My favorite Esquire magazine feature is called “What I’ve Learned.”
It’s not written by a magazine staffer. It’s written by famous non-staffers. Guys like Robert De Nero, Bruce Springsteen, Brad Pitt, and Tony Ludlow.
OK, I threw that last one in just to see if you were paying attention. I thought that Esquire would ask me to write for that feature by now, especially since today is my birthday and all. But so far the phone isn’t ringing. Their loss.
Until it does ring, I’m going to update and republish my own feature on my birthday. So here’s the 2012 installment of …
“What I’ve Learned, “ by Tony Ludlow
The best advice my mother ever gave me: “Son, you can do anything or be anything you want … if you put your mind to it.”
That sounds pretty parental. Your mom and dad probably said the same thing to you too.
Worst advice my mother ever gave me: Basically everything mom told me about girls was wrong, wrong, wrong. Sorry mom, but “be nice, be sweet, be complimentary, give them gifts” was a little flawed. How did you jack that up, you being a woman and all?
My grandfather told me that it was unnecessary to tell others “how smart you are, how much money you have, or what you’ve accomplished in life.” They’ll know without you telling them. And if they don’t know, telling them will only bore them and make you look like “that guy.” Don’t be “that guy.”
What my grandfather told me about being smart: the person who speaks last, or not at all, is the smartest person in the room. You’ve got two ears and one mouth.
What he told me about money: the love of it is ridiculous. Obsession over it will ruin your life. Opulence and extravagance are misguided behaviors. Live below your means. Pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month. Be a good tipper.
What he told me about personal accomplishments: accumulate them for your own benefit because no one is going to be that interested in hearing about them.
Helping others reach their goals and ignite their ambitions is the best way to make a difference in the world.
More than what you believe, or claim to believe, more than what creeds you espouse, dogma you declare, things you consider true, or political views you hold, it’s what you do that defines you. Everything else is pleasant parlor conversation. Everything else is cheap talk over cocktails. What you do defines you.
The universe rewards action, not intention. But without intention, action is unfocused and ineffective.
Most profound thing I was told at 18: “Your country has provided you with 18 years of freedom, opportunity, security, and happiness … now it’s time to give something back. Join the Marine Corps or the Peace Corps, but find a way to serve your country and your fellow man.”
What the Marine Corps taught me: the meaning of self-discipline, perseverance, courage, pride, leadership, honor, loyalty, sacrifice, and the power of humor. My academic resume will not be on my headstone, but “Marine” will be.
For my sons and the players I coached I composed a list of 50 Things Gentleman Should Be. Here are 10 of those things:
1. A Gentleman stands up to greet a woman, an older person, or a superior. When in doubt, get to your feet.
2. A Gentleman dresses appropriately for the occasion. When in doubt, dress up.
3. A Gentleman reads books. He knows that the written word feeds his soul, expands his mind, gives him pleasure, and helps to make him a more interesting man.
4. A Gentleman places great value on honor and loyalty.
5. A Gentleman’s handshake is as good as his word and his word is as good as a signed contract.
6. A Gentleman is confident without being arrogant.
7. A Gentleman can say “I’m sorry, I was wrong” and mean it.
8. A Gentleman knows the names of those who serve them – the janitor, the clerk, the salesperson – and treats them respectfully and without condescension.
9. A Gentleman doesn’t stare, leer, or gawk at an attractive woman. Act like you’ve seen one before.
10. A Gentleman doesn’t scratch, yawn, spit, or make “body noises” in public.
Women who are confident and clever are the most attractive women I know! And if they like to smile and if they have a great laugh … well, that’s the best! Party girls are a dime a dozen.
If I’ve been dating a woman for a couple of months, and she “out of the blue” doesn’t want to see me anymore, (like THAT’S ever happened! hahaha) it was probably something I did. If she was attracted to me at one point, and then suddenly wasn’t, then I probably did something to kill the attraction. Or she was just an idiot. Yeah, that’s probably it.
Attraction is not a choice. But it can be sabotaged, blinded, and assassinated. It can also be enhanced and nurtured.
I don’t trust extremes, political, religious, or social activist. I avoid one dimensional people.
I don’t trust people with agendas.
I don’t trust people who don’t have many friends, especially not many long-term quality friends.
I don’t trust people whose friends all come from one gene pool, one interest group, one religious affiliation, one political party, or one ethnicity.
I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs and I don’t trust the people who aren’t liked by dogs.
There is no accounting for taste (“WHAT does she see in THAT guy?” has been asked since the Stone Age).
The true measure of a man has little to do with bank accounts or possessions.
I admire people who live by a code, who value loyalty, who are discerning, who won’t suffer a fool.
I think that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, a second opportunity, and a chance to be forgiven. There are two sides to every story and every situation. No matter how flat you make a pancake, it’s still got two sides.
One of the hardest things to do in life is establishing boundaries to keep toxic people at a safe distance. Removing people from your life is like a coach cutting players from the team. You’re the coach of TEAM YOU and the only players YOU should have sitting on YOUR bench are those who want you to win and are committed to your success! Everyone else can sit in the stands.
Defending yourself and explaining yourself, especially when you’ve done nothing wrong, is a sign of weakness, not strength. Your true friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it.
A great smile, like a great laugh, all come from the heart! I can’t think of anything better than those two things.
I’ve learned the difference between style and substance. Good conversation trumps good looks every single time! Every. Single. Time.
I’ve learned to define “enough.”
When I meet someone for the first time, I fully expect to like them. New people start out with an “A” in my grade book.
I’ve learned that someone’s attitude, the way they process the world around them, the spirit and enthusiasm that they use to engage life, and the energy they exude everyday are more important than looks, money, beauty, or education. A good attitude will compensate for a lack in those four things. Beautiful, rich, and educated never compensates for boring, foul, and negative.
Knowing who you are is the most important knowledge you’ll acquire. I am not my khakis, my bank account, my car, my house, my status, my age, my job, or my family name. It took me a long time to figure that out.
Everyone has these three things in limited supply and they must be respected and treated with care: time, energy, and money. Don’t waste anyone’s or your own.
Not even God can change the past, so forgive yourself and move on, as best as you can … and purpose to do better. And distance yourself from anyone who prefers to shackle you to a past that you can’t change.
Find out what the right thing is to do, and then do it.
Getting older is simply an accumulation of years. Acting old is a mindset that can happen at 25 or 55. Look at Bruce Springsteen.
When you quit laughing and when you quit physically moving, it’s over! Laugh a lot, push yourself, and run like you just stole something!
– 30 –
We return to “Adventures in Blind Dating” next week.
SATURDAY MORNING RUN – 6:30 THIS WEEK!
RIVER PIRATES SETTNG SAIL – LAST SIGN UP NOW!!
WHITEWATER RAFTING VOYAGE IN AUGUST
The River Pirates of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP set sail on August 25th! 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!
If you’d like to go, contact me today! Today is the deadline!
AUGUST IS ANNIVERSARY MONTH!
Next week we celebrate 13 years of USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP!!!
To mark the occasion we’ll have a come and go party later in August. More details to follow!
Have you been away from USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for a while? Comfortable in Turdeville, are ya? Wanna come back? C’mon then!! I won’t bite you! I promise!
I know how it is. You miss a day or two … and then it’s been a week or two … and then it’s a month or two …
Get back on track. Come back to the Quarterdeck! No matter how long you’ve been away, you do NOT have to pay the initiation fee again!
PAYING THE PIED PIPER … a message from the Accounting Dept.
Just a reminder that payment is generally expected on the first of each month, but always appreciated whenever it shows up! Check your records and see if you’re due. Thanks everyone!
Cash is fine, or course. And checks are easiest for me. And you can also pay online on the website (www.usmcfitnessbootcamp.com)
Additionally, if you would be so kind as to write in the “memo” section of your check, or the memo section of the online pay section, what month(s) the check is for, I’d really appreciate it. “Services rendered,” “Torture,” “Abuse,” “Pool cleaning,” and “For marijuana” are all very funny … but a month stated would be helpful too!
If you prefer to pay in cash, let me ask you to put the money in an envelope with your name and month(s) you’re paying for on the outside of the envelope? This will hopefully ensure that my bookkeeping is accurate. Thank you very much!
When you check-in on Facebook, be sure to check in on our OFFICIAL PAGE. That would be “USMC Fitness Boot Camp” and it has my picture on the page. The other pages are those that other people created without looking for the OFFICIAL PAGE and are duplicates. Those pages refer to us, but aren’t the authorized page.
VISORS, T-SHIRTS, AND BROOKS RUNNING SINGLETS
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP t-shirts and visors for workouts and running are available!
Visors are $25, t-shirts are $20, and the Brooks singlets are 30.
Next PFT is Tuesday, July 31 at 5:30am.
SUB SEVEN CLUB CHALLENGE!
Congratulations to the following members of the Sub Seven Club:
Lance Corporal Lee Chase, Staff Sergeant Patrick Moore, Rob Johnston, Sergeant Andrew Stolnicki, Lance Corporal Chris McLelland, Gunnery Sergeant Bart Thomas, First Sergeant Matt Green, and our first female Club member, Staff Sergeant Dory Sellers!
5:45PM EVENING SUB 7 CHALLENGE
We’ll meet at the U of M track on Thursday, July 26 at 5:45 for the 1 mile challenge. (Weather permitting: no rain and heat index below 100)
All Boot Campers are welcome to challenge the mile!
VETERAN BOOT CAMPERS!
Your rank insignia t-shirts looked AWESOME on you this morning. (Don’t forget to wear yours this afternoon, evening crew!) And remember, EVERY WEDNESDAY IS T-SHIRT DAY!
And please go to
And enter your boot camp anniversary date. If that information is already there and correct, you’re good to go.
Every Wednesday is our Official BOOT CAMP T-SHIRT DAY! You can wear your rank insignia shirt anytime you‘d like, of course, but always every Wednesday!
The Rank Structure of the Quarterdeck:
Under 6 months is a Private
Six months to 1 year is a Private First Class.
Over 1 year is a Lance Corporal
- Amber Jackson
- Sherri Thompson
- Carrie Schule
- Mary Bauer
- Paul Bauer
- Robin Scott
- Chris McLelland
- Courtney Phillips
- Randal Rhea
- Cindy King
- Bevan Lee
- Melissa Thompson
- Wayne Henderson
- Michelle Moss
- Lee Chase
- JD Dombroski
Over 2 years is a Corporal
- Emily Melonas
- Cecelia DeLacy
- Beth Mills
- Ashley Hofeditz
- Anne Marie Wyatt
- Jenni Harris
- Tim Romanow
- Ashley McClure
- Wendy Shea
Over 3 years is a Sergeant
- Teresa Faulk
- Meg Cannon
- Cameron Mosley
- Karen Massey
- Paul Tronsor
- Jessie Flanders
- Andrew Stolnicki
- Jonathan Phillips
- Ben Killerlain
- Sarah Vickers
- Shena Clemons
- Robert Hunt
- Albo Carruthers
- Jeremy Harris
Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
- Buddy Daves
- Anne Mead
- Dory Sellers
- Patrick Moore
- Oscar Adams
- Anne Kenworthy
- Alan Schaeffer
Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
- Mike Ryan
- Leslie Garey
- Henry Kenworthy
- Michelle Dunn
- Frank Jemison
- Bart Thomas
- Matt Prince
- Beth Rehrig
- George Rose
Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
- John Winford
- Kay Ryan
- Megan Warr
- Gary Thompson
- Kay Shelton
- Leesa Jensen
- Rob Norcross
- Mike Barta
- Anne Emmerth
- Jeff Lee
- Ralph Braden
Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
- Melissa Moore
- Louis Glazer
- Scot Bearup
- Matt Green
Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
- David Townsend
- Hank Brown
- Andrew Forsdick
- Teri Trotter (4/2004)
Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
- Pat McGhee
- Amy Singer
- Peter Pettit
- John Whittemore
- Buddy Flinn
0645 CLASS IS FIVE DAYS A WEEK!
– THE GREENLINE HALF MARATHON
– THE GOOFY CHALLENGE
– ST. JUDE FULL MARATHON
– AND ST. JUDE HALF MARATHON
Interested in running The Goofy Challenge in January 2013?
Want to run the St. Jude Full Marathon on Dec. 1, 2012?
How about The Greenline Half Marathon on Oct. 14, 2012?
The third training run for the Goofy Challenge, the St. Jude Full Marathon, AND The Greenline Half Marathon will be THIS SATURDAY!
Meet me this Saturday at 6:30am in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms!
Cost is $150 for boot campers and $225 for non-campers for the Goofy and the St. Jude Full. Cost of The Greenline Half is $75 for active duty boot campers and $125 for “friends of boot camp.”
Your first training run is a freebee if you’re not sure!
Training for the St. Jude Half will begin on September 1st. More about that later!
Following are two links. The first one is the Disney link with all of the registration info and so forth. The second link is to Boot Camper, and Goofy Challenge Finisher, Margaret Caffey’s travel website. Margaret is an Independent Vacation Planner with MEI-Travel & Mouse Fan Travel, specializing in Disney Destinations.
Using Margaret to plan your trip to Disney is FREE and no one knows Disney like she does!!! She can give you rate information for the costs of your trip to Orlando for the Challenge.
ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?
We should be!
HAVE YOU “LIKED” THE USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP FACEBOOK PAGE?
You should totally do that!
TUESDAY / THURSDAY EVENING CLASS
The Tues/Thurs evening track runs are back! We’re running at St. Mary’s School track at 5:45pm. (St. Mary’s track is behind the school/church at Walnut Grove and Perkins)
Running the track, speed work, and running in the neighborhood are options! None of the above are requirements and you are free to do your own thing. I’ll be glad to give you an assignment based on your running goals and experience!
BOGA tomorrow morning at 5:30am – No chanting. No patchouli.
BOGA-lite at 6:45am tomorrow.
Mt. Fuji Workout on July 17 at 5:30am at the U of M! Meet in the parking lot in front of the parking garage on Zach Curlin.
NEW BOOT CAMP DISCOUNT
If you set up an automatic payment at your bank (Boot Camp mailing address is 4888 Southern, Memphis 38117) you can subtract $10 off your fee! That’s right, instead of $75, you can pay $65!
USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES – NEW STUFF!
0530 Monday through Friday
(First and second Tuesday of the month are M-16 Workouts at CUMC. Third and fourth Tuesdays are Mt. Fuji Workouts at the U of M)
5:45 PM: Monday and Wednesday, and 5:30 PM on Friday. (Tues/Thurs – track runs at 5:45am at St. Mary’s track.)
BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!
First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)
Here’s how the discount works!
It’s simple: make a Facebook status update and get a discount!
For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, you can take $2.50 off your next reenlistment fee for each update!
You can take up to $20 off for any given month!
Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.
BE SURE TO TAG ME!
You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.
So log on and start getting your discounts now!
FREE MONTH OF BOOT CAMP FOR YOU!
Remember that when one of your family or friends joins the program at full price because of your recruiting efforts, YOU get a free month of Boot Camp!
WANT TO LOSE 15 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/
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 was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was 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