Sergeant Tony's Blog

Look Out Lew Hollander — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s blog post for 9/4/2013

Wednesday, Sep. 4th 2013 8:34 PM

She looked like hell. No one would deny that. Even she would agree that she looked like hell. But she had every reason to look that way.

Sometimes looking like hell is unavoidable when you’re being a badass.

When I returned from Japan 15 years ago, I joined the faculty and coaching staff of a local private high school. The lexicon of new words added to my vocabulary during those first few months included new phrases I’d never heard before like “participation trophy.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

“Everyone gets a trophy at the end of the season, Coach Ludlow, and you need to order them now,” said the Athletic Director.

I don’t have a learning disability and I’ve got a few degrees from some reputable schools, but I had to have that one explained to me more than twice.

I refused to do it. “Participation trophies?” Why, the very idea!

You wouldn’t believe the fallout.

Parents, teachers, and administrators rose up against me! These folks got really mad at me. But oddly enough, none of the kids got mad at me. See, the kids had been getting those worthless and meaningless “participation trophies” ever since they were 8 years old playing T-ball. Another goofy trophy to clutter up their shelves at home wasn’t going to mean anything to them.

There was no dearness. There was no sense of accomplishment because there had been nothing to celebrate, no accomplishment.

Eventually I had to give up my stand against those ridiculous trophies and buy them. I had to spend good money on stupid participation trophies … just to appease the kids? No, the STUPID adults! The “awards” ceremony was like a bad episode of Oprah. “YOU GET A TROPHY AND YOU GET A TROPHY AND YOU GET A TROPHY!!” Ridiculous. Meaningless.

Today there are terms and adjectives thrown around with no meaning and that have no value or validity. Today, everyone is awesome. Everyone is a badass.


We’re not all created equal. Not by a long shot. Maybe before the law we’re supposed to be equal, but in life, hardly. I can’t dunk, I can’t run as fast as Usain Bolt, and Stephen Hawking laughs at my math skills. I tried-out for the Minnesota Vikings and didn’t make the final cut, though I did manage to stay in the hunt for a few days before I got cut. Once, a 16 year old Lance Armstrong passed me on the bike in a triathlon like I was standing still – he was obviously doing performance enhancing drugs even back then. I yelled, “DRUG USER!” as he blew past me. How else do you explain his ability to pass me?! Oh, you mean we may not have been created equal? I’ve tried to play the guitar for years, but I’ll never play like Leo Kottke, BB King, or Ian Anderson. Or any other professional musician. I know just enough to know how horrible I play. I even know that I should have said “horribly,” but I’m not going to change it.

We aren’t all physically equal and we aren’t gifted with the same mental acumen. But we are all capable of determination, grit, and self-discipline. We’re capable of working hard and accomplishing things through the sheer power of our will and resolve.

But maybe our parents, or our past situations, allowed us to take the easy way out. We learn how to quit too early. We learn how to give up without much of a fight. We don’t have the kind of self-discipline to compensate for what we weren’t born with naturally. We congratulate ourselves for taking the path of least resistance. We learn to settle on mediocrity. We become experts at making excuses for our failures, for our low trajectory, for our underachieving.

I’m not gifted at anything. I’m not particularly smart, nor am I a naturally gifted athlete. I read slowly. I run slowly. I don’t remember any teacher or coach saying, “Tony, you’re really really good at …” (Though my 6th grade teacher did tell my mom that I was the funniest student she’d ever taught.) Everything I’ve done in life has been a result of taking my average ability and adding determination and hard work, self-discipline and an unwillingness to quit or give up.

But none of those things come close to the grit and determination of my two new heroes: Diana Nyad and Harriet Anderson; two women who exemplify the meaning of awesome and bad-ass.

At the age of 74, Harriet Anderson finished the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. The Ironman distance race is a 2.4 mile open water swim, followed by a 112 bicycle race, finishing with a full 26.2 mile marathon … in under 17 hours. The race begins at 7am and the participants have until midnight to finish. Hundreds, young and fit, drop out every year. Hundreds, young and fit, don’t finish in time. It can be heart wrenching to watch a triathlete finish that race at midnight plus 1 second. Disqualified and in tears.

Harriet isn’t the oldest to finish that race. That title belongs to 82 year old Lew Hollander. And Harriet, a veteran of all but 3 Hawaii Ironman triathlons since 1989, barely made the 17 hour cut-off that year.

But this is what Harriet did do.

After swimming 2.4 miles in the ocean, fighting other swimmers and the ocean swells; she got on her bicycle and headed out to race the 56 miles to the turnaround. The heat and wind that day forced several to quit. It was just too brutal, they said. On Harriet’s way back from the bike turnaround, and at about the 80 mile mark, some douchebag guy bumped into Harriet and she crashed. (He didn’t even stop to check on her.) Harriet, 74 years old and banged up badly, brushed herself off, got back on her bike, and rode the next 32 miles in pain.

After the bike leg, she could have checked into the medical tent – which would have ensured that a thorough exam would delay her to the point of not giving her enough time to finish the marathon by the midnight cutoff — but Harriet opted instead to get a medical volunteer to patch her up and put her arm in a sling. Then she took off to chase down the marathon.

Harriet finished the race, under the 17 hour cutoff, only then allowing herself to check into the medical tent where personnel discovered that she had broken her clavicle in the crash at the 80 mile mark. She had finished the bike race and run the entire 26.2 mile marathon, banged up and with a broken clavicle.

If you’ve been living in a cave the last few days, then you missed when 64 year old Diana Nyad became the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage. This was her 5th attempt over a 35-year span that included 4 miserable and disappointing failures. She spent 53 hours in the water, fighting fatigue, nausea and constant vomiting, jelly fish, sleep deprivation, salt water, depression, high seas, and a swim mask that cut her tongue and caused her to swallow salt water on just about every stroke.

She looked like hell when 64 year old Diana Nyad walked out of the ocean onto the beach in Florida, completing the 110 miles from Cuba to Florida in 53 hours.

When she was asked what she thought about during those 53 hours, Nyad explained, “You don’t like it. It’s not going well. Find a way.” After 35 years, and 5 attempts, Diana Nyad found a way.

Find a way.

Harriet Anderson and Diana Nyad found ways.

Not blessed with athletic abilities, find a way.
Not blessed with youth, find a way.
Not blessed with great health, find a way.
Not blessed with a great job, find a way.
Not blessed with great intelligence, find a way.
Not blessed with great wealth – or any wealth, find a way.
Not blessed with the means to follow your dreams, find a way.

You don’t like it. It’s not going well. Find a way.

Winners, achievers, and the truly awesome – real badasses – find a way. Everyone else finds an excuse, someone to blame, and a participation trophy.

— 30 —


BOGA (– one part boot camp, one part power yoga.) FOR ALL CLASSES TOMORROW!


by Sergeant Ashley Hofeditz, RD LDN,
(An Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

Clean Eating’s Dirty Little Secrets

“You can lose weight by eating clean!” “The top 5 ways to eat clean.” “Clean eating has changed my life.” “Find out how you can be healthier by eating clean!”

“Clean eating” or “eating clean” seems to be a hot topic these days. I see posts and ads like the ones above all over Facebook, on blogs, in tweets, and even on the news. So if everyone is “eating clean” should you be too? Let’s take a closer look at some of the dirty little secrets surrounding this new health craze.

What the heck is clean eating anyway? The answer actually depends on whom you ask! Just by scrolling through several different web pages on clean eating I was surprised! The vegetarian says you shouldn’t eat meat, the Paleo diet loving power lifter says “clean eating” is not eating grains, the soccer mom says it is avoiding artificial flavorings and additives, the food enthusiast says it is avoiding fruit since it has too much sugar, and the diet guru says it is avoiding gluten since it leads to inflammation. How interesting! Five different websites and five different definitions! Clean eating is whatever these people what to think it is. Therein lies the problem … eating clean has no clear definition! If there is no clear definition of what clean eating is, it can’t really be debated or researched.

“Eating clean” won’t necessarily help you lose weight. Some proponents of “clean eating” seem to think that be eating a certain balance of clean foods will help your metabolism. Or that if you avoid “bad” foods you will burn more fat. Hogwash! Unless you create a calorie deficit (you eat less calories than you burn) you will NOT lose weight!!

“Clean eating” can actually lead to poor nutritional decision-making. When we hear over and over that sugar is bad, that additives cause cancer, that meat rots your stomach or that gluten causes inflammation, these claims can scare us. More than likely the health professionals and food enthusiasts mean well and just want us to cut back on things that they think are not healthy, but messages like these do more harm than good. People who may already be very food conscious may use this information as a way to restrict or avoid even more foods.

Take for gluten for instance. If you hear over and over that gluten causes inflammation and this is why you are overweight, you may become less able to listen to actual legitimate, evidenced based nutritional advice such as “Gluten is perfectly fine for the majority of the population.” But because of your fear, you think that you of course are in the minority and that gluten is bad for you specifically. Fear based decisions are usually not the most rational ones.

Lastly, people that tout their way of clean eating falsely assume that their diet is perfect for everyone. Research shows this just isn’t true. There is no one-way of eating that is right for everyone. Runners need more carbohydrates, weight lifters may require more protein, and others may benefit from a more fiber filled diet. And most of us prefer to eat based on our own personal, regional, and cultural preferences. So following these strict “clean eating “diets can be very limiting and can actually make you pretty unhappy. Like Sweet Brown says, “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat!”

Thank you, Ashley!


If you run with music, turn it down or use only one earbud. I recently bought an excellent single earbud (XDU Noise Isolating Earbud) from Far End Gear



College football is BACK!!! Halleluiah!

Every Friday during football season is game day t-shirt day! Wear your alma mater’s colors and paraphernalia on Fridays. If your school doesn’t have a football team or you didn’t make it to college, feel free to adopt any school you like!




Invite your friends to “like” our USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Facebook page. You can do that directly from our boot camp page. Just go to the page and you’ll see a section on the right that will allow you to easily invite your friends to like the page. In particular, your Memphis friends!

This may be the first seed to sow in helping a friend get back into exercise and fitness! They can get exposed to what goes on, they’ll be more likely to make a change and maybe even join you on The Quarterdeck!

Encourage your friends and family to “Like” the page! It might motivate your friends and family to take charge of their lives!

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



I am asking you veterans to fill out a card – I have them – with your name, number of years of service, and preferred t-shirt size!


MAKE A $&(#&@^#!*% FACE!!!!



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:

Corporal Lee Chase,
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!

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
– ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2011
– Tara Ingram 11/2011
– Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Teresa Reed 2/2012
– Alan Compton 4/2012
– Natalie Mannon 5/2012
– Steve Havard 5/2012
– Emma Crystal 5/2012
– Megan Collins 6/2012
– Maria Wyatt 6/2012
– Beth Stengel 2/2012
– Chris Kelley 6/2102
– Susye Clark 7/2012
– Victoria Tigrett 8/2012
– Crystal Bloodworth 8/2012
– Lora Gubanov 8/2012
– Shelia Johnson 8/2012

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Paul Bauer 11/2010
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– Robin Scott 3/2011
– Chris McLelland 3/2011
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Randal Rhea 4/2011
– Cindy King 4/2011
– Sherri Thompson 4/2011
– Becky Lawler 5/2010*
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Melissa Thompson 5/2011
– Michelle Moss 5/2011
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– Tait Keller 8/2011
– Heath Anderson 9/2011
– Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– Cameron Mosley 11/2009
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010
– Ashley Hofeditz 4/2010
– Beth Mills 5/2010
– Emily Melonas 6/2010
– Keith Renard 6/2009*
– Ashley McClure 7/2010
– Falana Scott 7/2010
– Jenni Harris 8/2010
– Anne Marie Wyatt 8/2010
– Tim Romanow 8/2010

Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
– Jonathan Phillips 10/2008
– Scott Plunkett 10/2008
– Shena Clemons 10/2008
– Jessie Flanders 1/2009
– Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
– Ben Killerlain 1/2009
– Paul Tronsor 3/2009
– Teresa Faulk 6/2009
– Sarah Vickers 8/2009
– Robert Hunt 8/2009

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– George Rose 10/2007
– Frank Jemison 10/2007
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Rob Johnston 4/2008
– Alan Schaeffer 4/2008
– Buddy Daves 5/2008
– Mike Ryan 5/2006*
– Dory Sellers 6/2006*
– Albo Carruthers 8/2008
– Anne Kenworthy 8/2008
– Patrick Moore 9/2008

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Jeff Lee 1/2006
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Michelle Dunn 3/2007
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
– Leslie Garey 6/2007
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007
– Matt Prince 8/2007

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– Gary Thompson 10/2005
– Scot Bearup 10/2005
– Kay Shelton 1/2006
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006
– Ralph Braden 9/2006

Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
– Melissa Moore 2/2005
– Louis Glazer 3/2005
– Matt Green 5/2005
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*

Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
– David Townsend 1/2004
– Hank Brown 3/2004
– Andrew Forsdick 9/2004

Over 10 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 2
– Pat McGhee 1/2003
– John Whittemore 1/2003
– Peter Pettit 5/2003
– Buddy Flinn 7/2003
– Amy Singer 9/2003

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!



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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Like us on Facebook

Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust