Sergeant Tony's Blog

Wednesday, May. 14th 2014 2:11 PM

A little boy and his dad found a cocoon.

“What’s that?” asked the little boy.

“It’s a cocoon. It’s a little home where a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.” explained the dad.

Seeing a chance to have a little natural science lesson for his son, the dad took the cocoon inside the house so that the two of them could study the process.

Over the next few days the little boy watched in wonder, imagining how the caterpillar was transforming into a beautiful butterfly, and reporting the progress to his dad.

One morning before the dad left for work, he and his son watched as the cocoon started to move and shake. The little boy got very excited and wanted to know what was going on.

“The caterpillar has transformed into a butterfly and is now trying to get out of the cocoon!” said the dad.

The little boy’s eyes were glued to the shaking cocoon when the dad left for work.

When the dad returned home that evening, he found a terrible thing. The cocoon was still on the counter where he’d left it but it was open at one end. On the floor nearby lay the dead butterfly.

The dad called for his son who came into the kitchen to see what the dad had discovered.

“What happened?” asked the dad. “Did you see it?”

“Yes, I saw it and I tried to help.” answered the little boy, trying to hold back the tears.

“What do you mean you tried to help.”

“Well, I watched and watched and watched and the cocoon was shaking and the butterfly was trying so hard to get out. So, I helped him. I opened that end of the cocoon so that he could get out. But when he got out, he just fell on the floor and never moved again.”

The dad shook his head and then explained what happened.

“Son, the butterfly on the inside of the cocoon is weak and can’t fly. So it struggles everyday to get out of the cocoon. As it struggles to get out, its wings become stronger and stronger. When the butterfly’s wings are finally strong enough so that it is able to break out of the cocoon all by itself, its wings are finally strong enough for the butterfly to survive and fly.”

Over 2,500 years ago, the historian Thucydides, writing about the Great Peloponnesian War, said:
“We must remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the hardest school.”

He also said, “The state that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools.” These were the first of many things I read about the history of combat and war when I was a young Marine learning the precepts of leadership in Non-commissioned Officer’s School.

Today it seems the worst things parents can do to their kids is allow them to struggle. I’m a dad. I get it. I understand the temptation to pave the way, fill the pot holes, and take away the road hazards for our kids.

But when things are made easy for kids and then made easier again by parents who overindulge, pamper, and spoil their kids, nothing good results. As a parent, I know how easy it is to do. We want more for our kids than what we ourselves had. We want to protect them from … the things in life … that made us … who … we … are.

Wait, … what?

In the process, kids get robbed of the opportunities to be creative, to learn patience, to cope, to adapt, to improvise, and to solve problems. Everything is given, provided, or arranged by doting, but well meaning parents.

Then parents get in competition with their friends, who are also parents, as they try to keep up with the latest fad, craze, class, camp, or lesson. The Smith’s have their kids in a slew of stuff, so the Johnson’s kids have to join in too!

In 1776, Thomas Paine wrote, “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.”

There seems to be a woeful lack of “dearness” and no sense of value. Everything comes easy, few things mean much, and a vacant sense of accomplishment follows.

Some parents probably need professional scheduling software for their computers and smart phones just to keep up with all of the camps, classes, and superfluous play-dates. Kids are over-scheduled, overindulged, spoiled, and egocentric. They have a colossal sense of entitlement that grows like a cancer and a diminishing sense of respect and knowledge of proper behavior towards adults and their environment. A quick visit to any fast food joint at lunchtime this summer will be more than enough evidence to make my point. Real housewives of Memphis will be in the local Chic-fil-A negotiating with the little darlings to finish their lunch. Or you’ll hear moms begging and negotiating with them to please get out of the bin of plastic balls because it’s time to go to your golf lesson.

Really? Negotiating??

I never negotiated with my children and the only time they said no to me was when I asked them if they’d like to spend the rest of the day working in the yard.

Spoiled little demons learn early on that they are the center of their parent’s lives and that mom and dad’s role is to make them happy and comfortable. The kids aren’t an addition to their parent’s lives … they ARE their parent’s lives. And you really can’t blame the kids. It’s not their fault that their parents are doing it wrong. Kids will be kids.

It’s a tough balancing act, I know. But today there’s no act at all. The scales are clearly out of balance and the kids are winning, but society is losing.

When I returned from Japan in 1998, I joined the faculty and coaching staff of a local private high school. The lexicon of new words added to my vocabulary during those first few months included phrases I’d never heard of before like “participation trophy.”

“I’m sorry, what?”

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

I don’t have a learning disability — I’ve got a couple o’ three degrees from reputable schools — but I had to have that one explained to me more than twice.

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

That set off a firestorm of complaints and criticism! You’d have thought that I’d just committed high treason. Parents, teachers, and administrators got mad at me. I mean really really mad at me. But oddly enough, none of the kids got mad at me. They couldn’t care less. See, they’d been getting those worthless and meaningless “participation trophies” ever since they were in T-ball and adding another goofy trohphy to clutter up their shelves wasn’t going to mean anything to them.

No dearness.

Eventually I had to give up and give in and buy the participation trophies … just to appease the kids? No, the misguided adults! The “awards” ceremony was like a bad episode of Oprah. “YOU GET A TROPHY AND YOU GET A TROPHY AND YOU GET A TROPHY!!” Stupid.

The sense of accomplishment that I give you at USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP is intentional. Bragging rights are pretty cool. You’ve chosen one of the hardest workouts that you can do without actually joining the Marine Corps and you’re doing it under Spartan conditions! (“THIS … IS … SPARTA!”) It’s not unlike the bragging rights I enjoy as a Marine. And you get a piece of that too!

Bragging rights … because you struggle and you overcome. Because you work hard and take a backseat to no other workout!

Allow your kid to work hard … and to be bored … and to be uncomfortable … and to struggle … and to have to wait on things … and to have to look out the window and imagine.

You want to be a good parent? Teach your children the meaning of dearness. Teach them the meaning of scarcity. Give them the gift of struggle. It will make their wings strong. And when it’s time, they will soar on their own! It may not make you their BFF, but it’ll make you a good parent. Good parents don’t get participation trophies and if you’re hoping to get back from them what you’ve invested, you probably won’t. They won’t have a clue how hard parenting is until they take on the job themselves. So teach them how to do a good job when they raise your grandchildren.

“For he is best who is trained in the hardest school.”

— 30 —



That’s 1/2 boot camp exercise and 1/2 cardio (walking, jogging, running … whatever you’re capable of.)


If you’ve been an active duty boot camper in 2014, your fees aren’t going up. All new recruits and all returning former active duty boot campers will be under the new fee structure effective 1 June, so you formerly active and awesome folks come on back NOW and lock in the old rate!


by Staff Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A 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 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 who you ask! Just by scrolling through ten 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!!

Lastly, “eating clean” 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 it is bad for you specifically. Fear based decisions are usually not the most rational ones.

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 for that!”


You can help me!

Many of you who are licensed and/or certified in your professions also have to get CEUs (continuing education units) per year to remain licensed and certified. It’s the same with me.

I’m currently working on additional fitness education in the area of behavior and motivation, also known as transtheoretical model of behavioral change or TTM for short.

Here’s how you can help. If you were not exercising at all prior to joining USMC Fitness Boot Camp, would you send me a private message? I’d like to ask you a couple of questions.

Helping me out will indicate that you’re a really good person and worthy of an excellent life!

If you’ve already responded to this, thank you!


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.

These are the current 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.



Are you coming up on promotion? Let me know!

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
– Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
– Teresa Reed 2/2012*
– Natalie Mannon 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
– Orli Weisser-Pike 9/2012
– Morgan Johnson 10/2012
– ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2012
– Chuck Miller 11/2012
– Diane Gorney 12/2012
– Lexie Johnston 12/201?
– Ashley Summers 2/2014
– Ben Summers 2/2013
– Sam Lee 2/2013
– Louise Biedenharn 2/2013
– Jay Biedenharn 2/2013
– Ragan Washburn 2/2013
– Mary Holland Doan 4/2013
– Kay Barkoh 4/2013
– Melissa Campbell 4/2013

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Becky Lawler 5/2010*
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– Tait Keller 8/2011
– Heath Anderson 9/2011
– Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011
– Tara Ingram 11/2011
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Jean Maskas 2/2012
– Keith Renard 4/2012
– Alan Compton 4/2012
– Steve Havard 5/2012

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– 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
– Paul Bauer 11/2010

– Robin Scott 3/2011
– Chris McLelland 3/2011
– Randal Rhea 4/2011
– Cindy King 4/2011
– Sherri Thompson 4/2011
– Melissa Thompson 5/2011
– Michelle Moss 5/2011

Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
– Jonathan Phillips 10/2008*
– Scott Plunkett 10/2008
– Shena Clemons 10/2008
– Teresa Faulk 6/2009
– Sarah Vickers 8/2009
– Robert Hunt 8/2009
– Cameron Mosley 11/2009
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010

– Jay Mednikow 3/2010
– Ashley Holloway 4/2010
– Beth Mills 5/2010

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– 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
– Jessie Flanders 1/2009
– Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
– Ben Killerlain 1/2009
– Paul Tronsor 3/2009

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Jeff Lee 1/2006*
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Leslie Garey 6/2007
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007
– Matt Prince 8/2007

– Frank Jemison 10/2007
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Michelle Dunn 3/2007
– George Rose 5/2007
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007

Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
– Louis Glazer 3/2005
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*
– Gary Thompson 10/2005
– Scot Bearup 10/2005
– Kay Shelton 1/2006
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006

Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
– Andrew Forsdick 9/2004
– Melissa Moore 2/2005
– Matt Green 5/2005

Over 10 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 2
– Buddy Flinn 7/2003
– Amy Singer 9/2003
– David Townsend 1/2004
– Hank Brown 3/2004

Over 11 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 3
– Pat McGhee 1/2003
– John Whittemore 1/2003
– Peter Pettit 5/2003

Battalion Executive Officer
Major Richard Bourland, 9/2003

* 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 Inside the blue gym until April.

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!


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 becomes OFF LIMITS! Get moving!
3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn the TV on!

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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