Sergeant Tony's Blog

It’s Not Me, It’s You! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 9/25/2014

Thursday, Sep. 25th 2014 9:51 AM

Every man I know, from Congressional Medal of Honor winners to skinny middle school boys whose voices still crack when they talk, is afraid of the same thing: female drama.

Actually it’s not fair to say that we’re fearful of it, we just find is so unpleasant and awful that we’ll do practically anything to avoid it. So in order to by-pass that bit of repugnance, we’ll do the following: leave a break up voicemail message on her work phone, send break up texts, and change our Facebook relationship status with no prior warning to her. We’ll even send a break up message through some intermediary.

Cowardice? Maybe.

We aren’t interested in “the talk” … either giving one or receiving one.

As men, we know that when you ladies say, “we need to talk,” we’re relatively certain that you aren’t going to say, “Listen, I’ve been totally unreasonable and bitchy lately, I hope you’ll forgive me.” We are 100% sure that the woman who declares that “we need to talk” is going to give us a detailed recitation of OUR infractions, misdemeanors, and felony offenses. It’s a kangaroo court where the plaintiff is also the prosecuting attorney, judge, and jury. And if the defendant doesn’t show enough contrition and guilt after the case has been presented, the plaintiff will crank up the histrionics.

Yeah, we love those talks.

As men, when the “thrill is gone” from a relatively short-term relationship, we’ll just become “too busy” and quit calling, emailing, and texting. Work is “crazy,” we’ll say. And other crap like that. And yes, I’m guilty of this. Every man I know is too. And so is every woman.

But that’s not really what this is about.

Last week I talked about attraction not being a choice. That it either is or it isn’t there. Most of us know this to be true. If you’ve ever been single and one of your friends fixed you up with someone you’d never met before, you knew whether you were attracted to them within the first few minutes of meeting them.

Certainly there are things that someone can do to enhance their attractiveness quotient: work on themselves, inside and out; learn to be happy alone; learn to be patient; have their own life, their own friends, their own source of joy and happiness, etc.

But what about a situation where initially there was some level of attraction, but then …?

We were fixed up, “Allison” and me, by a mutual friend who thought we’d be a good match. I’d seen her picture and she’d seen mine and both of us, apparently, were not repulsed by the other and agreed to meet for dinner. She had short red hair and clear blue eyes and seemed to smile all the time. Plus she had good posture. After a few minutes, I actually thought I might have a connection with her! Allison was from Lexington, KY and had graduated from UK with a degree in anthropology and was working as a mortgage broker. (Since this was before the Calipari debacle, I hadn’t yet developed a bias against UK.) She seemed energetic and happy and confident. And energetic and happy and confident are huge! Allison even asked questions about me. And she listened. We seemed to have a number of things in common. A number of safe things, of course.

Over the next few weeks, I saw Allison once on the weekends and had at least one or two interactions with her during the week. In the beginning of a relationship, romantic and otherwise, we do a little dance. We talk about safe subjects and try not to introduce anything too controversial in the process of getting to know the other person. We keep our crazy cards — if we have them — close to our chests and try not to give too much away too soon. We try not to smother the other person by coming on too strong or too fast. There’s an unwritten law or agreement, a timed choreography, to relationship building. It’s a bit like practicing tennis. The goal is to keep the ball in play. You don’t hit winners. You don’t get impatient waiting for the other person to return the ball by hitting more balls over the net. You wait for the other person to return the ball before you put another ball, or balls, in play. You wait.

Think of it using this metaphor: the relationship is like a bridge under construction. In the beginning, it’s like a rope bridge with wood slats that you have to walk over carefully with your hands on the rope that’s doubling as a banister. Over time the rope bridge becomes a wooden foot bridge that becomes a wider reinforced wooden bridge that could support more weight and maybe over time that bridge that was once a rope bridge becomes a Brooklyn Bridge capable of bearing tremendous weight for years and years. But if you put the weight of a car on a rope bridge, it will fail. You must be patient. You must wait. The bridge will be built over time and it may not be built on your time schedule … so you must wait.

You wait.

Even if waiting is uncomfortable, and it is.

You wait.

Good things are worth waiting for. And in a culture of instant gratification, overnight shipping, and next day delivery, we seem unable or unwilling to exercise one of the grandest of all virtues: patience.

As the days passed, as much as I had wished otherwise, my interest in Allison started to wane. What had started out with a good deal of anticipation had stalled. Allison clearly wanted something more in the relationship and this introduced a dynamic into our interactions that made me feel a little claustrophobic. She wanted more time and more of a commitment and she wanted it quicker than what I was comfortable with.

I didn’t understand her hurry, her impatience. She progressively called, emailed, and texted more than I was returning, almost 3 to 1. I’d get three forms of communication from her before I even had a chance to respond to one. Plus I hate talking on the phone! (Which I told her.) We’d started out positive and upbeat and energetic and fun. But it was starting to look and feel like something not those things. I felt myself tense up and I didn’t like that feeling.

Over the next couple of weeks, I started to step back. Allison responded by coming on even stronger and pouting and acting upset by my failure to respond in a “timely” way, and in a way that she preferred, to her ever increasing correspondence and phone calls. What?? She demanded answers to needy insecure questions. What had happened to that energetic, happy, confident, and positive lady I’d met in the beginning?

I was progressively becoming confused and frustrated. She seemed to use passive aggressive tactics to express a neediness that I hadn’t seen initially. She was doing just the opposite of what she should have been doing if she wanted to be in a relationship with me. We’d barely been seeing one another for six weeks.

At about that time, I kissed her goodnight after we’d been out to dinner and a movie. It was no full on passionate kissing, hardly more than a peck. As I pulled back and turned to go, she said, “So, where do you see this going?”

I’m sorry, what? …

That was when I knew that it was over for me. I was done.

Initially there had been attraction and interest, but those things waned over time and eventually they died all together as her agenda and impatience got the best of her and changed the essence of our relationship.

So, did I sit down and explain these things to Allison? Did I call her and explain what had happened? Did I explain why I’d lost interest in her? Did I do the hard work of telling her that she’d smothered me and choked out the attraction? No. I did the easy thing and just quit contacting her and quit responding to her. When I couldn’t ignore her calls, I answered and said that I was so busy with teaching, coaching, and leading boot camp that I just had no time for a relationship. It was crazy busy and hectic, I explained.

I lied.

Generally speaking, we give people a noble reason or excuse for not satisfying their expectations and desires. We’re busy. We’re swamped at work. We had a prior engagement. We’re tired. We have out of town guests. We’ve got a sick relative. We’ve got to travel on business. We’re going through a strange time in our lives. We say these kinds of things in order to avoid having “the talk” and explaining that we don’t like that person anymore and these are the reasons why we don’t want to be with you anymore. We don’t want to tell the other person hurtful things. It’s not you, it’s me. We don’t want to hurt them more than they’re already going to be hurt, so we put the onus on ourselves.

This applies not only to romantic relationships but also to casual friendships and other associations. Friendship building is much like interacting with cats and kids. The more you pursue them, the more they’ll run from you. Too much, too fast, too soon is not only the biggest mistake made by new runners, it’s the biggest mistake made in relationship building, right up there with borrowing money from someone. There’s an ebb and flow to the process of relationship building that can’t be ignored and can’t be hurried. No one likes an interloper. Some people bounce from one relationship or group of friends and associates to another, going in quick and smothering people in the process. Then they seem truly surprised when that situation turns sour and people withdraw from them.

They never give us the gift of missing them … because … they … are … always … THERE!

How can anyone relax if they feel they’re being hunted or nagged or stalked? Which differs immeasurably to being wanted. I think we have in our genetic code a DNA strand that dates back to our earliest ancestors, a flight or fight response mechanism that helps to keep our species from extinction. I think we have an instinctual reaction to being hunted, which differs immeasurably from being desired. The hunter has little concern about the personal feelings and preferences of the hunted. The hunter only cares about their own needs being met.

We all have needs.

But I don’t want to be needed. I want to be wanted. Being needed means there’s something that doest work, something that’s not functional about the other person that I need to fix. Or the situation is dysfunctional and needs repair.

I may “need” a new Boot Camp Assault Vehicle, but I “want” a 1970 Chevy Chevelle SS 454 five speed on the floor (but I’d take any year model! I’m not that picky!). I may need a balanced diet and healthy eating, but I want ice cream.

Some people can’t be alone. They MUST have someone in their lives. And that often means ANYone. Some people are in constant need of stimulation and new things. Some people are easily bored and are in need of entertainment and trips and trinkets and do-dads. Some people — ordinarily ladies — have agendas (marriage, house, kids — QUICKLY! Can’t you hear the tick tock?). Some people are carrying the unresolved baggage of a previous relationship(s) and they need the next person, or next situation, to fix it. Some people reek with the smell of desperation and that scares everyone away.

Relationships are best forged over time. I immediately put up defenses and a wall of suspicion when someone new barges into my life in a hurry, assuming a familiarity that is not in evidence and inserts themselves in my life uninvited. My friend from childhood, Carolyn, used a metaphor of an old Southern antebellum house to describe me. She said that I have a big front yard and an enormous wrap around porch and I invite everyone from the street to the yard for a picnic. And most everyone is warmly welcomed onto the porch. But few get invited inside. And those that do get invited inside, are those who’ve spent a good deal of time outside earning trust and spending time with me.

I rather think a lot of us are that way. I think the majority of us can be described with a similar metaphor: big yard, wrap around porch, restricted entrance to the inside.

Good friendships and good relationships are the ones built on a deep foundation that takes time to dig and reinforce.

Single friends, work on you! Be happy and healthy, confident and patient. Learn to be comfortable and happy in your own company and in your own life. Relax. There are worse things than being single. Your best day in a dysfunctional relationship is still less desirable than your worst day alone. Trust me.

— 30 —


However, if it’s raining, we’ll do BOGA

During college football season wear your favorite team’s shirt or hat or other gear every Friday! (Or whenever your team plays!)


We’ve changed our run day to SATURDAYS! (Weather permitting.)

Our next training run will be this Saturday morning at 7am.

The cost for the 3 months of training is $75 for active duty boot campers and $125 for “friends of boot camp.” And it’s not too late to get started. Let’s talk!

If you’re not interested in half marathon training, but you’d like to get your one hour of CC (continuous cardio) with the Buffalo Runners, you’re welcome to join us at no cost!

Our goal will be to run on Saturdays, but if the weather forecast for the weekend makes it more prudent to run on Sunday instead, then we’ll run on Sunday.


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.”)

The Buzz about Coffee and Caffeine

If you love nothing more than a freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning, then you are definitely not alone. Caffeine may be the most widely used stimulant in the world with approximately 90 percent of Americans consuming caffeine on a daily basis. More than half of us consume more than 3 cups of coffee a day or approximately 300 milligrams (mg) of caffeine with about 10% of us taking in more than 1000 mg a day.

Caffeine is a natural component of chocolate, coffee, and tea, and is also added to most colas and energy drinks. It’s also found in diet pills and some over-the-counter pain relievers and medicines.

One thing is certain, caffeine is addictive. Although caffeine’s effects are milder than other stimulants like amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin; caffeine uses the same mechanisms that these harder drugs use to stimulate the brain. When you drink a cup of coffee, the caffeine is quickly absorbed from your stomach and peaks in your blood in 1-2 hours. It increases your heart rate and blood pressure to give you a quick, high buzz that feels like energy.

Luckily, since coffee is so widely consumed, it has been researched extensively. According to leading health and medical experts, the general answer is that normal coffee consumption (about one large mug a day) will not hurt your health. To date, there is no obvious connection between caffeine and cancer, high blood pressure, or heart disease.

However, certain people may want to limit their caffeine or choose decaf coffee. People prone to ulcers, pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, and those who have anemia, or low iron levels would want to limit their caffeine intake since caffeine can reduce iron absorption.

Studies show that just 30 mg of caffeine can have an impact on your mood and behavior. But an intake of just 100 mg a day can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms, so consuming a large coffee in the morning and an energy drink in the afternoon can be enough caffeine to cause withdrawal symptoms the next day. Those withdrawal symptoms can cause the fatigue that actually sends you in search of that next cup of joe.

Caffeine has also been shown to enhance exercise performance. No wonder we see it in so many sports gels and gu’s. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, studies from the 1970’s suggested that caffeine enhanced endurance performance by increasing the release of adrenaline into the blood stream which stimulated the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue and/or skeletal muscle. The working muscles use this extra fat early in exercise, reducing the need to use the body’s carbohydrate or glycogen stores. By sparing muscle glycogen in the early stage of exercise, it allowed the glycogen stores to be used later in exercise which delayed fatigue.

More recent studies have reported that consuming 3-9 mg of caffeine per kilogram (kg) of body weight one hour prior to exercise increased endurance running and cycling performance of well-trained elite or recreational athletes in a laboratory setting. To put this into perspective, 3 mg per kg body weight equals approximately 2 regular size cups of coffee; and 9 mg/kg = approximately 5-6 regular size cups of coffee. The exact mechanisms for how caffeine increases endurance has not been clearly established, but it may involve metabolic, hormonal, or direct effects of caffeine on muscles and/or on the nervous system.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, caffeine, when used moderately, may help improve performance when you haven’t had a good night’s sleep. But that’s really part of the problem, because overuse of caffeine can interfere with sleep, in some cases substantially. It takes about 3 to 4 hours for the caffeine to be eliminated from your body. In children and adults, caffeine can lead to disturbed sleeping patterns, anxiety and nervousness, upset stomach, headaches and difficulty concentrating. For anyone looking for energy, the best way to get it is naturally. Eat healthfully, stay hydrated, get lots of exercise (I highly recommend USMC Fitness Boot Camp) and get plenty of zzz’s.


Here’s a special running opportunity for you from Boot Camper, “Homefries!” She writes:

Hi bootcampers!
My name is Theresa Reed (aka “Homefries” or “Homeskillet”)! Some of you might know me from various bootcamp classes, mostly the 6:45am class.
I am part of a club this year at my school called SVOSH. This organization of student doctors goes to different countries around the world and provides free eye care and glasses to the people in those communities. In the past, the club has sent SVOSH members to Haiti, Belarus, Belize, Columbia and Honduras.
In order to go on the trip, each member (myself included!) is required to raise at least $500 and contribute at least 60 volunteer hours to the club.
In order to meet my goals, I am recruiting people for the SVOSH Eye 5k. I get $10 and 1 hour towards my goal for each person who signs up AND mentions my name in their registration! I will be running, but you don’t have to run with me! You can walk and eat a hamburger if you want to, or you can try to beat the current course record of 15:13! I will be doing neither of these things.
Where? Southern College of Optometry (1245 Madison Ave)
When? Saturday, October 4th @ 10am (check-in is at 9:00am)
Cost? $20 through Sept 30th; $25 October 1-4.
Where does the money go? All proceeds go towards travel expenses for SVOSH volunteer trips.
Perks? You get a really cool T-shirt! Music, food and refreshments will follow the race, and medals will be awarded to the top three finalists in each age group.
Registration Instructions: -Follow the link below to register. -When the form asks, “How did you hear about this event”, put “Through someone in the SVOSH community”. In the line below, please put my name, “Theresa Reed”.
Link to register: Info about the race can be found at The current course record is held by Olympian Josh McAdams with a time of 15:13! If you would like to read more about SVOSH, you can go to


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:

Private Sam Podesta
Private Ben Newsham
PFC Tim Jacobs
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 Chief Warrant Officer 2 Andrew Forsdick.



Are you coming up on promotion? Let me know! If you’ve been in the program for 6 months straight, you should be on the roster!

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!


Under 6 months is a Private

Private First Class is more than 6 months but less than 1 year.
– “El” McCain 11/2013
– Angela Moore 12/2013
– Jenn Bonner 12/2013
– Brett Bonner 1/2014

Over 1 year is a Lance Corporal
– Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
– Teresa Reed 2/2012*
– Emma Crystal 5/2012
– Megan Collins 6/2012
– Maria Wyatt 6/2012
– 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
– Gina Tice 4/2013
– Mallory Raffensberger 8/2013
– Ashley Bowles 8/2013
– Greg Gaston 8/2013
– Steve Pike 9/2013
– Karen Tronsor 9/2013

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– Courtney Phillips 2/2011
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 5/2011
– Bevan Lee 5/2011
– Mary Bauer 6/2011
– Lee Chase 7/2011
– Tait Keller 8/2011
– Heath Alderson 9/2011
– Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011
– ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2011
– Tara Ingram 11/2011
– Rachel Phillips 2/2012
– Jean Maskas 2/2012
– Keith Renard 4/2012
– Alan Compton 4/2012
– Steve Havard 5/2012
– Beth Stengel 2/2012
– Chris Kelley 6/2102
– Lora Gubanov 8/2012
– Susye Clark 7/2012
– Orli Weisser-Pike 9/2012
– Lindsey Leet 9/2013
– Morgan Johnson 9/2012

Over 3 years is a Sergeant
– Ashley McClure 7/2010
– Falana Scott 7/2010
– Jenni Harris 8/2010
– Anne Marie Wyatt 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
– Becky Lawler 5/2010*

Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
– Jonathan Phillips 10/2008*
– 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
– Emily Melonas 6/2010
– Keith Renard 6/2009*
– Tim Romanow 8/2010

Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
– Patrick Moore 9/2008*
– Jessie Flanders 1/2009
– Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
– Paul Tronsor 3/2009
– Robert Hunt 8/2009*

Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
– Anne Mead 2/2005*
– Beth Rehrig 7/2007
– Matt Prince 6/2007
– Frank Jemison 10/2007
– Patty Dougherty 3/2008
– Oscar Adams 3/2008
– Alan Schaeffer 5/2008
– Mike Ryan 5/2006*
– Dory Sellers 6/2006*
– Albo Carruthers 8/2008
– Anne Kenworthy 8/2008

Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
– Kay Ryan 10/2006
– Michelle Crockett 3/2007
– George Rose 5/2007
– Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
– Leslie Garey 6/2007

Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
– Louis Glazer 3/2005
– Gary Thompson 10/2005
– Scot Bearup 10/2005
– Kay Shelton 1/2006
– Leesa Jensen 5/2006
– Megan Warr 8/2006
– Rob Norcross 8/2006

Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
– Melissa Moore 2/2005
– Matt Green 5/2005
– Mike Barta 6/2005*
– Anne Emmerth 6/2005*

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

Over 11 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 3
– Pat McGhee 1/2003
– John Whittemore 1/2003
– Peter Pettit 5/2003
– Amy Singer 9/2003

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!

(This is not in conjunction with other discounts and is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you yourself set up yourself with your bank usually online and easy as pie!)



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 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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