Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for April, 2011

Brett Farve — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 27 April 2011

Apr. 27th 2011

“Have you ever paid for sex?” she asked casually, as if she were asking me about the weather.

“I’mmm sssorry, uh WHAT??” I asked with a stutter.

“Have you ever paid for sex?” she repeated matter-of-factly.

“No, of course not! Do you always start conversations this way?” I asked.

“Shocking, isn’t it?” she said with a wry smile.

I’d just met Laura at a party. It was the beginning of one of the most bizarre conversations I’d ever had.

“Why did you ask me that? Do you ask that of all men you meet for the first time?” I asked.

“Sometimes,” she said and took a drink of whatever was fueling her boldness. “But you don’t look the type, so I thought I’d just have some fun with you. You never know though. I got molested by a guy in my own bed and he didn’t look the type either.”

“I’m sorry, you what?” I asked, trying to get some clarification and some composure.

“Yeah, my sister’s husband. They were visiting at my parent’s and one night he came into my bedroom and I woke up with him feeling me up,” she said as if she were reading from a newspaper report. “He told me that I was pretty and that he’d married the wrong sister and that he’d always been attracted to me. Crap like that. What a &%#*^&# hole,” she said.

“What did you do?” I asked.

“I told him not to touch me! It freaked me out! He begged me not to tell. But eventually I told my parents.”

“What happened? Did he go to jail?”

“No. My parents confronted him and he said that he had been sleep walking! He begged them not to say anything. Asked them not to tell my sister. Said he’d be good and not mess up again. Can you believe that $#*t? Really? Sleep walking!? Trust me, he was NOT sleepwalking!”

“But why didn’t he go to jail? Didn’t you press charges? What about your sister?”

“Nope. No charges were pressed. But as soon as my parents told my sis, she filed for divorce and threw his scummy ass out!” she said, rather glad about that.

I envisioned some sort of nasty looking sleazy guy you’d usually associate with degenerate behavior. But Laura explained that he wasn’t like that.

“He looks as respectable as they come. He’s a high school teacher and some sort of big deal at his stupid church. If they only knew the truth about him, they’d treat him like a leper!” she said with a little anger in her voice. I could tell that she was starting to get a little worked up.

“How is your sister?” I asked.

“She fell apart. Had to spend some time in a mental health place. She lost custody of her kids. The pervert got ‘em. He was able to portray sis as unstable and incompetent. Saddest thing. Even my brother thought she was unstable. But my brother doesn’t know the truth. My parents didn’t tell him. The pervert walks around like he’s holy and righteous and no one knows the difference. He remarried. Nice lady, but she’s blind to him. Makes me sick,” she said in disgust. “Sis remarried a nice guy shortly after she got out of the mental health facility.”

“So, Laura … when you meet a guy who doesn’t look like a creep you ask him shocking questions?” I asked with a bit of a smile, trying to change the mood of the moment.

“Sorry bout that,” she said with a chuckle. “I do seem to have fun asking questions that knock a guy off balance, just to see what kind of reaction I’ll get,” she said.

“So how’s that workin’ for ya?” I asked in my best Dr. Phil voice.

“Well, you’re still talking to me!” she said as if she’d won something.

“Men seem clueless about women,” she said. “That idiot ex-brother-in-law also exposed himself to me. What’s the deal with you men? You think that if we’re not interested that we’ll suddenly change our minds after you show us your junk?” she asked, as if I actually knew the answer to that question.

“That’s pretty pathetic, I know,” I said. “Most men think that you ladies are wired like us, with a visual orientation. Take Brett Favre. He called that poor girl and she didn’t return his calls. He emailed her and she didn’t return his emails. He text messaged her and she didn’t respond to his text messages. Then he decided that surely if he sends her a picture of The Little Quarterback, THAT will change EVERYTHING! Really, Brett? Really??” I said.

“He’s a moron!” Laura said.

“We’re not ALL like your idiot pervert brother-in-law,” I said.

“EX-brother-in-law,” she corrected.

“Sorry, EX-brother-in-law,” I repeated.

“I know. You seem pretty normal,” she said.

“Well, I’m not normal, but I AM harmless!” I said laughing.

My conversation with Laura, while odd, reminded me of a couple of things. Creeps and perverts come in shirts and ties and middle class respectability as well as the typical lowlifes we associate with that kind of behavior. Recently a pastor in north Mississippi was arrested for dealing in child porn. Disgusting.

A friend of mine has a buddy from college who got caught in one of those Chris Hansen “Dateline” programs, “To Catch a Predator.” On TV the guy shows up to have sex with a 13 year old girl and gets busted. The guy is/was an investment banker. On that same program a Rabbi, a college professor, and a father of 5 were busted. Inconceivable.

Another friend of mine was forced to have sex with her husband’s boss. The boss told her that if she didn’t cooperate that he’d ruin her husband. The first time it happened was when the boss raped her at a Christmas party at his house. After that, he started blackmailing her. This was several years ago. Her husband died a few years later in a car accident. She took their kids and moved out of state. As far as I know, I’m the only person she ever told. Why she confided in me I’ll never know. People tell me things. All kinds of things.

The other thing that Laura’s conversation reminded me of was that men are often totally clueless about women. A Memphis cop was recently arrested after he text messaged a 15 year old girl with pictures of his Little Officer. He and Brett must be subscribing to the same flawed philosophy.

I talked with Laura for a good while at that very strange party. Found out the name of the ex-brother-in-law and was appalled that I actually knew who he was. Small world I thought. He’s never been a boot camper, he’s not the type to take a place on the Quarterdeck. But I knew him to be an arrogant sort, full of self-deluded chest puffing, and self-righteous Bible thumping. No one would ever suspect that he had crept into his teenage sister-in-law’s bedroom like a snake and violated her.

It’s a sad day when every man in our children’s lives has to be put under the microscope. I’m not a suspicious person by nature. I tend to trust until I’m given reason not to. But that’s really not the world we live in, is it? I have to remind myself to distrust. We have to be vigilant and verify that the people who are dear to us are safe and in the company of trustworthy people.

Crimes against women are among the most vile and repugnant in our culture, second only to crimes against children. We owe it to the women and children in our lives to hold everyone who comes into contact with them to a high standard of conduct.

From time to time I’ve taught self-defense seminars for women. What I tell them in the classes, and what I show them, is brutal and merciless. A man who touches a woman without her permission or invitation has forfeited his right to be treated humanely. “No” always means NO! And if you advance beyond that point, then “this is what you get when you mess with us.”

In a nutshell, ladies, never ever allow an assailant to take you away to another location. Do whatever you have to do. And I mean whatever you have to do. There are no rules. Attack and retaliate without mercy, hesitation, or guilt. Bite, scream, scratch, gouge, crush, and break anything you can. Go for the eyes and groin. Inflict as much pain and suffering as possible. No quarter and no mercy.

Our parents taught us to treat others with respect. Our parents taught us that ladies and gentlemen in polite and civil society are kind and considerate of one another. And our parents taught us right. But when a predator or an abuser crosses the line, you treat him like a rabid dog and put him down! No quarter and no mercy.

Brett Farve, I know you’re a super rich successful football player. But dude … you’re stupid and you give the rest of us a bad name.

Ladies, it’s my hope that Boot Camp will make you strong and fit and confident so that if you ever have to crush, kick, or smack your way out of a bad situation, you can … and you will. And then you’ll run like hell!

——————————————–

I GOTTA GUY!!!

I like to share the names of people I do business with and trust so that if you need services that they offer you’ll know someone trustworthy to contact.

1. CJ Passmore – Midas Car Center on Brookhaven. 901-682.6622.
2. Bill Moore – Advertising brokerage. 901- 795-6164
3. Mike Miller – Greenway Home Services. 901- 754-1515

You can see a much longer and detailed list of people I refer on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website blog page. Once on the blog page use the search window, keyword “Veterinarian,” and it’ll take you to that page.

If you drop my name, you might get a discount. But for sure you’ll get their sympathy and prayers! 😉

If you’d like to be listed here in “I GOTTA GUY” just let me know!

—————————————–

JAPAN RELIEF

I’ve designed t-shirts to sell for the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund!

There are two designs to choose from. I hope you’ll buy one or more! All proceeds will go to the Red Cross for Japan Relief. For a donation of $20 or more you can have one of these unique shirts!

These shirts will also be available at the Cooper Young Farmer’s Market!

——————————————

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 bringing them!

A FREE WEEK!!!

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!

Current leader: Dory Sellers – 11 points!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!

—————————————

M-16 WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 26 AT 0530 at CUMC

————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK!

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

———————————-

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 BACK!! – CHANGE OF VENUE!

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are meeting again at 5:45pm at St. Mary’s track.

These two classes are for cardio only – power walking, jogging, running, speed work on the track – at St. Mary’s. (Walnut Grove and Perkins, Southeast corner of the intersection).

—————————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Slingblade — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 4/20/11

Apr. 20th 2011

I stopped at a huge yard sale and browsed around the items that other people had been excited to pay full price for at one time, but were now happy to part with for mere pennies on the dollar.

The tables were filled with knickknacks, bric a brac, and all kinds of … well, crap. In other words, stuff that a man would never buy. Boxes with old books – a weakness of mine – and old magazines were scattered all around the driveway. Tools and junk of all kinds were laid out among the toys that their kids had outgrown or no longer played with.

And of course there were clothes. Lots and lots of clothes. I’d found a few books and a couple of tools and started rummaging through the men’s clothes. When I found the cool brown jacket in my size and saw that it wasn’t damaged or torn in any way, I was pretty excited. And the price, only 50 cents!! WHAT?? ONLY FIFTY CENTS??

JACKPOT!!!

I was in my first year of teaching high school here in Memphis after spending 10 years in Japan. I’d sold a lot of my clothes before I left Japan, sure that those clothes were probably not in style or fashionable here in America. So I was pretty happy to get some “new” cool clothes at a yard sale for cheap!

When I wore my yard sale jacket to school, proud as hell, by the way, my first period class of high school juniors wasted NO time busting me out! Teenagers are brutally honest! They laughed at my Member’s Only jacket! After they quit laughing, someone finally explained that those jackets were no longer in style. They said that those jackets, along with parachute pants (what?) and MC Hammer – whoever HE was – weren’t popular anymore. Apparently the Vanilla Ice cassette I bought at the same yard sale wasn’t hip anymore either. Ice ice baby … sigh.

For the record, I never understood why those were “Member’s Only” jackets when ANYone could buy them. Members of what, I wondered. Oh well, I tossed that jacket and never wore it again.

In the years since I’ve been back from Japan I’ve tried, sometimes in vain, to fill my 10 year cultural history gap. I still find myself at parties pretending to laugh at something that everyone thinks is funny, but is something I have no knowledge of. I recently saw the movie “Slingblade” and knew instinctively that when that movie came out in the mid-90s that people were imitating Billy Bob Thornton’s character in jokes and at parties. And I wanted to do that too … but alas … that’s been played. Dang.

There are things that are timeless. Members’ Only jackets aren’t. Diamonds are. (My friend, Jay Mednikow, sells diamonds. You should buy some from him.)

Good advice and wisdom are timeless too.

Here’s some good advice and it’s truth too. (Truth is another thing that’s timeless and not dependent on circumstance or culture.) I often tell people who contact me about joining boot camp that I might not be able to help them reach their goal of losing weight.

Really, Tony?? But … isn’t that kind of what you do? Help people lose weight?

Kind of.

Let me explain something that I say all the time. The fitness industry’s dirty little secret is that 80 percent of a person’s weight loss success has nothing to do with the exercise program.

That’s true of P90-X, Zumba, Pilates, Spin, Insanity, Cross-fit, Asylum, some unnamed other program, or personal trainer, etc., etc., etc., AND it’s true of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP as well.

It’s very possible to be fit and fat. I see fit and fat people running half marathons and marathons all the time. I even get passed by fit and fat people!!

Weight loss is a simple formula of calories consumed verses calories burned. You can lose weight without ever doing any exercise at all.

Will you be fit?

Of course not. You’ll be flabby.

Getting into your skinny jeans doesn’t mean that you’re physically fit. It just means that your body size is small enough to fit into something you’ve labeled “skinny jeans.” I’ve seen plenty of “skinny” people whose percentage of body fat was 30% or more!

Now what will exercise do for you? The list of benefits is long! And you’d have to be more clueless than I was when I bought that Member’s Only jacket not to be able to name at least five benefits of regular exercise. (We don’t live in a culture lacking in education and information about exercise.) Increased metabolism and increased calorie burn are part of the smart weight loss results of regular exercise.

So when that prospective boot camper calls me or emails me and asks if they’ll lose weight doing USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, I tell them the truth. The answer is maybe. But that’s the answer no matter what the exercise program is. Maybe. And any program or plan or trainer that doesn’t tell you that is simply trying to sell you something.

Not all exercise programs, group or individual, are the same with regard to structure, approach, purpose, intensity, objectives, goals, culture, atmosphere, or strategy. And quite frankly some programs are poorly designed if not downright dangerous. One such program I know of, which is popular and intense, is also high risk. A couple of years ago the Marine Corps saw an increase in the number of Marines injured and unable to perform at full duty status because of their participation in this popular program.

Anyway, what I wanted you to know is that weight loss can be achieved without exercise, but fitness can’t. If your goal is to lose weight, you MUST address your calorie intake. Period.

Registered Dietitian and current Mayor of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP (based on Foursquare checkins) Ashley Hofeditz, gives us this formula for weight maintenance. For a moderately active man (3 to 5 workouts per week), take your body weight x 16 = the number calories you can consume to MAINTAIN your body weight. If you’re a moderately active woman, same formula but multiply it by 12 instead.

If you want to lose weight you’ll have to reduce the number of calories consumed per day. You can use that formula as a place to start.

If you’re not much for calorie counting, you can read more about weight loss using Take Shape for Life below.

Expecting your exercise program to be the answer to your weight loss goals is as goofy as wearing a Members Only jacket trying to look cool!

—————————

I GOTTA GUY!!!

I like to share the names of people I do business with and trust so that if you need services that they offer you’ll know someone trustworthy to contact.

1. Terrell Turner – Veracity Home Inspections. 901-283-9567.
2. Steve Webber – General Contractor – construction and design. 901- 870-1938
3. Rozell Henderson – GHT Technology Group, business IT solutions. 901- 373-4058

You can see a much longer and detailed list of people I refer on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website blog page. Once on the blog page use the search window, keyword “Veterinarian,” and it’ll take you to that page.

If you drop my name, you might get a discount. But for sure you’ll get their sympathy and prayers! 😉

If you’d like to be listed here in “I GOTTA GUY” just let me know!

—————————————–

JAPAN RELIEF

I’ve designed t-shirts to sell for the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund!

There are two designs to choose from. I hope you’ll buy one or more! All proceeds will go to the Red Cross for Japan Relief. For a donation of $20 or more you can have one of these unique shirts!

——————————————

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 bringing them!

A FREE WEEK!!!

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!

Current leader: Dory Sellers – 11 points!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!

—————————————

MT. FUJI WOROUT NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 26 AT 0530.

Cool Mt. Fuji t-shirts are available for sale to those who’ve “conquered the mountain!”

————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK!

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

———————————-

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 BACK!! – CHANGE OF VENUE!

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are meeting again at 5:45pm at St. Mary’s track.

These two classes are for cardio only – power walking, jogging, running, speed work on the track – at St. Mary’s. (Walnut Grove and Perkins, Southeast corner of the intersection).

—————————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


LUDLOW’S DOGS FORCED TO LIVE OUTSIDE — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 4/13/11

Apr. 13th 2011

When I met him I lived in a small town, small by Japanese standards,
called Owariasahishi.

Takahashi Sensei, about 68 years old when I met him, was also the Abbot of the Buddhist monastery that was practically next door to me. I had to walk past the monastery everyday to get to the subway station. He was often standing in front of the temple in the morning alone or with other monks and I always bowed to them as I passed.

One day as I walked by him, and as we exchanged bows, he said “Guudo Mahnengu!”

I’d lived in Japan for a long time by that then and knew that that
was his attempt at an English greeting. That was “good morning.” I
smiled and said good morning.

Usually Takahashi Sensei’s hands were hidden in his robes as I walked
by and bowed. But about a week after that first “Guudo Mahnengu!” he
took his hand out and waved and smiled. This was very unusual and very touching. I did the same.

This went on for another week. A bow and a “Guudo Mahnengu!” followed by a wave and a smile.

One morning I finally walked up to him and bowed and said “Good
morning, Sensei. I look forward to seeing you every morning.”
And he said, “Oh … uh … my … Engrish … not … so … good.” So I
switched to Japanese and we carried on a very warm conversation. And from that day forward we became friends. In time he would become dear to me.

Two or three days a week I came home for lunch. I never saw the monks at lunch time in front of the temple. But one day Takahashi Sensei was there waiting for me. He asked if I would like to participate in a lunch time meditation. I thanked him and said maybe someday, but I was very busy. Truth is, I was a bit afraid of what went on in that temple and within the secret chambers of the monastery.

He kept asking … and I kept putting him off … until finally one day
I agreed. That was a mistake.

When I followed Takahashi Sensei into the large meditation room, I
found regular people and monks quietly sitting in a large rectangle on
the polished wooden floor. There were about 30 or so people in all. If
you saw “The Last Samurai” there was a temple scene in the movie that
looked much like that room. Large, open, airy, old … polished
spotless dark wooden floors, the faint smell of incense in the air and
the distant sounds of deep pitched wind chimes. A tiny temple bell struck at about 1 minute intervals.

All of the people had their eyes closed in meditation. But one of the
senior monks was not meditating. He was slowly walking around the room, robes flowing, as he moved effortlessly … holding an object in his hands that looked like a long, narrow, thin oar. He carried it at “port
arms” like a soldier would hold a rifle. The monk moved gracefully
and deliberately around the room.

What was this?

Then the monk stopped in front of a man sitting in mediation. The man looked to be about my age, wearing a shirt and tie, and no shoes of course. The monk, Murakami Sensei, slowly took the “oar” and laid it on top of the man’s right shoulder. It looked like the monk was “knighting” the man. “I dub you Sir Man-With-Shirt-and-Tie.”

And then, in a flash, the monk raised the oar up and struck the man on
the shoulder! It happened so fast that it seemed like I might have only
imagined it. Then Murakami Sensei laid the oar back on the same shoulder in the same “knighting” motion. And then removed the oar from the man’s shoulder and moved back and away from the man, who never showed any pain or any reaction and never opened his eyes.

WHAT THE WHAT???

The monk continued to walk slowly around the room. A few minutes later the same thing happened. But this time it happened to a housewife I recognized from the neighborhood. Mrs. Yamada. I knew her well. She was so sweet! And that bastard Murakami smacked her too! But she likewise didn’t react.

My first meditation was observation only. The session came to an end
when the senior monk with the oar moved to the center of the room and tapped his oar to the floor three times. Everyone stood up. The monk thanked them for sharing that time together with him and wished them well. Everyone bowed to the monk and he bowed to them. Then they all moved quietly out of the meditation room.

Takahashi Sensei explained what I’d just seen. Zen is a practice of
living in the moment and being nothing. Impossible to explain in a
single sentence or a single book. But those who meditate must be in the moment and be nothing in the moment. The monk with the oar examined each person closely, their breathing, their posture, their facial expressions, their body movements, even the smallest twitching of their closed eyelids. Everything, including the perceived energy of the person, was observed.

If the monk sensed that the person was “not in the moment,” that they
were distracted, that they were thinking about the cares of their life,
or their plans, or their job, or anything else … they got the oar.

I couldn’t join the class fast enough! (I was like Delmar gettin’ baptized!)

Apparently I like abuse! I started going 3 times a week. I even went
sometimes on the weekends. I joined the martial arts club (Shorinji Kempo) at the monastery, attending evening workouts 3 times a week.

In the beginning of my meditation … I got the oar … a lot. Yes, I got the oar a lot. The first time it was from Takahashi Sensei himself. I felt like I had been beaten by my loving father. It hurt my feelings as much as it hurt my shoulder. I got the oar so often that I had bruises on my
shoulders. But within a few months I was seldom struck. I had learned
to meditate.

Leaving Japan was very hard. I’d been there 10 years and had
often thought that I’d always live there. But circumstances brought me
back to the States. One of the most difficult things I had to do was to say goodbye to Takahashi Sensei. I had grown to love him dearly. When we bowed to one another for the last time … I bowed as low as I could … showing him my deepest respect and appreciation … and not wanting to stand upright, ending the bow … and my life under his instruction forever. I had tears in my eyes when I stood up … and so did he.

“Tony san, you are a human being” Takahashi Sensei told me, “you are not a human ‘doing.’ First, be … then doing will come easily.”

I have moved far away from being still. From being. I’m often not still
enough. I’m sometimes too active for my own good. My senses get
overloaded and over stimulated by so many things to see and do, to hear and watch. I miss those “oar days” … of focusing on being quiet, being still, and in the moment.

Takahashi Sensei and the people of Japan continue to deal with the horror of the earthquake, tsunami, and radiation exposure. The tragedy of the destruction and the obscenity of over 20,000 men, women, and children confirmed dead or missing will quickly be replaced in our news by the Charlie Sheens and the Lindsey Lohans of our culture.

I have been astonished — and not in a good way — as I’ve seen the disproportionate attention given to celebrities, dogs, and cats on Facebook and in the national news with hardly a mention of 20,000 dead and missing in Japan. Human beings … sweet little kindergarten children in their little uniforms, doting grandparents, young couples with dreams of a future … remarkable men like Takahashi Sensei.

It’s Japan’s 9/11 multiplied by eight.

Americans are the most giving and charitable people in the world, but our attention span is short, our priorities get turned upside down, and we get distracted by other things quickly. The nightly news hardly gives us a chance to process it before they’re giving us more.

I don’t mean to preach, I swear that I don’t, but I do intend to remind you about the people of Japan.

And if you’ve given already, thank you! If you haven’t, may I ask you to make a donation? I’ve got a new batch of t-shirts to sell and all proceeds are going to Japan relief.

And the other reason I want to remind you about Japan is to help to remind you that we’ve got so much to be thankful for … and so little to complain about.

Be quiet. Be still. Be grateful.

———————————————

I GOTTA GUY!!!

From time to time I like to share the names of people I do business with, and or trust, so that if you need services that they offer you’ll know someone trustworthy to contact.

1. Lexie Johnston – Realtor with Prudential Collins-Maury. 901-259-8550
2. Jennifer Reeb – Payroll services with PayChoice. 901-438-3303
3. Cindy Williams – Northwestern Mutual Financial Services. 901-761-7794

You can see a much longer and detailed list of people I refer on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website blog page. Once on the blog page use the search window, keyword “Veterinarian,” and it’ll take you to that page.

If you drop my name, you might get a discount. But for sure you’ll get their sympathy and prayers! 😉

If you’d like to be listed here in “I GOTTA GUY” just let me know!

—————————————–

JAPAN RELIEF

I’ve designed t-shirts to sell for the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund!

There are two designs to choose from. I hope you’ll buy one or more! All proceeds will go to the Red Cross for Japan Relief. For a donation of $20 or more you can have one of these unique shirts!

A huge “THANK YOU” to Bluff City Sports for doing such an awesome RUSH job for me! Thanks guys!

——————————————

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!

—————————————

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 bringing them!

A FREE WEEK!!!

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!

Current leaders: Mike Barta – 2 points, Dory Sellers – 2 points, Jessie Flanders – 2 points.

—————————————

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Spring training comes to an end this Saturday at Shelby Farms!!!
Wooohoooo!! Our last training run!! We’re going 2.5hrs!

Bring your water, sports drinks, and the fuel you hope to use in your half marathon.

This is a dress rehearsal, so wear the clothes, shoes, and socks that you intend to wear on race day!

Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 7 AM.

—————————————

MT. FUJI WOROUT NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 19 AT 0530.

————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK!

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

———————————-

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 BACK!! – CHANGE OF VENUE!

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are meeting again at 5:45pm at St. Mary’s track.

These two classes are for cardio only – power walking, jogging, running, speed work on the track – at St. Mary’s. (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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


MONSTERS & GYPSIES — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 4/6/11

Apr. 6th 2011

He was my older brother and my best friend.

Brothers mess with one another a LOT and Jack and I were no exception. He played and pranked and involved me in all sorts of tomfoolery, mischief, and what not. Lots of what not. You can almost lay all of the blame for me being how I am today on him! Thanks bro.

When I was 9 or 10 he thought it would be really funny to put a bra on me while I was sleeping. So while I was asleep he got one of our sister’s bra’s and put it on me … and then took some pictures. These pictures he showed to everyone. Thank God there was no internet and no smart phones then! (Years later, he continued showing these pictures to my buddies and to girls I dated! “Oh Honey,” he’d say, after showing them the pictures, “you don’t really want to date my ‘pervert brother,’ right?” And then he’d howl with delight.)

Anyway, I needed to get even for that little bra incident. I needed revenge! And my 10 year old brain concocted an awesome plan.

I would stowaway in his car.

On one of his dates.

Before he left the house to go pick up Diana, I crawled into the back floorboard of his car and hid under a blanket. (Why did Jack have a blanket in his backseat?)

No one, including our parents, knew I was doing this. I didn’t tell anyone for fear of a breach in security. I had to keep this on a need to know basis and I was sure that no one else needed to know. And I was afraid someone would tip him off. Plus I was pretty sure that my parents wouldn’t let me do it.

It was really fun hiding away in the backseat as we rolled down the road and him not knowing I was there. hehehe wooohooo!! I thought of myself as a super cool spy like James Bond or one of the guys on “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” At one point he started singing along with the radio and I had to bite my hand to keep from laughing out loud. And he must have been wearing a gallon of Old Spice, or whatever cologne he took from my dad. He was only 16, so I guess he hadn’t learned that cologne shouldn’t announce your arrival before you arrive! I could smell it even under a blanket in the back floor board. Poor Diana. I hoped she could hold her breath all night!

After she got in the car, I heard Jack say that he was taking her to the drive in movie. Oh boy! We’re going to the movies! I love movies! This is going to be LOTS of fun!

Riding along in the back floorboard under the blanket, I was only aware of the movement of the car, the music on the radio, and the muffled conversation in the front seat. It was a bench front seat, like the kind you find in Buick’s and pick up trucks. The kind of seat that allows the passenger to sit right up against the driver. I imagined that Jack had his left hand on the steering wheel and his right arm around Diana. Cute.

When we got to the drive in, Jack took the speaker off the stand and attached it to the window inside the car. Not long after that the movie started. After a while I couldn’t hear those two in the front seat talking anymore. I guess they were trying to listen to the movie. I knew they were still there because I never heard the car door open. And I could hear some unidentifiable sounds coming from the front seat. They were at least moving around up there. I wasn’t sure why they couldn’t seem to sit still.

I started listening to the movie and trying to figure out what the movie was all about. Monsters and gypsies I thought. Unfortunately the sounds in the front seat started getting a little louder and I couldn’t hear the speaker very well.

What were they up to?

And all of that moving around too! They sort of sounded out of breath, like they’d been riding their bikes, or running fast, or doing some sort of exercise. I really wanted to see what was going on, so I got out from under the blanket and popped my head up over the seat back.

“Hey! Whatchall dooin’?” I asked.

“OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!!!!” screeched Diana!

“#&%@!=$#^*?#&%!!!!!!!” yelled my brother!

They both jumped away from one another as if they’d been zapped with electricity! Then quickly and awkwardly fumbled around with re-buttoning and refastening items of their clothing that had somehow managed to become unbuttoned and unfastened. Whatever had gotten them out of breath had somehow made their buttons come undone and lose. It had also messed up Diana’s hair something awful.

And they weren’t excited to see me, as it turned out.

After her initial shock, Diana immediately became happy, almost relieved to see me, as she readjusted herself and smoothed down her hair. It seemed like I had just rescued her from something. I felt proud … for about a second. Jack on the other hand did not share Diana’s joy. He seemed to be really, really, REALLY upset with me! More upset than I thought he would be. It was as if I had just ruined something for him. Whatever that was. At any rate, I had apparently torpedoed some grandiose plan of his. He was not happy with me.

I stayed in the car with Diana while Jack went to the snack bar to call our parents and tell them where I was. (I hadn’t really thought my plan through and hadn’t considered what the repercussions were going to be for me when I got home. They weren’t good. I’ll just tell you that right now. My joy at getting even was short lived.) While at the snack bar, Jack bought us all a bunch of fun movie food too.

Unfortunately, when Jack returned with the goodies he also banished me from the car for the rest of the night.

I was ordered, on threat of death, to sit on the hood, watch the movie and eat my snacks. I was to look straight ahead at the giant movie screen. Under NO circumstances was I to turn around and look inside the car. “No matter WHAT,” he said.

Bless his heart, he still thought he had a chance with Diana after this fiasco. You gotta love that kind of optimism and persistence. But it was all just wishful thinking. Even I knew that.

As you can imagine, I kept turning around and checking to see what was going on in the front seat of the car. Nothing was going on. Unless you call Diana smiling and waving at me and Jack gritting his teeth and scowling at me and giving me a different kind of hand gesture, “something going on.”

It was a fun night until we got home. I was in deep deep trouble. Jack silently laughed at me standing behind our mother as she “got all up in my bidness.” It was pretty funny actually. I was grounded for the rest of my life.

Jack dated other girls, but I never got to go on any of those dates. A couple of years later my brother preceded me in the Marine Corps. Years later when he was home on leave, he ran into Diana again. They started a long distance relationship and guess who was his best man when they got married? To get even, I thought about wearing a bra on the outside of my tux, but thought better of it.

Diana is the mother of my nephew, Jeff, my brother’s only child.

We lost Jack 20 years ago this past Sunday. And a day never goes by that I don’t miss him.

There’s no real moral to this story. No real teaching point. But maybe today might be a good day to tell a brother or a sister … or a really cool uncle or aunt … that you love them and that you’re thankful that they’re in your life! It’s never wrong to tell someone special that you love them.

—————————-

I GOTTA GUY!!!

From time to time I like to share the names of people I do business with, and or trust, so that if you need services that they offer you’ll know someone trustworthy to contact.

1. Gwen Christensen – Flooring: carpet, tile, wood, etc. 901-382-2155
2. Melissa Cravens – Credit card processing. mcraven@ePaymentAmerica.com
3. Tony Gattas – Virtual Office and Fully Equipped Offices 901-767-7771

You can see a much longer and detailed list of people I refer on the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website blog page. Once on the blog page use the search window, keyword “Veterinarian,” and it’ll take you to that page.

If you drop my name, you might get a discount. But for sure you’ll get their sympathy and prayers! 😉

—————————————–

JAPAN RELIEF

I’ve designed t-shirts to sell for the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund!

There are two designs to choose from. I hope you’ll buy one or more! All proceeds will go to the Red Cross for Japan Relief. For a donation of $20 or more you can have one of these unique shirts!

A huge “THANK YOU” to Bluff City Sports for doing such an awesome RUSH job for me! Thanks guys!

——————————————

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!

—————————————

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 bringing them!

A FREE WEEK!!!

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!

Current leader: Mike Barta – 2 points.

—————————————

SPRING HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

Training continues this Saturday at Shelby Farms. Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at 7 AM. Only two more training runs and then it’s on like Donkey Kong!

—————————————

M-16 WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY, APRIL 12 AT 0530.

————————————-

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!

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

———————————-

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

———————————-

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 BACK!!

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are meeting again at 5:45pm at St. Agnes track.

These two classes are for cardio only – power walking, jogging, running, speed work on the track – at St. Agnes. (Walnut Grove and Mendenhall).

—————————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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