Sergeant Tony's Blog

The Sum of All Fears — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s blog post for 4/3/2013

Wednesday, Apr. 3rd 2013 3:47 PM

Sometimes popular opinion isn’t very bright. Mob mentality. The herd of lemmings falling off the cliff. How else can you explain that Beiber girl’s popularity?

Facebook and other social media don’t help. Those things can create, or increase, the acceptance of things that aren’t accurate or are simply untrue. Social media is a double-edged sword. It was responsible for Arab Spring, but it’s also responsible for our insatiable need to see pictures of what our friends are eating. It can inform our sensibilities, but it’s also responsible for our need to see more and more pictures of cats.

Social media helps promote things that are true and redemptive, as well as stuff that just isn’t. Things that, when considered alone and without the sound of the masses cheering for it, “liking” it, or sharing it, would be dismissed as untrue, silly, or unfounded.

Our culture is full of such platitudes and clever sounding catch phrases that hold truth like water held in a colander. The stuff of bumper-stickers and inspirational Facebook memes.

When a phrase or idea or platitude gets repeated often in conversation or shared often on social media, those things start to take on the semblance of undeniable truth, without question, because it makes someone feel good, or it sounds good, or it offers false comfort. So much of the time it only addresses a self-centered middle class American sense of “need.”

These catch phrases and clichés are all around us and they get repeated so often, and imagined to be true by so many, that to challenge the truthfulness of something that a majority of people have accepted as truthful, or factual, puts the challenger at odds with the many who believe it to be true.

One such phrase, taken from a popular writer of books on spirituality, is this: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”


I’m certain that the author means well, most do, and that she endeavors to be helpful and that she believes what she writes. But every first year philosophy student knows that our deepest fears are none of those things. A freshman psychology student knows: 1) we’re afraid of the dark, 2) we’re afraid of one another, 3) we’re afraid of pain, 4) we’re afraid of the unknown, and 5) we’re afraid to die.

We don’t fear some sort of inner “power” that is beyond measure. Far from it.

We actually DO fear being inadequate. We’re insecure. We fear the intentions of others. We don’t know what to do with our lives. We hardly know what to do with our hands in embarrassing social situations. We fear loss. We fear being hurt when we make ourselves vulnerable to others. We fear having our picture taken at the DMV. The list goes on, but it never contains any sort of inner power beyond measure that frightens us and threatens to overwhelm us.

Remarkably, many religions and philosophies are, at their root, attempts to address those major fears.

We may discover an inner power in the process of our lives, but it seldom frightens us. We fear our lack of physical strength. We fear the weakness of our moral resolve. We fear our fickle fidelity. We fear our competency as parents. We fear a weak integrity. We fear being alone. We fear that we don’t know enough. We fear that we may disappoint the ones we love. We fear a loss of control. Our fears are countless. Our powers, limited.

Therapists and counselors don’t report that their clients are regularly tormented by their own powerful adequacy. Quite the opposite.

Even still, catchy catch phrases, spiritual mumbo-jumbo, and pop culture clichés, fished out of bestselling books, or proof texted out of scripture, or lifted from Facebook walls — repeated and shared over and over — go unchecked and gain mass acceptance.

What are we to do, besides not checking our brains at the door?

We are to live intentionally and with purpose and with a commitment to improving ourselves, without playing the victim nor the egocentric narcissist with powers that are without measure.

We are to live confidently and without the fear of our fears.

We fix our course on points ahead and make way for those points with confidence and assurance. We make conscious decisions the night before that the next day will be lived positively and in pursuit of the best of ourselves.

A long time ago, during my first few months in Japan, I started doing something that helped put things in perspective for me. Before going to bed every night, I’d write down on an index card all of the things I needed to do for the next day. A simple “to do” list. But I’d also include some kind of “pep talk” or phrase or reminder about myself that would help remind me of my own worth.

At the time, I was illiterate, unable to speak, and unable to understand what was said to me. What seemed novel at first (being in a foreign country and being unable to speak, read, or write the language) soon became a daily source of irritation, frustration, aggravation, and anger. When you spend your days in ignorance, you soon forget that you aren’t really ignorant. Japanese people treated me like I was an uneducated moron. And for all they knew, I was. I spoke in halting caveman Japanese and only understood the simplest phrases and words. So the things I wrote on the index card were intended to remind me that I wasn’t some uneducated moron. I had to remind myself that I had worth.

We make ourselves an asset by improving ourselves through study and discipline. We make good use of our own personal history, our own narrative, to remind us of the accomplishments of our lives. The inspiration from a single act can be the impetus to the next one. Those things become the power and the inspiration to move forward in the direction of our dreams. Those things remind us of our own value.

Furthermore, we can’t invite people into our inner circle who want us to forget those things, who want us to shrink or to become less of who we are.

People who put you down, people who marginalize you, people who disrespect you, and people who wrong you or insult you must be shown the door. Users and abusers have no place in our lives.

Our goal is to do better. We compete against the person we were yesterday. We dismiss those things, and those people, from our lives who obstruct us from self-improvement, who slow us or impede us toward the better parts of our nature, who use negativity or fear or guilt or anything else to handicap our progress and hold us back. We must constantly identify the people and situations in our lives to determine if they serve our greater good. We have to ask, “does this person inspire me to be a better version of me, or do they drain me of my psychic energy and pull me down?”

Our greatest fear isn’t that we’re powerful beyond measure, our greatest fear is that we’ll forget our own worth.

— 30 —


“A nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors, will have its laws made by cowards and its wars fought by fools.” ~ Thucydides



Sergeant Ashley Hofeditz, RD LDN, has been talking about the ten common food and nutrition mistakes and myths. Today we conclude with numbers 9 & 10.

“# 9 Eating certain types of foods will help boost your metabolism. The whole idea of metabolism boosting foods is generally a myth perpetuated by hype and the marketing of different diet products and services. Your metabolic rate is determined by your gender, height, weight, body composition, and age. While there are a few foods that may very temporarily increase your calorie burn such as hot peppers and cold water, these effects are so very small that they should be secondary weight loss strategies, not primary.

#10 Some foods are “free foods” and can be eaten with out risk of gaining weight. No foods are calorie free and calories do add up! Some foods have little calories (such as most vegetables), therefore, you can eat a lot of broccoli before the calories start adding up. But if you eat more calories than you body needs, no matter if it is from broccoli, or carrots, or celery … you WILL gain weight!”

Thank you, Ashley!


Today’s new friend is tomorrow’s family.



The evening class has returned to the 5:45pm start time for Monday – Thursday, and 5:30pm on Friday.



Currently we have over 2400 “Likes” on Facebook and over 6,000 check ins!!!!! That’s amazing! Encourage your friends and family to “Like” the page! It would be awesome to have 2500 likes by the end of April!

Keep on checking in! Keep on tagging your friends!
Thanks, everyone!




We’ll meet at 7:00am on Sunday, April 7, in front of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. We’ll be going 1hrs 30min.




DID YOU START USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP LAST FEBRUARY, MARCH, OR APRIL 2012? Let me know, ASAP!! I want to get your rank t-shirt made ASAP!



Anytime the “Feels like” temperature on The Weather Channel – I’ll be using the TWC app for iPhone — drops to 30 or below, we’ll go inside. The 0530 and 0645 classes use the “blue gym” on those days. During basketball season, the evening class will use the exercise room off the main gym.

If the Memphis City Schools close for ice or snow, we will also stand down. If they start, but then dismiss classes early, the evening class will stand down.



What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.

It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!






Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.

Congratulations to the following members of the Sub Seven Club:

Lance Corporal Lee Chase,
Lance Corporal Chris McLelland,
Staff Sergeant Patrick Moore,
Staff Sergeant Rob Johnston,
Staff Sergeant Andrew Stolnicki,
Gunnery Sergeant Bart Thomas,
Staff Sergeant Dory Sellers,
Gunnery Sergeant Henry Kenworthy,
Master Sergeant John Winford,
First Sergeant Matt Green,
And Sergeant Major Andrew Forsdick.



Your rank insignia t-shirts look AWESOME on you! (Don’t forget to wear yours EVERY WEDNESDAY AND/OR THURSDAY, 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
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Amber Jackson 4/2011
– Sherri Thompson 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– Randal Rhea 4/2011
– Cindy King 4/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Melissa Thompson 5/2011
– Wayne Henderson 1/2011 *
– Michelle Moss 5/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– JD Dombroski 8/2011
– Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011
– ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2011
– Tara Ingram 11/2011
– Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
– Tait Keller 12/2012
– Kitty Keller 12/2012

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Robin Scott 3/2011
– Chris McLelland 3/2011
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– Emily Melonas 6/2010
– Beth Mills 5/2010
– Anne Marie Wyatt 4/2010
– Jenni Harris 8/2010
– Tim Romanow 8/2010
– Ashley McClure 8/2010
– Wendy Shea 4/2008*
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Falana Scott 7/2010
– Paul Bauer 11/2010

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– Ashley Hofeditz 4/2010
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Teresa Faulk 6/2009
– Meg Cannon 3/2009
– Cameron Mosley 11/2009
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Paul Tronsor 3/2009
– Jonathan Phillips 10/2008
– Sarah Vickers 8/2009
– Shena Clemons 10/2008
– Robert Hunt 8/2009
– Albo Carruthers 8/2008
– Kim Wamble 8/2008*
– Scott Plunkett 10/2008

Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
– Jessie Flanders 1/2009
– Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
– Ben Killerlain 1/2009
– Buddy Daves 5/2008
– Dory Sellers 6/2006*
– Patrick Moore 9/2008
– Anne Kenworthy 8/2008
– Alan Schaeffer 4/2008
– Rob Johnston 4/2008
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– Mike Ryan 5/2006*
– Leslie Garey 6/2007
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
– Michelle Dunn 3/2007
– Frank Jemison /2007
– Bart Thomas /2007
– Matt Prince /2007
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007
– George Rose /2007

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*
– Jeff Lee 1/2006
– Ralph Braden 9/2006

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– John Winford 2/2006
– Kay Shelton 1/2006
– Louis Glazer 3/2005
– Matt Green 5/2005
– Gary Thompson 10/2005
– Scot Bearup 10/2005

Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
– Melissa Moore 2/2005
– Hank Brown 3/2004
– Teri Trotter 4/2004
– Andrew Forsdick 9/2004

Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
– David Townsend 1/2004
– Peter Pettit 5/2003
– Buddy Flinn 7/2003
– Amy Singer 9/2003

Over 10 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 2
– Pat McGhee 1/2003
– John Whittemore 1/2003

Battalion Executive Officer
Major Richard Bourland

* broken time



We should be!


You should totally do that!



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!

(This is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you yourself set up.)



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)

0645 M-F

5:45 PM: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 on Friday.



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, (there are fake boot camps out there) 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.


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!



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!



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.


Q. How can I get up in the morning on a consistent basis?
A. Contrary to what many think, I am NOT a morning person. I have to be “dynamited” out of the bed! Here are some tips to help you get going in the morning:
1. Use two alarm clocks. I have a snooze alarm that starts going off several minutes before I intend to get up. Then I have a “Last Call” alarm clock that is located across the room. This alarm clock is set to go off when I MUST get up.
2. Once the last call alarm goes off, the bed become OFF LIMITS! Get moving!
3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn on the TV.
4. Lay out your clothes the night before. Don’t go wandering around the house in the morning trying to find your left shoe and your favorite shorts. So, have things ready the night before.

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!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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