Sergeant Tony's Blog

Angels! — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s blog post for 2/15/2018

Thursday, Feb. 15th 2018 1:48 PM


It’s a little misleading.

The 1994 Winter Games were in Lillehammer, Norway, but really they were sort of all over a 75 mile radius of Lillehammer. Kind of like events at a “Memphis Olympics” being held in Dyersburg and Tupelo.

The Korea Games haven’t been in PyeongChang only, but also at nearby mountains and other venues around PyeongChang. So it’s not so much a host city as it is a host area.

One day while I was in Lillehammer for the Olympics, my new friend Doug — who I’d met a few days earlier in the elementary school that had been turned into a hostel — and I took a bus the 60 or so miles south to the city of Hammer to the figure skating venue. Figure skating is a very popular event and the ’94 Games had the added drama brought on by Tonya Harding and her thug husband.

This particular day, it was just practice for the skaters, but even their practice sessions were popular! I met Nancy Kerrigan there — very sweet and friendly to everyone — and might have met Tonya too. But Tonya was aloof and stayed away from the fans. Plus, she looked like she might’ve been packin’ heat or a hubcap. Ms. Kerrigan actually posed for a picture for me.

I met Katarina Witt, the German Olympic Gold Medalist! (Katarina is maybe the hottest woman to ever lace up a pair of ice skates! I could be wrong about that, but that’s my story!) She was in the stands as a spectator and I just walked up to her and the small group of friends she was with and said, “HowUdooin?” She smiled and immediately yelled, “SECURITY!!!” hahaha Not really! She was class and elegance, beauty and charm and invited ME to sit with them! Sweeeeeeeeet!! I was a little star struck, I have to tell you. OK, I was a LOT star struck! (A beautiful athletic woman with depth, passion, and grace … how could I possibly resist?)

After the practice sessions that evening, Doug and I went in search of a bus to take us back to our hostel in Lillehammer. Somehow my friend and I got on the wrong bus. The bus schedule and our lack of understanding Norwegian led to our confusion. Of course we didn’t know it was the wrong bus until it stopped about half way to Lillehammer … literally in the middle of no where … and the driver deposited us out on the side of the road at about 9 PM. I can’t adequately describe exactly how “out in the middle of nowhere” this was. How could this remote outpost possibly be a bus stop? Seriously, there was NOTHING out there.

This turned out to be the last stop and the bus was empty except for the two of us knuckleheads. Doug and I desperately tried to explain to the driver that we needed to go on to Lillehammer, but apparently our English and caveman-like gestures made no sense to him. We even tried to stay on the bus to return to Hammer and start over, but the driver indicated that if we didn’t get off his bus he’d beat us with something heavy and hard. So, out we went into “the land of the ice and snow” … and there we stood like a couple of idiots watching the bus drive away.


And so there we were. In. The. Middle. Of. No. Where. The full moon gave us a good view of the countryside and we could see nothing. No houses. No farms. No barns. No structures of any kind at all.

I started to imagine the obit in my hometown newspaper: “Tony Ludlow, local boy who done good, well, mediocre, died in Norway yesterday. Found frozen like a fudgesicle in a remote Norwegian forest.”

Standing there in the dark, on the side of a snow covered road, in the middle of who knows where, somewhere in snow covered freezing cold Norway, we tried to come up with a plan. Since Lillehammer was north of Hammer, and there would be no other buses coming, Doug and I figured we’d start walking north. What choice did we have?

Using the stars to determine north, we started walking. We’d trudged along for about 30 minutes in the dark, no houses in sight, no sounds, no cars, no signs of life … when at last we heard the sound of a single car coming up from behind us.

The car, a Toyota van, stopped and the driver, a middle aged Norwegian man who looked like a Viking, spoke to us in pleasant sounding Norwegian. I guess we looked lost and pathetic out there all alone walking in the Norwegian countryside. Inside the van were two other people. Doug and I pleaded, “Does anyone speak English?”

“Oh yaahh, vee kunn owl spekk Eeenglish.” the driver said excitedly. “Whare du yew gou?”

We explained our predicament and he told us to get in, that they were also going to Lillehammer as well! WOW! What luck, I thought. A ride back to a warm hostel, a hot shower, and some vending machine snacks for dinner. Not ideal, but waaaay better than how the obituary in my hometown newspaper would have described the alternative.

But that’s not exactly what happened. Our new friends didn’t intend to take us directly to Lillehammer. (Cue the scary “Law & Order” themed “DAUH DAUH!”)

Instead, Eyvandar and his wife Aleund and daughter Hedda took us to their home in Lillehammer and fed us, got us a little drunk and then robbed us.

NO! They didn’t rob us! They fed us until we were completely stuffed. We had reindeer, cheese, breads, jams, beer and a variety of all sorts of things I’d never heard of but found to be quite tasty. Vending machine snacks be damned!
Eyvander looked just like your quintessential Viking, long blond hair and beard, needing only a horned helmet and a battle axe to complete the look! Aleund and Hedda, a college student, looked like all pretty Norwegian women, long blond hair, rosy red cheeks, and crystal clear blue eyes.

Their home was warm and comfortable and looked like a chalet with exposed oak and pine walls and floors. There was an awesome fireplace that warmed the large room that was part kitchen, part dinning room, and part den. Our new friends asked us questions about America, the Olympics, and what our impressions of Norway were. They were so proud that the world had come to their doorstep! And they seemed even happier to be entertaining a couple of lost sojourners from America!

Sometime after midnight, they drove us to our hostel and as we were getting out of their car, thanking them and saying good night, Doug and I saw the most amazing sight! There in the northern sky was the aurora borealis, the Northern Lights! It was absolutely breathtaking and was the perfect end to a most unusual day!

What an incredible and amazing night! What an awesome unintended adventure!

Doug and I were a couple of lost, cold, hungry, and slightly worried guys dragging ourselves along in the dark, on the side of the road, in a foreign country … and three wonderful people drove up and took a chance on us. With nothing to commend us to their generosity or kindness, they extended themselves beyond anything we could have asked for and then seemed hurt when we tried to offer them money for their trouble. It was no trouble, they protested. It was their pleasure.

There’s an interesting verse in the Bible that goes like this: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing, some people have entertained angels without knowing it.”

I’m pretty sure that Doug and I were the ones entertained by angels.

Good luck in Korea, Team Norway! I know there’s a wonderful family back home in Lillehammer cheering you on!

— 30 —
Tony Ludlow, USMC Fitness Boot Camp Memphis

We’ll follow the decision of the Shelby County School System. If the public schools in Memphis close, we’ll stand down. However, if the decision to close school is based strictly on the temperature, as was the case recently, we will be ON!

We’ll be inside from now until after March Madness.



by First Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN, MS.

(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.”)

Do your Food Cravings Indicate a Nutritional Deficiency? Last week I was asked a great question. Could certain cravings be related to nutritional deficiencies? This person had seen a widely circulated chart on Facebook showing a list of cravings, the most likely nutrient deficiency related to that craving and what you should eat instead. One of the examples was the craving for chocolate.

It said that if you craved chocolate then what you needed was magnesium, and instead of chocolate you should eat nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruit. Is there any truth to this? If our cravings were an indicator of deficiencies in any kind of nutrient, we would all be craving fruits and vegetables. However, we all tend to crave either high fat, high salt or sugar, and high carbohydrate comfort foods.

This fact, along with scientific research is a pretty good indicator that cravings are not related to nutritional deficiencies. Research shows that cravings are most often related to social rather than nutritional cues. We often crave foods associated with happy memories, especially those from our childhood. Brownies, macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese and soup are common childhood comfort foods.There is one exception, if you find yourself craving ice or craving unusual items such as cornstarch, dirt, clay, or laundry detergent (a condition called pica) then you may actually be iron deficient.




Invite your friends to “like” our USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Facebook page. You can do that directly from our Facebook page. Just go to the page and you’ll see a section on the right that will allow you to easily invite your friends to like the page. In particular, your Memphis friends!

This may be the first seed to sow in helping a friend get back into exercise and fitness! They can get exposed to what goes on, they’ll be more likely to make a change and maybe even join you on The Quarterdeck!

Encourage your friends and family to “Like” the page! It might motivate your friends and family to take charge of their lives!

Keep on checking in! Keep on tagging your friends! Over 50% of new members over the past 6 months have listed Facebook as the source where they first heard about us!

Thanks, everyone!


MAKE A $&(#&@^#!*% FACE!!!!
What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.
How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.
It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!





Your rank insignia t-shirts look AWESOME on you! (Don’t forget to wear yours EVERY WEDNESDAY AND/OR THURSDAY, T-SHIRT DAY!
Every Wednesday is our Official BOOT CAMP T-SHIRT DAY! You can wear your rank insignia shirt anytime you‘d like, of course, but always every Wednesday!



We should be!
You should totally do that!



If you set up an automatic payment at your bank (Boot Camp mailing address is 4888 Southern, Memphis 38117) you can subtract $10 off your fee! That’s right, instead of $75, you can pay $65!

(This is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you set up yourself.)



0530 Monday through Friday
0645 M-F
5:45 PM: Monday through Thursday, no evening class on Friday.



First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)
Here’s how the discount works!
It’s simple: make a Facebook status update and get a discount!
For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, (there are fake boot camps out there) you can take $2.50 off your next reenlistment fee for each update!
You can take up to $20 off for any given month!
Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.
You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.
So log on and start getting your discounts now!


Q. How can I get up in the morning on a consistent basis?
A. Contrary to what many think, I am NOT a morning person. I have to be “dynamited” out of the bed! Here are some tips to help you get going in the morning:
1. Use two alarm clocks. I have a snooze alarm that starts going off several minutes before I intend to get up. Then I have a “Last Call” alarm clock that is located across the room. This alarm clock is set to go off when I MUST get up.
2. Once the last call alarm goes off, the bed become OFF LIMITS! Get moving!
3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn on the TV.
4. Lay out your clothes the night before. Don’t go wandering around the house in the morning trying to find your left shoe and your favorite shorts. So, have things ready the night before.


What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?
To your optimum health and fitness!



Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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