Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for July, 2016

“They say it’s your birthday …” — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 7/25/2016

Jul. 25th 2016

Esquire magazine’s feature, “What I’ve Learned,” is one of my favorites.

The piece isn’t written by magazine staffers. Instead it’s written by famous non-staffers, guys like Robert De Nero, Bruce Springsteen, Brad Pitt, and Colin Powell.

I’m expecting Esquire to call me soon for my contribution since I’ve reached the “Sage Age.” But until that happens I’m going to update and republish my own feature on my birthday, which is today! So here’s the 2016 installment of …

“What I’ve Learned, “ by Tony Ludlow, Sage.

The best advice my mother ever gave me: “Son, you can do anything or be anything you want if you put your mind to it. Study hard! They can never take away your education.” That sounds pretty parental. Your mom and dad probably said the same thing to you too. I didn’t understand at the time who “they” were and why “they” would or could take anything away from me. Until I discovered that my parents grew up in the Great Depression when “they” took everything from everyone.

My grandfather—my “Big Dad”—told me that it was unnecessary to tell others “how smart you are or how much money you have.” People will know without you telling them. I was only 12 years old when he said this. At the time, I was managing my vast fortune of $8.75 in a passbook savings account at the First National Bank of Fort Smith, Arkansas. After Big Dad taught me this, I kept my portfolio information as secret as Donald Trump’s tax returns!

What my Big Dad told me about being smart: the man who speaks last, or not at all, is often the smartest person in the room. Remember that you’ve got two ears and one mouth. Being loud doesn’t make you right; being quiet doesn’t mean you’re wrong.

What he told me about money:
– The love of it is ridiculous.
– Obsession over it will ruin you.
– It can’t compensate for a lack of character.
– Opulence and extravagance are misguided behaviors, like Christian fishes on Range Rovers.
– Live below your means.
– Pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month.
– Be a good tipper.

Helping others reach their goals and ignite their ambitions is the best way to make a difference in the world.

More than what you believe, or claim to believe, more than what creeds you espouse, dogma you declare, things you consider true, or political views you hold, it’s what you do that defines you. It’s what you do that defines you. It’s what you do … that defines you. Everything else is just talk, pleasant parlor conversation, proud boasting in Sunday School, cheap talk at a cocktail party, pontificating in a Sunday sermon, chit-chat at the country club, bragging over beers, ranting on Facebook. It’s what you DO that defines you.

The universe rewards action, not intention.

Have a plan and a contingency plan and a contingency plan to the contingency plan. Be flexible. “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy,” it’s said. Sun Tzu wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

The most profound challenge I was given as a high school senior: “Your country has provided you with 18 years of freedom, opportunity, security, and happiness … it’s time to give something back. Join the Marine Corps or the Peace Corps, but find a way to serve your country and your fellow man.”

I chose the Marine Corps.

The Marine Corps taught me the meaning of:
self-discipline,
perseverance,
courage,
pride,
leadership,
honor,
loyalty,
sacrifice,
and the power of humor.
Neither my academic resume, nor my bank statement will be engraved on my headstone, but “Marine” will be.

Women who are confident and clever are the most attractive women I know! And if they like to smile and if they have a great laugh … well, that’s the best! (Remind you of anyone in my life? Maybe … Ashley Holloway? lol) Party girls are a dime a dozen. Head cases, manipulators, and drama queens stir the pot, but they don’t represent a foundation or anything stable. They make for poor companions and even lesser friends.

Attraction is not a choice. But it CAN be sabotaged, blinded, and assassinated. It can also be enhanced and nurtured.

I don’t trust extremes, political, religious, or social activist.

I don’t trust people with agendas.

I have little respect for people who label others. Labeling others is what bullies do. Calling multidimensional people by one dimensional names is lazy and stupid at best and insolent and disrespectful at worst. Most people are too complex for one label. When someone only knows one small aspect, maybe only 3% of who you are, but assign you a label based on that 3%, you know how shortsighted and wrong labeling others is.

Those whose friends all come from one gene pool, one interest group, one religious affiliation, one political party, or one ethnicity make me suspicious.

I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs and I don’t trust the people dogs don’t like.

How someone treats the wait staff, hotel clerks, airline representatives, anyone in the service industry for that matter … that’s who they really are.

There’s no accounting for taste.

The true measure of a man has little to do with what you can see.

Happiness is an inside job. Money can’t buy it; stuff won’t provide it; vacations won’t alter it. Who you are on Monday morning is who you are.

I admire people who live by a code, who value honor, who are discerning, who won’t suffer a fool.

I think that everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, a second opportunity, and a chance to be forgiven. There are two sides to every story and every situation. No matter how flat you make the pancake, it still has two sides.

One of the hardest things to do in life is establishing boundaries to keep toxic people, and even careless people, at a safe distance. Removing people from your life is tough, it’s like a coach cutting players from the team. You’re the coach of Team YOU and the only players YOU should have sitting on YOUR bench are those who want you to win and are committed to your success! Everyone else can sit in the stands.

I’ve learned the difference between style and substance.

Getting along with others is an essential skill. More people get fired because they’re jerks and have no social skills than because they’re incompetent.

I’ve learned to define “enough.”

When I meet someone for the first time, I fully expect to like them. New people start out with an “A” in my grade book.

I’ve learned that someone’s attitude, the way they process the world around them, the spirit and enthusiasm that they use to engage life, and the energy they exude everyday are more important than looks, money, beauty, or education. A good attitude will compensate for a lack in those four things.

Everyone has these three things in limited supply and they must be respected and treated with care: time, energy, and money. Don’t waste anyone’s or your own.

Not even God can change the past, so forgive yourself and move on, as best as you can … and purpose to do better. And distance yourself from anyone who prefers to shackle you to a past that you can’t change.

Find out what the right thing is to do, and then do it.

When you quit laughing and when you quit physically moving, it’s over!

— 30 —

———————————————————————

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

——————————————————

NO FRIDAY EVENING WORKOUTS FOR THE SUMMER.

——————————————————

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, 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.”)

Four Common Nutrition Mistakes- Part Two: Numbers 3 & 4

#3: Thinking that all organic foods are healthy. Organic cookies and ice cream are still cookies and ice cream. An organic foods (or their ingredients) are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. That may be admirable, but it doesn’t automatically make it a health food or lower in calories or higher in nutrients. Read your labels! Every year the Environmental Working a Group puts out a list of 12 foods that they encourage consumers to purchase the organic varieties of.

The list for 2016 includes:

Strawberries
Apples
Nectarines
Peaches
Celery
Grapes
Cherries
Spinach
Tomatoes
Sweet bell peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers

#4: Thinking that certain types of foods will help boost your metabolism. The whole idea of metabolism boosting foods is generally a myth perpetuated by hype and the excellent marketing teams of different diet products and services. Your metabolic rate is determined by your gender, height, weight, body composition, and age. While there are a few foods that may very temporarily increase your calorie burn such as hot peppers and cold water, these effects are so very small that they should be secondary weight loss strategies, not primary. The best way to increase your calorie burn is through exercise. My recommendation is USMC Fitness Boot Camp! A really awesome Marine runs it!

__________________________________

With the heat rising, know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion

—————————————————

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!

—————————————————

Have a GREAT day!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Playboy — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 7/16/2016

Jul. 16th 2016

Adults asked a lot of stupid questions when I was a kid. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” In charge. “Do you have a girlfriend?” Duh. “Cap’n Crunch or Quisp?” Trick question. Or this little gem, when someone was scooping ice cream into my bowl, “Is that enough?” Stupid question. Of course it’s NOT enough!

Defining “enough” can be impossible for kids and damn near impossible for adults. Especially if ice cream is involved.

But defining “enough” might be the singular most important key to happiness.

We never got enough ice cream when we were kids. Or enough swimming. Or hot dogs. Or playing outside. Or enough of anything that was fun or tasted good. But our adult lives come with restrictions and requirements to define what “enough” is. What satisfaction is. What contentment is. What happiness is.

Adults can’t eat as much ice cream as we possibly can without consequences, and the same goes with acting irresponsibly. Most of us know that we can’t act irresponsible as a social construct, and so we act responsibly. Jails and rehab are full of those who don’t.

Most of us don’t end up in jail or rehab, but we stumble applying discipline in our private lives, in our personal affairs, in the big ticket items we buy, how we eat, how we manage our finances, pursue our desires, and indulge our blind ambitions.

“If you can’t be happy with a little, you’ll never be happy with a lot,” the saying goes.

In the New Testament book of Philippians the Apostle Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”

No matter what his situation, Paul had learned to be happy. If you can’t be happy with scarcity, you won’t be happy with abundance. And this is not a teaching restricted to Christianity. Every major religion and philosophy teaches the virtue in being satisfied irrespective of circumstances. Asceticism is found everywhere in the world. Artists, authors, poets, philosophers, free-thinkers, and people from all walks of life have discovered how to be happy with little. Billionaire Warren Buffett’s frugal and simple lifestyle is well known.

Once upon a time, everything I owned fit into a big green canvas sack known among Marines as a “Sea Bag.” They’re the ubiquitous heavy-duty bags in just about every military movie you’ve seen. At the time, I inventoried my possessions and found that I had a sea bag full of uniforms and clothes, a clothing bag that contained a freshly laundered and pressed uniform, a small duffle bag with sports gear in it, and a little handheld file box with a dozen or so manila files in them. That was it. I could load my car in one trip. And when the Marine Corps transferred me from one base to the next, I threw all of those things into the backseat of my used Mustang, laid the clothing bag on top of it all, and headed cross-country.

I lived in a Marine Corps barracks and ate in a Marine Corps mess hall. My life was simple. I didn’t own much and nothing much owned me. I didn’t want for anything. I worked. I worked out. I read. I took some college classes at night. I listened to prog rock. And I hung out with some really great guys. I was content. I had enough.

I’d like to tell you that my simple life and balanced definition of what “enough” meant remained consistent and constant. But it didn’t. Time and circumstances conspired against me. I got sidetracked along the way. Without knowing it, I’d gotten caught up in the same kinds of pursuits people chase once they get married. I found myself unconsciously keeping up with the Joneses, determined to acquire in a couple of years what took my parents years and years of hard work to achieve. I wonder if every generation of newly married couples make the same mistakes.

Against my better judgement, I reluctantly bought a house when interest rates were over 16%! SIXTEEN PERCENT! Five years later I sold it, slightly upside down. All of those mortgage payments I’d made had little impact on the principal, leaving me with no equity in the house. And I was lucky. Others lost a ton of money during one of the worst economic times in our country’s history. I made other decisions at about that same time that had lasting and negative consequences on my life. My definition of “enough” had faded away, replaced by someone else’s definition. Replaced by a spending agenda that wasn’t mine. All in an effort to keep other people happy.

Fortunately, by the time I reached my mid-30s I started realigning my life to be more consistent with that guy whose worldly belongings fit into a sea bag in the backseat of a used Mustang. That guy who was satisfied with less.

Satisfaction. It’s a rare thing.

Mick and the boys said they “can’t get no satisfaction.” Johnny Cash wrote:
“How many times have
You heard someone say
If I had his money
I could do things my way

But little [do] they know
That it’s so hard to find
One rich man in ten
With a satisfied mind”

One of my best friends is a sought after counselor and psychologist. A few years ago he told me that a person reaches the “Sage Era” of their lives when they reach their 50s. By that time they’ve learned—or should have learned—something of what life is and isn’t. What is and isn’t important. What does and doesn’t work. He said that it’s the Sage’s duty to pass it on. So in the spirit of that, let me give you this:

If you define “enough” early in your life, you’ll be spared a good amount of grief, regret, and anxiety. And if you don’t, you’ll find yourself heavily in debt with little to show for it except the ulcers and unhappy sleepless nights that accompany the bondage.

Dave Ramsey is a financial advisor whose techniques and strategies have helped thousands to attain financial freedom. A few years ago a friend of mine said that I could give Dave Ramsey lessons on how to be Dave Ramsey … how to be debt free.

There are few things better in life than being debt free. Dave Ramsey approaches finances from a Christian perspective and says that a Christian ought to be debt free so they can support causes and charities that benefit the poor and outcast … the same ones Jesus reached out to. Christians in debt to an opulent or self-indulgent lifestyle are poor stewards and lousy disciples.

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

Additionally, I inherited a credit card bill that had a $17,000 balance. (None of the things bought with that card were in my possession.) And as a result of not having legal representation, I ended up so broke that homeless guys gave ME their spare change and cardboard signs.

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

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

In under 7 years I was debt free.

Marriage counselors tell us that most marital problems are common for all couples: sex, communication, money, and in-laws. Money is almost always chief among them. Our attitudes about money are formed in our youth and in the environment we’re raised in. Did you come from an atmosphere of abundance … or scarcity? Did your spouse or significant other come from a similar background?

My parents were products of their generation. They were children during the Great Depression and teenagers during WWII. They knew the reality of enforced rationing, scarcity, and sacrifice. As adults and young parents, they wasted nothing. My parents fixed, repaired, mended, repainted, and refurbished everything. Nothing was thrown away until there was absolutely no possible use, purpose, or repurpose for it.

Mr. & Mrs. Ludlow passed this way of thinking about money and possessions on to their children. (You’ve seen my 21 year old truck, right?)

Now imagine a person raised by such frugal parents being married to someone raised in a completely different environment, by parents who indulged their every want and who never said “no” to them. Does that sound like disaster?

Financial incompatibility is hardly ever discussed before marriage, especially a young marriage. It’s something few, caught up in the throws of romantic love, will dare bring up for fear of rocking the boat … unnecessarily they think, believing that everything will work itself out because love conquers all. But once the honeymoon is over and all of the “thank you” notes have been written … money becomes an ever increasing issue, especially if there’s financial incompatibility.

Money isn’t the root of all evil. The love of money is the root of all evil according to The Bible. We could call the problem the obsession with money. We could call it the devaluing of character, wisdom, and knowledge and the disproportionate elevation of monetary status as its replacement.

The Bible says a lot about money, little of it good, and most of it ignored.

Years ago, I heard Dr. Charles Culpepper get some folks at a huge megachurch pretty upset when he took them to the woodshed. Dr. Culpepper had been a missionary to China for over 40 years and spent two years in captivity in China as a prisoner in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WWII. He was a close personal friend of Eric Liddell, whose life was made famous by the movie “Chariots of Fire.” He was present when Eric Liddell died in that prison.

Dr. Culpepper was in his late 80s when he said the following to the mostly affluent audience:

“God didn’t give you money to spend on yourselves. He gave it to you to spend on the Kingdom … to minister to the needs of the world in preaching the Gospel, in feeding the hungry, and in caring for the infirm and the hurting … God didn’t give you money to spend on yourselves, on your fancy cars, your big houses, your country club memberships, and expensive lifestyles. He didn’t call you to be a Playboy, he called you to be a servant! He called you to live a simple life, and to finance the causes of Christ throughout the world. He didn’t call you to start another church in a city already saturated with churches while the unreached world has no access to the Gospel. He called you to leave this place and to take the Gospel to the corners of the earth, to those who’ve never heard the Gospel and who never will unless you go! … and so then … why do you tarry here? How dare you horde what God has given you! The hypocrisy of this generation is without equal! What lie do you tell yourselves to remain here while millions die everyday in a foreign land, never hearing the message of Jesus Christ even once? Your money doesn’t belong to you!”

And then he stopped talking. He looked at the congregation for what seemed like 10 minutes without saying a word … and then he sat down next to the senior pastor … whose face had just “turned a whiter shade of pale.”

You could have heard a pin drop in that church. (With 6 of the most popular evangelical Christian pastors/speakers having an average net worth of over $56,000,000, it’s easy to see how that message was/is completely lost.) And I’d never heard the word “Playboy” used in a sermon.

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

If you can’t be happy with little, you’ll never be happy. Period. You’ll never have enough. You’ll chase one fool’s errand after another in a vain attempt to find happiness in money and things that don’t bring happiness. Happiness is an inside job. It comes from within.

How you define “enough,” and how those with whom you associate define it will have a greater impact on your life and happiness than you could ever imagine. So says the Sage in his 50s.

— 30 —

PS. The difference between “settling” and “satisfaction” is that settling means you want more but can’t have it, and satisfaction is being happy with what you have.

———————————————————————

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

——————————————————

NO FRIDAY EVENING WORKOUTS FOR THE SUMMER.

——————————————————

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, 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.”)

Four Common Nutrition Mistakes- Part One: Numbers 1 & 2

#1: Thinking that you are eating less calories than you are actually consuming. If you think that the bowl of ice cream has only 150 calories and that bowl of cereal is only 120 calories, you may be sorely mistaken. The calories listed on the Nutrition Facts panel is for one serving. But are you actually eating one serving, or are you eating two, or even three? If you didn’t measure how much you put in your bowl or on your plate, you could be consuming a lot more calories than you think.

#2: Thinking that you need to detox. Detox diets are touted as a way to flush toxins out of your system.The specifics of detox diets can vary — but usually a period of fasting is then followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. Some detox diets also advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing through enemas or colonics to further empty the intestines.

You may lose a little bit of weight from a detox diet, but it is usually temporary from a combination of being on a very low calorie diet, losing water weight, and from having empty intestines. Plus, you’re likely to lose weight and then gain it right back when you go off any extreme diet.

There is little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Nor do you need to help your body “detoxify.” Your organs and immune system handle these duties, no matter what you eat. Your kidneys and liver are quite effective at filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins.

Some say that they feel better on a detox diet, but the reason why they temporarily feel better may actually come from the fact that they are avoiding highly processed foods, extra sugar, and fat. These benefits may come at a cost. Detox diets that severely limit protein or that require fasting can result in fatigue, muscle aches, and irritability. Long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Colon cleansing, through enemas and colonics, can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting and even dehydration can be a concern. And if the diet recommends pills, herbs, or supplements, these items are not backed by the FDA and can interact with different medications and can cause issues on their own.

__________________________________

With the heat rising, know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion

—————————————————

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!

—————————————————

Have a GREAT day!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


I’m Not German — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 7/9/2016

Jul. 9th 2016

I probably shouldn’t tell this.

Some things I just ought to keep to myself. But I don’t care who knows. It’s too big for me to keep silent about.

Here’s my little secret.

I loved Wicked. The musical.

“Wicked” is based on the novel by Gregory Maguire. It’s sort of the back story of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the witches.

In a 2007 interview, Maguire explained that “the most important thing about the book was not the plot … but the theme.” He went on to say, “The theme is how we demonize our enemies and how we are scared of people who are unfamiliar. We then whittle away their capacity for full humanity in order to justify our being suspicious of them.”

You really ought to read that last paragraph again. And again.

This theme has so captivated my thinking over the past several years, especially in the past few weeks … the past few days … that I can scarcely not think about it on a daily basis. Being misunderstood and then being misjudged, vilified, condemned, and alienated is the worst.

I’ve learned to keep a daily guard posted on my own mind and heart so that I don’t do the exact same things. I can be slave or master of the same things I condemn in others. I have to search the hidden places in my own soul for the presence of self-righteousness, arrogance and pride, prejudice, xenophobia, intolerance, snap-judgements, knee-jerk reactions, judgementalism … misunderstanding. I have a near limitless ability to be wrong.

I also have another confession.

I didn’t always love Japan or the Japanese.

I was not on active duty in the Marine Corps when I moved me and my family to Japan. I was a civilian. And for most of the 10 years I lived there, I lived far far away from any other American or foreigners also living in Japan. One of the three cities I lived in was a small “bedroom town” of 65,000 near the city of Nagoya, Japan. I was the only foreign adult man who lived in my town of 65,000. So everywhere I went, all eyes were on me. I had no privacy anywhere except in Tokyo where there were more foreigners.

Japan is a homogeneous country where a non-Japanese face sticks out. It was impossible to “blend in” or “pass as Japanese.” In as much as I loved Japan and have often said, “all things being equal, I’d still be living there,” my life in Japan was also one of incredible struggle.

Racism, xenophobia, and prejudice are very much alive and well there. I lived as a minority the whole time. And though I’ll never know what it’s like to live as a minority in America, I know more about prejudice and racism than most middle aged white men in America.

In Japan, I was denied access to certain organizations; I was denied access to some medical and dental care; I was denied entrance to some restaurants, hotels, and even had taxi cab drivers refuse to allow me into their vehicles, all because I wasn’t Japanese. Finding an apartment to rent or a house to buy was often limited because of my race. Some owners would neither rent to me nor sell to me because I wasn’t Japanese. It was not uncommon—several times a week—to have Japanese people, often groups of Japanese kids, point at me and yell “GAIJIN DA! GAIJIN DA!” This is the “N” word for a foreigner living in Japan. Adults wouldn’t yell it, but they’d say it.

All of these things were hard for me, as an adult man, but it was particularly hard on my kids. This kind of thing often brought them to tears. And when they were mistreated because of their race it infuriated me. I wanted to lash out. It’s one thing to mistreat me, it’s another thing to mistreat my kids.

Sometimes the “culture stress” would be too much and I just couldn’t keep it bottled in. The Japanese language doesn’t have “cuss words” per se, but I learned to talk like a truck driver or a member of the Japanese mob (yakuza) and express my anger and disgust.

I could tell you story after story of being the object of racism. I was detained by the Japanese police more than once. One evening a German businessman, who worked for Toyota Germany, was traveling by train from Nagoya to Toyota City for a business meeting. My little bedroom town was in-between Nagoya and Toyota City. He got off the train at the wrong train station, already drunk, and raised hell with the taxi drivers at the station who wouldn’t take him to Toyota City. He disappeared, either in a taxi that would take him, or he got on another train, I’m not sure. The angry taxi drivers called the police and the police came to my house and picked me up. They took me to the police station to question me and to have the taxi drivers take a look at me, like in a line up with only one person, ME, to ensure that I wasn’t the GAIJIN DA! who’d raised hell. “Watashiwa doitsujin dewa nai.” I’m not German.

Over the years, I learned to be angry about racism in Japan. And if I heard of a foreigner being mistreated in some other part of the country, I got angry. Mistreatment of one felt like mistreatment of all. It felt like mistreatment of me.

I also felt the shame of being an American. Three American service men stationed at Okinawa, kidnapped, raped, and murdered a Japanese high school girl. Their horrible crime became my shame. I was mortified by their behavior and felt like I needed to somehow make up for their crimes. This happened more than I care to share. Americans behaving badly in Okinawa. It’s happened this year as well, in the past few months, giving rise to the anti-American movement across Japan, making the lives of all Americans living there more burdensome.

I’ll never know what it’s like to be a black man in America, but I know exactly what it’s like to be mistreated because of my race. Not because of any deficiency in my character, nor in my education, nor my behavior. I wasn’t judged by my contribution to society, my hard work to learn the Japanese language, along with the customs and courtesies of the Japanese, nor of my philanthropic work, nor of the volunteer aid I rendered to Japanese people for days after the Kobe earthquake that killed over 6,000. None of those things matter when someone dislikes you simply because of the color of your skin.

When I took the teaching/coaching job here in Memphis after I returned from Japan, I learned first hand what the issues of race in America looked like. Every year, all 20 of my basketball players were black. When I took them to all white schools for games I got the same familiar look and notice from those people. The same kinds of looks I got in Japan. I could tell you story after story of my guys behaving properly and like gentlemen and me having to come to their “defense.” Even though we all wore sport coats and ties to our away games, my guys still got those looks. Their only crime was being black.

I’ve learned that there’s a small percentage of people everywhere who aren’t worth a damn. They’re worthless and despicable. They’re in every country and in every profession. And it’s a fool who judges the whole of a people by the actions of a few.

— 30 —

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

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NO FRIDAY EVENING WORKOUTS FOR THE SUMMER.

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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!

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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.”)

Four Common Nutrition Mistakes- Part One: Numbers 1 & 2

#1: Thinking that you are eating less calories than you are actually consuming. If you think that the bowl of ice cream has only 150 calories and that bowl of cereal is only 120 calories, you may be sorely mistaken. The calories listed on the Nutrition Facts panel is for one serving. But are you actually eating one serving, or are you eating two, or even three? If you didn’t measure how much you put in your bowl or on your plate, you could be consuming a lot more calories than you think.

#2: Thinking that you need to detox. Detox diets are touted as a way to flush toxins out of your system.The specifics of detox diets can vary — but usually a period of fasting is then followed by a strict diet of raw vegetables, fruit and fruit juices, and water. Some detox diets also advocate using herbs and other supplements along with colon cleansing through enemas or colonics to further empty the intestines.

You may lose a little bit of weight from a detox diet, but it is usually temporary from a combination of being on a very low calorie diet, losing water weight, and from having empty intestines. Plus, you’re likely to lose weight and then gain it right back when you go off any extreme diet.

There is little evidence that detox diets actually remove toxins from the body. Nor do you need to help your body “detoxify.” Your organs and immune system handle these duties, no matter what you eat. Your kidneys and liver are quite effective at filtering and eliminating most ingested toxins.

Some say that they feel better on a detox diet, but the reason why they temporarily feel better may actually come from the fact that they are avoiding highly processed foods, extra sugar, and fat. These benefits may come at a cost. Detox diets that severely limit protein or that require fasting can result in fatigue, muscle aches, and irritability. Long-term fasting can result in vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Colon cleansing, through enemas and colonics, can cause cramping, bloating, nausea and vomiting and even dehydration can be a concern. And if the diet recommends pills, herbs, or supplements, these items are not backed by the FDA and can interact with different medications and can cause issues on their own.

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With the heat rising, know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion

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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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Have a GREAT day!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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