Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for November, 2011

She Was Wrong — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 11/30/2011

Nov. 30th 2011

I was never on Oprah.

Being on Oprah was on my bucket list, my vision board, my astral projection star chart. But I didn’t make it.

I didn’t get to jump up and down on the Tom Cruise Couch. dang! And I was all prepared to declare my love for some unnamed mystery woman on “my” episode. sigh.

I admit it. I watched Oprah.

Occasionally.

Every once in a while.

Well, certainly when Kate Beckinsale was on … or Jessica Biel … or Sandra Bullock … ummm, you get the idea.

Brad Pitt and George Cloney watched it too. Remember that scene in one of the “Ocean’s” movies where the two of them were watching it and they got all emotional? Funny stuff.

One show a few years ago was probably the most enlightening and eye opening television program I’ve ever seen.

The show started with a fake crime on the sidewalks outside Harpo Studios, where the show was filmed. The line of people to get into the studio stretched around the block. The Oprah staff staged a purse snatching and had the snatcher running past the crowd on the sidewalk followed by the snatchee.

Then the staff pretended to take official police statements from people who saw the “crime” to get their eye-witness accounts.

The results were amazing … and shocking.

Fifty people interviewed saw vastly different things. Their accounts varied in just about every conceivable category. They disagreed on the clothing of the perp and the vic (that’s Law & Order talk). They disagreed on the description of the snatched purse and even on the ethnicity and age of the snatcher. Everything was jacked up.

The theme of the show was misconceptions, misunderstandings, prejudices, presumptions, and general misinterpretations of the world around us based on limited information.

The staff also went out on the streets of Chicago and asked women to look at a man’s picture and rate his attractiveness based on a) the woman having knowledge of the man’s profession and annual income, or b) the woman NOT having any knowledge of those things.

The staff members altered the profession and income on the same picture of the same guy, but not the picture itself, to see if the profile would alter the man’s perceived attractiveness.

On a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being … well … TEN, the guy was rated 4.5 to 6 when there was no knowledge of the man’s profession or income. But when the same guy’s picture was shown on the streets of Chicago to random women, and the women were told of the guy’s profession and income, the results were … sad.

The dude in the picture, we’ll call him Bob, when portrayed, as a clerk at Bass Pro or The Gap making $35K a year got no love. Bob was a 3 or 4.

But when Bob was Robert, the investment banker who made close to 7 figures, BAM! Robert was a solid 9! (“You had me at ‘trust fund.'”)

And you women call us shallow when we’re attracted to … say … Kate Beckinsale, or Jessica Biel … or Sandy.

When I was on active duty in the Marine Corps I got entangled in a drama that changed my life.

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? Colleagues, but not buddies. Actually, we didn’t really like one another. But because we lived in the same barracks, and he and I were both Non-Commissioned Officers, out-ranking the other 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 “adjusting his attitude” at the time he was accused of being in town raping that girl. He and I got into an argument that escalated into a shoving match that escalated into a free-for-all.

At his trial I had to testify to all of that. And don’t think I didn’t remind him that I had him by the … well … you know … I had his career in my hands and if he wanted to stay out of prison, he needed to quit being a pain … and other stuff.

He was found innocent of the rape and the girl actually recanted. Turns out that the two of them were in the same night class at the college out in town and she had failed to get his attention in the usual ways, namely, cleavage and flirting. So, in her little crazy mind, accusing him of rape would get his attention.

One of the witnesses for the prosecution was a woman who swore under oath that she saw my roommate that evening at the college with the girl he was supposed to have raped. The woman wasn’t a friend of either the alleged victim or my roommate, just another member of the same class. But she was sure!

And she was surely wrong.

That experience really shook me to the core. The prosecution tried to portray ME as a good friend of the accused. Crazy! The prosecutor took small insignificant details of my “relationship” with him to make it look like we were good friends and that I’d lie for my buddy under oath to keep him out of Leavenworth.

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 then construct and fabricate the other 90% based on our personal feelings about the person or thing in question. If we like the person, we fabricate a sympathetic 90%. If we don’t like them, we do just the opposite.

Ever been the victim of the 10/90 Rule of Misinterpretation?

Is there anything more frustrating, hurtful, or just downright wrong?!

According to Redbook magazine, today is “No Judgment Day.”

I like it! I think we should extend it to include the whole year.

Haven’t we all lived long enough to understand that no matter how flat you press the pancake, it’ll still have two sides?

And haven’t we all lived long enough to have been misunderstood, to have had our lives maligned and retold to the point that we don’t even recognize ourselves in the retelling?

We’ve all been innocent but treated as guilty at some point, haven’t we?

Don’t we all know what it feels like to have someone with a grudge turn our reputation upside down with malicious and scandalous lies?

And don’t we all know what it feels like to have people believe those horrible stories, people we once numbered among our friends?

I hope that today you’ll reserve judgment. In fact, I hope that today you’ll retire judgment all together and be a little more tolerant and a lot more open minded. Let me rephrase that and say A LOT more tolerant and A LOT more open minded!

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

Amen, Brother. Amen.

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ALPHA OMEGA VETERAN’S SERVICES

Again this year we’ll be collecting men’s and women’s gently used coats, jackets, gloves, and hats for Alpha Omega from November 15 to December 15.
AOVS is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.
Bring ‘em to boot camp and I’ll collect them for AOVS.

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COLD WEATHER POLICY

Anytime the wind-chill drops below 30 – in the 38117 zip code! — we’ll go inside. Get the Weather.com app for your phone and check to see what the temperature “feels like.” That’s the number we’ll use. What it FEELS LIKE!

The 0645 Class is inside beginning now until March 2012 We’ll use the “blue gym” aka “the pizza gym!”

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ST. JUDE HALF MARATHON RUNNERS!

The Buffalo Runners will be rumbling this Saturday!!

Congratulations to all of you who trained with me this year! You’re ready!!

Check my blog on the website (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) for tips, advice, and race day strategies for a successful half marathon!

Good luck everyone!!

NOT RUNNING, BUT WANNA CHEER WITH ME?

If you’d like to join me on the sideline cheering for the runners, I’ll be in the median on North Parkway near Avalon and Dickinson. I’ll have a banner and hopefully some hot apple cider.

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M-16 WORKOUT NEXT TUESDAY AT 0530 AT CUMC

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HELP WANTED

Do you know of someone who could be another Sergeant Tony?

I’m looking to expand the empire beyond Memphis.

I’d especially like to move into north Mississippi or northern Shelby County. Like Hernando or Millington! But someone in another major city would be great too.

Here’s a little of what I’m looking for in a prospective “Sergeant Tony.”
* Former military, preferably a Marine.
* College degree, or working toward it.
* Exercise certification, military or civilian, or working toward it.
* Personally interested and involved in a lifestyle of fitness and athletics.
* Good communication skills, written and oral. (I answer about 40 emails a day, write a newsletter, and answer more than a half dozen or so daily Boot Camp related phone calls)
* Outgoing personality with a GREAT sense of humor!
* Genuinely likes people, hiding behind a sadistic facade.
* Humble, modest, caring, and sensitive (ok, ok, whatever) You get the idea.

If you know of someone who would be a good fit, please forward this on to them and direct them to the website:www .usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

————————————————————

USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

0530 Monday through Friday
0645 M-W-F
0830 M-W-F
5:45 PM: Monday and Wednesday, and 5:30 PM on Friday.
THE TUESDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL FEB 2012

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FACEBOOK

Find me on Facebook and make me your friend! (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629618416) I’ll make you mine! Then “like” the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP page!

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“Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking that makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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People I’m Glad I’m Not — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 11/22/2011

Nov. 22nd 2011

Did the Pilgrims have a Thanksgiving Day feast in 1621 like the one’s portrayed in those Norman Rockwell paintings?

I like to imagine so.

But I’m pretty sure it didn’t happen like that at all.

The day wasn’t always about feasting, floats, and football.

Though our country had loosely celebrated a day of thanksgiving since the Revolutionary War and George Washington’s victory at Saratoga. We can actually thank Sarah Hale, the author of the nursery rhyme, “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” for our national holiday. It’s true!

Hale wrote President Abraham Lincoln a letter and prevailed upon him to establish a day of national thanksgiving. Lincoln, seeing the misery and despair brought upon the country by a bloody and divisive civil war, established our national day of Thanksgiving beginning in November 1863.

I think Lincoln hoped that a day of national remembrance of all that we shared collectively as a nation, both North and South, would stir the hearts of Southerners who still embraced a sense of American identity and that it would help to ameliorate the strife and bring a quicker end to the war.

I was asked recently why the Detroit Lions get to have a national audience on Thanksgiving Day? In case you missed it, the Lions play every Thanksgiving Day. The answer is, it was the Lions who came up with the idea of playing on Thanksgiving Day in the first place!

In 1934 the Chicago Bears, at the invitation of the Detroit Lions, traveled to Detroit and played the first Thanksgiving Day professional football game. It was the first time that a professional football game was broadcast with a national radio audience. And thus began the tradition of listening to, and then watching, the Detroit Lions play on Thanksgiving Day.

I hope they win on Thursday. They’re off to their best season in years (7-3) after being the worst team in the NFL for a couple of years. … but … they’re playing Green Bay, the defending Super Bowl Champs who are 10-0. Oddly enough, Detroit played Green Bay on Thanksgiving Day in 1962 when the Packers were also 10-0 and were the defending league champions!

Detroit won that game in ’62!

However you choose to celebrate Thanksgiving I hope that you’ll be filled with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for your life, for what you have, and for what this year has brought you. Is there anything so winsome as heartfelt gratitude and humility? Good parents always insist that their children say “please” and “thank you.” Mom said those were the “magic words” and she wasn’t wrong!

Each of us owes our station in life to the help and assistance of others. Even if you were born into privilege, you can thank those who made that possible.

It’s the turtle sitting on the fencepost, thing.

The turtle didn’t get there by itself.

And it illustrates that the things to be most grateful for in life aren’t things at all. The people in my life are far more important than any of the things I own. Well, except for my bikes and my iPod and my computer and my iPhone and my … (I’m joking, of course … probably … well, mostly.)

I’m also grateful for people who aren’t in my life. I’m sometimes reminded to be grateful for the boundaries I’ve established in my life that keep the dysfunctional, the toxic, the immature, the self-righteous, and the users out.

I also have a list that I keep that helps me to be thankful on a bad day. The list is called “People I’m Glad I’m Not.” There are names on that list that you’d recognize: Bernie Madoff, John Edwards, Nancy Grace, Casey Anthony, the “Octomom,” OJ Simpson, Kathy Lee Gifford, Frank Gifford, Stedman. Odds are, if you’re reading this, you aren’t on that list.

I’m grateful for my possessions, but I hold on to them loosely. Experience says that manmade things break, get lost, get stolen, lose their shine, or become obsolete. You can see that in quick time on Christmas day when the child who was going crazy for the toy he found under the tree that morning is ignoring it by Christmas afternoon and is now playing with the box that it came in.

Anybody still reading this on your Gateway computer?

Today I want to genuinely and sincerely express my own gratitude to you, those of you who do more than just read these newsletters. To you who show up on the Quarterdeck — and particularly for you who have been showing up for years — you enrich my life with your friendship and continued participation in the program and I am very grateful for you! The following have been with me for five years or more and I’m so thankful for you (in no particular order): Richard Bourland, David Caffey, Margaret Caffey, Pat McGhee, Amy Singer, Scot Bearup, Key Shelton, Melissa Moore, Andrew Forsdick, Peter Pettit, Louis Glazer, Teri Trotter, Beth Rehrig, Teri Hirt, Leslie Garey, Leesa Jensen, Buddy Flynn, Gary Thompson, Henry Kenworthy, George Rose, Ralph Braden, Anne Kenworthy, Hank Brown, Frank Jemison, Matt Green, Hank Hill, Nancy Miller, Kay Ryan, Gwyn Fisher, Jean Johnston, Anne Mead, Leslie Acker Robinson, Sarah Vickers, John Whittemore, Calvit Ratcliffe, Jeff Lee, John Winford, Dory Sellers, Michelle Dunn, Alan Shaeffer, Matt Prince, David Townsend, Jeanne Jemison, Megan Warr, Oscar Adams, Rob Norcross, Wendy Shea, and Celeste Pryor. (Please let me know if I’ve missed one of you 5 year + veterans!)

My deepest and heartfelt thanks to you who have been with me for all of these years, through thick and thin! Let’s keep gettin’ some!

Please allow me to say thank you, to the veteran boot camper and to the newest noob, for being a part of my life. My life revolves around my time spent with you, making me the luckiest guy in the world! I’m only successful if YOU are successful!

And equally important, I am thankful for the regular payment of your fees, which keeps me from living under the bridge, which is nice. 😉

Today, and everyday, thank you very much for being a part of my life and a part of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP! You guys are awesome!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

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How to Avoid Gaining Weight on Thursday

1. Eat slowly. The slower you eat, the less you will eat.

2. Use the smallest plate available.

3. Do not go back for seconds.

4. Drink a lot of water 20 to 30 minutes BEFORE you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving meal.

5. Think small portions, especially small portions of desert. Most of the time you only want the “taste” of something, so eat only 1/3 of what is generally thought to be a regular piece of pie, for example. It’ll be plenty.

6. Observe “The Sovereignty of Island Eating.” Think of those small portions on your plate as “sovereign islands” that can’t touch any of the other islands! So, no creating continents! No invading! No hostile takeovers! The mashed ‘taters can’t hook up with the sweet ‘taters to create a “tater alliance!” hahaha You get the idea! NO TOUCHING!

OR …

1. Eat big, or don’t eat at all.
2. Choose the largest plate available. Fill ‘er up!
3. Use carrot sticks and celery to build “sideboards” on your plate.
4. Go back for seconds and thirds.
5. Unbuckle your belt and unbutton your pants to allow for more belly expansion as you start on your third plate.
6. Butter, butter, butter! And rolls! Lots and lots of rolls!
7. Moderation is for sissies! Put the hurt on the desert!
8. Waddle back to the Quarterdeck on Monday!

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Thanksgiving Week Schedule

Wednesday
All morning classes meet as scheduled.
No evening class on Wednesday

Thursday
No classes. Instead run the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 4 Miler at Shelby Farms. Register NOW!

Friday
Stand down. No class.

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MT. FUJI NEXT TUESDAY, 28 NOV!

Ours will be the only “strong arms” there next Tuesday!

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HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

Our annual Holiday Challenge weigh-in began on Monday! The last weigh-in opportunity will be at the 0830 class tomorrow morning.

Here’s how it works.

Participants pay $50 to enter the challenge and then step on my scales. I will write down your weight. (All confidential)

On Monday, January 2nd, (the day we return from our Christmas Break) I will weigh you again.

If you have maintained your pre-Thanksgiving weight, you get a FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP!

If you’ve LOST 5 weight over the holidays, you get an additional SECOND FREE MONTH!

If you’ve LOST 5 or more, you get an additional THIRD FREE MONTH!

(All awards are non-transferable and redeemable beginning in April 2012. Pregnant women due to deliver during the challenge are not permitted to participate, Becky Lawler!)

This is an AWESOME Challenge! Every year the average American gains 8 to 10 pounds during the holidays. But Holiday Challengers don’t!!

Last year I gave away over $1,800 of FREE BOOT CAMP!

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ALPHA OMEGA VETERAN’S SERVICES
Again this year we’ll be collecting men’s and women’s gently used coats, jackets, gloves, and hats for Alpha Omega from November 15 to December 15.
AOVS is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.
Bring ‘em to boot camp and I’ll collect them for AOVS.
——————————
COLD WEATHER POLICY
Anytime the wind-chill drops below 30 – in the 38117 zip code! — we’ll go inside.
The 0645 Class will move inside on Monday, December 5th for their annual Winter Hibernation. We’ll use the “blue gym” aka “the pizza gym!”
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ST. JUDE HALF MARATHON RUNNERS!

Buffalo Runners, your training is complete! Wooohooooo!!!

Congratulations to all of you who trained with me this year! You’re ready!!

Check my blog on the website (http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/) for tips, advice, and race day strategies for a successful half marathon!

Good luck everyone!!

NOT RUNNING, BUT WANNA CHEER?

If you’d like to join me on the sideline cheering for the runners, I’ll be in the median on North Parkway near Avalon and Dickinson. I’ll have a banner and hopefully some hot apple cider.

———————————————-

HELP WANTED

Do you know of someone who could be another Sergeant Tony?

I’m looking to expand the empire beyond Memphis.

I’d especially like to move into north Mississippi or northern Shelby County. Like Hernando or Millington! But someone in another major city would be great too.

Here’s a little of what I’m looking for in a prospective “Sergeant Tony.”
* Former military, preferably a Marine.
* College degree, or working toward it.
* Exercise certification, military or civilian, or working toward it.
* Personally interested and involved in a lifestyle of fitness and athletics.
* Good communication skills, written and oral. (I answer about 40 emails a day, write a newsletter, and answer more than a half dozen or so daily Boot Camp related phone calls)
* Outgoing personality with a GREAT sense of humor!
* Genuinely likes people, hiding behind a sadistic facade.
* Humble, modest, caring, and sensitive (ok, ok, whatever) You get the idea.

If you know of someone who would be a good fit, please forward this on to them and direct them to the website:www .usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

————————————————————

USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

0530 Monday through Friday
0645 M-W-F
0830 M-W-F
5:45 PM: Monday and Wednesday, and 5:30 PM on Friday.
THE TUESDAY EVENING CLASSES ARE ON HIATUS UNTIL FEB 2012

—————————————————–

FACEBOOK

Find me on Facebook and make me your friend! (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=629618416) I’ll make you mine! Then “like” the USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP page!

————————————————

“Nothing is neither good nor bad, but thinking that makes it so.”
~ William Shakespeare

To your continued good health and fitness!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com

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Protected: Sergeant Tony’s Tips and Strategies for Running the St. Jude Half Marathon

Nov. 21st 2011

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Aces & Eights — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 11/16/2011

Nov. 16th 2011

You probably don’t know Kathy Warren.

You might know someone “named” Kathy Warren, because according to Facebook there’s a ton of Kathy Warrens out there.

But I’m pretty sure that the one I’m talking about isn’t the one that you might know.

But I bet every one of you have heard the voice of Kathy Warren. “THE” Kathy Warren, that is.

Nothing about Kathy Warren would indicate that she would be so well known, even more than 30 years since she became “famous.” Nothing about Kathy Warren’s education or background would lead you to think that she should be an important part of a pop song that went to #1. She doesn’t play an instrument or sing.

Some would say that she was just lucky.

It’s amazing how many famous people, even those who are obviously talented, claim that their good fortune and fame were the result of good luck. You hear it all the time. I recently heard Sting say that he had just been lucky.

Really?

What is luck?

I’m not going to wade into the deep and often unsettling waters of providence versus fate, or intelligent design over random chance, free-will versus predetermined will, or even try to tackle the notion that “God helps those who help themselves.” That last one was a theological staple around the Ludlow house when I was growing up. It was followed by “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and then immediately followed by “now, go clean up your room!” Later when I became an insufferable little know it all, I announced that the cleanliness and Godliness thing weren’t in the Bible. That earned me an entire weekend of divine cleaning.

OK, back to luck.

What is pretty clear to me is that good things happen to certain people and crappy things happen to others.

I have some Facebook friends who fall into that last category. Seems that everyday of their lives, and every one of their Facebook status updates are a different version of the same song, “woe is me,” “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,” and “gloom, despair, and agony on me.” In other words, they’re really fun people. “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all” kind of people.

But what if you could do things to alter your “luck.” What if you could alter, adjust, and realign your day to day life to increase your luck like the lucky people do?

Interested?

Ten Ways to Increase Your Luck

1. Pay attention to your surroundings.

You won’t spot the $20 bill on the sidewalk unless you’re looking. Be alert! Look around! Keep your eyes and ears open! You never know what you’ll discover by accident.

2. Strike up conversations with strangers (Ladies, you probably need to be a LITTLE cautious here.)

You never know who you’ll meet, the contacts you’ll establish, or the new friends you’ll make in the most average of places: the line at the grocery, the bank, the county jail (just checking to see if you’re awake). I have a friend who had a life changing experience after she got locked up for DUI. You meet some interesting people in jail … so I’ve heard.

Talking to random people is one of my favorite things to do! Some people are more risk-free than others: clerks, waiters, waitresses, and sales people are usually less risky and less shady than street people talking to themselves, half naked guys in a convenience store, or Ole Miss grads.

3. Unfriend your negative “friends.”

This is a Facebook thing that you can actually do in real life. That’s right. If someone is dragging you down, robbing you of your joy, making you feel badly about yourself, sucking all of the energy out of your life, then just cut ‘em loose!

If you have the power to choose and the power to dismiss them from your life, don’t allow anyone inside who doesn’t make you happy, inspire you to be a better person, respect you, or make you feel loved and appreciated. If they’re prone to frequent melt-downs, outbursts, temper tantrums, drunk drama and other forms of inappropriate behavior … “hey, hey, hey, goooooood bye!”

When it’s in your power to do so, deep six the negative people from your life. People who are sad, depressed, or tense tend to have tunnel vision and see nothing but the dark, gloomy, and sinister in life. And that kind of perspective on life is something that you don’t need. Plus, it’s not very lucky!

4. Vary your daily routine.

Take the long way home. Stop at a shop just to browse. Take a different route to work.

I know a woman who believes God is going to give her a husband. She’s been waiting and praying for over 20 years. She goes to work, comes home, and goes to church. Her routine never varies. She travels the exact same roads and never colors outside the lines. I guess she’s going to marry the FedEx guy. I don’t think she’s met anyone new in years.

5. Be aggressive and decisive about making the changes you want in your life.

No one is more interested in you and your dreams than YOU are! That means that the odds of someone arriving at your door, or in your life, to put you on the fast track to a new or better life is slim and none. Mostly none.

Get on with it!

A sailboat isn’t maneuverable unless it’s moving. It needs wind in its sails. When it’s dead in the water, it’s impossible to steer.

MOVE!

Nike said, “Just Do It” And Shakespeare (or Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, your choice) said, “The bow is drawn, make straight the arrow.”

The universe rewards movement, activity, and energy. Bust a move!

6. Follow your hunches and gut feelings.

Pay attention when something doesn’t feel quite right. I’m not talking about daily paranoia or constant suspicion of everything around you – which is a clear indication of the need for mental health counseling ASAP! But listen when your gut talks to you. Pay attention to the red flags … AND the green ones too!

I’ve listened to that little voice before and been soooo happy that I did. And then … I’ve ignored that little voice waving the red flag and lived to regret it.

7. Expect good things.

If you think something good is going to happen you’ll be more likely to spot it when it does. And associated with this is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Miserable people assume the worst and usually get it.

Dropkick the drama queens (and kings) from your life. They’re usually miserable and want YOU to be miserable right along with them! They’re expecting doom. Leave them to it … without you!

8. Smile.

Not only does this inspire others to smile back, but it is the easiest and fastest thing you can do to make yourself look more attractive and accessible … unless you’re missing a lot of teeth. Then you should contact my friend, and sometimes Boot Camper, Dr. John Whittemore, DDS.

One morning I had the 0530 class smile at one another at the end of the workout. Some of those smiles were pretty scary! And the best I got from one of you was a sneer. Ask me if I had some fun at her expense! 😉

But it was quite interesting how the smiles turned to laughter and the whole vibe changed.

9. Outlast bad luck and look for opportunities.

Often a negative turn of events creates unexpected opportunities for good things. I started USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP because I was strapped for money twelve years ago and needed to supplement my teacher’s salary to make ends meet. Now look at the EMPIRE that has grown from me being broke!

When I first became self-employed, I was very very protective of my finances and was tight fisted with my money. One woman and her husband, not friends of mine, ridiculed my frugal behavior at the time and made fun of my struggle to create a successful business.

They’ve both filed for bankruptcy … twice … in the past 10 years. But I never did.

As an aside, I know that sometimes things happen beyond your control and bankruptcy is the only option to dig out of a bad situation.

What I’m talking about is financial irresponsibility. Like the woman I knew who was $47,000 in credit card debt with nothing to show for it and somehow managed to get a new car, just so that she had MORE debt when she filed for bankruptcy. Pity the poor guy who married that crazy chick! (He apparently ignored his gut and all of those red flags!)

Outlast the “set back” and look for opportunities!

10. Be positive, grateful, and thankful.

Ever notice how people who exhibit those things seem to be happy … seem to be so lucky? Putting positive energy out there into the world comes back to you! As one of you told me recently, “Tony, when people whine and complain they just become big ‘crap magnets.'”

The opposite is true too! When people are positive, grateful, and thankful they become magnets of great things, wonderful things, and “oh so many startlements.”

The music group, 10cc, recorded “I’m Not in Love” in 1975. At the time. the analog technique used to create that ethereal choral sound was unheard of. It was pretty cutting edge stuff at the time. It would be used by a number of groups afterward. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of the better known songs that copied the technique. And Enya’s success is completely dependent on those innovations.

I really like “I’m Not in Love.” There I said it. Whatever. Get over it! And one of the most important parts of the song is the obvious woman the singer is supposedly not in love with, saying “be quiet, big boys don’t cry.” The receptionist at the recording studio — Strawberry Studios — came out from behind the receptionist’s desk to be the voice of that woman, saying those six words. Six words that were essential in knowing that the singer really was in love. Six words that are a part of classic rock lexicography.

Kathy Warren said, “I was working at Strawberry Studios as a secretary and receptionist … when they (the members of the group) were trying to work out what to put in the middle eight. And a telephone call came through for Eric. So I went to the studio door and just opened it quietly and whispered, ‘Eric, there’s a phone call for you’. And they all said, ‘That’s it!’ The line they asked me to say was, ‘[whispered] Be quiet, big boys don’t cry’.”

And just like that, a lucky girl got luckier still. I’ll bet Kathy had already proven that she was positive, happy, helpful, and a team player. No wonder she was so lucky!

Good luck, everyone!

———————————

0830 CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT

The 0830 class will meet inside at CUMC on Friday, November 18. We’ll meet inside the “big gym” with weights and mats as usual! Pass the word!

—————————

HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

It’s almost time for Holiday Challenge 2011. What is this Holiday Challenge, you ask?

First, the reason for the challenge: The average American gains 8 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.

What the challenge is: If you choose to participate, I will weigh you during the week of Thanksgiving. You give me $50.

On the day that we come back to the Quarterdeck after the Christmas/New Year’s Eve Stand-down, I weigh you again.

If you’ve maintained your weight, you get a FREE MONTH.

If you’ve lost weight (less than 5 pounds) you get an additional FREE MONTH.

If you’ve lost more than 5 pounds, you get an additional FREE MONTH, making for a total of 3 FREE MONTHS!

More about the challenge later on the Quarterdeck!

————————————-

ALPHA OMEGA VETERAN’S SERVICES

Again this year we’ll be collecting men’s and women’s gently used coats, jackets, gloves, and hats for Alpha Omega from November 15 to December 15.

AOVS is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.

Bring ‘em to boot camp and I’ll collect them for AOVS.

——————————

COLD WEATHER POLICY

Anytime the windchill drops below 30, we’ll go inside.

The 0645 Class will move inside on Monday, December 5th for their annual Winter Hibernation.

———————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

The St. Jude Half Marathon will conclude this Saturday, November 19!!!

We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms at 7am.

Saturday’s run will be for 2hrs 30 min!

The Official Half Marathon Training long sleeve t’s will be available on Saturday! If you won’t be at Saturday’s run but want a shirt, let me know which color and size. They’re 20 bucks and are only available for those who are training with me now, OR for those who’ve trained with me in the past!

If you’re NOT training for a half marathon but want to get your one hour of continuous cardio with a group, you can join us for that hour. We’ll be passing through the parking lot of the Visitor’s Center about every 25 minutes or so from 7:10 on.

————————————

TOMORROW, Thursday, November 17 is BOGA at 0530 in the “blue” gym.

NEXT TUESDAY, November 22 is the Mt. Fuji Workout at the U of M at 0530.

NEXT THURSDAY is Thanksgiving. We’ll be standing down. Instead, run the Turkey Trot 4 Miler on Thanksgiving morning. You can register online.
http://memphisturkeytrot.racesonline.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=site.display&page_id=1988

Friday, November 25 – Day after Thanksgiving schedule: TBA. Stay tuned.

——————————————

I GOTTA GUY!!! (And a GAL)

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. Margaret Caffey.
Thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal to see Harry Potter, or maybe a Disney Cruise – Margaret Caffey has turned her passion for all things Disney into a career and is now a travel agent with MEI & Mouse Fan Travel. For all your Disney travel planning or just to ask a question call Margaret at 901-828-6354. Also please take a second to ‘like’ her Facebook page at Mouse Fan Margaret. (https://www.facebook.com/login/setashome.php?ref=login#!/pages/Mouse-Fan-Margaret/130316623686981).

PS – I hear she knows a lot about all the cruise lines too! Margret is MY personal Disney trip planner! No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows more about Disney than Mags!

2. Dr John Whittemore was voted Best Family Dentist in Memphis Parent Magazine’s most recent survey.
Also voted Hot List Cosmetic Dentist in the Memphis Flyer and listed among Top Dentists in Memphis Magazine every year. If you want personalized, caring general or cosmetic dentistry on a whole other level than you’ve experienced before, call John’s office to make an appointment. (901)-754-0540.

John is also selling his 4BR/3BA house on Audubon Drive.

3. Richard Bourland – “Your Boot Camp Handyman” – Home Improvement, Carpentry, Custom Bunk Beds and other Woodworking Services, rebourland@yahoo.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!

——————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS!

The monthly fee of $75 can be discounted to $55!

DID YOU HEAR THAT?

THE MONTHLY FEE OF $75 CAN BE DISCOUNTED TO $55!

Here’s how …

Make a Facebook status update and get a discount!

For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, you can take $2.50 off your reenlistment fee for each update, up to $20 off for any given month! You can go from $75 to $55 a month!!

Your status update has to be a SPECIFIC reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name. (There are fake boot camps out there!!)

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

Use your own wording and personality, just include the specifics.

So log on and get started today!

—————————————

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!

—————————————–

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

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 CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes are standing down until February. So no Tues/Thurs evening classes until then.

———————————————-

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.

——————-

ASK YOUR DOCTOR IF GETTING OFF YOUR ASS IS RIGHT FOR YOU!

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
http://www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/esuite/home/combatchallenge

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


ON BEHALF OF … — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 11/9/2011

Nov. 9th 2011

I didn’t sign up for this, I said to myself.

She stood in front of me, tears running down her cheeks, falling from her pretty face and landing on my shoes. And then she put her arms around me and sobbed into my shoulder.

She just kept saying “why, why, why?”

A woman’s tears are like kryptonite to me. But this was worse. Much worse.

But I just stood there, not knowing what to do. We hadn’t practiced this.

I didn’t hold her. I didn’t even speak to her to try to console her. I couldn’t. I tried not to even make eye contact with her. But I did … for just a brief second. I knew I shouldn’t have. I quickly broke the eye contact and resumed looking straight ahead, as if I had not heard her crying or was even aware of the tears that had fallen on my shoes.

But I was aware. I was aware down deep in my soul.

After a few minutes, we were outside of the church and I was helping to carry the casket of her fallen Marine husband, along with 5 other Marines in the funeral detail; all of us in Dress Blues and all of us feeling the same things I felt, though our faces never betrayed those feelings.

There were 15 of us in the Marine Corps funeral detail assigned to accompany the body of our fellow Marine all the way to his burial site. We had been hand-picked to perform this final ritual for one of our own and had practiced the ceremony over and over for a couple of days prior to the funeral. Six of us would be pallbearers of the flag draped coffin. Seven of us would be firing the 21 gun salute, and one Marine would stand off in the distance and play Taps. Our detail’s commanding officer was a Marine Captain named Cummings who was in charge of the detail.

None of us volunteered for this. “Funeral Detail” was not our regular job as Marines. And though none of wanted to be there, all of us felt the same sense of duty, obligation, and honor to perform this last rite for our brother Marine. None of us knew him, but all of us felt a bond with him.

Marines “know” one another. It’s the bond of The Corps. I can meet a Marine who served in WWII or one who just graduated from boot camp last week and feel the same sense of brotherhood and camaraderie, the same esprit de corps. Marine Corps boot camp has a way of transforming strangers into brothers and sisters.

“Marine” is an earned title and is always capitalized. Earning that title forever sets us apart. If you want to start a fight with us, call a Marine, no longer on active duty, an “Ex-Marine.” The bond of the eagle, globe, and anchor is a strong one that crosses generations and genders. We have a cadence – the chanting of a formation on the run or on the march – in the Marine Corps that has the phrase:
“I’ll be a Marine ‘til the day I die,
Motivated and Semper Fi!”

That day, even in death, we were burying a Marine. And though he was a stranger, we were laying to rest a brother.

During the funeral service in the church, the six of us pallbearers sat on the front pew at the position of “seated attention.” We sat with our backs straight, our heads up, looking straight ahead, no moving at all. No fidgeting. No touching our faces or adjusting in our seats.

After the minister’s sermon, on a silent signal, the six of us stood up together and assumed the position of attention. The family filed past us to the casket that was just in front of us. They paid their last respects and as the funeral home director was closing the lid on the casket, the widow stopped in front of me, for reasons I don’t know — maybe because I was the first in line — and fell apart. She embraced me and cried until her father came alongside her and took her by the arm to lead her out of the church. But not until after she’d shed tears on my shoes and shoulder … and asked her question. A question with no answer. Ever.

The six of us pallbearers were responsible for folding the flag at the gravesite. It was my job to make the final folds and tuck the edges into the flag completing the triangle of white stars in the ocean of navy blue.

I walked slowly to Captain Cummings and ceremoniously presented the flag to him. Captain Cummings slowly saluted the flag and then put one hand on top of and one hand under the flag and I surrendered it to him. Then I returned the same slow, deliberate, ceremonial salute, did an about face, and returned to my position at the head of the casket. Captain Cummings walked slowly to where the grieving widow was seated, reverently knelt down, and presented the flag to her saying, in a quiet yet strong voice, “On behalf of a grateful nation.”

When the ceremony at the gravesite was completed the 15 of us formed into a small platoon and marched in perfect military precision all the way to the vans that were parked far away from the grave. We quietly got into the vehicles and felt a sense of relief that we had performed the ceremony without any mistakes or failures or breaches in military decorum.

None of said anything for a very long time. The van was quiet as each of us processed the things we’d seen and heard and done. It had been a long day and the two-hour drive back to base provided time to think.

After a while there was a little quiet whispering among a few of us. But most of us remained quiet. I just looked out the window watching the countryside turn to city and back to countryside again, over and over.

I thought about the young widow.

Once we returned to base, the rifle squad went to the armory to return their weapons and the rest of us went to the showers and locker room to change out of our Dress Blues and into our other uniforms. It wasn’t until then, after I had taken off my jacket, that I saw it. On the right shoulder of my Dress Blue tunic was a smudge, a mixture of facial make-up and tears, left there when the young wife had pressed her face into my shoulder and sobbed.

I sat down on the bench in front of my locker and just held the jacket, looking at the smudge, feeling the lump in my throat as my eyes filled with tears. Her life, and the lives of all of her family, would never be the same.

Friday is Veteran’s Day. But I wouldn’t mind acknowledging the families of veterans too. They offer their best and brightest to the service of our country. They endure the loneliness of separations and deployments, the fear of what might happen, the uncertainty, the stresses, and sometimes all they get for their ultimate and final offering is a folded flag.

All gave some.
Some gave all.

And so do the families of veterans.

————————-

HAPPY BIRTHDAY UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS

Tomorrow, 10 November 2011, is the 236th birthday of my beloved Corps. Feel free to take a Marine to lunch or dinner. Or you may prefer to treat a Marine to a beer or other adult beverage. Or, you may just want to shower one with gifts, prizes, money, and/or affection!

Several of you told me that you liked the story I wrote last year about the Marine Corps birthday cake. You can find that one in the Sergeant Tony Blog achieves on the Boot Camp website for 10 Nov 2010. Or this link will take you there too.

http://usmcfitnessbootcamp.com/blog/2010/11/10/let-them-eat-cake-sgt-tony-ludlows-newsletter-for-10-nov-2010/

To all my fellow Marines, Happy Birthday!

Semper Fidelis!

—————————-

0830 CLASS ANNOUNCEMENT

The 0830 class will meet inside at CUMC on Friday, November 18. We’ll meet inside the “big gym” with weights and mats as usual! Pass the word!

—————————

HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

It’s almost time for Holiday Challenge 2011. What is this Holiday Challenge, you ask?

First, the reason for the challenge. The average American gains 8 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.

What the challenge is. If you choose to participate, I will weigh you during the week of Thanksgiving. You give me $50. On the day that we come back to the Quarterdeck after the Christmas/New Year’s Eve Stand-down, I weigh you again. If you’ve maintained your weight, you get a FREE MONTH. If you’ve lost weight (less than 5 pounds) you get an additional FREE MONTH. If you’ve lost more than 5 pounds, you get an additional FREE MONTH, making for a total of 3 FREE MONTHS!

More about the challenge later on the Quarterdeck!

————————————-

ALPHA OMEGA VETERAN’S SERVICES

Again this year we’ll be collecting men’s and women’s gently used coats, jackets, gloves, and hats for Alpha Omega from November 15 to December 15.

AOVS is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.

Bring ‘em to boot camp and I’ll collect them for AOVS.

——————————

COLD WEATHER POLICY

Anytime the windchill drops below 30, we’ll go inside.

———————————–

SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!

The St. Jude Half Marathon continues this Saturday, November 12. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms at 7am.

Saturday’s run will be for 1hr 40 min, as we leap frog back.

The Official Half Marathon Training long sleeve t’s will be available on Saturday! If you won’t be at Saturday’s run but want a shirt, let me know which color and size. They’re 20 bucks and are only available for those who are training with me now, or those who’ve trained with me in the past!

If you’re NOT training for a half marathon but want to get your one hour of continuous cardio with a group, you can join us for that hour. We’ll be passing through the parking lot of the Visitor’s Center about every 25 minutes or so from 7:10 on.

————————————

TOMORROW, Thursday, November 10 is BOGA at 0530 in the “blue” gym.

NEXT TUESDAY, November 15 is the Mt. Fuji Workout at the U of M at 0530.

————————————

THE MWF 0830 CLASS!

AKA “The Desperate Housewives Class” is BAAAAACK!!! (Yes, there are dudes in this class too!) (“The Real Housewives of East Memphis” is a possible name too!)

The 0830 class is back on ACTIVE DUTY on MWF!

——————————————

I GOTTA GUY!!! (And a GAL)

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. Margaret Caffey.
Thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal to see Harry Potter, or maybe a Disney Cruise – Margaret Caffey has turned her passion for all things Disney into a career and is now a travel agent with MEI & Mouse Fan Travel. For all your Disney travel planning or just to ask a question call Margaret at 901-828-6354. Also please take a second to ‘like’ her Facebook page at Mouse Fan Margaret. (https://www.facebook.com/login/setashome.php?ref=login#!/pages/Mouse-Fan-Margaret/130316623686981).

PS – I hear she knows a lot about all the cruise lines too! Margret is MY personal Disney trip planner! No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows more about Disney than Mags!

2. Dr John Whittemore was voted Best Family Dentist in Memphis Parent Magazine’s most recent survey.
Also voted Hot List Cosmetic Dentist in the Memphis Flyer and listed among Top Dentists in Memphis Magazine every year. If you want personalized, caring general or cosmetic dentistry on a whole other level than you’ve experienced before, call John’s office to make an appointment. (901)-754-0540.

John is also selling his 4BR/3BA house on Audubon Drive.

3. Richard Bourland – “Your Boot Camp Handyman” – Home Improvement, Carpentry, Custom Bunk Beds and other Woodworking Services, rebourland@yahoo.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!

——————————————-

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS!

The monthly fee of $75 can be discounted to $55!

DID YOU HEAR THAT?

THE MONTHLY FEE OF $75 CAN BE DISCOUNTED TO $55!

Here’s how …

Make a Facebook status update and get a discount!

For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, you can take $2.50 off your reenlistment fee for each update, up to $20 off for any given month! You can go from $75 to $55 a month!!

Your status update has to be a SPECIFIC reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name. (There are fake boot camps out there!!)

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

Use your own wording and personality, just include the specifics.

So log on and get started today!

—————————————

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!

—————————————–

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

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 CLASS

The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Mary’s track. These are cardio (walking/jogging/running) workouts and they begin at 5:45 PM.

St. Mary’s is at the corner of 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.

——————-

ASK YOUR DOCTOR IF GETTING OFF YOUR ASS IS RIGHT FOR YOU!

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
http://www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/esuite/home/combatchallenge

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


“They call me girl, they call me Stacey … ” — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s Newsletter for 11/2/2011

Nov. 2nd 2011

What if I told you that I have the key to your success, both personally and professionally, would you listen?

What if I told you that mastery of this one thing would practically ensure your happiness and sense of satisfaction with your life, would that be important to you?

What if I explained that your success depended more on this one thing than on your education or talent, would you want to know what that was?

Well, of course you would, wouldn’t you?

Last week I spoke to some business classes at Houston High School. I was the guest speaker in Steve Bell’s classes, actually sessions of their school-wide jobs and career fair. Representatives of a wide cross section of businesses, industries, the arts, and entrepreneurship were invited to come and speak during multiple sessions throughout the day.

I was there to talk about the value of mediocrity.

No. I’m just kidding. What high school kid would seriously sign up for a seminar on mediocrity?

I was asked to speak to a business luncheon a few years ago and I sat at a table with strangers before my talk. A friendly, but not terribly bright, woman asked me if I was the “motivational speaker” for the day. And I told her, tongue in cheek and with a wry smile, that I was actually the “mediocrity speaker.” She said, sort of confused, “Well, I’m sure that you’ll do just fine.”

Actually, I think I bombed. Ever tell a joke and hear nothing but the sound of crickets? Happens to the best of us. This group was waaaaaay more serious than I was. I never quite understood why they were wired so tight.

Turns out that I seem to resonate with high school kids. Must have been all of those years of being a high school teacher and coach.

Anyway, back to Houston High. I was talking to the group about following their dreams and starting their own business and things like that.

I told them that success in their chosen field or endeavor would require the presence of three things.

First, you’ve got to have passion for what you do. And if you’re in a job that doesn’t excite you then you have to be passionate about doing a sucky job better than it’s ever been done. Kind of like when Andy Griffith in the classic comedy, “No Time for Sergeants,” became the best “latrine orderly” in the “whole dang Air Force!”

Finding something that you’re passionate about may take some time. Or it might be as simple as following your interests and the things you’re good at or something that matches your personality.

But passion alone probably won’t get the job done.

You’ve got to be willing to prepare, the second thing.

The desire to win isn’t anything special. Everyone wants to win. Every team has a desire to beat the other team. But it’s the WILL to PREPARE to win that makes the difference. Teams have to practice, practice, practice … over and over and over again until they’re able to perform at a high level of proficiency every time.

You’ve probably heard that Marines can field strip an M-16 in the dark. I knew a guy in my platoon who could do it in his sleep. Literally. Several times, in the middle of the night, we found him taking his rifle apart and putting it back together … in his sleep. Dead asleep he could field strip his weapon.

The success of SEAL Team 6 in taking out Bin Laden was achieved because Six had prepared and practiced it so many times and with so many contingencies that even when they lost a helicopter the mission was successfully completed without any loss of life to the members of the team.

Do you have any idea how BORING that kind of preparation is?

Even the practicing of storming a compound to kill the most hated and notorious man in American history got monotonous.

Preparation can mean college, vocational school, trade school, med school, or truck driver school. But preparation is necessary. In and of itself it isn’t usually very glamorous or exciting. Practice usually isn’t much fun. But success is dependent upon it. The gaining of useful knowledge is essential.

But even with passion and preparation, a person’s success isn’t assured.

The third and most important component is the ability to make, build, and nurture good relationships with others. The ability to get along with others is the most critical element in a person’s personal and professional success.

There are very very few talented geniuses who can succeed on their gift alone. Even Steve Jobs got fired from the company he founded because he couldn’t get along with others. It took getting fired, and years away from Apple, for him to develop the skills necessary to move the brilliance in his brain to the Mac that you might be reading this on. (The fastest growing sport in America is the half marathon. Is it any coincidence that half marathon participation took off after the introduction of the iPod? Just wondering if Steve Jobs’ genius might have resulted in an increase in long distance running.)

How many people do you know who are generally competent, have the necessary education and credential, but who are such “a-holes” that you wouldn’t want to have a beer with them, much less work with them? And God help you if you have to work for them?

Interpersonal skills are so important that it can’t be overstated. A few years ago the Wall Street Journal interviewed me for an article that they were doing on boot camp programs run by former military people. (Most of you know that at the time I founded USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP we were one of only a half dozen programs in the entire country!) One of the questions that the writer asked me had to do with the differences in being a Drill Instructor at Parris Island and leading a boot camp program in East Memphis. I told her that 19 year old recruits on an island off the coast of South Carolina aren’t going anywhere. Adults who drive their BMWs to boot camp, on the other hand, can get in those BMWs and drive off … and never … come … back.

A few years ago, in an effort to understand why USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP was working, I put together a “think tank” of 25 people to study it. It was a cross section of the members of the program: men, women, new, veteran, older, younger, single and married. I divided the group into several groups and assigned each group the task of analyzing why the program works. Each group came up with a list of 5 reasons why the program was successful.

On each list, either #1 or #2, was something I NEVER anticipated.

The #1 or #2 reason given for the success of the program was: “Tony remembers my name.”

Uh … WHAT?

People got up early in the morning, and drove their BMWs to a parking lot to do exercises in the dark and in the cold and in the heat because I remembered their names?

Nothing at all to do with exercise or the program itself.

Nothing to do with the things that most people would think contributes to the success of a fitness program.
The #1 reason was a personal relationship skill.

If all business is sales, and all sales is about relationships, then building relationships is absolutely essential in business.

The most effective tool in your arsenal of business success should be Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” Yes, I know it’s been around since the 1930’s. Yes, I know that some of it might be easy to ridicule or parody. Yes, I know that some people have misused the things in that book to take undue advantage of others. But I whole heartedly recommend the book. Even if you have a natural gift for making friends and building relationships, I’d suggest that you read it. The book will single handedly give all of your relationships a makeover.

Passion + preparation + personal relationship skills = success in all of your interactions with others, personal and professional.

Start by remembering all of the names of the people you meet tomorrow.

—————————-

HOLIDAY CHALLENGE!

It’s almost time for Holiday Challenge 2011. What is this Holiday Challenge, you ask?

First the reason for the challenge. The average American gains 8 to 10 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Years.

What the challenge is. If you choose to participate, I will weigh you during the week of Thanksgiving. You give me $50. On the day that we come back to the Quarterdeck after the Christmas/New Year’s Eve Stand-down, I weigh you again. If you’ve maintained your weight, you get a FREE MONTH. If you’ve lost weight (less than 5 pounds) you get an additional FREE MONTH. If you’ve lost more than 5 pounds, you get an additional FREE MONTH, making for a total of 3 FREE MONTHS!

More about the challenge later on the Quarterdeck!

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ALPHA OMEGA VETERAN’S SERVICES

Again this year we’ll be collecting men’s and women’s gently used coats, jackets, gloves, and hats for Alpha Omega from November 15 to December 15.

AOVS is a non-profit charitable organization that provides housing and supportive services to homeless veterans.

Bring ‘em to boot camp and I’ll collect them for AOVS.

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COLD WEATHER POLICY
 
Anytime the windchill drops below 30, we’ll go inside.
 
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SGT. TONY’S HALF MARATHON TRAINING!
 
The St. Jude Half Marathon continues this Saturday, November 5. We’ll meet in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms at 7am.
 
Saturday’s run will be for 2hr 20 min, as we leap frog forward.
 
Don’t forget sports drink and fuel for the long run!
 
If you’re NOT training for a half marathon but want to get your one hour of continuous cardio with a group, you can join us for that hour. We’ll be passing through the parking lot of the Visitor’s Center about every 25 minutes or so from 7:10 on.
 
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TOMORROW, Thursday, November 3 is BOGA at 0530 in the “blue” gym.
 
NEXT TUESDAY, November 8 is the M-16 Workout at CUMC at 0530.
 
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THE MWF 0830 CLASS!
 
AKA “The Desperate Housewives Class” is BAAAAACK!!! (Yes, there are dudes in this class too!) (“The Real Housewives of East Memphis” is a possible name too!)
 
The 0830 class is back on ACTIVE DUTY on MWF!
 
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I GOTTA GUY!!! (And a GAL)
 
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. Margaret Caffey.
Thinking about a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal to see Harry Potter, or maybe a Disney Cruise – Margaret Caffey has turned her passion for all things Disney into a career and is now a travel agent with MEI & Mouse Fan Travel. For all your Disney travel planning or just to ask a question call Margaret at 901-828-6354. Also please take a second to ‘like’ her Facebook page at Mouse Fan Margaret. (https://www.facebook.com/login/setashome.php?ref=login#!/pages/Mouse-Fan-Margaret/130316623686981).
 
PS – I hear she knows a lot about all the cruise lines too! Margret is MY personal Disney trip planner! No one, and I mean NO ONE, knows more about Disney than Mags!
 
2. Dr John Whittemore was voted Best Family Dentist in Memphis Parent Magazine’s most recent survey. 
Also voted Hot List Cosmetic Dentist in the Memphis Flyer and listed among Top Dentists in Memphis Magazine every year.  If you want personalized, caring general or cosmetic dentistry on a whole other level than you’ve experienced before, call John’s office to make an appointment.  (901)-754-0540.
 
John is also selling his 4BR/3BA house on Audubon Drive.
 
3. Richard Bourland  – “Your Boot Camp Handyman” – Home Improvement, Carpentry, Custom Bunk Beds and other Woodworking Services, rebourland@yahoo.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!
 
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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS!
 
The monthly fee of $75 can be discounted to $55!
 
DID YOU HEAR THAT?
 
THE MONTHLY FEE OF $75 CAN BE DISCOUNTED TO $55!
 
Here’s how …
 
Make a Facebook status update and get a discount!
 
For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, you can take $2.50 off your reenlistment fee for each update, up to $20 off for any given month! You can go from $75 to $55 a month!!
 
Your status update has to be a SPECIFIC reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name. (There are fake boot camps out there!!)
 
You can also use “Places” on Facebook or Foursquare linked to your Facebook account to “check in” and you’ll get the same discount!
 
Use your own wording and personality, just include the specifics.
 
So log on and get started today!
 
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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.
 
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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!
 
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WANT TO LOSE 10 to 15 POUNDS BY THE END OF NOVEMBER?
 
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 CLASS
 
The Tuesday and Thursday evening classes meet at St. Mary’s track. These are cardio (walking/jogging/running) workouts and they begin at 5:45 PM.
 
St. Mary’s is at the corner of Walnut Grove and Perkins.
 
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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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ASK YOUR DOCTOR IF GETTING OFF YOUR ASS IS RIGHT FOR YOU!
 
To your optimum health and fitness!
 
SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!
 
Tony
 
Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
 
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145
www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com
http://www.combatchallenge.tsfl.com/esuite/home/combatchallenge/

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