Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for May, 2015

Pants on Fire — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 5/27/2015

May. 27th 2015

I lied.

I admit it.

I was in the O’Hare Airport in Chicago and I lied to a sweet little old lady.

I was on active duty and in uniform. (FYI, if you see men and women in an airport and they’re wearing camouflaged uniforms, they aren’t Marines. It’s against Marine Corps regulations for us to wear that uniform when we travel. We’ll either be in appropriate civilian attire or in a dress uniform.)

I was wearing my Marine Corps dress uniform waiting for my flight. And this little old lady made me lie to her when she walked up to where I was sitting.

“Excuse me, Sergeant … ” she said. I was immediately impressed that a civilian knew my rank. Most people don’t know the difference between a Private in the Marine Corps and a Rear Admiral in the Navy. (Actually there isn’t much difference! hahaha That’s for all of you squids out there!) Anyway, this little old lady knew my rank by looking at my uniform. Unusual and impressive, I thought.

I stood to my feet and said,”Yes, ma’am?” Marines are taught to stand up when speaking to others, as a sign of respect. My grandfather — my Big Dad — insisted that I stand to my feet when I spoke to an adult. “You will NOT sit on your backside when speaking to a grownup,” he taught me. “You’ll get on your feet, young sir!” And the Marine Corps only reinforced this expression of respect for others.

He also taught me to take off my hat when speaking to a grown up, especially a lady. He said that I could touch the brim or bill of my hat and nod when greeting a boy or girl my age. But when I spoke to an adult I was to remove my hat. Later on, I was instructed to remove my sunglasses as well. It was considered disrespectful to keep them on while talking to others. I miss that kind of elegance. Showing respect to others says more about you than it says about the other person, my Grandfather said. It took a long time for me to understand what he meant by that. (Thank you, Big Dad! You were indeed a gentleman’s gentleman.)

“You’re a Marine, aren’t you?” the sweet little old lady in the airport asked.

“Yes, ma’am.”

“Oh, wonderful! Maybe you know my grandson, he’s a Marine too! Stationed in California. Maybe you know him,” she said excitedly with a broad smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye.

“I might, ma’am.” I said, sure that I didn’t.

With great joy, and a face that beamed with excited anticipation, she told me her grandson’s name: Mike something or other.

I didn’t know him.

But that face of hers.

Full of joyful expectation and hope.

“Oh, yes ma’am, I know Mike!” I lied.

“YOU DO??? OH, THAT IS SOO WONDERFUL!!” exclaimed Mike’s grandmother. “I think he’s a very good Marine!” she said.

“Oh yes ma’am! Mike is a fine Marine!” I went on.

For the next five minutes I spun a yarn vague enough to describe just about every good Marine I knew and managed to convince Mike’s grandmother that he was indeed a fine Marine, one of the best; “A Marine’s Marine” we say.

I’m not endorsing lying. But seriously, I just couldn’t tell Mike’s grandmother the truth.

I recently read an article about a guy who had pledged to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth all day everyday for a week.

It was disastrous.

“Honey, what do you think of my new hairdo?” his wife asked.

“Well, it looks like crap.” he said.

That night, truth-teller-dude found out that the couch wasn’t that comfortable.

“Honey, do these jeans make my butt look big?” the wife asked.

“No, your big butt makes them jeans look big,” says truth-telling-dude.

“Hey daddy, here’s the picture I drew at school today! What do you think?” asked his 8 year old daughter.

“That’s not a very good picture of a house and that dog is waaay too big compared to the tree.” said the truth-teller-dude, who discovered how much little girls can cry.

Truth-teller-dude discovered that telling lies is required everyday.

You’re a liar and so am I. We have to be. The unadulterated truth would bring smooth social intercourse to a screeching halt, turning every office, classroom, boardroom, and living room into chaos and conflict. We tell the majority of our fibs to keep from hurting the other person’s feelings.

Lying to ourselves, though, is unacceptable.

Sometimes those lies are in the form of negative self-talk. We call ourselves horrible things when we fail. You should listen to some of my tennis buddies when they miss a shot or one of my golfing friends when they shank some ball into the street.

We should take a pledge of no negative self-talk. Ever.

Sometimes those lies are the result of too much optimism. That’s right. It’s possible to be TOO optimistic. I know this to my own detriment. I’m sometimes too optimistic for my own good.

It’s one of the reasons I don’t gamble. I’d stay at the table and lose it all, assuming that I’m going to win at SOME point.

My optimism is both my best and worst quality. Being optimistic keeps you moving forward where victory is possible. No victory is possible without optimism and perseverance. But knowing when to retreat (or “attack in the opposite direction,” as Marines like to say) to fight another day is absolutely critical. “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ’em, when to walk away … ”

Optimism can be a flaw when it keeps you from seeing the reality of a hopeless situation, cutting your losses, and moving on. I’m horrible at that. I’ll keep hope living on life-support systems if I have to, when I really ought to pull the plug. I’ll stay the course far too long. I’ll go down with the ship. I need the realistic counsel of someone who has vision to see the red flags that I choose to ignore. We all need that kind of counsel from someone unbiased and balanced, but not a Negative Nellie. Recently, Ashley told me that it was okay for me to quit reading a book that I’d tried and failed to make progress in. About five or six times I tried. But Ashley said, “It’s okay to not finish that book, look at all of the others waiting for you to read them!” She was right! (I usually read three or four books of different genres at the same time anyway, but I knew what she meant.)

Thing is, experience tells us that in the majority of cases, perseverance is a virtue that we should celebrate, demonstrate, and teach to others.

Perseverance with realism is what our goal should be. Lying to ourselves and not giving up when we just don’t have the courage or the will to quit, when quitting is the only right thing to do, is pretty unwise … kinda stupid. A colossal waste of time.

Tell yourself the truth today. Be realistic. Perseverance because you lack the courage required to end something, or the courage to become pro-active and decisive, keeps you miserable, enslaved, and unhappy. Marking time. Going through the motions. That’s not good for you. It’s not good for me. Staying in a loveless marriage that feels like misery and slavery; staying in a dead-end job that offers little joy and no chance for advancement; investing more and more into a relationship that you get little from, doing 90% of the work, making all of the concessions, compromises, and inconveniences isn’t just a waste of time, it’s insulting, humiliating, and disrespectful to yourself. You teach others how to treat you. I’ve learned this the hard way.

If you’re not going to allow any negative or disrespectful self-talk within your own heart and mind, why would you allow someone else to talk to you or treat you in a similar way? Would you consider it acceptable if you heard someone speaking that way to someone you loved? Of course not. Establishing boundaries and requiring others to treat you, your energies, your time, and your money with the same level of respect that you extend to them is one of the ways you honor yourself.

On my mom’s 80th birthday, she and I had one of those significant conversations, the ones that stay with you for a lifetime. You don’t always know when those are going to happen, so you have to pay attention and be ready to let those things sink in and take hold. She reminded me that “life is short, so live it to the fullest … but life is also very very long … sometimes you just have to move on. Being miserable is a poor substitute for having the life you want.”

But take a realistic look at your life and the road you’re on. If you’re not headed where you want to be … then have the courage to make that the changes in your life right now that will result in the life you want in the future. It’s a myth to believe that your tomorrows will be fundamentally different, if you don’t change anything about your todays.

So, no lying to yourself. Seriously. Be honest. But it’s okay to keep your rose colored glasses on too! I’m keeping mine on. I’ll take a road trip through life with an optimist over a pessimist any day!

I’m glad I lied to Mike’s Meemaw. It made her happy. It made me happy. It didn’t hurt her. And I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

But I really can’t lie to myself and neither should you.

— 30 —

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery 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.”)

FRANKENCORN

Genetically modified organisms or GMO’s have been a hot topic lately in the news and on across Facebook. The posts I see are mostly about people being concerned that genetically modified foods are associated with health and safety risks. Even ethical concerns have been voiced. Here are some of the facts regarding GM foods.

Genetically modified organisms are any plant or animal that have had their genetic material altered in some way. This can include adding bacterial, animal, or insect genes into the DNA of food crops. The first transgenic plant was developed 30 years ago and today the majority of many US crops including corn, soybeans, cotton and rapeseed oil are genetically modified.

Many food crops have been genetically modified to increase their shelf life, to be more nutritious, increase the yield of the crop, be resistant to certain diseases and pests, and to even produce less allergens.

The safety of bio tech-derived foods have been thoroughly addressed by the scientific community through decades of peer reviewed published research. The Food and Drug Administration, the European Food Safety Authority, the Food Safety Commission of Japan, The American Medical Association, and the World Health Organization as well as many other highly respected, independent academic science and health organizations all have confirmed that GM foods are safe.

All GM foods are required to be tested for allergens before going to market. A 2005 review in the journal Allergy, showed the allergen testing results of current GM foods stated that “no bio tech proteins in foods have been documented to cause allergic reactions.”

Those that oppose GM foods, such as Jeffery Smith, a regular contributor to the Dr. Oz Show and author of the self-published books “The Seeds of Deception” and “Genetic Roulette,” claim that GMO’s are associated with different human health and safety risks. Although the book titles are clever, it should be noted that Mr. Smith has no scientific or medical background and no formal training on the subject, and therefore is not an expert.

The 65 health and safety claims made by Mr. Smith have been refuted by extensive peer reviewed scientific and medical research and have been found to be without basis. The studies that he says supports his theories have also been thoroughly contradicted by a growing body of data and scientific evidence.

The bottom line is that current evidenced based research shows that GM foods are safe and are here to stay.

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MAKE A FACE!!!!

INCREASE YOUR WEIGHTS!

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!

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.

YOU DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR WORKOUT IS HALF-ASS OR KICKASS!

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

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

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EVERY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE T-SHIRT DAY!

WEAR YOUR RANK INSIGNIA SHIRT, SUB 7 SHIRT, OR OTHER USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP SHIRT EVERY WEDNESDAY!

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THE GOOFY CLUB

Members of The Goofy Club are boot campers who’ve run the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge in Florida. Club members participated in the Marathon Weekend in Orlando by running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and then running a full marathon (26.2 miles) the next day!

Dory Sellers (2015)
Chris McLelland (2015)
Kay Ryan x 2! (2013 & 2015)
Ashley Holloway (2013)
Tony Ludlow x 2 (2009, 2013)
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THE IRON CLUB

Iron Club members have run one or more (or multiple) Ironman series triathlons: the 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run; often called the Half Ironman) and the 140.3 (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, the Full Ironman!)

Scot Bearup 70.3 & 140.6
Andrew Forsdick 70.3 & 140.6
Tony Ludlow 70.3
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SUB SEVEN CLUB!
Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.
Sam Podesta
Ben Newsham x 2
Tim Jacobs
Lee Chase,
Chris McLelland,
Andrew Stolnicki,
Dory Sellers,
Henry Kenworthy,
Matt Green,
Andrew Forsdick
Tony Ludlow

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ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER OF VETERAN BOOT CAMPERS!

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!

The ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER

Under 6 months is a Private

Private First Class is more than 6 months but less than 1 year.

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 Latta 6/2013
– Mallory Raffensberger 8/2013
– Ashley Bowles 8/2013
– Greg Gaston 8/2013
– Steve Pike 9/2013
– Karen Tronsor 9/2013
– “El” McCain 11/2013
– Angela Moore 12/2013
– Jenn Bonner 12/2013
– Brett Bonner 1/2014

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 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
– 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*
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010
– Jay Mednikow 3/2010
– 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*
– Ashley Holloway 4/2010

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
– 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
– Melissa Moore 2/2005

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

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ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

HAVE YOU “LIKED” THE USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP FACEBOOK PAGE?

You should totally do that!

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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNT

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!)

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USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

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.

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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

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!

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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.

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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!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

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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Memorial Day Workout: 6:30am

May. 24th 2015
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What Would Stephen Colbert Do? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 5/21/2015

May. 21st 2015

The girl I dated in 10th grade didn’t know where I lived.

Actually, none of my friends knew where I lived. My family and I moved during the summer between 9th and 10th grade and for the next year no one knew where I slept at night.

People asked where I lived, of course. But in my usual go-to-move — deflection — I said it was a secret. I sometimes said that we were in the witness protection program and our exact whereabouts was a matter of national security. Or sometimes I’d attempt to be mysterious and say that I was in a Zen monastery on the north side of town down by the river. (Years later in Japan, I actually lived next door to a Zen monastery by the river!) One sweet but terribly gullible classmate, Nancy, believed that monastery story and kept asking me if I’d found Jesus yet. (I guess she thought the Lord was lost and wandering around the river bottoms.) She worried that my Zen Buddhism was going to consign my soul to everlasting torment. No Buddhists in heaven, Tony.

Truth is, I barely knew how to spell Buddhist.

I’d sometimes give vague geographical references to where I lived: Oh, I live out east near the mall; I live close to downtown in an old turn-of-the-century house that we’re renovating; we moved to the south-side of town while our house is being remodeled, but don’t tell anyone because it’s in a different school district and they’d make me change schools. Never a straight answer. Not even to my girlfriend.

The truth of where I lived that year in high school was a matter so shamefully embarrassing to me that I simply could not admit it to anyone.

For reasons I never really knew, my mother found herself divorced, 43 years of age, unemployed, and with no marketable skills. She had two minor children at home: a 15 year old boy and a 12 year old daughter. Without options and without any other recourse, we moved into section 8 housing and went on government assistance. All of my neighbors were like us. People who’d hit a rough patch of road. The working poor. We were the only white family living in that housing project full of people trying to make their way the best way they could under difficult circumstances. But none of that struggle, nor the realities of life, matter when you’re 15. It just felt like failure. I started working two part-time jobs after school to help ends meet. I gave my mom money that what we lovingly referred to as “room and board” every Friday when I got paid. And I told no one about this.

My friends at school came from much different circumstances. Their fathers were doctors, lawyers, business owners, successful businessmen, and skilled tradesmen. None of my friends’ parents were divorced. They all lived in nice homes in solid middle to upper class neighborhoods. Many went to Colorado to ski during Christmas break and to Florida for summer vacations.

I promise this isn’t a woe is me story. All of these years later, I’m far from being ashamed or embarrassed by my hardscrabble upbringing. In an atmosphere of scarcity, it taught me to appreciate everything I had. Imagine my pride when at 15 I bought my first road bike with my own money. Or at 17 when I bought my first car with money I earned myself! Or at 22 when I bought my first house with my own down payment! Or when I paid my college tuition myself … and paid for grad school with no student loans to pay back! No, I wouldn’t trade any of that scarcity and deprivation for abundance and entitlement that would have taught me nothing. I learned that the world didn’t owe me a thing.

What is disturbing to me now is the way that those who are in need of government assistance are portrayed.

The other day, someone posted a meme on Facebook that had the following, verbatim, including the errors:

“Today’s Lesson in Irony
The food stamp program is administered by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. They proudly report that they distribute free meals and food stamps to over 46 million people on an annual basis.
Meanwhile, the National Park Service, run by the U. S. Department of the Interior, asks us, ‘Please do not feed the animals’. Their stated reason for this policy being that ..
‘The animals will grow dependent on the handouts, and then they will never learn to take care of themselves’.
This concludes today’s lesson
Any questions?”

The first time I read that, coming from a such a “good Christian,” I found that I did, in fact, have questions. The questions that came to mind were all New Testament ones.

Couldn’t you just imagine the disciples telling Jesus not to feed the 5,000 because it would only “make them dependent” on Jesus and they would lose their desire to take care of themselves. (And if your interpretation of Holy Writ allows for it, He fed another multitude as well.) I thought of those situations Jesus used to teach his disciples about service to the hungry, the thirsty, the foreigner, the sick, the imprisoned … Whenever they met the needs of those less fortunate, they were actually ministering to Him in those cases. Not “for” Him, not in His name, but “to” Him … as if the person in need was in fact the Lord Himself!

But it gets worse. Jesus said that refusing to help meet the needs of those folks is actually what consigns the unwilling and disobedient person to a pretty grim eternity. (I don’t think Nancy ever read that part of the Good Book.)

I’ve seen similar memes, bumpersticker slogans, and pithy soundbites attacking the “the welfare state” and those who “nuzzle up to the Government tit.” “Mandatory drug tests for food stamp recipients,” is a common battle cry. Every welfare and food stamp recipient is portrayed by certain cable news outlets as a drug using, ghetto moocher, able bodied, driving a late model car, and talking on a new iPhone 6 at the nail salon. Usually the wording of these slogans is slightly more subtle than that, but not by much, and not at all on the cable news shows. And none of it sufficiently cloaks the obvious racism that oozes just below the surface. Sunday morning’s Christian charity finds no voice and no expression in Monday’s rant on cable news or in someone’s Facebook indignation.

And why should any professing Christian balk at helping others? Why is service to others a political issue and a soundbite for political talk shows? Those aren’t real questions, by the way. They’re rhetorical. Yes, of course I know that there are abuses in the system; there are those receiving assistance fraudulently. Does the system need restructuring or reform or better checks and balances? Yes, just like every government bureaucracy, program, law, department, and branch does. I’d like to start with the banks and Wall Street, personally.

But the fact of the matter is that the majority of those on welfare and food stamps are like my family was back when I was 15: single white moms with children in the home. Minor children, the disabled, and the elderly are present in 75% of the homes receiving assistance. And here’s a statistic that I hope you’ll remember come election day: 25% of those on active duty in the military qualify and receive some sort of government assistance intended for the civilian poor. I have teacher friends who qualify! I’ve given free boot camp to boot campers who fell on hard times, collecting unemployment and other forms of government assistance, and couldn’t pay me. They were going to drop out because of it. Most were embarrassed and didn’t want to accept “charity.” I understand how that feels.

After a couple of years, things turned around for my mom and by the time she was 45 she was back on her feet and able to get off assistance. But I never forgot the lessons I learned during that time.

For the last 5 years of my mother’s life, (she died at 82 in 2012) she was living in a nursing home. My sister and I paid $300 a month to the home, but the rest of my mother’s care was met by government assistance, a program that I am eternally grateful for. Thank you for paying taxes and helping to provide for my mom when she was in need, when my family was in need. I’ll do the same for you and your family if the need arises. That’s how this works.

As many of you know, several months ago, Ashley Holloway — my terminal love interest — donated one of her kidneys to a complete stranger. Ashley doesn’t know anything about the recipient. She doesn’t know if the person who has a part of her inside them giving them their life back is male or female; black or white or hispanic or asian or middle eastern … young or old; Republican or Democrat or Libertarian; Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, agnostic, or atheist; Northerner or Southerner; redneck, well-educated, snobbish, friendly, kind, bitchy, introvert, extrovert, Yankees fan, Cardinals fan, Ole Miss grad, high school dropout, college professor, reality television fan, lover of books … Just look at all of the ways we can categorize people, label them, pigeon hole them so that we can decide to help them or not. See if they meet our standards or criteria. For me, Ashley is the finest example of exactly what Jesus taught. She’s the greatest sermon I know. And I’m unworthy of her attention.

I don’t mean to sermonize or to sound preachy. I gave up politics and political labels when I came back from Japan. But I’ve grown weary of the meanness, hate, and rancor in my country. The constant division. The constant belligerence. The constant insistence on “Christian family values” without the love that empowers everything else “Christian.”

We used to wage war on poverty, not on the poor.

David Letterman has left the building and I’m pretty sad about that. But Stephen Colbert will take his place in September. I really like Stephen Colbert. I’m going to miss Dave, but I’ll end this with a quote from the new host of The Late Show:

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

As one old Baptist friend of mine would say, “That’ll preach!”

Thank you, Mr. Colbert. I look forward to seeing you in September.

— 30 —

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MEMORIAL DAY

Monday is Memorial Day and we’ll have ONE workout at 6:30, all other classes will stand down! This is a change from the previously announced 7am start time. The reason for the change is as follows:

My friend, Paul Sax, organized a Memorial Day 5K at Overton Park four years ago to honor those from our area who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice. The race begins at 8am. This year the name of my friend, Stephen New, will be added to the list of Memphians who’ve died in combat. Stephen was killed in Afghanistan in July of 2013. There will be a presentation honoring Stephen after the race.

I hope you’ll join me in running this year. You can register at Racesonline, at Breakaway, or Monday morning before the race.

—————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery 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.”)

Pedialyte: Not Just for Babies Any More!

Social media is a great way to spread the news about a current fad, the newest diet, and even the latest hangover cure. Celebrities, including Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus, have helped to drive the word of mouth through social media that Pedialyte, the popular oral electrolyte solution for sick and ailing kids, is a great cure for hangovers and helps prevent and treat dehydration from exercise.

While Pedialyte has been used in the past by athletes and college students with hangovers, the social media scene has increased the visibility of this electrolyte solution. Since 2012, sales of Pedialyte have increased by approximately 60%, with most of the new users being adults.

The question is, should you jump on the bandwagon? Compared to sports drinks, Pedialyte has more zinc, more electrolytes, including sodium and potassium than Gatorade, but has about half the calories of standard sports drinks. The ratio of sugars to sodium is said to promote rehydration.

One thing to remember is that a hangover isn’t just about being dehydrated. Other symptoms include stomach irritation, low blood sugar, and a buildup of alcohol byproducts. It is these byproducts of the alcohol that usually are the cause of that next day pounding headache.

Unfortunately, the only way to remove the alcohol byproducts is by waiting. They are metabolized by your liver, which takes time. But the Pedialyte will rehydrate you which can help you feel better in the meantime.

When going on those long runs, should you swap out your current sports drink for Pedialyte? There are many college and pro athletes and teams who swear by it saying that they feel better hydrated with Pedialyte. If you are exercising under an hour, often water is fine. But if you are exercising for longer than an hour, or if your activity is of a shorter duration but the temperature is high, the additional electrolytes are beneficial and in most cases necessary. And Pedialyte has more electrolytes than Gatorade or Powerade, which is a plus, but it has fewer carbohydrates. No matter what you are drinking, if you are running longer than an hour, you will need to consume additional carbohydrates in the form of gels, honey sticks, etc.

That being said, I recommend you choose the beverage that you are more likely to consume! If you love Powerade, drink that, if you prefer Pedialyte, drink up! Cost wise, you will pay a little more for the Pedialyte, but coupons are available at: http://seethelyte.com/

Disclaimer: Ashley works for Pedialyte’s parent company, Abbott Nutrition.

—————————————————————

MAKE A FACE!!!!

INCREASE YOUR WEIGHTS!

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!

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.

YOU DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR WORKOUT IS HALF-ASS OR KICKASS!

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

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

—————————————————

EVERY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE T-SHIRT DAY!

WEAR YOUR RANK INSIGNIA SHIRT, SUB 7 SHIRT, OR OTHER USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP SHIRT EVERY WEDNESDAY!

—————————————————

THE GOOFY CLUB

Members of The Goofy Club are boot campers who’ve run the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge in Florida. Club members participated in the Marathon Weekend in Orlando by running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and then running a full marathon (26.2 miles) the next day!

Dory Sellers (2015)
Chris McLelland (2015)
Kay Ryan x 2! (2013 & 2015)
Ashley Holloway (2013)
Tony Ludlow x 2 (2009, 2013)
———-

THE IRON CLUB

Iron Club members have run one or more (or multiple) Ironman series triathlons: the 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run; often called the Half Ironman) and the 140.3 (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, the Full Ironman!)

Scot Bearup 70.3 & 140.6
Andrew Forsdick 70.3 & 140.6
Tony Ludlow 70.3
———-

SUB SEVEN CLUB!
Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.
Sam Podesta
Ben Newsham x 2
Tim Jacobs
Lee Chase,
Chris McLelland,
Andrew Stolnicki,
Dory Sellers,
Henry Kenworthy,
Matt Green,
Andrew Forsdick
Tony Ludlow

—————————————————————

ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER OF VETERAN BOOT CAMPERS!

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!

The ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER

Under 6 months is a Private

Private First Class is more than 6 months but less than 1 year.

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 Latta 6/2013
– Mallory Raffensberger 8/2013
– Ashley Bowles 8/2013
– Greg Gaston 8/2013
– Steve Pike 9/2013
– Karen Tronsor 9/2013
– “El” McCain 11/2013
– Angela Moore 12/2013
– Jenn Bonner 12/2013
– Brett Bonner 1/2014

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 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
– 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*
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010
– Jay Mednikow 3/2010
– 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*
– Ashley Holloway 4/2010

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
– 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
– Melissa Moore 2/2005

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

——————————————

ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

HAVE YOU “LIKED” THE USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP FACEBOOK PAGE?

You should totally do that!

———————————————

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNT

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!)

———————————————

USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

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.

————————————————

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

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!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

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 »


Four Reasons — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 5/13/2015

May. 13th 2015

Yesterday I read an article entitled “12 Reasons to Date a Woman Who Reads.” It was an excellent piece written by Nina Bahadur for Huffington Post: Women. Although written for men, it easily and accurately describes the reasons for dating anyone who reads. If you missed the article, I’ll include the link at the end of this essay. Some years ago, I dabbled briefly in online dating — while waiting for Ashley to appear — and always asked the women in those initial messages what they were reading. Match.com would send me their perception of my “match” and I’d simplify things with that one easy question.

I’m going to borrow two of those 12 reasons from Nina Bahadur’s article: 1. He/she is empathetic; and 2) He/she is a critical thinker.

There are exceptions to these reasons. I know people who read, or at least claim they do, who aren’t either of these things. But I tend to see those people as the exception than the rule.

And then it should be said that not all reading is worthy reading. It’s unlikely that the reading of mindless novels of smutty and characterless behavior (I’m thinking of books like “Fifty Shades of Grey”), or romance novels, with unrealistic plots and even more unrealistic people, is contributing much to the advancement of their readers. (Nothing against those smutty “for the beach” novels, but if that’s the bulk of someone’s reading, it shouldn’t be expected to make much of an improvement in that person’s life.) So, a book’s popularity or sales figures don’t, by themselves, make them commendable.

Reading puts you into the lives, motivations, internal struggles, and personal histories of another person. There’s no greater way to learn to give others the benefit of the doubt and to forgive them than by reading novels and historical fiction that requires you to identify with another person on an intimate level. It’s what good movies are made of. It’s what the 2005 movie “Crash” did. It’s what the television show “24” was made of. You knew why a person did or said the things that they did and you understood them. You empathized with them. Then you hurt with them when they were misunderstood or were falsely accused, arrested, or blamed. Reading, even more so than movies and television, places you into that other person’s shoes, into that other person’s life on such a deep emotional and cerebral level that you can’t avoid being drawn into the more meaningful motivations and feelings of that other person.

Good reading exposes you to the necessity of critical thinking. Good reading requires you to ask “who, what, when, where, why, and how.” Reading makes you ask if something is it true or factual. You find yourself demanding that a conclusion be supported by facts and evidence, and not propaganda, false rhetoric, and lies. It also makes you more skeptical and less inclined to accept things just because someone says so.

“Because I said so” was an acceptable answer from a parent or teacher when we were children, but it’s unacceptable for an adult whose reading has equipped them to demand proof and supportive evidence. I require my politicians, religious leaders, military leaders, business leaders, health leaders, fitness leaders, and all others who assume positions of social influence, to do a better, more thorough, more scholarly job. I will require it of them! Recently when Mike Huckabee, again throwing his hat into the ring, claimed that “Christianity was being criminalized” he set off a wave a paranoia within the Southern pew. Mr. Huckabee, neither an attorney nor a seminary graduate, never gave even the slightest hint of evidence to support such a wildly outlandish and false claim. (In truth, the church in America enjoys a subsidy from the government.) “Because I said so” will not satisfy the necessity of truth, proof, evidence, and wisdom. Playing on my fears, pandering to my biases and bigotries, manipulating me through guilt, superstition, embellishment, coercion, and lies will be seen for what it is; It’ll be rejected and reviled, and the offender ridiculed and removed. As a Marine, I won’t be patronized and sold by playing on my patriotism, wrapping up some nonsense in the flag and playing “Proud to be an American” in the background.

Good reading does this to people. We demand footnotes and cited sources! We require evidence, facts, and actual scholarship!

Sadly, our country ranks 7th in world literacy. SEVENTH!

My congratulations to boot camper, Lee Chase, for leaving his former job and taking a pay cut to work as Workplace Literacy Coordinator at Literacy Mid-South. After working there as a volunteer for several years, helping adults learn to read, Lee saw this opportunity as a passion and a calling for him. Less money but more soul. Well done, Lee!

And now let me add two reasons to date someone who exercises: 1) He/she is self-motivated; and 2) He/she is more pleasant.

When I’ve dated someone in the past who had to be motivated — invariably by me — to exercise, it was awful. I grew weary, weary, WEARY of trying to keep them “in the game” and focused. Almost always they’d start out in the relationship as someone who “likes to exercise,” but at some point after the initial stages of the relationship, they’d show their true colors. They were lazy and unmotivated. They had no long term commitment to health and fitness that resulted in a lifestyle of health and fitness. They wanted health and fitness without the hard work. (Don’t we all!) Oh, they wanted to lose weight and be fit, but they were too much in love with their beds, their friends, their after work hanging out with people from work, whatever. It was always too many too’s: it was too hot, it was too cold, it was too early, it was too late, it was too hard, it was too boring, it was too … something. Trying to keep someone like that motivated is exhausting. Too exhausting.

Let me say this about Ashley (because I like to talk about her!): she was already an athlete when we met. In fact, we discovered early on that we both participated in several of the same races and triathlons but didn’t know one another; we possibly passed one another in packet pickups and maybe bumped into one another at after-race Gatorade tents. We might have even had our triathlon transition spots next to one another, arraigning our transition areas as strangers. I don’t have to motivate her and she doesn’t have to motivate me. We’re both committed to a lifestyle of health and fitness proven by years of consistency. Ah, that wonderful magical word: consistency … the little brother of constancy.

Being pleasant is only one byproduct of regular exercise. (I wish it applied to everyone, but the fact is, I know mean and surly people who aren’t made better by the exercise, but perhaps the sharp edges are taken off of their corners. Imagine what they’d be like withOUT exercise!) For the most part, however, exercise has a lifting effect on a person’s mood and sense of well-being. Seldom, in all of my years of exercise have I ended a workout feeling less happy or feeling more bummed out. Even if it was a miserable run or workout, just the fact that it was OVER was often cause enough for happiness!

Granted, I could easily write 5,000 words about the benefits of exercise and still not do it justice. The fact remains: exercise and reading are GREAT for you.

At one of the Marine Corps bases where I was stationed, the fitness center and the library were literally in the same building. That combination was never lost on me, not even as a young single Marine. After I worked out, I walked into the library. Those were the Stone Age years of no cable tv in the barracks, no video games, no personal computers, and nothing much to do but workout, read, or develop a drinking problem. I opted for the first two.

I’ve been working on the third one ever since.

My grandfather, my “Big Dad,” said, “Gentlemen read books. They know that the written word feeds their minds, gives them pleasure, and helps to make them more interesting.”

Amen, Big Dad.

— 30 —

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/12/you-should-date-a-woman-who-reads_n_7233488.html?1431444851=&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063

——————————————————————

Cardioya for Thursday, May 14th! (Short warm up and stretching, 30 minutes of cardio, post cardio stretching/yoga)

——————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery 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.”)

HOW TO KEEP SHARP

■ Avoid strokes. “Try to prevent strokes and transient ischemic attacks—also knows as TIAs or mini strokes—which affect cognitive function,” says the University of Iowa’s Jennifer Robinson. Keep your blood pressure normal and your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides down, and don’t smoke.

■ Lose excess weight to prevent type 2 diabetes. “Studies have consistently shown that people who have type 2 diabetes when they’re older have worse cognitive function than people who don’t have the disease,” says Francine Grodstein of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “They have accelerated rates of cognitive decline.”

■ Cut saturated and trans fats. “In several epidemiological studies, they seem to be associated with worse cognitive decline,” Grodstein points out. Those kinds of studies can’t prove that the fats caused the decline, though.

■ Eat fish. Studies have found that people who eat more fish have better cognitive function. But it’s possible that other things that fish eaters do account for the difference.

■ Move. People who are more physically active—even those who simply walk regularly for exercise—maintain their cognitive function better as they get older, says Grodstein. “The more active one can be, both physically and mentally, the better,” says Robinson. “You’re exercising your brain muscles and if you don’t use it, you lose it.”

From: NUTRITION ACTION HEALTHLETTER, SEPTEMBER 2012

————————————————————————

Special Thanks to Diane Gorney
Diane has been the heading up our running shoe collection for the Manna House!
Thank you so much for gathering them up and getting them to folks in need!

—————————————————————

MAKE A FACE!!!!

INCREASE YOUR WEIGHTS!

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!

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.

YOU DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR WORKOUT IS HALF-ASS OR KICKASS!

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

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

—————————————————

EVERY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE T-SHIRT DAY!

WEAR YOUR RANK INSIGNIA SHIRT, SUB 7 SHIRT, OR OTHER USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP SHIRT EVERY WEDNESDAY!

—————————————————

THE GOOFY CLUB

Members of The Goofy Club are boot campers who’ve run the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge in Florida. Club members participated in the Marathon Weekend in Orlando by running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and then running a full marathon (26.2 miles) the next day!

Dory Sellers (2015)
Chris McLelland (2015)
Kay Ryan x 2! (2013 & 2015)
Ashley Holloway (2013)
Tony Ludlow x 2 (2009, 2013)
———-

THE IRON CLUB

Iron Club members have run one or more (or multiple) Ironman series triathlons: the 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run; often called the Half Ironman) and the 140.3 (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, the Full Ironman!)

Scot Bearup 70.3 & 140.6
Andrew Forsdick 70.3 & 140.6
Tony Ludlow 70.3
———-

SUB SEVEN CLUB!
Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.
Sam Podesta
Ben Newsham x 2
Tim Jacobs
Lee Chase,
Chris McLelland,
Andrew Stolnicki,
Dory Sellers,
Henry Kenworthy,
Matt Green,
Andrew Forsdick
Tony Ludlow

—————————————————————

ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER OF VETERAN BOOT CAMPERS!

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!

The ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER

Under 6 months is a Private

Private First Class is more than 6 months but less than 1 year.

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 Latta 6/2013
– Mallory Raffensberger 8/2013
– Ashley Bowles 8/2013
– Greg Gaston 8/2013
– Steve Pike 9/2013
– Karen Tronsor 9/2013
– “El” McCain 11/2013
– Angela Moore 12/2013
– Jenn Bonner 12/2013
– Brett Bonner 1/2014

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 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
– 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*
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010
– Jay Mednikow 3/2010
– 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*
– Ashley Holloway 4/2010

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
– 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
– Melissa Moore 2/2005

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

——————————————

ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

HAVE YOU “LIKED” THE USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP FACEBOOK PAGE?

You should totally do that!

———————————————

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNT

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!)

———————————————

USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

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.

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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

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!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

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 »


If Exercise Stops — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 5/7/2015

May. 7th 2015

If exercise stops, then everything else will start falling apart
(Guest essay by Joshua Steimel. This originally appeared in Entrepreneur and Time.)

There’s a prevalent attitude among entrepreneurs that the business, whatever that business is, comes first. It is the high priority that trumps everything else, including family, friends and especially health.
I’ve seen entrepreneurs sacrifice all these things, sometimes with tragic consequences, to focus on making their businesses successful. I’ve also done it myself, although I’m one of the lucky ones. During the years I made my business my highest priority, my wife stuck by my side, I didn’t cause any permanent damage with friendships (although I certainly didn’t nurture any) and I didn’t die.

It’s not greed that motivates us entrepreneurs. It would be difficult to justify the sacrifices we make if the only reward were money. Dollars become mere points in a sort of game. What it’s really about is building something great, doing something that matters and changing the world. That’s what makes it so easy to brush other things off. But it’s a mistake. I know that now, and that’s why today I care more about exercise than my business. But it’s not easy.
I have a growing business with 14 team members. These men and women rely on me to make sure their paychecks come on time, that benefits are there for them and their families, and that obstacles are removed so they can get their work done. We have approximately 40 clients, who are depending on me to make sure they’re getting the results that will help their businesses grow.

This adds up to a lot of tasks, and a lot of pressure. On any given day there are easily 100 important things I should be doing for my business, 50 of which are also urgent, but there is no way I can get more than 10 things done. And yet each and every week I spend at least 10 hours on focused, physical exercise.

I schedule my workouts during the workday and prioritize exercise over all my work activities. There is some flexibility, but if there is a conflict between a trail run I need to get in, and a meeting with a client, I’ll reschedule the client meeting first. I do this because I and my business can survive the consequences of rescheduling a client meeting, even if it means losing that client. But as soon as I start pushing workouts off, I’ll start missing workouts, and once I start missing workouts, I’m close to stopping workouts altogether.

Exercise must come first, or it’s unlikely to happen at all.

If exercise stops, then my health goes downhill. With the loss of physical health my productivity at work goes down. I become depressed. I lose motivation to do the things that makes my business successful. I’ve learned firsthand that excellence in one area of my life promotes excellence in all other areas of my life. Exercise is the easiest area of my life to control. It’s easy to measure. Either I get it in, or I don’t. When I do, it lifts up all other areas of my life, including my business.

For a long time, I was fooled into thinking that if my business wasn’t the top priority, then that meant I wasn’t doing all I could do to make it successful. This is an understandable way of thinking, but it’s completely wrong.

If my life is made up of 10 priorities, then it’s not as simple as saying that if I move the business from being priority two to priority one, that the business is going to benefit. The trick is to figure out which ordering of priorities provides the maximum overall benefit.

For example, when I exercise, that makes me better in every role I have, whether it’s as a husband, father, friend or entrepreneur. If I were to stop exercising because I felt that being a good business owner was a higher priority, then ironically I would end up a worse business owner than I was when it when it was a lower priority. Putting exercise first creates a win-win.

As my business grows, I see members of my team falling into the same trap I did. That’s why we’re working to institute health incentives, and why I’m not ashamed to talk about the time I take out of my work day to exercise. I know that if my team members put exercise and health before their jobs, they might work fewer hours, but they’ll feel better about themselves, have more fulfilling lives and they’ll produce better results with the hours they do work.

— 30 —

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Gunnery 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.”)

Q & A with the Registered Dietitian

Q: Do I need to consume lots of extra protein to build muscle?

A: Dietary protein such a lean meat, eggs, nuts, dairy, beans, and seeds is an important part of a balanced diet, but eating more protein will not magically make our muscles stronger or bigger.

The only way to grow muscles is to put them to work! Strength training exercises, like those we do at USMC Fitness Boot Camp, will help build strong muscles.

And believe it or not, carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, are the best fuel for our working muscles. The carbohydrates we eat are partially converted into glycogen (sugar) which are stored in our muscles to be used to power workouts.

Getting enough protein is important, but adding protein powders, drinks, and bars are usually unnecessary. Most of us can easily get enough protein in our daily diet as long as we eat some type of protein with our meals.

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Used running shoe collection will be next week!
Bring your shoes in any day next week and we’ll get them to the Manna House.

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MAKE A FACE!!!!

INCREASE YOUR WEIGHTS!

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!

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.

YOU DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR WORKOUT IS HALF-ASS OR KICKASS!

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

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

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EVERY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE T-SHIRT DAY!

WEAR YOUR RANK INSIGNIA SHIRT, SUB 7 SHIRT, OR OTHER USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP SHIRT EVERY WEDNESDAY!

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THE GOOFY CLUB

Members of The Goofy Club are boot campers who’ve run the Walt Disney World Goofy Challenge in Florida. Club members participated in the Marathon Weekend in Orlando by running a half marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and then running a full marathon (26.2 miles) the next day!

Dory Sellers (2015)
Chris McLelland (2015)
Kay Ryan x 2! (2013 & 2015)
Ashley Holloway (2013)
Tony Ludlow x 2 (2009, 2013)
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THE IRON CLUB

Iron Club members have run one or more (or multiple) Ironman series triathlons: the 70.3 (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run; often called the Half Ironman) and the 140.3 (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run, the Full Ironman!)

Scot Bearup 70.3 & 140.6
Andrew Forsdick 70.3 & 140.6
Tony Ludlow 70.3
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SUB SEVEN CLUB!
Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.
Sam Podesta
Ben Newsham x 2
Tim Jacobs
Lee Chase,
Chris McLelland,
Andrew Stolnicki,
Dory Sellers,
Henry Kenworthy,
Matt Green,
Andrew Forsdick
Tony Ludlow

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ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER OF VETERAN BOOT CAMPERS!

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!

The ACTIVE DUTY ROSTER

Under 6 months is a Private

Private First Class is more than 6 months but less than 1 year.

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 Latta 6/2013
– Mallory Raffensberger 8/2013
– Ashley Bowles 8/2013
– Greg Gaston 8/2013
– Steve Pike 9/2013
– Karen Tronsor 9/2013
– “El” McCain 11/2013
– Angela Moore 12/2013
– Jenn Bonner 12/2013
– Brett Bonner 1/2014

Over 2 years is a Corporal
– Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
– JD Dombroski 4/2011
– Carrie Schule 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
– 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*
– Karen Massey 11/2009
– Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
– Malinda Miller 3/2010
– Jay Mednikow 3/2010
– 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*
– Ashley Holloway 4/2010

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
– 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
– Melissa Moore 2/2005

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

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ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

HAVE YOU “LIKED” THE USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP FACEBOOK PAGE?

You should totally do that!

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BOOT CAMP DISCOUNT

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!)

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USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

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.

————————————————

BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!

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.

BE SURE TO TAG ME!

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!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

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 »


Staying Alive: “Murder, Mayhem and Memphis” — Special blog post, Sgt. Tony Ludlow, 5/4/2015

May. 4th 2015

In 2003, I walked into my home through the backdoor in the middle of the afternoon and found everything in disarray and two guys inside robbing me.

I could see one of them packing more of my things into one of my own duffle bags as the other was disconnecting my computer. I lived on a corner lot and the driveway was in the back of the house; they’d been taking my belongings out the front door, which faced west, where their get-away car was parked. Because I came home from the east, I didn’t see their car in front of my house and had no idea I was being robbed.

I should have turned around at once, rushed out of the house, and called the police. That would have been the right play. Instead, I attacked the intruders, chased them out of my house, and kicked one of them in the face as they were about to drive away.

But just to reiterate, I should have run outside as soon as I saw them in my house and called the police.

I’ve been giving the subject of self-defense and safety a great deal of thought since my friend and her husband — I’ll call them Bill and Nancy — were victims of a home invasion on Tuesday evening, April 28th. Bill and Nancy were attacked in their garage by two unknown armed assailants as they returned home. It happened in East Memphis. But it can happen anywhere.

I’m not writing this because my friends did anything wrong, nor could they have done something differently. I’m writing this because Bill took action. His actions led to the assailants fleeing without being able to do any harm to Nancy, with no loss of property, and with no life-threatening injuries sustained by Bill. He did, however, have to go to the emergency room to have head lacerations attended to with sutures.

During the ordeal, the assailants demanded to be taken into Bill and Nancy’s house. Wisely, Bill refused, and the fight was on, with the assailants apparently believing they could fight their way into Bill and Nancy’s home. But they were wrong. Bill fought back. Well done, Bill!

What I want to write here isn’t a move by move instruction manual in self-protection. I’m not describing any self-defense primer of blocks and counter punches. It’s not that I don’t think there’s a place for it, I most certainly do! I have three black belts in martial arts — judo, karate, and Shorinji Kempo — as well as Marine Corps hand to hand combat training. This sort of knowledge can be quite helpful, and I’d recommend everyone take a course in self-defense, or at least look at some YouTube videos and practice the counter moves and releases over and over.

What is critical, what is essential, what is necessary is the willingness to act, to do something that years and years of training in civil obedience and social kindness have not prepared us to do.

From childhood, you and I were socialized to play nice, to be kind, to use language making for good relationships leading to successful social interaction. We were taught to keep our hands to ourselves. Don’t push. Don’t shove. Don’t hit. Don’t bite. Don’t touch. Don’t use foul language. Don’t taunt, demean, or humiliate another person. We learned to follow the Golden Rule.

All of the things we learned are good, noble, and worthy. They allowed our ancestors to survive through a harmonious grouping together of like minded people. By cooperating and helping one another survive, by compromising, and by conducting ourselves in fair, rational, predictable, and non-aggressive ways, our species has long endured and prospered. Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are predicated on these principles.

A few years ago, a boot camper gave a ride to a lady and her little baby. The lady pulled out a gun and demanded to be taken to another location. In the end, my friend was shot and left for dead. She only wanted to be helpful and kind and almost paid for it with her life: shot by another mom with a baby!

Violent crime is the antithesis of everything we have been socialized to be, know, and do. It is against the law and an affront to our way of life. We find it offensive, obscene, and vile at a distance, but when it is immediate, it is all of those obscenities magnified beyond our civilized mind’s ability to process. And then add panic, fear, and denial. The realization that this horrible moment is the plan of a stranger, and this stranger is intent on robbing us, sexually assaulting us, altering our life, crippling us, or even taking our life or the lives of those we love, is impossible for us to accept. The shocking force of this moment of realization, and of their willingness to act towards that end, puts the power in their hands and places us at a disadvantage. They take advantage of the element of surprise, shock, and fear.

The police department can’t protect you unless they are already there. Unless a law enforcement officer is present, you’re alone and on your own. Let me repeat that. Unless a law enforcement officer is there, you are on your own. Even though Nancy called 911 while the assault was in progress, the police didn’t arrive for another 10 minutes. TEN MINUTES! They arrived to find Bill bloodied and the assailants long gone.

First and foremost, your safety is your responsibility. If you live in Tennessee, you live in the 4th most dangerous state in the country, according to an FBI report on violent crime. And if you live in Memphis, you live in the 3rd most dangerous city in the country. So let me say this again as soberly as I can: your safety is your responsibility.

Here’s what I want you to know and do.

1. Exercise heightened situational awareness.
Look around you and scan your surroundings. Pay attention. Before you get out of your car, pay attention to the situation and the surroundings, especially in your driveway. A friend’s elderly father was beaten and robbed in his driveway three blocks from where I live in East Memphis.

What I’m about to say will sound racist and like racial profiling. It’s not meant to, but it’ll sure sound that way. Look at my Facebook friends and you’ll see diversity. I am privileged to call many people and many kinds of people my friend. But the sad truth is found in the disproportionate number of black males involved in violent crime in Memphis. In a 2013 piece entitled, “Murder, Mayhem and Memphis: Lessons From My White Neighbor About Blacks,” Dr. Darron T. Smith, a highly regarded African American educator, author, academic, and speaker made this observation: “The face of crime (in Memphis) is young, black and male whose typecast as angry, overly violent, aggressive and a general menace to society pervade our thinking, informing our manufactured understanding that all black men are to be feared and are, thus, potential suspects in a police line up.” As a black man dissecting the problem from a socio-economic/cultural perspective, Dr. Smith examines the multi-faceted causes of this problem as only someone with his unique life experiences and education could. It’s an extremely well written piece — I’d recommend everyone read it — and no thinking person would take issue with Dr. Smith’s assessments of our city’s problems: Poverty and crime are traveling companions.

But knowing and acknowledging those realities doesn’t change the fact that my own safety tonight depends on my ability to be alert and aware of any and all possible threats to my safety and the safety of those around me. If I’m at the Kroger on Highland tonight and I walk out of the store only to find a half dozen young black males near my vehicle, I’m going to be on my guard. In fact, I probably won’t even shop at that Kroger tonight, or any night, after seeing that flash mob of young black males brutally attack several people in the parking lot last September. Good situational awareness also means I avoid places where such encounters may occur.

Last week, I kept my eye on the young middle eastern men on my Delta flight from Milwaukee. I saw my fellow passengers watching them closely too. I watched three women at the airport who were wearing burkas and niqab masks, completely covering everything but their eyes. I kept watching them for any kind of suspicious movement from those three people I assumed were women. They could have been men in disguise. Situational awareness means I must do my best to identify any and all potential threats wherever they may be. I hate that I must be suspicious of people because they look like those who have done horrible things, whose mug shots are part of every day’s evening news. They looked like the terrorists who blew up the World Trade Center. They looked like the Boston Marathon bombers. They looked like members of the Taliban and ISIS. Was I not to keep them under constant observation? To watch them doesn’t make me a racist. It makes me cautious and alert. And it makes me sick to my stomach that I must do it.

A couple of years ago, Ashley and I were on our way to Fort Smith, Arkansas to visit family. My Jeep broke down just outside of a small rural town on Highway 64 in Arkansas. As we were walking in towards town, I took note of the slow moving beat up Ford truck with three rednecks in it and a Confederate flag in the back window. I noted that they seemed to look too long at Ashley as they drove by. I kept my eye on the truck as it went around the bend and started putting together a plan of action if they came back. Two minutes later a lone black man in a late model car slowed down and asked if we needed a ride into town. We did! And we were happy to get into his car. He drove us directly to the nearest car repair shop. Of course, it helped that he was also a Deputy Sheriff.

Those three in the truck looked like every inbred-hillbilly-redneck-meth-head I’ve ever seen, their cumulative IQ’s might have equaled the summertime temperature … was I supposed to ignore them, hope they wouldn’t come back, have no plan if they did? (One of my plans actually involved another Marine. Just around the bend was a house I’d seen on other trips before where a flag pole flew the American flag and the Marine Corps flag in the front yard. If things went south, I was going to see if my brother Marine could help out.)

When I lived in Japan, I was often the object of Japanese people’s suspicion. When I lived in Tokyo, two US Navy personnel were arrested and convicted of raping a Japanese high school girl. The rapists were both white. Suspicion of me, and all other white men living in Japan noticeably increased after their arrest. But how could I argue with those Japanese who saw me as a possible threat because of how I looked. I hated it, but I couldn’t fault them. It was good situational awareness. It made me angry, but not at the Japanese people.

Wherever you are, exercise good situational awareness. If an unmarked police car with blue lights attempts to stop you, pull over to a public well lit area. If a public place is not close by, turn on your hazard lights, slow down, and call 911 to see if a legitimate law enforcement officer is trying to stop you.

2. Put yourself in safe situations.
* Park your car in well-lit parking areas.
* When in your car, keep the doors locked and the windows up when leaving a parking garage or parking area.
* Stay out of known areas and neighborhoods where the crime rate is high.
* Travel with others if you can.
* Have your keys in your hands. (More about that in a minute.)
* If you must go into an area known for its crime rate, try and go with a partner during the day.
* If you’re in a new city for business or pleasure, ask the hotel staff about safe and non-safe areas.
* If you feel uncomfortable, if you feel something isn’t right, take evasive action. Listen to your instincts.

3. If you are being robbed on the street and you are unarmed:
* Give them what they ask for. Money and possessions can be replaced. Your life and your health can’t.
* Under no circumstances do you go with that person(s) either on foot or in a vehicle to another location. You are better off taking your chances at the initial location than to be taken to some private secluded location where the assailant(s) can take their time and do their worst. Don’t go!
* Under no circumstances do you allow them into your vehicle. If you’re being carjacked, and it’s too late to secure the doors and windows, get out of the vehicle and run to a public place.
* If you are being followed, particularly if you’ve come from the grocery store, shopping, from the bank, etc., do not go home. Instead, go directly to the nearest police station, firehouse, or some busy public area, preferably one with a security guard on duty.
* On the street, don’t stop to answer anyone’s questions about anything. Keep moving. You don’t smoke, you don’t know what time it is, you’re not from around here and you can’t give directions, you don’t know anything about anything.

4. Avoiding home invasions.
* Be careful getting out of your vehicle and going into your house, especially at night.
* Never open the door to anyone you don’t know.
* Keep all windows and doors locked.
* Security systems and dogs can be a real deterrent.
* Keep a can of wasp repellent near the front door. The range and effectiveness are better than pepper spray.
* Leaving lights on (porch lights and inside lights) and the television on can also help to present your home as less than ideal to rob.
* If you return home and something seems wrong, call 911.

5. Physical encounters.
In the worst case scenario, you find yourself in a physical encounter with an assailant. This is the point where you must make a decision to act or to be a victim. Someone has said the world is made up of two kinds of people: sheep and wolves. If you decide to be a sheep, you must acknowledge that sheep get slaughtered. If you refuse to be a victim, then you will have to be a wolf. You’ll have to forget everything you’ve learned and experienced as a civilized person. You’ll have to be barbaric. You’ll have to be quick and decisive. And quite frankly, this is a line many people are unwilling or unable to cross.

If you choose not to arm yourself, or the assault happens when you are unarmed, then you will have to improvise. You will have to use whatever is at your disposal to maim or kill your attacker. I’ll repeat that. You will have to use whatever is at your disposal to maim or kill your attacker.

This is not fighting fair. This is not a scuffle with your cousins. This is not a shoving match between middle school boys. This is fighting nasty and dirty, without rules, and without mercy. This is the warrior ethos: kill or be killed.

This is raw and blunt and barbaric and uncivilized. And I make no apology for it. The assailant didn’t sit down with you and enter into a gentleman’s agreement. You didn’t mutually negotiate to what degree of physical harm, injury, or possible death the assailant will be allowed to inflict on you and your companions for a consideration of kindness extended to him. The person who is threatening you with violence has crossed the line and forfeited his right to be treated with anything but contempt and brutality. For me, there will be no kindness, no compassion.

You see it in the movies and on television where the victims say to their unsympathetic thug assailants: “We don’t want any trouble.” It’s the dumbest thing people say. It’s the last gasp of a person about to become a statistic. I’ve told Ashley that if we ever find ourselves in a similar situation, I most likely WILL say that phrase. I’ll say it for the following reasons: 1) to let her know I’m about to attack, 2) to let her know to get ready for her to make a run for it, 3) to give the assailant(s) the false impression I’m afraid (for the record, I am afraid, but resolved) and not going to do anything to defend myself and 4) to get them to drop their guard out of overconfidence.

If the encounter becomes physical and you are unarmed (no weapon), use your car keys, a flashlight, a beer bottle, a brick, dirt tossed in their eyes, spit, pepper spray, your high-heeled shoes. Anything and everything becomes a possible weapon including your voice (yell, scream, and shout! “FIRE!!!” will get more attention than “HELP!”). Your targets: their eyes, ears, throat, genitals, knees, shins, and instep. Your mission: destroy those targets without mercy using anything and everything at your disposal.

In 2009, an 88-year-old woman grabbed the penis of a man who was trying to rape her. She squeezed it so hard that the man fled her house, screaming in pain. The lady asked that her name be withheld from the news, but the assailant was (and I’m not making this up) a man named Michael Gordon Dick. If the lady had been a little stronger, had more grip strength, I think she’d have been able to prevent him from future sexual assault crimes, which he did commit for the next 5 years. He was finally caught, convicted, and incarcerated this past March.

Whatever target you can get to, you must neutralize it, or “neuterize,” it as the case may be. And you must do so as quickly as you can and with absolute ruthlessness and cruelty.

6. Don’t look like a target.
Physical fitness will help you look less like a target. If you look like you can handle yourself, the would-be criminal may be more inclined to wait for someone else to assault. And if you do have to fight for your life you’ll be more likely to survive and run away if you’re fit.

In 2005, I was stopped by three punks on the streets of downtown Memphis on Christmas morning. I was joining friends for brunch at The Peabody. To these three, I looked like a mark, a target: a gray-haired middle-aged white man in a suit walking by himself. They demanded my money, cell phone, credit cards, and my watch. They thought I had an expensive watch — plastic Timex, $35 — I guess because I was wearing a suit. I had very little money. And this was happening on CHRISTMAS DAY? Seriously?

I should have given them what they demanded. But I wasn’t feeling charitable. So I told them I wasn’t going to do it. That’s when they threatened me, in foul and colorful language, intended to shock and frighten me and let me know they meant business. I informed them in even more foul and colorful language that I was going to blind one of them. I won’t be able to get to all of you, I told them, but I’m going to gouge out the eyes of the first one who gets close enough. This gave them pause. Behind them, one of the Peabody staff stepped out on to the sidewalk to take a smoke break — the only time I’ve been happy about someone smoking! I yelled to him: “HEY MIKE, CALL THE COPS AND SECURITY, I’M BEING ROBBED!!” My assailants decided to run off. (His name wasn’t Mike, I didn’t even know the man, but those three didn’t know that.)

In 2007, I was at the Hickory Hill Mall. If you’ve been there lately, you know it is a shell of its former glory. All of the anchor stores have pulled out, and now it’s just an odd mix of discount shops and other less favorable stores. I was there because I heard there was a hat store in the mall that had NY Giants football team hats. The Giants were in the Super Bowl that year, and I was going to wear one to the Super Bowl party I’d been invited to. I walked all around the mall trying to find it, but couldn’t. I did, however, attract the notice of two guys who started shadowing me. After a couple of evasive moves to shake them, I realized these two guys were in fact following me and were looking for an opportunity to make a move. The mall wasn’t busy, but I figured they’d follow me to my car and jump me there. I couldn’t find a security guard, so I went into a store, told the manager I was being followed and could he escort me to his back loading door where they bring in shipments. He was happy to walk me through their back storage area and to the store’s back door. He even offered to walk with me to my car. I asked him to keep an eye on me as I jogged to my car and made sure I made it okay.

There was a Chinese kung fu philosophy I read a long time ago that went something like this: “Avoid rather than check, check rather than maim, maim rather than kill.” The best way to avoid a confrontation is to not be there. I’ve avoided my share of trouble by exercising good situational awareness.

Famed Marine Corps General James Mattis, who retired in 2013, said a couple of things still resonating throughout the Marine Corps. These two represent the Marine warrior ethos:
“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.” He said this to Marines heading into Iraq in 2003.
In 2006, he sent the following message to Iraqi leaders he viewed with suspicion:
“I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f**k with me, I’ll kill you all.”

This is brutal and barbaric; I won’t deny it. But combat, either on the battlefield or in your own garage, is likewise brutal and barbaric. If there’s no avoiding the confrontation, then action is required.

Let me say this, most combat veterans who seem timid or fearful when they come home aren’t afraid of the things you think they’re afraid of. They’re afraid, in most part, of themselves. They’ve done horrible, unthinkable, vicious things to other human beings. They know that within them is something — someone — who scares them, who is capable of terrible and heinous cruelty. They’ve done things they’d like to forget. For them, avoiding confrontation means they don’t have to face that person who can be full of powerful fury, without pity or compassion.

If you are confronted, you will either be a victim or not. If you choose to act, it’s possible your actions may leave you with mental or emotional trauma that may need to be addressed by a mental health provider. There are consequences even for the survivor.

7. To arm or not to arm.
Guns in our culture and in our society are a hot topic, full of controversy. The same could be said, though to a lesser degree, for knives and other forms of personal self-defense weapons. Each person must decide what they are comfortable with, what they are willing to do to protect themselves and their loved ones. I own combat knives, handguns, and long guns. I have a carry permit for a handgun, and I pray every day I never have to use it.

It’s been said that the presence of a gun in the hands of an intended victim tends to escalate the situation and may make the assailant more aggressive and provoke them to use their weapon. It’s no doubt an armed victim changes the dynamic of that situation! Those are things to think about for sure.

But I’ll give you my own rules of engagement: if I brandish a weapon, it won’t be for show. It won’t be to scare my assailant. I’ll use it immediately. This is a personal choice for me, my rules of engagement. Yours may be different.

If you choose to arm yourself, you MUST get marksmanship/safety training! You must! I would implore you get training even if you’ve had experience with firearms. Then practice regularly so you are as comfortable with your handgun as you are with your smartphone, but with exceedingly more respect. (I’m an expert with an M-16 rifle and a Colt 45 pistol, but even I take classes and practice regularly.) Take as many marksmanship and gun safety classes as you are able, so if you ever have to use your weapon you’ll be accurate.

One word about having a permit to carry a handgun, carry the weapon concealed. Even though it is your right to open carry on your hip, law enforcement personnel recommend that you not. It brings unwanted attention both from law abiding citizens unfamiliar with the law and criminals looking for a weapon. Criminals looking for a handgun will see you as a source. Even off-duty law enforcement carry concealed when not on duty.

Finally.
This isn’t an exhaustive study of personal safety or self-defense. Books and classes are conducted on these subjects, and this is only a brief essay to get you aware and thinking. I hope I’ve offered up something in this essay that helps to keep you safe.

You can do everything right 100% of the time, and it can still go sideways on you. Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle was killed by someone who got the drop on him and shot him in the back.

Be vigilant. Be alert. Be aware.

Be safe out there everyone.

Special thanks to Lt. David Townsend, FBI National Academy Class 249, Training and Public Relations Officer for the Collierville Police Department for his input to this essay.

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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