Sergeant Tony's Blog

Archive for August, 2016

Big Endings — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 8/25/2016

Aug. 25th 2016

You’ve probably never heard of Jerry O’Keefe, or “Jeremiah” as was on his birth certificate, unless you were from Biloxi.

At 21 years of age, Jerry did something truly amazing, something extraordinary, something that had never been done before. On April 22, 1945 he shot down 5 Japanese planes, making him an ACE in one day! He became the youngest ACE of the war. The young Marine, piloting arguably one of the finest fighters of WWII, the famous F4U Corsair, would go on to shoot down 2 more Japanese fighters before the end of hostilities in the Pacific.

Jerry was a part of “The Greatest Generation.” His was the generation that drove Hitler into a bunker in Berlin, bringing the Third Reich, a regime that was to last 1000 years, to a miserable end 985 years premature; it was the same generation that forced Empirical Japan to offer up its sword and bow its head in surrender. It’s often imagined that those brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines of that generation were made up of a majority of eligible American men. But in point of fact, they only comprised 12% of that generation leaving 88% to watch from the sidelines. Yet that 12% was considerably more than the present percentage of those who serve. At the height of Iraq/Afghanistan operations, less than 2% of eligible men and women answered our nation’s call to serve. These days supporting the troops is a spectator event for 99% of America.

Jerry O’Keefe came home after the war and got busy fashioning a new life for himself. He graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and returned to Biloxi where he married, became a small business owner, and ran for public office. He served several terms as a state legislator and was a two term Mayor of Biloxi. He and his wife had 13 children.

Jerry died this past Tuesday, August 23, 2016, at the age of 93.

I’m reading the memoir of one of my favorite authors, William Manchester, also a World War II Marine. While Jerry was in the sky dogfighting Japanese fighters, William was on the ground engaged in hand to hand combat with Japanese infantry in the jungles of Guadalcanal and Okinawa.

What draws me to the stories of Jerry O’Keefe and William Manchester isn’t only the brotherhood of the Marine Corps, but more because of what they did with their lives after they left active duty. Each of them, driven by intellectual curiosity and a desire to be and remain relevant, were in constant pursuit of more. Not more money, but more opportunities to make a difference in their world. More opportunities to grow as men. More opportunities to contribute.

This past week, Ernie Andrus, also a 93 year old WWII vet, completed his coast to coast run to raise money and awareness of the refurbishing of his old ship from the war. Ernie was 90 when he dipped his toes in the Pacific Ocean in San Diego, California, did an about face, and headed east to start his run across America. This past Saturday he completed his coast to coast run by walking into the surf of the Atlantic Ocean on Saint Simon Island, Georgia! Ernie ran more than 2,600 miles! In some places he was joined by local runners who’d heard about his quest, and in other places, out in the middle of nowhere, he ran alone for hundreds and hundreds of miles with no support at all.

Years ago I had the privilege of becoming friends with a group of WWII vets. What a fun and interesting bunch of guys they were! Each of them told me, in their own particular style, that the only thing that bothered them about getting old was that other men didn’t think of them as dangerous anymore. They also expressed an abiding desire in their hearts to remain active and independent. Some were still on a quest to remain significant. None of them were interested in becoming someone who only looked backwards. Almost to a man, they were motivated to keep starting new adventures and experiences. They wanted to keep having fun! You could say they were purpose driven. They weren’t satisfied to simply keep recycling the same old experiences from their past. They wanted to remain relevant for the entirety of their lives. One person I know received their PhD at 82 years of age.

None of these three WWII vets were leaders when they were in uniform. That is, none of them were the commanding officers of their units. Each of them had enormously important jobs to be sure—life and death jobs—but relatively small leadership assignments. Yet all three of them forged ahead after leaving active duty, recreating and redefining themselves, leading others to follow in their examples. Jerry O’Keefe went to college, became a successful businessman and mayor; William Manchester finished his degree and became an award winning author; Ernie graduated from college and is still out there making headlines and a difference, running ahead of father time and obscurity.

As Benjamin Franklin said, “Some people die at 25, but aren’t buried until 75.” Age, like life itself, is individually defined. Being lifeless, lazy, “woe-is-me,” boring, uninformed, negative, resigned, and irrelevant—the easiest things to do— isn’t a matter of age, it’s a matter of personal attitude and perception. It’s a life orientation. It’s the role you assign yourself. It’s the lens through which life is viewed and interpreted.

Is it too late to turn things around if someone needs to shake things up? Am I too old to make a difference? Is it too late for a Second Act? A Third or Fourth Act? A new beginning?

Go ask Ernie.

— 30 —

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SEPTEMBER BRINGS NEW CHAGES TO THE QUARTERDECK!

– The evening class will remain Monday – Thursday.

– Our Friday evening class remains in hiatus. Instead, the evening class, beginning in September, will be a “weight day” workout, Monday – Thursday. That means that all four workouts will utilize weights, with the Thursday evening workout that will be a mix of BOGA (22 min. of weight work followed by 22 minutes of yoga, ending in undirected mediation time of at least 5 minutes) and CARDIO-YOGA (22 minutes of running followed by the same yoga/meditation routine on the BOGA days)

– The morning classes will also see the Indian Runs and cardio only workouts go on hiatus and a return of our other workouts M-16, Mt. Fuji, BOGA, and CARDIO-YOGA, among others!

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ARE YOU DUE FOR PROMOTION?

Let me know if you’re due promotion between now and the end of the year! Please email me with the month of your promotion, the number of years, and VERY important: the size shirt you prefer. Thank you!

——————————————————

ALL HAIL THE BUFFALOES!

The Buffalo Runners of USMC Fitness Boot Camp will be herding up soon! Our half marathon training begins on September 3! The 3 month training is $75 for boot campers and $125 for all others. In addition to the runs and the consultation, our own Registered Dietitian, Ashley, and I have written a training manual. Ashley’s nutrition chapter is worth the price of admission!

This is doable training! In fact, most of those who train with me every year are first timers to half marathons.

If you can cover 3 miles in 36 minutes or less, you can do this training!

———————————————————

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

——————————————————

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.”)

Mislead at the Market

Picking out healthy foods to add to our cart at the grocery store isn’t is easy as it used to be. Many products make claims that they are better for us, but often the buzzwords we see on the label are meant to intentionally mislead us into buying their product.

Here are five tricky buzzwords that we need to watch out for:

1. “Multigrain”

“Multigrain” means that several different grains were used in the making of the product. But it does not indicate if these grains were processed and stripped of their nutrients and fiber. Make sure that the word “whole” precedes the name of the grain on the ingredient list. Look for the words “whole wheat,” “whole oats,” etc. If it is missing this word, it means that this food is actually processed and not as nutritious as they are trying to make us think.

2. “Made with real fruit”

This can mean that one blueberry was used in the making of the blueberry muffins or that the product was sweetened with fruit juice. But the amount may not be known. If we see that something is “made with fruit” we somehow think it is more nutritious, but that is often not the case. Read the label to ensure that fruit is listed near the top of the ingredient list.

3. “Yogurt-covered”

I love the taste of yogurt covered raisins and peanuts and still eat them from time to time even though they are only an occasional treat, just like candy. “Yogurt covered” sounds like it would be nutritious since yogurt is generally known to be healthy, but that is misleading. This yogurt coating is most often sugar and palm kernel oil. Instead of calling it “yogurt covered” it should be called “frosting covered.”

4. “Artisan” or “artisanal”

This word on a label means absolutely nothing. But it sounds healthy and better for us. Like someone made it with care. Or that it is closer to nature. Nope.

5. “Wholesome”

“Wholesome” sounds like a healthy word, but it is meaningless. There are no specific rules that a food has to meet in order for food company to use this term on the packaging. But this word tricks us into thinking the food inside is more nutritious. Let the buyer beware!

—————————————————————

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!

—————————————————

Have a GREAT day!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Sister Sledge — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 8/20/2016

Aug. 20th 2016

“Tony, I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but I’m going to have to quit coming to boot camp,” she said.

“Oh, no, what’s happened? Are you injured? Are you OK?” I asked.

“Well, it’s kind of embarrassing, actually. See … I lost my job … and things are gonna be tight until I can find another,” she explained.

I’ve had this conversation a number of times through the years. Sometimes, given my connections and such, I’ve been able to help folks find a new job. Other times, all I’ve been able to offer is a heads up if I hear of anything. But what I’ve always been able to do is this:

If you’re a boot camper and you lose your job, you may continue to come to boot camp at no charge! And you can continue to do so until you find a new position. Then you can just start paying from there forward. You don’t have to pay anything for the time you were unemployed and still working out with me!

There is no other commercial health club or fitness program in town that does this. Lose your job and can’t pay and you’re out. Try telling any of them that you lost your job and can’t pay but you still hope to come anyway and see what happens.

So why do I do this? Am I a lousy businessman? (That’s debatable.) Do I like to devalue my service and give it away? Do I get money from Christ Methodist to compensate? No. Not at all. I’m not a paid staff member of the church’s athletic ministry.

Here’s why I do it.

First of all, boot campers are family to me. Truly. I know other organizations, institutions, and groups like to refer to themselves as “family.” But I think it’s an overused and misapplied description in the majority of cases. It sounds nice. But the “family” designation almost always comes with conditions and qualifiers. If you’ve ever had one of those “families” cease to treat you like family because of something that happened in your life like a divorce, loss of job, “coming out,” a change of schools, a change churches or denominations, a change of political views, or even a change of religions, then you know what I’m talking about. You’re family IF …

That’s not the case with USMC Fitness Boot Camp. If you lose your job, you’re still family.

Nothing public will be said about your situation. There’s no shame in it. Most of our lives have “hit a rough patch” along the way. Downsizing decisions often come out of no where and without our consultation or input. Corporate decisions to close offices, move manufacturing, or eliminate positions often come as a shock and leaves us feeling empty and adrift.

Continuing to come for free is NOT charity. To me, it’s an opportunity for these things:
1) maintain our regular fellowship, you and me,
2) provide you with a positive experience as you recover, renew, and update your resume,
3) fit and positive people interview better than unhealthy and negative people, (I know. I used to hire and fire teachers and coaches)
4) you get to maintain your friendships on the Quarterdeck, which will be a source of encouragement and happiness
5) getting up in the morning will keep you from oversleeping and feeling lethargic.

Trust me, I’d rather see you on a regular basis as you prepare and search for a new job, than for you to stay away because you’re embarrassed about “taking advantage” of me. For me, I’m NOT being taken advantage of. I’m being given an opportunity to be of further value to you as a friend. Like family.

I’ve had well meaning people tell me that doing this sets me up to be used. I understand that. But that’s between that other person and their own conscience. In all of the years that I’ve been doing this, I’ve only had one situation that broke my heart. A young lady lost her job, she continued to come to the Quarterdeck for free for the next 6 months until she found another job. After found a new job, she quit coming to us and joined the DAC (the Desoto Athletic Club that used to be located in the Laurelwood shopping center). That hurt a lot. That said, my policy remains unchanged. If you lose your job, you don’t lose your boot camp family.

If you know of a former active duty boot camper who’s looking for a job, please share this with them. I can’t tell you how happy I would be to welcome them back while they conduct their job search!

— 30 —

———————————————————

AUGUST IS OUR ANNIVERSARY MONTH

In celebration of our anniversary, you can bring a friend to boot camp for a FREE week! No strings attached. No marketing to them. No sales pitch!

——————————————————

SEPTEMBER BRINGS NEW CHANGES TO THE QUARTERDECK!

– The evening class will remain Monday – Thursday. Our Friday evening class remains in hiatus. Instead, the evening class, beginning in September, will be a “weight day” workout, Monday – Thursday. That means that all four workouts will utilize weights, with the Thursday evening workout that will be a mix of BOGA (22 min. of weight work followed by 22 minutes of yoga, ending in undirected mediation time of at least 5 minutes) and CARDIO-YOGA (22 minutes of running followed by the same yoga/meditation routine on the BOGA days)

– The morning classes will also see the Indian Runs and cardio only workouts go on hiatus and a return of our other workouts M-16, Mt. Fuji, BOGA, and CARDIO-YOGA

——————————————————

ALL HAIL THE BUFFALOES!

The Buffalo Runners of USMC Fitness Boot Camp will be herding up soon! Our half marathon training begins on September 3! The 3 month training is $75 for boot campers and $125 for all others. In addition to the runs and the consultation, our own Registered Dietitian, Ashley, and I have written a training manual. Ashley’s nutrition chapter is worth the price of admission!

This is doable training! In fact, most of those who train with me every year are first timers to half marathons.

If you can cover 3 miles in 36 minutes or less, you can do this training!

———————————————————

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

——————————————————

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.”)

Fighting Afternoon Fatigue

Most of us are pretty familiar with that 3 pm afternoon slump. Sometimes it happens during a meeting, sitting at our desk, or even when we are driving down the road. We feel tired, unfocused, and are ready to take a nap. If you can take a nap, great! Unfortunately, most of us have jobs that don’t allow us that pleasure.

Thankfully, there are some simple steps that we can take to fight that afternoon fatigue.

– Limit or eliminate caffeine after noon. We may feel like reaching for a double espresso when we feel ourselves fading, but this may actually be counter productive. Caffeine isn’t actually supplying us with energy, it is stimulating us, which is different. It is a false sense of energy. We are actually just as tired underneath, but the caffeine makes us feel more alert. Drinking caffeine to try to wake up in the afternoon can actually disturb our ability to properly relax and wind down in the evening, exacerbating the problem. If you know you are sensitive to caffeine, switch to decaf in the afternoons.

– Catch up on your Zzzz’s. If we aren’t getting enough sleep, it will be extremely hard to be awake and alert at 3pm. On occasion this isn’t a problem, but if we stay up every night and get up early every morning, this missing sleep is detrimental. It causes problems with focus, reaction time, memory, and on our health. Make sleep a priority so that you can do the activities you enjoy with as much energy as possible.

– Consume the majority of your calories before dinner. Food provides energy in the form of calories. But often, we are not taking in enough food and calories during the time of the day that we need the most energy. For most of us, this is during the work day. If we aren’t taking an enough calories to keep our bodies full of energy, the fog of fatigue starts rolling in. By switching our meals and snacks around to consume two-thirds to three-fourths of our calories before dinner time allows our bodies to use this fuel when we need it most … for that big presentation, for coaching little league, or for staying awake during that important meeting.

————————————————————————

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 »


BalkBalkBalkBalkBalk — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 8/11/2016

Aug. 11th 2016

The Rio Summer Games have reminded me that it is once again time for me to remind you that I am, prepare yourself for it, “Two Time Olympian, Tony Ludlow.”

That’s right, TWO time Olympian!

And what medals did I win and in what events, you may ask.

Well, none and none. I went only as a spectator: Lillehammer, Norway ’94 and Nagano, Japan ’98. But I like to fancy myself as an Olympian nonetheless. If I was actually in possession of an Olympic medal, irrespective of the color, I’d wear it day and night. I’d wear it to parties and other social gatherings. In social settings, I’d tap on it intermittently so as to call attention to it so that no one would go long without noticing MY Olympic medal.

A few of you have shared recent experiences with me where you had a less than stellar day or performance and you’ve naively asked if I ever choked when trying something.

Bless your hearts! Thank you for thinking that I’ve been spared such a thing.

As proof, I give you the following familiar story.

Let me set the scene. Imagine, if you will, that you’re sitting in the aquatic center at the University of Arkansas. You’re watching the State Swimming and Diving Meet.

As we join our story, yours truly is standing on the diving board, preparing to execute my tenth and final dive of the meet.

I stood there, knowing that I was about to become famous.

But it wasn’t the kind of fame that comes from doing something awesome. This kind of fame was about to be acquired by doing something dreadful.

This is what happened.

In addition to being an average swimmer on my high school swim team, I was also a slightly above average diver. One of my brother’s friends had been a diver in college and took me under his wing the summer between 7th and 8th grade. That summer I went from doing “cannonballs” and “can openers” to doing “inward 1 ½ somersaults” and “reverse double somersaults.” Learning those kinds of dives required me to wear a sweatshirt to practice in. I landed on my back and my belly a lot.

Fast forward from that summer to the State Swimming and Diving Meet my senior year in high school. And now picture me in the finals of the state diving competition. In fact, as we turn our attention back to that meet, our hero (Tony Ludlow), is actually in SECOND PLACE (pure luck, I assure you!) … with only one more dive to go!

The guy in first place was untouchable. None of us were going to catch him. Second place was going to be GREAT though! My previous dives had gone really well and I’d practiced this last dive several times that morning. It was a reverse 2 ½ somersault, degree of difficulty: 2.8.

And there I was, standing on the board, preparing my thoughts and getting myself ready. If you’ve been watching the Olympics in Rio you’ve no doubt seen divers do this many many times.

Diving is a pretty standard sport. It’s not easy. But no one is playing defense against you, trying to keep you from doing the dive. There’s no adversary trying to trip you up. It’s a solitary sport, all alone on the diving board.

The diver stands on the springboard ten feet or so from the end of the board in mental preparation. Then when he or she is ready, they begin to move forward, leap straight up into the air (called the hurdle), coming down on the end of the board. Then the board flexes, and the diver rides it into the air and performs the dive.

So there I stood, like I’d done a hundred times before. Nothing unusual at all … until something happened. For reasons I can’t explain, I became painfully aware of everyone waiting on me to dive.

There were hundreds of people in the aquatic center that day. All of my teammates were there. My girlfriend was there, along with friends from school. All of the other teams from around the state were there. The other team’s friends and families were there. The other team’s coaches, officials, and judges were there. The place was packed.

And everyone was waiting on me. All of those people … waiting. On me.

And all of those people were being quiet.

And all of those people were being quiet so that I could concentrate.

Everyone was looking at me. And waiting on me. To do something.

But there I stood.

No one was whispering. No one was standing up. No one was moving at all. I could feel everyone leaning forward, holding their collective breath waiting for me.

This crowd of people had been background noise and scenery and of no consequence to me during the whole swim meet. I never paid them any attention. But now … all of a sudden … for reasons I can’t explain … there they were! They’d materialized in my consciousness like they’d been beamed there by The USS Enterprise, NCC 1701. One minute they weren’t there, and then in the blink of an eye they were. And they were all I could think about.

Eventually you have to do something. You can’t just stand on the diving board forever. I could feel everyone becoming anxious about my not doing something. I had to move. I had to do something.

I thought that maybe once my feet started moving forward everything would just fall into place. It would become rote.

It didn’t.

But I continued moving forward anyway, praying for inspiration! I jumped up into the air — as seen on TV — came down on the end of the board, just like they do on TV … and instead of taking off into the air and performing the dive … I froze on the end of the board. I mean I literally FROZE!

“Boinngggggggggggggggggggg,” went the diving board and it bounced up and down with me on the end of it riding it up and down with bent knees, looking more ridiculous than I have the ability to explain. Imagine the most absurd scene you can conjure and then double it.

And there I was. NOT DIVING.

You could hear the collective sound of everyone in that place gasp. They sucked the air out of the building, making that “OOOHHHH!!!” sound as they inhaled all of the oxygen, followed by the “ohhhhhhh no” whisper that was an exhale.

There is nowhere to hide. You’re completely exposed on the end of a 3 meter board in a swimsuit skimpier than your underwear … and you’ve just done something no other diver had done during the two day meet. And ALL EYES are upon you. Time suspended and every second passed like an hour.

I heard the head judge say into the microphone, “BALK!”

“Balk”??? Yes, they called “balk,” just like in baseball. That’s what it’s called when a diver fails to “take off!” No one in the aqua-center at the University of Arkansas had ever heard the judge say that because no one had ever seen what I had just done.

What happens next? I wasn’t even sure. I was ready to just jump in and do a cannonball or a can opener to splash the judges. But I didn’t.

According to the rules, the diver can back up, regroup, and do the dive. Unfortunately the diver will only be awarded HALF the points he’d have gotten. So a dive that would’ve scored 50, would only be awarded 25 points.

Just like that, second place was gone.

I backed up, regrouped, and took my spot on the board again. Waited for the judge to indicate that they were ready for me to dive. Got the signal. And …

Nothing.

I froze.

I was 17 years old and having the worst day of my entire life in front of a crowd of people … practically naked. I could literally FEEL the people sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for me to dive. It was like NASCAR. They wanted to see how bad I was gonna wreck.

I thought maybe THIS time it would work. I’ll just start my approach … go into the hurdle … come down on the board and it’ll happen. It’ll be magic!

It was a disaster.

The exact same thing happened. With me planted on the end of the board like a 5 year old afraid to jump. And again, the collective and horrified inhale and exhale of the crowd. And it all happened in slow motion in my mind.

“SCRATCH DIVE,” announced the judge soberly.

What happens next?

I’ll tell you what happens next. The ultimate walk of shame is what happens next. I had to walk back to the other end of the board and climb down the ladder. Once I got down the ladder I had to walk the entire length of the pool and the stands where everyone was looking at me.

Funeral homes have more fun and excitement than that place as I walked. I was looking down at my feet the whole time, not wanting to make eye contact with anyone. I could hear the sounds of people murmuring and the sounds of teenage girls giggling.

I walked toward my team’s bench and glanced up just enough to see my coach having a melt down. His face was bright red and his teeth were clinched. I could see the veins in his temple and neck. He threw a towel to me. Actually, I think he threw the towel AT me. I caught it, put the towel over my head, and just kept walking. I walked past the bench where all of my teammates sat … all the way into the locker room. And there I sat for the next 5 years. Or so it seemed.

The next day there was a tiny headline buried on the 5th page of the sports section of my hometown newspaper that said “Local Diver Comes in Ninth in State Meet.” (Do you know that they actually HAVE a ribbon for 9th place!) I went from 2nd out of 14 to 9th in the most epic of fails known to man … That’s how I felt.

The next week at school I was met in the hallway by my worthless friends saying “BalkBalkBalkBalkBalk” … sort of like how someone imitates a chicken. Like how that camel in the commercial who said, “MikeMikeMikeMike, guess what day it is?”

I had no focus on the board that day. I became distracted. I thought of everything else but what was important. If I had blocked out everything else and concentrated on the main thing, I’d have taken home a trophy and a title instead of that little pathetic 9th place ribbon. If I had put my energies into the dive instead of the distraction, the headline would have read differently and might have been on the front page of the sports section.

I’ve learned since then how not to choke. How do you stand up in front of the world and perform? How do you walk into a situation with the potential for embarrassment and humiliation and not choke and stumble? How do you nail that interview, that speech, that presentation, that meeting with the boss, that blind date?

In a word, breathe and relax. Get control over your breathing because you’ve probably started breathing shallow. When you’re tense you breathe shallow and your whole body gets tense. And the more tense you get, the more tense you get. Concentrate on your breathing. Slow your breathing down and breathe deeply. Relax. Breathe deeply. Focus. Breathe deeply. Smile (hard to be tense with a smile on your face). Tell yourself something funny or obscene! And then tell yourself that you can do it! You can do it! You can do it!

Choke prevention from Two Time Olympian, Tony Ludlow

You’re welcome!

GO TEAM USA!

— 30 —

———————————————————

AUGUST IS OUR ANNIVERSARY MONTH

In celebration of our anniversary, you can bring a friend to boot camp for a FREE week! No strings attached. No marketing to them. No sales pitch!

——————————————————

ALL HAIL THE BUFFALOES!

The Buffalo Runners of USMC Fitness Boot Camp will be herding up soon! Our half marathon training begins on September 3! The 3 month training is $75 for boot campers and $125 for all others. In addition to the runs and the consultation, our own Registered Dietitian, Ashley, and I have written a training manual. Ashley’s nutrition chapter is worth the price of admission!

This is doable training! In fact, most of those who train with me every year are first timers to half marathons.

If you can cover 3 miles in 36 minutes or less, you can do this training!

———————————————————

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

——————————————————

NO FRIDAY EVENING WORKOUT.

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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.”)

The meat section at the grocery store can sometimes be a little overwhelming. There are so
many cuts to choose from and then they are all labeled with different terms like “choice” or
“prime.” How do you know what to choose? Hopefully the information below will help sort out
some of the confusion.

For most types of meat, the more fat that is on and in the meat, means more flavor. The less fat
and marbling (the white streaks of fat throughout the meat) of the meat means it is less tender
and less flavor.

The meat we see in the stores all meets safety standards set by the The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). It is all then graded and labeled as either USDA Prime, USDA Choice, or
USDA Select. These grades are not based on nutrition, but instead are based on juiciness,
flavor, and texture. “Prime” is considered the best quality, is the fattiest, has lots of marbling
throughout, is tender, and is full of flavor. The next best is considered “Choice” which are still
high quality cuts of meat, but are leaner with less marbling. “Select” cuts are the leanest of the
bunch with little to no marbling.

If you are cooking a steak and are looking for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, I would choose a
“Prime” cut. If I am making a stew that has a lot of seasoning and is cooked over low heat for a
long period of time, I would go with the “select” cut. It is less expensive and will become more
tender with the slow cooking process and more flavorful with the seasoning of the stew.

When choosing ground meat, the numbers represent the amount of lean versus the amount of
fat in the meat. For instance, and meat that is 80/20 is 80% lean and 20% fat by weight and
90/10 is 90% lean and 10% fat. The more fat usually means more flavor and juiciness. The
higher the fat content the higher the calorie level too. The advice for consuming is the same for
whole pieces of meat. If you are mixing it into a flavorful dish, leaner may be a great choice
because of less calories and total fat, but if you are wanting a super juicy burger, higher fat
ground meat would be your go to.

It is important to note that often ground turkey isn’t always the better choice then extra lean
ground beef. In regular ground turkey it can contain dark and white meat and even skin and fat.
This can increase the calories and fat content. On the other hand, ground turkey breast, which
is the white meat only, is fairly lean. But in a side by side comparison, the leanest ground beef
still comes out on top in regard to grams of total protein and the mineral content.

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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

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