sound like this: “Tony, you show up everyday motivated and inspiring and energetic and smiling … you get my day going … but how do you do that? Who get’s YOUR day going? Who inspires YOU? How do you do this?”

Well, drugs, of course.

No, it’s not drugs. It’s simple. I’ve got tiger blood and Adonis DNA! I’m a rock star from Mars!

Vision gets me to the Quarterdeck “ON!” I have a vision for what I want to create in your life when you show up. Vision gets me up at 4:30 to be “ON” at 5:30. I don’t have the option of “waking up with you on the Quarterdeck.” Vision gets you there too. Your vision may be to lose weight and be healthy and strong. It’s my job to inspire that vision once you get there, if it’s in the morning before your day gets crazy or if it’s at the end of a crazy day, I have a plan and a purpose for you. I know how to get you where you want to go. I know how to make your vision a reality. It’s my job to inspire you to join me on the path that accomplishes your vision and mine!

A few years ago a well known evangelical organization introduced an evangelism approach that went like this: “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Despite how you may personally feel about that statement, it sure is more compelling than “God loves you and has some motivational catch phrases and pep talks for your life.”

Before motivation and inspiration can be effective, you need a vision. You need a plan. You need steps, goals, and a strategy that makes your vision real.

Your vision quest starts by answering the question: “What do I want for my life?”

So … what do you want for your life? The vision begins here.

——————————-

WOMEN’S DISCOUNT FOR FEBRUARY – HELD OVER!!!

The response has been awesome!! But some of you have friends who haven’t been able to join us until March … so … THE FOLLOWING DEAL IS EXTENDED FOR MARCH!

For the month of March, all new female recruits can join for only $75!

In fact, TWO can join for that price! Tell your cheap, and or frugal, girlfriends that it’s the best time to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!

————————————-

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training continues this Saturday at Shelby Farms. Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 7 AM.

—————————————

M-16 WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY, MARCH 15.

————————————-

CALORIE CONSUMPTION AND WEIGHT LOSS – CORRECTION

Boot Camper Ashley Hofeditz, a well known, published, and highly respected Registered Dietitian, has given me a more accurate formula for calculating daily calorie consumption for moderately active men and women.

“For moderately active men and women (3-5 times a week of exercise), their weight multiplied by 15 for men, and by 12 for women. This is for weight maintenance. To lose one pound a week decrease calories by 500 a day.”

Thank you, Ashley.

————————————-

WIND CHILL AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

When the wind chill is 29 or lower, we’ll go inside.

Check with weather.com or The Weather Channel. I’ll post it on my Facebook page and the Boot Camp website Blog page (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) if there’s a question. And if you’re not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.

What about inclement weather days?

We’ll follow the Memphis City Schools decision. If they close, we’ll stand-down. If they close in the morning but the streets are clear and good to go by the afternoon, the evening class will meet. I’ll post that status on Facebook and the Boot Camp Blog page.

———————————–

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: 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 next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take 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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!

————————————-

PERSONAL TRAINING!

I’ve got a few prime hours open during the week if you know someone looking for a trainer. I use the facilities at Christ Methodist and the hourly rates are standard for Memphis. Over-all fitness training, boot camp style workouts, strength training, sports specific conditioning and agility (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.)
TonyLudlow@aol.com or 901-644-0145

———————————-

FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP FOR YOU!

Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program because of your recruiting them, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!

———————————-

THE 0830 AND THE 0645 CLASSES!!

The 0830 Class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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

ATTENTION 0830 CLASS MEMBERS: please remember that no cell phone usage is allowed while you drive your car on the campus. So when you pull onto the campus, no cell phones please!

——————————————–

NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, ask me about it! I think you’ll like it!

———————————————-

WANT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS BY THE END OF NEXT MONTH?

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/

——————————————-

TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL APRIL

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until April.

However, I’ll be running at 4:30 PM at St. Mary’s track on Tues and Thursday and you’re welcome to join me for an informal jog fest!

———————————————-

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.

—————————————————

The video I told you about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLRvUhyh2ok

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Shiny Happy People — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 3/2/2011

Mar. 2nd 2011

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 have been 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.

He was found innocent of the rape and the girl actually recanted.

Turns out that my roommate and his accuser were in the same continuing education class at the college out in town. She had failed to get his attention in the usual ways, namely, flirting and 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 actually 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. She misidentified the guy who was with the girl as my roommate. But she was sure and she said so in open court.

I listened to that woman’s testimony with the most astonished look possible. What?? How could she have made that mistake? And with her own eyes??

The prosecution tried to portray ME as a good friend of the accused. Really, sir? 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. That experience really shook me to the core.

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?

“Things aren’t always as they seem,” said my magician friend Ray.
Amen, Brother. Amen.

Over the weekend I caught some parts of a few fitness program infomercials on the TV in my hotel. And since I run a fitness program, I took a look to see what all the big noise was about. Some of those programs and equipment were obviously smoke and mirrors and magician’s misdirection. Some were commercials for legitimately good programs. But even THOSE dealt with misdirection.

What the advertisers of even the legitimate programs did was to play with the 10/90 Rule a little. They put 90% of the spot light on something that plays a minor role in weight loss.

All of the programs told you that you’d lose weight and get in shape. They gave you testimonials and some sad looking “before pictures” and some really awesome “after pictures” to substantiate their claims. They gave you quick slick clips of people doing the exercises and routines in their programs. And for 90 to 95% of the commercial you heard about all the “shiny stuff,” the sexy stuff, the cool stuff. You saw happy energetic people working out and doing some really great exercises (just like ones we do at USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP) and you saw their results when they showed off their “after” body.

The small and seemingly insignificant 10% of the program that they mentioned in passing, and without much fanfare or enthusiasm, was the very component that plays 80% of a person’s weight loss success!

The reason they didn’t spend much time talking about that component in the commercials is because that component isn’t sexy or glamorous or fun or exciting. Program sales would plummet if they were completely honest. So they misdirect you.

Can a person get in shape doing those legitimate programs? Absolutely! Can a person get in shape doing USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP? Absolutely!!

But the fitness industry’s dirty little secret is that those shiny machines, those slick DVD programs, the routines that the sweaty models and enthusiastic “regular” people did play only a minor role, maybe a 10 to 20% role, in a person’s weight loss success.

The real star of the show, like the embarrassing cousin you have to introduce to your new spouse or companion, is the one none of these commercials said much about.

If you want to lose weight you have to adjust your calorie intake. You have to restrict your eating habits. You have to adjust your diet. You have to say “no” to the tasty, yummy, delicious stuff that got you fat.

But self-denial isn’t popular.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person running for an hour at a pace of 7 min. 30 sec per mile (that’s a 23 min 5K … a 1hr 38 min half marathon) could burn between 1000 to 1500 calories per hour. That’s higher than any of those advertised programs (including mine) can get 90% of those doing the program to achieve. In other words, average people, working as hard as they can for an hour are not going to burn 1000 to 1500 calories per hour. It’s probably going to be closer to 500 (+/- 200) calories per hour.

So, for example, let’s say that after your 0530 USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP workout, you drop by Panera for one of their “healthy” Power Sandwiches — my personal favorite — (330 calories) and a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. You’ll leave Panera at about the same caloric state as you did when you woke up. The trip to Panera “canceled out” the workout, calorically speaking. So you get home at zero.

Now take your body weight and multiply it by 10. That is the total number of calories that you can have for the rest of the day to maintain your weight. So if you weigh 175 pounds, and eat more than 1750 calories, you’re going to gain weight at the end of the day, even though you did Boot Camp with me!

The preceding paragraphs were pretty boring, pretty laborious. All of that talk about calories and exercise and all of that foolishness requiring attention to the relationship between food eaten and exercise executed is NOT sexy or glamorous or fun or exciting. But that’s the secret to weight loss.

The infomercials sell you a program that, in the case of the legitimate programs, is good. It’s shiny! It’s hip! It’s cool! It’s exciting! Hot people are doing it! Woohooo! But then they say, in a sort of quiet voice – the verbal equivalent of fine print, “Oh, by the way, an eating guide comes along with the DVD program. NOW LET’S GET BACK TO THE COOL VIDEOS OF BEAUTIFUL HAPPY PEOPLE EXERCISING!”

Fitness Truth No One Wants to Acknowledge: Fit, but fat, is real. There are chunky people who’ll line up next to you in a 5K or a half marathon who will smoke you! You’ll chase them in vain for the whole race! It is possible to achieve a level of physical fitness but be overweight.

Many of you reading this have goals of weight loss. Some of you have a date or a deadline in mind. You’ve got an event coming up and you want to look your best. Translation: I need to lose some weight. And that’s great. Maintaining a healthy and appropriate weight is part of an effective overall health and fitness program. So here’s the secret: eat less, move more … eat less, move more.

If you’re looking for a specific meal program, read on further in this newsletter. Otherwise, keep a food diary and start weighing yourself everyday. If you want some extra consultation, let me know! I’m here for you! And if you’d like to talk to a dietitian and nutritionist, I can put you in touch with a good one who’s a Boot Camper!

————————–

WOMEN’S DISCOUNT FOR FEBRUARY – HELD OVER!!!

The response has been awesome!! But some of you have friends who haven’t been able to join us until March … so … THE FOLLOWING DEAL IS EXTENDED FOR MARCH!

For the month of March, all new female recruits can join for only $75!

In fact, TWO can join for that price! Tell your cheap, and or frugal, girlfriends that it’s the best time to join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!

————————————-

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING WILL BE SUNDAY!

According to all of the weather forecasters in town, we’re gonna get rain on Saturday, so Spring Half Marathon Training is moved to Sunday!

We’ll run this Sunday at 7 AM.

Meet at Shelby Farms in front of the Visitor’s Center.

Cost for the three month training: $75 for active duty Boot Campers, $125 for “Friends of Boot Camp.” All are welcome to join in the fun.

There are at least five half marathons in the spring! There’s one in Nashville, Louisville, St. Louis, Fayetteville, AR and Oklahoma City! The Germantown Half Marathon is also in March.

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WIND CHILL AND INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY

When the wind chill is 29 or lower, we’ll go inside at 0530, 0830, and 5:45 PM. The 0645 class is inside from now until March.

Check with weather.com or The Weather Channel. I’ll post it on my Facebook page and the Boot Camp website Blog page (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) if there’s a question. And if you’re not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.

What about inclement weather days?

We’ll follow the Memphis City Schools decision. If they close, we’ll stand-down. If they close in the morning but the streets are clear and good to go by the afternoon, the evening class will meet. I’ll post that status on Facebook and the Boot Camp Blog page.

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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)

Here’s how the discount works!

It’s simple: 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 next reenlistment fee for each update!

You can take 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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.

So log on and start getting your discounts now!

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PERSONAL TRAINING!

I’ve got a few prime hours open during the week if you know someone looking for a trainer. I use the facilities at Christ Methodist and the hourly rates are standard for Memphis. Over-all fitness training, boot camp style workouts, strength training, sports specific conditioning and agility (tennis, soccer, basketball, etc.)
TonyLudlow@aol.com or 901-644-0145

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FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP FOR YOU!

Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program because of your recruiting them, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!

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THE 0830 AND THE 0645 CLASSES!!

The 0830 Class meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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

The 0645 meets on MWF inside!

ATTENTION 0830 CLASS MEMBERS: please remember that no cell phone usage is allowed while you drive your car on the campus. So when you pull onto the campus, no cell phones please!

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NEW PRICING FOR FAMILIES AND COUPLES

If you’re a part of a family (usually husband and wife) that does USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP together, ask me about it! I think you’ll like it!

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WANT TO LOSE 20 POUNDS BY THE END OF NEXT MONTH?

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/

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TUESDAY & THURSDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL APRIL

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until April.

However, I’ll be running at 4:30 PM at St. Mary’s track on Tues and Thursday and you’re welcome to join me for an informal jog fest!

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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.

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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 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

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