A little boy and his dad found a cocoon.
“What’s that?” asked the little boy.
“It’s a cocoon. It’s a little home where a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.” explained the dad.
Seeing a chance to have a little natural science lesson for his son, the dad took the cocoon inside the house so that the two of them could study the process.
Over the next few days the little boy watched in wonder, imagining how the caterpillar was transforming into a beautiful butterfly, and reporting the progress to his dad.
One morning before the dad left for work, he and his son watched as the cocoon started to move and shake. The little boy got very excited and wanted to know what was going on.
“The caterpillar has transformed into a butterfly and is now trying to get out of the cocoon!” said the dad.
The little boy’s eyes were glued to the shaking cocoon when the dad left for work.
When the dad returned home that evening, he found a terrible thing. The cocoon was still on the counter where he’d left it but it was open at one end. On the floor nearby lay the dead butterfly.
The dad called for his son who came into the kitchen to see what the dad had discovered.
“What happened?” asked the dad. “Did you see it?”
“Yes, I saw it and I tried to help.” answered the little boy, trying to hold back the tears.
“What do you mean you tried to help.”
“Well, I watched and watched and watched and the cocoon was shaking and the butterfly was trying so hard to get out. So, I helped him. I opened that end of the cocoon so that he could get out. But when he got out, he just fell on the floor and never moved again.”
The dad shook his head and then explained what happened.
“Son, the butterfly on the inside of the cocoon is weak and can’t fly. So it struggles everyday to get out of the cocoon. As it struggles to get out, its wings become stronger and stronger. When the butterfly’s wings are finally strong enough so that it is able to break out of the cocoon all by itself, its wings are finally strong enough for the butterfly to survive and fly.”
Over 2,500 years ago, the historian Thucydides, writing about the Great Peloponnesian War, said:
“We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the hardest school.”
He also said, “The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.” These were the first of many things I read about the history of combat and war when I was a young Marine learning the precepts of leadership in Non-commissioned Officer’s School.
Today it seems the worst things parents can do to their kids is allow them to struggle. I’m a dad. I get it. I understand the temptation to pave the way, fill the pot holes, and take away the road hazards for our kids.
But when things are made easy for kids and then made easier again by parents who overindulge, pamper, and spoil their kids, nothing good results. As a parent, I know how easy it is to do. We want more for our kids than what we ourselves had. We want to protect them from … the things in life … that made us … who … we … are.
Wait, … what?
In the process, kids get robbed of the opportunities to be creative, to learn patience, to cope, to adapt, to improvise, and to solve problems. Everything is given, provided, or arranged by doting, but well meaning parents.
Then parents get in competition with their friends, who are also parents, as they try to keep up with the latest fad, craze, class, camp, or lesson. The Smith’s have their kids in a slew of stuff, so the Johnson’s kids have to join in too! (Relax Smith and Johnson families … I just picked random names!)
In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”
There seems to be a woeful lack of “dearness” and no sense of value. Everything comes easy, few things mean much, and a vacant sense of accomplishment follows.
Some parents probably need professional scheduling software for their computers and smart phones just to keep up with all of the camps, classes, and superfluous play-dates. Kids are over-scheduled, overindulged, spoiled, and egocentric. They have a colossal sense of entitlement that grows like a cancer and a diminishing sense of respect and knowledge of proper behavior towards adults and their environment. A quick visit to any fast food joint at lunchtime this summer will be more than enough evidence to make my point. Real housewives of Memphis will be in the local Chic-fil-A negotiating with the little darlings to finish their lunch. Or you’ll hear moms begging and negotiating with them to please get out of the bin of plastic balls because it’s time to go to your golf lesson.
I never negotiated with my children and the only time they said no to me was when I asked them if they’d like to spend the rest of the day working in the yard.
Spoiled little demons learn early on that they are the center of their parent’s lives and that mom and dad’s role is to make them happy and comfortable. The kids aren’t an addition to their parent’s lives … they ARE their parent’s lives. And you really can’t blame the kids. It’s not their fault that their parents are incompetent.
It’s a tough balancing act, I know. But today there’s no act at all. The scales are clearly out of balance and the kids are winning. And society will lose.
When I returned from Japan in 1998, I joined the faculty and coaching staff of a local private high school. The lexicon of new words added to my vocabulary during those first few months included phrases I’d never heard of before like “participation trophy.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Everyone gets a trophy at the end of the season, Coach Ludlow, and you need to order them now,” said the Athletic Director.
I don’t have a learning disability and I’ve got several degrees from reputable schools, but I had to have that one explained to me more than twice.
I refused to do it. “Participation trophies?” Why the very idea!
OMG! You’d have thought that I’d just committed high treason. Parents, teachers, and administrators got mad at me. I mean really really mad at me. But oddly enough, none of the kids got mad at me. See, they’d been getting those worthless and meaningless “participation trophies” ever since they were in T-ball and another goofy trohphy to clutter up their shelves wasn’t going to mean anything to them.
Eventually I had to give up and give in and buy the stupid participation trophies … just to appease the kids? No, the STUPID adults! The “awards” ceremony was like a bad episode of Oprah. “YOU GET A TROPHY AND YOU GET A TROPHY AND YOU GET A TROPHY!!” Stupid.
The sense of accomplishment that I give you at USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP is intentional. Bragging rights are pretty cool. You’ve chosen one of the hardest workouts that you can do without actually joining the Marine Corps and you’re doing it under Spartan conditions! (“THIS … IS … SPARTA!”) It’s not unlike the bragging rights I enjoy as a Marine. And you get a piece of that too!
Bragging rights … because you struggle and you overcome. Because you work hard and take a backseat to no other workout!
Allow your kid to work hard … and be bored … to be uncomfortable … and to struggle … and to have to wait on things … and to have to look out the window and imagine.
You want to be a good parent? Teach your kids the meaning of dearness. Teach them the meaning of scarcity. Give them the gift of struggle. It will make their wings strong. And when it’s time, they will soar on their own!
And isn’t that what you really and truly want for your kids?
“For he is best who is trained in the hardest school.”
“Get fit for summer, stay fit for life!”
“If you want to look like an athlete, train like one!”
IT’S HOT, HOT, HOT!
If the heat index is 100 or more, we’ll move the Quarterdeck inside. Be sure to hydrate before the workouts and don’t forget to bring water with you!
The evening class will use the courtyard – where the flagpole is – on days when the heat index is below 100 but the temperature is a little too toasty for the Quarterdeck to be in the fenced in playground.
ST. JUDE HALF MARATHON!
The St. Jude Half Marathon will be the first Saturday in December. But you should register NOW if you want to run it! The race sold out last year by the end of August and this year will be no exception. It’ll fill up fast!!! If you’ve never run it, you are in luck! I can train you to run it! But you need to register NOW!
My St. Jude Half Marathon Training will begin on Saturday, September 3. To qualify for the training you only need to be able to “run” 3 miles in 36 minutes or less. YOU CAN DO THIS!! I’ve trained hundreds of first time half marathoners to run it!
RIVER PIRATES SETTNG SAIL
WHITEWATER RAFTING VOYAGE IN AUGUST
The River Pirates of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP set sail on August 27th! Wanna join the crew?
Would you like to go to the Ocoee River and do some whitewater rafting?
We’ve taken groups in the past to the Ocoee and had LOTS of fun! You don’t have to be experienced at all. Beginners have the best stories to tell!
Later this afternoon I’m going to post all of the details for the trip on the website blog. (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) If you’re interested, check the details and act quick. Crew members are capped at 15. Friends of yours are welcome too!
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. Rob McGregor, Mr. McGregor’s Garden – lawn mowing, yard maintainence, and such. 901-428-6401
2. Randal Rhea, Attorney at Law. Our own “heavy hitter!” Tickets, criminal matters, divorces, and such. 901-299-0596
3. Richard Bourland – “Your Boot Camp Handyman” – Home Improvement, Carpentry, Custom Bunk Beds and other Woodworking Services, email@example.com, 901.826-6695. www.midsouthbunkbeds.com
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 “Buddy,” 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!
COLLEGE STUDENT SUMMER SPECIAL
College students home for the summer get a discount! Contact me for details!
UNEMPLOYED PERSON’S DISCOUNT
If you’ve been a Boot Camper in the past and you are currently unemployed, you can get a special discount. Email me for the details. Seriously! Email me! NOW! And don’t be embarrassed. I will make you an offer that you can’t refuse. Seriously.
LAW ENFORCEMENT AND FIRE DEPARTMENT DISCOUNTS
Police Officers, Sheriff’s Deputies, and Memphis Firefighters qualify for a special discount! It’s the least I can do to ensure that our law enforcement officers and firefighters are fit for their job!! Pass the word!
NEXT MONDAY, JULY 4, ONE WORKOUT AT 0700! GUESTS ARE WELCOME!
NEXT TUESDAY, JULY 5, M-16 WORKOUT 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 – there are other “boot camps” out there, you know.
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!
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 is standing down for the summer. You 0830 Boot Campers are, of course, invited to attend any and all of the other classes.
The 0645 Class will continue to meet as usual on MWF!
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 AT ST. MARY”S!!
The Tuesday and Thursday evening walk/jog/run sessions meet at 5:45pm at St. Mary’s track, weather permitting. The Church of the Holy Communion and St. Mary’s School have been kind enough to allow us to use their track, provided that their athletic activities don’t make our use of the track unwise or impossible. My thanks to Julie Fike at CHC for granting permission for us to use their track.
These two sessions 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).
You may also choose to run in the neighborhood around the school instead of using the track.
A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
For you visual learners, you’ll find this an easy way to glance at the week or month and see where the workouts will be, if there’s a venue change.
What would you do if money were not an issue, fear were not a factor, and failure were not an option?
To your optimum health and fitness!
SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!
Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145