Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for April, 2016

I Hate Cider — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 4/28/2016

Apr. 28th 2016

“Dad, I’m bored,” said my son at 10. My kids only said this once.

If you were to interview my children now and ask them what happened after they said that they were bored, they’d give you the same answer. They got a list from me that ensured they never said they were bored again. The list was a mix of chores, goals, objectives, and books to read.

It’s one of the least attractive, but most telling, phrases I hear someone say: “I’m bored.” And when I hear that said by religious people it carries with it a sense of bewilderment. People bored in this life, pray for an eternal one … in which to do what, exactly? Christians say they’ll be praising the Lord and male Muslims will presumably be occupied with all of those virgins. I can only imagine how long before those activities will become boring to those easily bored.

My children are now adults with careers and responsibilities and are life-long learners and avid readers. Not long ago, I mentioned to my oldest that I go to bed every night wishing I had more time because I’m not finished with a book or a project or some subject I’m researching. I end each day disappointed that I didn’t get more done, read, or researched. He said that he was “cursed with the same affliction.” I said, “Mission accomplished.”

When I dabbled in online dating many years ago, I discovered that there was a code to the profiles. I thought all words and phrases mean the same thing all the time. It took several disastrous dates for me to break the code. Here are some examples of things I found in the profiles that Match.com sent me and what they actually meant.

“Free-thinker” … doesn’t shave legs.
“Want a man who isn’t a liar” … drama queen.
“A few extra pounds” … a lot of extra pounds.
“Occasional smoker and drinker” … chain-smoker, borderline alcoholic.
“Feminist activist” … men are pigs.
“Adventurous” … doesn’t shave armpits.
“I’m new to this, so here goes…” … I’m on every dating site in the English-speaking world.
“I love nature and camping” … I only stay in 5-star hotels.
“Good conversationalist” … I will talk the wax out of your ears and never ask you a single question.

One lady’s profile was at least honest: “I’m not down to earth at all. If you don’t reply to my text I will turn up at your house drunk at 3 o’clock in the morning crying. I hate bicycles, the beach, sunshine and parks. And cider. I hate cider.”

I passed on her. She didn’t use the Oxford comma. And I love cider. Deal breakers.

One of the questions I always asked those ladies, and it seemed to help more than their views on the beach or cider, was “what are you currently reading?”

For me, a woman who reads is interesting. But a woman who reads good books is infinitely more so and way more intriguing. When Ashley and I started dating, she said she didn’t care about my then 15-year-old Pathfinder nor my then 10-year-old Jeep. But she was impressed with my book shelves! When Ashley told me that her prized possession as a child was her library card, I was smitten!

I can relate to what Kevin Costner said in an interview when asked about dying, “I know what I know and it’s not enough. I know that when I die, I’m going to miss a lot of great books and a lot of great music that I’ll never hear.”

My grandfather said that a gentleman reads because he knows that it enriches his life, deepens his understanding, and makes him a more interesting person. When someone tells me they don’t read outside of that required for their careers, I wonder how they continue to learn, grow, and understand. I wonder what they do for entertainment. I wonder what sources of media informs their minds and gives them an understanding of the world. I wonder what things touch their souls and makes them reflective. I wonder what things move their hearts and challenge their thinking.

If someone doesn’t read, then their politics, religion, and philosophy aren’t really theirs. They acquire them by second, or third-hand absorption at best. Without broad and diverse reading, we’re all at the mercy of talking heads on television, charismatic pulpiteers, and the personal agendas of politicians with narrow minds, hidden traps, malevolent intentions, or extremist views.

It’s been said that not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.

That may or may not be true. But the reflective nature of the statement says that there’s a reasonable expectation for our leaders to be readers. We expect our leaders to be masters of the language because we think in words and express those thoughts, ideas, plans, and philosophies in words. We expect them to be literate. Mark Twain said, “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” Could we ever envision our leaders to be illiterate?

It’s easy to be romantic and nostalgic about books and reading. But more and more, I think, there’s a need for an education that emphasizes the classics in a liberal arts education, over the vocational approach that has become the norm in higher education. Lately, I’ve wondered about a change in my own career path. Since I have a body that needs constant upkeep and maintenance, I have to exercise daily, so you won’t see me fade away. (Boot Camp exists as long as I exist!) But I’ve often thought about the formation of a Saturday School that teaches the classics, especially to men and women who didn’t get those things in high school or college, or for those who just want to be exposed again. A classical education typically includes history, literature, rhetoric, logic, grammar, and philosophy.

But would people who avoided the classics in college, who don’t read much, and who are easily bored, be interested in a Saturday School that teaches those things? Probably not. But it’s fun to think about such a school.

Did you know that all Marines, from Privates to Generals, are required to read from a list of books in order to be considered for promotion to the next rank? Every next rank has its own reading list that includes books as diverse as “1984” by George Orwell, “The Village” by Bing West, and “The Crisis of Islam” by Bernard Lewis. No other branch of service requires its warriors to also be scholars.

(If you’re interested, here’s the link to the Marine Corps reading list: http://www.marines.mil/news/messages/Pages/ALMAR027-11.aspx/)

If the Marine Corps requires its recruits and its Generals to read, shouldn’t we require that of those who lead us locally and nationally?

Ashley and I were in Philadelphia a few years ago standing in the very room in Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was discussed and modified by our Founding Fathers. We stood in front of the little narrow house where Thomas Jefferson wrote that Declaration. We stood in the room where Edgar Alan Poe wrote “The Raven” and “Murders in the Rue Morgue.” And we stood in the tiny room at Valley Forge where George Washington strategized and drew up plans for the defeat of the British army. I thought about how common and average those places were, but what great things, what great words, what great ideas grew out of them.

Our trip to Philadelphia made me think about where we came from as a nation, that there’s more that unites us – Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, and Independent — than divides us. That the genius of our country is our ability to negotiate and compromise and not insist on getting everything we want like petulant children. The greatness of America isn’t demonstrated by how loud and how caustic we can use the First Amendment, but by how wisely, prudently, and intelligently we communicate.

The written word is at the core of our culture, our history, our science, and our government. Benjamin Franklin started the first lending library in Philadelphia knowing how important a literate society was to the future of his community and to his country. Failure to read, failure to understand, and failure to know moves us closer and closer to mob ignorance, superstition, and stupidity. The enlightenment driven away by darkness and empowered propaganda.

The Nazis banned and burned books to control the German people, taking away their sources of knowledge, dissent, and wisdom. But the late Ray Bradbury said, “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”

Want to read something but don’t know what to read next? There are a number of websites that will survey what you like to read and then make recommendations. You can start here: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=how+to+choose+a+book+to+read

— 30 —

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Bring a Friend to Boot Camp!

Tom Farrar was my friend and my CPA. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my overweight type-A friend to take care of himself. Even members of MENSA need to exercise and eat right, I told him. But Tom liked food and wine and NOT exercising. But I invited him to come to Boot Camp all the time anyway. He was an Air Force vet and reminded me that he didn’t join the Marine Corps, like I did, for a reason: “I had no desire to try to outrun bullets and bombs, I’ll leave that up to you Jarheads.” Since I liked Tom, I didn’t take offense to the “Jarhead” comment.

In 2007 I called his office to make an appointment for Tom to do my taxes and left a message. I called several more times, but no response. That was not like him at all.

I called a mutual friend and asked if she knew what was going on with Tom. Our mutual friend explained that he had stepped out to his front yard to get his newspaper and had a massive heart attack and died on the spot.

Every year since then, April has been “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp” month in honor of Tom. You can bring a friend–particularly one at risk–to boot camp for a week for free! No strings attached and no expectation for them to join.

The boot camper who brings the most friends (friends who are actual prospects to join us, not folks who are already members of some other gym or program) for the month, will receive $100!

Let’s help our friends and family reverse their risk of heart disease and heart related health problems!

—————————————————————

DO YOU USE VENMO?

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!

—————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Master Sergeant Ashley Holloway, RD LDN,
(An Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.” You could follow the nutrition advice of some Facebook friend of a friend … or you could follow the advice of a scientist.)

Feel the Burn – Eight Ways to Prevent Heartburn

Heartburn is a fairly common problem, with about one-third of people having heartburn once a year or more. In fact, occasional heartburn is one of the most common medical symptoms reported to physicians.

How does heartburn happen? There is a muscle at the bottom of your esophagus that acts like a valve to your stomach. When we aren’t eating, we want that valve tightly closed so that the stomach acid stays were it belongs-in the stomach. Certain foods and drinks can cause this muscle to relax too much allowing the acid to drift up from your stomach into the esophagus. This reflux creates that annoying and often painful sensation, heartburn that runs from your breastbone all the way up to your throat. Ouch!

In order to keep heartburn in check and reduce the burn, try out these lifestyle and diet changes:

1. Reduce Stress- Stress may actually increase stomach acid and cause heartburn. Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or USMC Fitness Boot Camp’s BOGA.

2. Quit Smoking- To reduce heartburn and to reduce your risk of death in general!

3. Loosen Up- Wearing tight fitting clothes or belts can put a lot of unnecessary pressure on your stomach causing acid to reflux.

4. Shed a Few Pounds- Having extra weight on your body, especially around your mid-section adds even more pressure on your stomach. Loosing just a few pounds can help.

5. Avoid the Culprits- Spicy and greasy foods are known to trigger heartburn, but other lesser known culprits include: soda, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, citrus, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and peppermint.

6. Pass on Seconds- Eating too much at one time can send your stomach into overdrive. Eating smaller more frequent meals can help ease the burn.

7. Stay Upright – Lying down soon after a meal can make heartburn even worse. Remaining upright for 3 hours after eating gives your body extra time to digest that food.

8. Chew Gum- A piece of sugar-free gum helps your mouth produce saliva which neutralizes stomach acids and aids in digestion.

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80% OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EXERCISE!

————————————————————

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

—————————————————

Have a GREAT Thursday!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


FOUR THOUSAND MORNINGS — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 4/21/2016

Apr. 21st 2016

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” ~ Aristotle

I had a professor in grad school who liked to say that “life is a cinch by the inch, but hard by the yard.” He was a professor of antiquities, teaching Greek and Latin and Roman history. In his view, learning a foreign language was a day by day process, one day of small beginnings building on the small proficiencies of the day before. From small beginnings, come big endings.

“Tony, how in the world do you run a marathon?” One step at a time, of course. I can take a non-runner in January and train that person to run a full marathon by December. I’ve done it plenty of times. One day at a time, one short run at a time that gets a little longer little by little, day by day, week after week.

People ask me how I’ve been able to get up before dawn, Monday through Friday for over 16 years and lead an exercise class in the dark. Simple: consistently, one day at a time. Over 4,000 mornings! And I’ve never overslept, not once. How do you explain that? I’m not Superman. I’m no different than anyone else. I’m just like you. It’s not talent. It’s not a skill. And it’s not any easier for me than for you. I am NOT a morning person. I could easily sleep till noon.

The discipline of consistency. The consistency of discipline. It’s at the heart of what Aristotle said. Being persistent is his “repeatedly do.” We are what we repeatedly do. This is the DNA of character, either good or bad.

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” ~ Calvin Coolidge

Every successful person has this kind of dynamic working in their lives. They stay at a task even when it’s hard, or boring, or challenging. They’re persistent even when it’s early, or late, or cold, or hot, or dark, or gloomy, or raining, and no one is watching, and no one cares if they succeed or not. It’s easy to stand in the spotlight with the praise and applause of the world. It’s another thing to toil away in obscurity with no one to praise you or reward you … day after day, week after week, year after year.

This is one of the reasons I love hearing the stories of people who had to work their way through college. Without mom and dad’s money, and no significant scholarships or grants, they took a full load of classes every semester and worked multiple part-time jobs to pay their own way and earn their degrees. These are some of my favorite people because it says so much about their character. When I interviewed prospective teachers and coaches I always asked about their college experience, wanting to know how they managed, how they paid for it, how many years it took. Looking for those who’d learned to adapt, to improvise, to overcome, especially while facing such difficult challenges. When hired, not one of those folks disappointed.

I was asked recently what I considered to be the greatest benefit of a college education. In addition to the above, this is what I said:

“Writing that requires students to produce academic papers having points that follow logic and reason, that lead to conclusions supported by research with sited legitimate sources and evidential proof is the greatest benefit of a college education. The practice of writing research papers compels the writer to hone their skills necessary to think critically, and to analyze fairly and factually. The result is that they require the same of the news and opinion sources they consult or passively allow into their lives.”

Surely one of the greatest threats to our Republic is the progression of the university toward white collar vocational training. Preparing students for a career without the requirement to think critically. As an undergrad, I wrote 8-12 research papers per semester; a friend of mine, an accounting major, wrote only 8 the entire time he was in college. But that’s for another essay. Still, the completion of a four year degree is, in and of itself, something to celebrate when only 25% of Americans have graduated from college with a Bachelors degree. And unless we completely overhaul the college tuition debacle, that number is only going to get lower. And that too is for another essay.

Winners find a way, losers find an excuse, it’s said. I started training Marines in 1978 and coaching high school basketball that same year. In 1999 I started USMC Fitness Boot Camp. In all of my experience after training thousands, I believe that adage is true: winners find a way, everyone else finds an excuse. People do what they want to do, everything else is smoke screen marketing, misinformation, and misdirection. Achievers find a way to make things work for them, quitters find reasons why it can’t possibly work for them. I hear it all the time. Talkers vs. doers vs. quitters.

Some people are perpetual starters of things, but never finish or complete much. They seldom stay the course. They start exercise programs, books, college, hobbies, etc. without finishing or sticking with very much. They start one project after another, take up one hobby after another, bounce from one job to another, one relationship to another without earning and accumulating much equity in any of it. When they announce their most recent jag, kick, project, or off the wall idea, friends and family put little to no stock in it. They’ve seen it all before and they don’t get too worked up about any of it. Experience says there’s no need to expect anything but a list of excuses later.

Can perpetual quitters become finishers? Can those who’ve had a long history of big talk and little action be inspired to be otherwise?

Those are big questions. What do you think?

— 30 —

————————————————————————

Bring a Friend to Boot Camp!

Tom Farrar was my friend and my CPA. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my overweight type-A friend to take care of himself. Even members of MENSA need to exercise and eat right, I told him. But Tom liked food and wine and NOT exercising. But I invited him to come to Boot Camp all the time anyway. He was an Air Force vet and reminded me that he didn’t join the Marine Corps, like I did, for a reason: “I had no desire to try to outrun bullets and bombs, I’ll leave that up to you Jarheads.” Since I liked Tom, I didn’t take offense to the “Jarhead” comment.

In 2007 I called his office to make an appointment for Tom to do my taxes and left a message. I called several more times, but no response. That was not like him at all.

I called a mutual friend and asked if she knew what was going on with Tom. Our mutual friend explained that he had stepped out to his front yard to get his newspaper and had a massive heart attack and died on the spot.

Every year since then, April has been “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp” month in honor of Tom. You can bring a friend–particularly one at risk–to boot camp for a week for free! No strings attached and no expectation for them to join.

The boot camper who brings the most friends (friends who are actual prospects to join us, not folks who are already members of some other gym or program) for the month, will receive $100!

Let’s help our friends and family reverse their risk of heart disease and heart related health problems!

—————————————————————

DO YOU USE VENMO?

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!

—————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Master Sergeant Ashley Holloway, RD LDN,
(An Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.” You could follow the nutrition advice of some Facebook friend of a friend … or you could follow the advice of a scientist.)

Be Healthy with Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin which is essential in the normal function of the brain, the central nervous system, and is vital in the formation of red blood cells.

Several factors may cause vitamin B12 deficiency:

Avoiding animal products. People who do not eat any meat, fish, poultry, or dairy products are at risk of becoming deficient in vitamin B12, since B12 is only found naturally in animal products. That’s why vegans should make sure to include B12-fortified foods or a B12 supplement in their diets.

Lack of intrinsic factor. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also be caused by a lack of “intrinsic factor” (a substance secreted by stomach cells that binds to vitamin B12 and enables its absorption). This can lead to so-called “pernicious anemia,” and ultimately to serious neurological damage.

Inadequate stomach acid. A much more common cause of deficiency, especially in older people, is a lack of stomach acid, because stomach acid is required to release vitamin B12 from food. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of adults over the age of 50 have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food. People who regularly take medications that suppress stomach acid—such as proton-pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, or other antacids—may also have difficulty absorbing vitamin B12 from food. Even people who lack adequate stomach acid can typically absorb vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements since it is already in it’s free form and does not require stomach acid to release it from food.

Having gastrointestinal (GI) surgery/issues. People who have Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and other GI issues, or those that have had GI surgery may be unable to absorb enough Vitamin B12 from food and may need to be monitored for deficiency and take supplemental Vitamin B12.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, constipation, memory loss, disorientation, hallucinations, and tingling in the arms and legs. Some people diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are actually suffering from the more reversible vitamin B12 deficiency. Measuring vitamin B12 in the blood is actually not the best way to determine whether someone is deficient. Blood levels of methylmalonic acid, a protein breakdown product, are a much better marker that captures actual vitamin B12 activity.

The best sources of Vitamin B12 are from animal sources. The top natural sources are clams, beef liver, trout, salmon, tuna fish, beef, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Foods that are often fortified with Vitamin B12 include breakfast cereals and tofu.

Recommended dietary amounts (RDAs) are 2.4 micrograms daily for ages 14 years and older, 2.6 micrograms daily for pregnant females, and 2.8 micrograms daily for breastfeeding females. Those over 50 years of age should meet the RDA by eating foods reinforced with B12 or by taking a vitamin B12 supplement. Supplementation of 25-100 micrograms daily has been used to maintain vitamin B12 levels in older people. The Institutes of Medicine did not give an upper limit amount for Vitamin B12 since it is water soluble and toxicity is highly unlikely.
Vitamin B12 is available in pill form, in sublingual form and in injection form. However the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from dietary supplements is largely limited by the capacity of intrinsic factor. For example, only about 10 mcg of a 500 mcg oral supplement is actually absorbed in healthy people. Therefore, if you have difficulty absorbing Vitamin B12 due to stomach issues, a B12 shot may be more readily absorbed.

————————————————————

80% OF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS SUCCESS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EXERCISE!

————————————————————

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

—————————————————

Have a GREAT Thursday!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Trump is Right! Sometimes You Gotta Build a Wall

Apr. 14th 2016

A couple of years ago I was the guest speaker at Memphis University School’s weekly assembly. I had no formal connection to the school. I was never a student there, nor faculty member. But I knew the Head Master and the Academic Dean and both saw fit to invite me to ramble and babble before several hundred members of the all boys student body.

Unknown to me, the speaker the previous week had actually rambled and babbled … and went over his allotted time. He was a State Senator and showed up without a prepared talk. Apparently he assumed the boys and their faculty would be happily impressed with his stream of consciousness rabbit chasing. But no one was.

So after I was introduced, I stood up and walked to the podium, with notes—something the politician didn’t have—and there seemed to be some sense of expectation that I could sense. The boys seemed to be leaning forward in their seats. At the time, I didn’t know any of that awkward business involving the Senator and his poor speech. So when I looked out on the congregation of boys and saw the expectant looks on their faces, I just thought that they always gave their guest speakers such attentiveness.

As a father of two sons, and a high school coach, I’d written a list of traits and characteristics that I called “50 Things About Being a Gentlemen.” I gave my sons and all of my players that list. It spelled out to my sons and my players what I expected in their behavior and what I considered to be the character traits of a gentleman. Many of my players came from at-risk-single-parent-homes with no fathers in the picture and no male role models in their families to offer advice and guidance. In my view, the primary purpose of a high school’s athletic program is to teach life lessons through sports.

Building character and holding young people accountable for good behavior in difficult situations is, in my opinion, one of the primary purposes for a high school’s athletic department. As the Athletic Director, I tried to impress that philosophy upon my coaches, who in turn tried to teach it to their players. We would not win at all costs nor would we conduct ourselves without virtue. If the other 9 schools in our district cheated to win, we wouldn’t make it unanimous and join them in such a breach of integrity. What lessons do we teach to impressionable young men if we violate the liberties of conscience and forfeit our honor just to win a basketball game or a conference championship?

For the 20 minute talk I gave at MUS, I chose only 10 of those 50 things. Incorporated within those 10 things included “what I’ve learned so far” advice and observations. “What I’ve Learned So Far” is the name of my favorite Esquire magazine feature; successful and famous men distill the lessons learned in a lifetime to a single page feature. That feature alone is worth the cost of the magazine.

Two things I’ve learned that I wish I’d had time to include at MUS were: 1) everything takes more time than you think it will, and 2) sometimes you have to take the advice of Taylor Swift and Frozen’s Queen Elsa and “shake it off and let it go.” You could rephrase #2 with “you have to quit caring.” You have to care less.

I think #1 is something we intellectually acknowledge, but practically ignore. We wait until the last minute to do something or we don’t allow enough time for a task or errand. It will always take you more time to pack than you think it will. It will always take more time to load the car than you think it will. It will always take more time to clean the house than you think it will. It will always take more time to drive across town than you think it will. It will always take more time to lose weight and get in shape than you think it will. You get the idea. If you break down the tasks, obligations, and duties of your life by assigning more time to each than you initially would–maybe by adding 15 to 30 minutes or more–you’ll find that you benefit from the extra time allowed.

Adjusting to the truth of #1 isn’t that hard. It just requires discipline.

But #2 is different. It’s harder.

Not caring runs contrary to our earliest lessons in life. Our parents wanted us to care. They demanded that we care. They insisted upon it! They wanted us to care about everything: how we look, how we talk, how we eat, how we stand, how we sit. They told us to put on something clean, don’t talk to me in that tone, say “yes, sir” and “no, sir,” don’t eat with your mouth open, don’t slouch, sit up straight. They wanted us to care about everyone: treat others as you want to be treated. Be nice. Be polite. Share. Show respect.

Getting older meant a widening and deepening sense of caring about things and caring about others. In fact, the argument could be made that caring is the chief cornerstone of a civilized society. As a species, we survived because we gathered together in groups so that we could care for one another. As a nation, we come together to aid and defend our allies because we care. We give to charities and welfare organizations because we care. We give to the poor because we care. We gladly pay taxes in order to meet the needs of our fellow citizens because we care.

But the very thing that makes us a civilized society, a caring nation, a compassionate people is the thing that can trip us up in relationships and situations that become dysfunctional or untenable. We have trouble “shaking it off” because we care. We have trouble giving up on a person or a situation because we care. We can’t “let it go” because we care. The thing that fuels our compassion and thoughtfulness, is the thing that can fuel our misery and cause us pain.

A woman I dated once told me that the person who cares the most in a relationship has the least amount of “power” in that relationship. I should have seen her comment as reflective of her views about the dynamics of romantic relationships. If there’s a power struggle in a relationship, or if there’s even a question about who has the most power, there’s your sign that the relationship is jacked-up. A healthy and loving relationship has no sense of “who has the power.” I know this because I’ve been in both kinds of relationships.

We have to shake it off and let it go when someone violates the written or unwritten rules of respect and courtesy. Being long-suffering is a virtue. Being loyal, forgiving, and patient are virtues. And giving others the benefit of the doubt is something we look for in a friend. These are the kinds of things we extend to those we love and allow into our inner-circle.

When I was a recruit at Parris Island, attempting to earn the title of United States Marine, my Drill Instructors assigned me the task of taking one of the 14 Leadership Traits of the Marine Corps and giving a presentation on that trait to my platoon.
The 14 Leadership Traits are:
Justice
Judgment
Dependability
Initiative
Decisiveness
Tact
Integrity
Enthusiasm
Bearing
Unselfishness
Courage
Knowledge
Loyalty
Endurance.
The trait I was assigned was loyalty. The more I studied this trait, the more I saw loyalty as necessary and imperative for a military unit! That lesson I taught, more than anything else, solidified my own convictions about loyalty. All these years later it still ranks supreme in my estimation of desirable and admirable traits.

But when loyalty, trust, respect, and courtesy are violated by someone we have allowed into our lives, we have to let them go. We have to train ourselves not to care. And this may be one of the most difficult things to do.

When I was 14, my mom reprimanded me about some infraction and I walked away murmuring “I don’t care” under my breath. My mother heard it and went ballistic! Not caring was blasphemy! Not caring was equated with the worst of sins and moral imperfections. Not caring was a violation of the very thing that made us civilized. Not caring was unforgivable. Not caring was likened to murder and treachery, my mother lectured.

But the unfortunate truth is that some people will use our compassion and our care for them as weapons used against us. Self-respect requires us to draw a line. Self-respect requires us to unfriend, withdraw, and quit any relationship or situation that disrespects us and mistreats us. At some point we have to quit caring when we seem to be the only one who does. At some point we have to establish boundaries to keep those away who don’t really care about us, who disrespect us, who betray us, who abandon us.

It’s a hard thing to give up and quit caring. It’s a hard thing to withdraw. It’s a hard thing to keep people at arm’s length. But sometimes, well, sometimes self preservation requires it. Sometimes you gotta build a wall.

Things take longer than we think.

Sometimes we just have to shake it off and let it go.

— 30 —

—————————————————————

Bring a Friend to Boot Camp!

Tom Farrar was my friend and my CPA. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my overweight type-A friend to take care of himself. Even members of MENSA need to exercise and eat right, I told him. But Tom liked food and wine and NOT exercising. But I invited him to come to Boot Camp all the time anyway. He was an Air Force vet and reminded me that he didn’t join the Marine Corps, like I did, for a reason: “I had no desire to try to outrun bullets and bombs, I’ll leave that up to you Jarheads.” Since I liked Tom, I didn’t take offense to the “Jarhead” comment.

In 2007 I called his office to make an appointment for Tom to do my taxes and left a message. I called several more times, but no response. That was not like him at all.

I called a mutual friend and asked if she knew what was going on with Tom. Our mutual friend explained that he had stepped out to his front yard to get his newspaper and had a massive heart attack and died on the spot.

Every year since then, April has been “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp” month in honor of Tom. You can bring a friend–particularly one at risk–to boot camp for a week for free! No strings attached and no expectation for them to join.

The boot camper who brings the most friends (friends who are actual prospects to join us, not folks who are already members of some other gym or program) for the month, will receive $100!

Let’s help our friends and family reverse their risk of heart disease and heart related health problems!

—————————————————————

DO YOU USE VENMO?

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!

—————————————————————

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

Don’t Throw your Nutrition Away!

On average we spend $15 to $20 of fruits and vegetables a week, knowing that they are important for a healthy diet. But it may surprise you that you may be unknowingly throw away some of the healthiest parts of the food.

We often pick of the “strange” part of the produce and throw them away. But you are not just throwing away dollars and cents, you are also throwing away important nutrition benefits.

These forgotten parts of food are packed with vitamins and minerals and heart-saving amino acids. Add them to your kitchen rotation and reap the rewards.

1. CANTALOUPE SEEDS

Their Hidden Powers: These seeds are usually the first to go when you crack open a melon, but they’re high in protein, fiber, vitamin E, and magnesium.

How to Eat Them: Roast them in the oven and toss with olive oil for a nutrient-packed snack.

2. ONION SKINS

Their Hidden Powers: These flaky exteriors are high in quercetin, a compound that can help lower your blood pressure and support a healthy immune system.

How to Eat Them: Add them to a stew or broth for extra flavor, then pick them out before serving.

3. BROCCOLI LEAVES

Their Hidden Powers: These leafy greens are a triple threat with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium, says Bonci.

How to Eat Them: Cut them up and throw them into a stir-fry along with the rest of the broccoli.

4. ORANGE PEELS

Their Hidden Powers: You already knew they smell fantastic, but they’re also rich in digestive system-soothing fiber and immune-boosting vitamin C.

How to Eat Them: Use a cheese grater to sprinkle some on top of fish or chicken.

Adapted from Men’s Health 6/2015

——————————————————

Running With Music!

If you run with music, for safety’s sake, turn the music down or use only one earbud, especially in a race. I recently bought an excellent single earbud (XDU Noise Isolating Earbud) from Far End Gear http://farendgear.com/xdu/)

—————————————————

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

—————————————————

Have a GREAT Thursday!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


And I Took the Road Less Traveled — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 4/6/2016

Apr. 6th 2016

April is Poetry Appreciation Month! In honor of that, and the fact that Donald J. Trump just won’t go away, like I hoped he would last summer, I offer up Frost vs. Trump, a better match up than Trump vs. Cruz vs. Kasich!

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

And now, Donald J. Trump:

Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening – By Donald J Trump

I have a pretty good idea whose woods these are, believe me.
And let me tell you something, my people say he’s a complete nobody.
This guy lives in the village. So what if he sees me stopping here?
I dare him to sue me! I dare him!

And by the way, this snow is pathetic.
These are by far, the least downy flakes ever!
I hear they had to import them from Canada.
I don’t know. Maybe they did. Maybe they didn’t. We’re looking into it.

My horse – he’s the most incredible horse, seriously,
I have the greatest, the classiest horses –
My horse doesn’t even know what the hell we’re doing here.
The horses love me though. They do.
They’re always shaking their bells at me, it’s very loving.
It’s a beautiful thing.

Let me tell you something, these woods are an embarrassment.
They’re not dark. They’re not deep. They’re nothing. They’re for losers.
And I cannot wait to sue this guy.
I cannot wait to sue this guy.

Enjoy Poetry Appreciation Month!

— 30 —

—————————————————————

Bring a Friend to Boot Camp!

Tom Farrar was my friend and my CPA. Try as I might, I couldn’t get my overweight type-A friend to take care of himself. Even members of MENSA need to exercise and eat right, I told him. But Tom liked food and wine and NOT exercising. But I invited him to come to Boot Camp all the time anyway. He was an Air Force vet and reminded me that he didn’t join the Marine Corps, like I did, for a reason: “I had no desire to try to outrun bullets and bombs, I’ll leave that up to you Jarheads.” Since I liked Tom, I didn’t take offense to the “Jarhead” comment.

In 2007 I called his office to make an appointment for Tom to do my taxes and left a message. I called several more times, but no response. That was not like him at all.

I called a mutual friend and asked if she knew what was going on with Tom. Our mutual friend explained that he had stepped out to his front yard to get his newspaper and had a massive heart attack and died on the spot.

Every year since then, April has been “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp” month in honor of Tom. You can bring a friend–particularly one at risk–to boot camp for a week for free! No strings attached and no expectation for them to join.

The boot camper who brings the most friends (friends who are actual prospects to join us, not folks who are already members of some other gym or program) for the month, will receive $100!

Let’s help our friends and family reverse their risk of heart disease and heart related health problems!

—————————————————————

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!

—————————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Master 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: I have heard that BPA in canned foods and water bottles is an endocrine distributing chemical and is not safe is this true?

A: What a great question! BPA stands for biphenol-A and is an organic-synthetic compound that has been around since 1957 and is used to make certain plastic and epoxy resins. It is not very water soluble therefore it is used to line cans, water pipes and to make plastic bottles tough. BPA can actually mimic estrogen in extremely high doses. Therefore people have become concerned that BPA lining cans and in water bottles would leach out into the food and cause health concerns in humans.

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) both state that the research shows that BPA in the amounts consumed is safe. BPA has throughly studied and tested with one of the most recent studies showing that even with rats receiving thousands of times the average human daily dose, the rats had no issues.

As a Registered Dietitian, I would not be concerned about the BPA. It has been tested and studied throughly showing it is safe. But it does look like many companies are working to change to BPA free cans and bottles, mainly due to consumer pressure, not due to actual risk of harm. Kinda like why you now see so many pizza places that have gluten free pizza. Do the majority of people need to be gluten free? No! But if Memphis Pizza Cafe doesn’t offer it, people who want it will take their business to Mellow Mushroom down the street who does carry it. So since Memphis Pizza Cafe doesn’t want to lose business, they will have gluten free pizza! So the driver isn’t that gluten (or BPA) is harmful, it is that the consumer is driving the change.

However, if you are concerned about BPA, the Mayo Clinic offers these steps you can use to reduce your exposure:

1. Use BPA-free products. Manufacturers are creating more and more BPA-free products. Look for products labeled as BPA-free. If a product isn’t labeled, keep in mind that some, but not all, plastics marked with recycle codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.

2. Cut back on cans. Reduce your use of canned foods since most cans are lined with BPA-containing resin.

3. Avoid heat. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, advises against microwaving polycarbonate plastics or putting them in the dishwasher, because the plastic may break down over time and allow BPA to leach into foods.

4. Use alternatives. Use glass, porcelain or stainless steel containers for hot foods and liquids instead of plastic containers.

—————————————————————————

A LITTLE SLEEP …

Happily, lazily, carelessly fitness is lost and weight is gained.
The realization that fitness has slipped away isn’t as apparent as weight gain, though.
The tight jeans and snug shirts and jackets, on the other hand, shout: “hey there, fatty.” And remember, 80% of your weight loss and gain has nothing to do with exercise. It’s about the calories. Calories. Calories. Calories.

The loss of fitness is discovered in more subtle ways, though. Getting winded at the top of the stairs, straining to lift the big bag of dog food, wishing you’d checked that luggage instead of carrying it through the airport … those are announcements that you’ve lost strength and stamina.

The numbers at the doctor’s office confirm that your weight gain and your lost fitness are putting you at a growing risk of illness, heart disease, and other health related maladies. Memphis is the fattest city in the country because of those things.

More women die of heart related illness than from all cancers combined. Help a friend get healthy and fit. And if that person who needs to get healthy and fit is you, GET BUSY!

Live your life as fit and as healthy as you can!

“How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.” ~ Proverbs 6: 9-11

——————————————————

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!

—————————————————

Be ye kind, one to another.

Yours in good health,

Sgt. Tony

USMC Fitness Boot Camp

Today is the day!

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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