Sergeant Tony's Blog

Chariots of Fire — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 10/22/2014

Wednesday, Oct. 22nd 2014 7:50 PM

Somewhere between 300 BC and 500 BC — depending on how you determine the age of ancient manuscripts — Pythagoras formulated a list of life lessons and admonitions commonly called “The Golden Verses.” Well known wise guys and wise ladies have done similar things throughout history. Benjamin Franklin’s list of resolutions and aims toward moral perfection is famous and intimidating. You’ll find that world leaders from George Washington to Benjamin Disraeli, and everyone in between and after, have prepared lists and guidelines for moral, ethical, and social behavior. (I’ve always liked a quote attributed to Disraeli: “There are three types of lies: lies, damn lies, and statistics.” And you could probably include “political ads” to that list too!)

Every year, most of us scribble together some sort of list of resolutions for the new year. Goals that we assemble to give us direction and that might ultimately lead to personal enrichment and improvement. (The “exercise” resolution usually gets abandoned before Valentine’s Day.) And we include many of the same things as history’s wisest men and women. And most of those lists include something about money.

Once upon a time, I got divorced. I didn’t retain an attorney. (HORRIBLE MISTAKE!) I just wanted out, wanted nothing, and was willing to sign any document to achieve that end. I would have signed papers saying that I was the second gunman on the grassy knoll or that I was responsible for The Spice Girls. You know, something truly dreadful. I probably shouldn’t have been that agreeable because after paying alimony and child support I had barely $600 left to live on per month! Per month. Let that sink in for a minute.

Additionally, I inherited a credit card bill that had a $17,000 balance. (None of the things bought with that card were in my possession when I moved out.) Leroy Jethro Gibbs of “NCIS” has a list of rules; rule number 13 says: “Never ever involve a lawyer” and I followed that rule to my detriment. It may be true that some divorce attorneys try to keep the two parties embroiled in contention and conflict in order to run up billable hours, but a good family law attorney is invaluable.

As a result of not having legal representation, I ended up so broke that homeless guys gave ME their spare change and cardboard signs!

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I had to come up with a plan. George Takei said, “If necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps poverty is the father of genius.” I needed to come up with genius.

I put together a strategy, a very Spartan plan. My minimalist austerities could have made Tom Hanks in “Castaway” proud. The bare bones approach I came up with included weekly goals, monthly goals, and yearly goals all designed to get me debt free and able to buy a house in 10 years. This was pretty ambitious given the little money I had to work with. So to adjust my mind to the challenge, I read Dave Ramsey and the teachings of asceticism found in almost every major religion. Like I said, I was desperate. I wasn’t necessarily looking for spiritual enlightenment, but I wasn’t opposed to it either!

And in under 7 years I was debt free and a happy home owner! (I could have taught Dave Ramsey a thing or two!) But during that same 7 year period, the two people who ridiculed me the most behind my back, and who laughed at my struggles, both filed for bankruptcy … twice. It may be a tad petty to mention it, but karma is kinda cool sometimes!

It’s always unwise to spend money you don’t have.

Marriage counselors tell us that many marital problems are common for all couples; money is almost always among them. Our attitudes about money are formed in youth and in the environment in which we are raised. Did you come from an atmosphere of abundance or scarcity? Did your spouse or significant other come from a similar background?

My parents were products of their generation. They were little children during the Great Depression and teenagers during WWII. They knew the reality of enforced rationing, scarcity, and sacrifice. As adults and young parents, they wasted nothing. My parents fixed, repaired, mended, repainted, and refurbished everything. Nothing was thrown away until there was absolutely no possible use or purpose for it. Growing up, we saved everything: lengths of aluminum foil that had been used to cover food were reused, as were baggies, ziplock bags, grocery bags, milk cartons, jelly jars, the plastic bowls that butter and CoolWhip came in, and on and on. Old bluejeans were saved to patch other bluejeans when such patchwork wasn’t fashionable. Batteries were boiled in water and given new life for another couple of days. Older sibling’s and cousin’s clothes were handed down to their younger relations. Bicycle tubes were patched and patched and patched so often that sometimes the patches had patches. We ate out at restaurants only twice a year, when my grandfather came to visit. Most men did the majority of their own mechanical work. In those days, the contents of an average man’s tool box was enough to perform most repairs on cars, which weren’t that complicated.

My parents passed this way of thinking about money and possessions on to their children. (You’ve seen my truck, right?)

Now imagine a person raised by such frugal parents being married to an only child raised by parents who indulged that child’s every whim and who never said no to that child. Does is sound like disaster? These are some of the many ways that people can be incompatible.

Money isn’t the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil according to The Bible. We could call the problem the obsession with money. We could call it the devaluing of character and knowledge and the disproportionate elevation of monetary status as its replacement. Once upon a time people went to college to get an education. Now it’s usually seen as a place to get training for a white collar job. It’s an understandable shift. Bills have to be paid. Student loans won’t pay themselves off.

But in the process of gaining knowledge for future professional careers a deep understanding of the disciplines of “the arts” is lost. College graduates, aiming only at professional training, receive little if any instruction in critical thinking and analysis. No where is there an opportunity in that kind of curriculum for a student to present an independent philosophical paper and defend that thesis in a class of their peers. Students get little experience in analytical thinking or analysis, all in the name of professional preparation for corporate America. A lot of money makers graduating, but not many critical/independent thinkers.

The Bible says a lot about money, little of it good and most of it ignored. Years ago, I heard Dr. Charles Culpepper get some folks at a large megachurch pretty upset when he took them to the woodshed. Dr. Culpepper, himself a missionary to China for over 40 years, and who spent two years in captivity as a prisoner in a Japanese prison camp during WWII, told the mostly affluent audience, and I’m paraphrasing here, that “God didn’t give you money to spend on yourselves. He gave it to you to spend on the Kingdom … to minister to the needs of the world in preaching the Gospel, in feeding the hungry, and in caring for the infirm and the hurting … he didn’t give it to you to spend on yourselves, on your fancy cars, your big houses, your country club memberships, and expensive lifestyles. He didn’t call you to be a Playboy, he called you to be a servant, to live a simple life, and to finance the causes of Christ throughout the world. He didn’t call you to start another church in a city already saturated with churches. He called you to leave this place and take the Gospel to the corners of the earth, to the unreached peoples of the world who’ve never heard the Gospel and who never will unless you go … and so then … why do you tarry here?”

You could have heard a pin drop. It was the first time I’d ever heard the word “Playboy” used in a sermon! He didn’t stop there. Dr. Culpepper left no complacent cultural Christian stone unturned. He went from preachin’ to meddlin’.

There were no “Amens” of affirmation, like the kind that had been heard in the earlier part of the program. People in the pew uncomfortably applauded at the end of the sermon. But afterwards, several of those well-heeled key members of that church — and of the country club, it was assumed — who’d just minutes earlier applauded the sermon, were seen chastising the pastor of the church for inviting Dr. Culpepper to speak. The old China missionary, close friend to Eric Liddell, whose life was made famous by the movie “Chariots of Fire,” was never invited to speak there again. Dr. Culpepper died two years later in 1986 at the age of 91.

Even the church has a problem with the role that money and possessions plays in its life, and prophets like Dr. Culpepper, whose grandson is a good friend of mine, are publicly lauded, but privately vilified, marginalized, and dismissed. The church doesn’t really want prophets. After all, many of the prophets of the Old Testament were summarily stoned to death, so not really a good career move to be one.

Tell me what a man does with his money, and I’ll tell you what’s important to him. That’s an adage that’s been quoted so often and by so many, that it’d be impossible to trace it to the source. “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also,” the Bible says. And vice versa.

I’m not a financial planner, but I know that the same thing that applies to weight loss: eat less, move more, is the key to sustained long term weight loss success, and that the same thing applies to money: earn more, spend less. I’m not going to be asked to give financial advice on The Today Show, but I do know something about getting out of debt.

Money management isn’t a long way off from weight management. Discipline, sacrifice, commitment, applied in one area of life can be applied to another. When talking to a new boot camper about their desires to lose weight, I often ask about successes they’ve had in other areas of their lives, looking for examples of those attributes of success from one thing to transfer to another. Dr. Phil has famously said, “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.” In 1775 Patrick Henry said, “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.” Or maybe said another way: high frequency, habitual behaviors are more predictive than infrequent behaviors.

Does that mean that we’re slaves to our past? Does that mean that if we’ve been financially irresponsible or regular failures at exercise and fitness in the past that we’re destined to be in debt and out of shape for the rest of our lives? Is the past always prelude?

No. I don’t think so.

But … changes will require a complete shift in thinking and behavior without excuses, compromises, or shortcuts. It’s been said before and I believe it: people do what they want to do and make excuses for the rest.

Debt and fitness are fixable. Let me help you fix your fitness.

— 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.”)

Three Easy Tips to Prevent Overeating

We all know that the best way to lose weight is to eat less and move more. Often times we sabotage our efforts to eat less without realizing it. Here are three ways we sabotage ourselves and what you can easily do to remedy the situation.

1. Using large bowls and plates. If you use a giant bowl to eat your cereal in, then most likely you are eating way more than you think. Your eyes trick you into thinking you are eating less than you think. So that giant bowl of Cap’n Crunch you are eating has about 22 % more crunchberries in it than if you had poured the cereal into a smaller bowl. And if your kids are eating out of these big bowls, they are likely to serve themselves up to 43% more since they are extra influenced by the visual appearance of food. In an interesting study by Dr. Wansink, of Cornell University, and author of Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (Bantam Books), found that people serve themselves two scoops of pasta when using a 10-inch plate versus three scoops on a 12-inch plate, resulting in an extra 60 calories. If you eat off of big plates every day, three times a day, those extra unwanted, and un-noticed calories will add up fast!

The remedy: Use small dishes to eat from. You will serve yourself less and not even know it!

2. Keeping food on the kitchen counters. Remember the old adage … out of sight, out of mind? Well, it holds true! Did you know that what you keep out on your counters may roughly predict just how much you weigh? We tend to eat what we can see. Dr. Wansick determined that women who kept potato chips visible on their kitchen counter weighed 9 pounds heavier than those who didn’t. And those that had even one box of breakfast cereal in plain sight on the counter weighed 21 pounds more! If you see it, you are more likely to eat it. According to the study, you are three times more likely to eat the first food you see in the cupboard or the refrigerator than the fifth thing you see.

The remedy: To keep your weight from creeping up, keep healthy snacks visible on the counter and keep the foods with empty calories in the back. Out of sight, out of mind, and out of your mouth!

3. Eating “family style.” Eating together as a family has definite benefits. It creates lasting bonds, inspires togetherness, and teaches values. But serving food from bowls and platters just increases the temptation to overeat. You don’t even have to get up to go for seconds or thirds. Serving meals family style is even harder on the guys. Men typically eat fast and often wind up eating more just to fill the time waiting for the other family members to finish eating. Not the best weight loss strategy.

The remedy: Keep the serving bowls and dishes in the kitchen. Then you actually have to get up to get more. Research found that just by moving serving dishes to a side counter six feet away, reduced how much people ate. Women ate about 9 percent less (since they were less likely to eat additional portions to begin with) but men ate less, by a whopping 29%!





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 x 2
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
– Jennie Lata 6/2013
– 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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