Sergeant Tony's Blog

We’re Up All Night to Get Lucky! — Tony Ludlow, 3/28/2018

Wednesday, Mar. 28th 2018 10:19 AM

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You probably don’t know Kathy Warren.

You might know someone “named” Kathy Warren, because, according to Facebook, there are a ton of Kathy Warrens out there.

But I’m pretty sure the one I’m talking about isn’t the one you might know.

But I bet every one of you have heard the voice of Kathy Warren. “THE” Kathy Warren, that is.

Nothing about Kathy Warren would indicate she would be so well known. Even after 30 years since she became “famous,” she’s still famous. Nothing about Kathy Warren’s education or background would lead you to think she should be an important part of pop culture.

Some would say she was just lucky.

It’s amazing how many famous people, even those who are obviously talented, claim their good fortune and fame were the result of good luck. You hear it all the time. I recently heard Sting say he had just been lucky.

Really? Sting?

What is luck?

I’m not going to wade into the deep and often unsettling waters of Providence versus Fate, or intelligent design over random chance, free-will versus predetermined will, or even try to tackle the notion that “God helps those who help themselves.”

That last one was a theological staple around the Ludlow house when I was growing up. It was followed by “cleanliness is next to Godliness” and then immediately followed by “now, go clean up your room!”

Later when I became an insufferable little know it all, I announced that the cleanliness and Godliness thing wasn’t in the Bible. That earned me an entire weekend of divine cleaning.

OK, back to luck.

Sometimes it’s said that luck favors the prepared.

What is pretty clear to me is that good things tend to happen to certain people and crappy things tend to happen to others.

I have some Facebook friends who fall into that last category. Seems every day of their lives, and every one of their Facebook status updates are a different version of the same song, “woe is me,” “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen,” and “gloom, despair, and agony on me.” In other words, they’re really fun people. “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all” kind of people.

But what if you could do things to alter your “luck.” What if you could alter, adjust, and realign your day-to-day life to increase your luck like the lucky people do? What if you could prepare to get lucky?

Interested?

Ten Ways to Increase Your Luck

1. Pay attention to your surroundings.

You won’t spot the $20 bill on the sidewalk unless you’re looking. Be alert! Look around! Keep your eyes and ears open! You never know what you’ll discover by accident.

2. Strike up conversations with strangers (Ladies, you probably need to be a LITTLE cautious here.)

You never know who you’ll meet, the contacts you’ll establish, or the new friends you’ll make in the most average of places: the line at the grocery, the bank, the county jail (just checking to see if you’re awake). I have a friend who had a life changing experience after she got locked up for DUI. You meet some interesting people in jail … so I’ve heard.

Talking to random people is one of my favorite things to do! Some people are more risk-free than others: clerks, waiters, waitresses, and sales people are usually less risky and easy to talk to since they sort of have to talk to you! And they’re less shady than street people talking to themselves, half naked guys in a convenience store, or Ole Miss grads. (Love ya, Ole Miss friends! Just checking to see if you’re still paying attention!)

I actually “met” Ashley during a phone conversation.

Several years ago, I was asked by a production company of the BBC to consider spending two weeks in England participating in a television show they were looking to produce. The program was to have me cast as a Marine fitness instructor leading two families back from obesity toward fitness. The producer wanted me to bring along a Registered Dietitian, if I could. At the time, I only knew one RD and it wasn’t Ashley.

I called, Mary, the RD I knew, and pitched the prospective short-term job to her. Mary was unable to do it, but she did give me the name of an RD she believed would be perfect for the job, Ashley. So, I called her! We had a great conversation. She was indeed open to pursue the opportunity in Great Britain and so I contacted the BBC and told them we were good to go here in the States and ready.

Unfortunately, about a month later, the production company was unable to secure the kind of funding and support they needed and had to abandon the project. They called me and I had to call Ashley with the bad news. She seemed delightful and so friendly, I was sorry I wasn’t going to have the chance to meet her.

But a few years later … lucky me, right?!

3. Unfriend your negative “friends.”

This is a Facebook thing you can actually do in real life. That’s right. If someone is dragging you down, robbing you of your joy, making you feel badly about yourself, sucking all of the energy out of your life, then just cut ‘em loose!

If you have the power to choose and the power to dismiss them from your life, don’t allow anyone inside who doesn’t make you happy, inspire you to be a better person, respect you, or make you feel loved and appreciated. If they’re prone to frequent melt-downs, outbursts, temper tantrums, disrespect, drunk drama, and other forms of inappropriate behavior … “hey, hey, hey, goooooood bye!”

When it’s in your power to do so, dismiss the negative people from your life. In my experience, most of the people who treat me in ways that are not acceptable are people in a bad relationship with themselves. But that’s not my problem to fix. And that kind of perspective on life is something I don’t need. Plus, it’s not very lucky!

4. Vary your daily routine.

Do like Supertramp and take the long way home. Stop at a shop just to browse. Take a different route to work. You never know what a variation of routine will bring.

I know a woman who believes God is going to give her a husband. She’s been waiting and praying for over 20 years. She goes to work, comes home, and goes to church. Her routine never varies. She travels the exact same roads and never colors outside the lines. I guess she’s going to marry the FedEx guy. I don’t think she’s met anyone new in years.

5. Be aggressive and decisive about making the changes you want in your life.

No one is more interested in you and your dreams than YOU are! That means the odds of someone arriving at your door, or in your life, to put you on the fast track to a new or better life is slim to none. But mostly none.

Get on with it!

A sailboat isn’t maneuverable unless it’s moving. It needs wind in its sails. When it’s dead in the water, it’s impossible to steer.

MOVE!

Nike said, “Just Do It” And Shakespeare (or Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, your choice) said, “The bow is drawn, make straight the arrow.”

The universe rewards movement, activity, and energy. Bust a move!

6. Follow your hunches and gut feelings.

Pay attention when something doesn’t feel quite right. I’m not talking about daily paranoia or constant suspicion of everything around you – which is a clear indication of the need for mental health counseling ASAP! But listen when your gut talks to you. Pay attention to the red flags … AND the green ones too!

A lot is said about the red flags in our lives. We learn to recognize them and to avoid them.

But what about the green flags? The ones that say “GO!” In the same way we avoid those red flag situations, we need to move quickly and confidently when the universe gives us the green!

I’ve listened to that little voice with the green flag and been soooo happy I did. And then … I’ve ignored that little voice waving the red flag and lived to regret it. I can’t remember a time when the red flag was wrong.

In his book, “Blink,” Malcolm Gladwell describes the brain’s ability to get impressions and to make decisions from a small amount of input and knowledge. It’s a behavioral scientist’s view of unconscious impressions and their significance. If it seems wrong, it probably is. And if it seems right, it just might be!

7. Expect good things.

If you think something good is going to happen you’ll be more likely to spot it when it does. And associated with this is giving people the benefit of the doubt. Miserable people assume the worst and usually get it.

Dropkick the drama queens (and kings) from your life. They’re usually miserable and want YOU to be miserable right along with them! They’re expecting doom. Leave them to it … without you!

Look for the good in people and situations. I always err on the side of giving people the benefit of the doubt. My default setting is to like new people and to think of new people as good and honorable. Sometimes, this has backfired. But I’d rather wear the rose-colored glasses and have occasional disappointment than the other way around.

8. Smile.

Not only does this inspire others to smile back, but it is the easiest and fastest thing you can do to make yourself look more attractive and accessible … unless you’re missing a lot of teeth. Then you should contact my friends, and sometimes Boot Campers, Dr. John Whittemore, DDS or Dr. Dory Sellers, DDS.

It’s interesting how smiles turn to laughter and the whole vibe changes.

9. Outlast bad luck and look for opportunities.

Often a negative turn of events creates unexpected opportunities for good things. I started USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP because I was strapped for money eighteen years ago and needed to supplement my teacher’s salary to make ends meet. Now look at the EMPIRE that has grown from me being broke!

When I first became self-employed, I was very very protective of my finances and was tight fisted with my money. One woman and her husband, not friends of mine, ridiculed my frugal behavior at the time and made fun of my struggle to create a successful business.

They’ve both filed for bankruptcy … twice … in the past 10 years. But I never did.

As an aside, I know that sometimes things happen beyond a person’s control and bankruptcy is the only option to dig out of a bad situation. Catastrophic illness is one of the single most common causes of bankruptcy. Bad things happen to good people. Things that person had no control over.

What I’m talking about is financial irresponsibility. Like the woman I knew who was $47,000 in credit card debt with nothing to show for it and somehow managed to get a new car, just so she had MORE debt when she filed for bankruptcy. Pity the poor guy who married that crazy chick! (He apparently ignored his gut and all of those red flags!)

Outlast the “set back” and look for opportunities!

10. Be positive, grateful, and thankful.

Ever notice how people who exhibit those things seem to be happy … seem to be so lucky? Putting positive energy out there into the world comes back to you! As one of you told me recently, “Tony, when people whine and complain they just become big ‘crap magnets.'”

The opposite is true too! When people are positive, grateful, and thankful they become magnets of great things, wonderful things, and “oh so many startlements.”

The music group, 10cc, recorded “I’m Not in Love” in 1975. At the time, the analog technique used to create that ethereal choral sound was unheard of. It was pretty cutting-edge stuff. Later, it would be used by a number of groups. Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is one of the better-known songs that copied the technique. And Enya’s success is completely dependent on those innovations.

I really like “I’m Not in Love.” There I said it. Whatever. Get over it! And one of the most important parts of the song is the obvious woman the singer is supposedly not in love with, saying “be quiet, big boys don’t cry.” The receptionist at the recording studio — Strawberry Studios — came out from behind the receptionist’s desk to be the voice of that woman, saying those six words. Six words that were essential in knowing that the singer really was in love. Six words that are a part of classic rock lexicography.

Kathy Warren said, “I was working at Strawberry Studios as a secretary and receptionist … when they (the members of the group) were trying to work out what to put in the middle eight. And a telephone call came through for Eric. So, I went to the studio door and just opened it quietly and whispered, ‘Eric, there’s a phone call for you.’ And they all said, ‘That’s it!’ The line they asked me to say was, ‘[whispered] Be quiet, big boys don’t cry.’”

And just like that, a lucky girl got luckier still. I’ll bet Kathy had already proven she was positive, happy, helpful, and a team player. No wonder she was so lucky!

So, here you are! Ten ways to get lucky!

Good luck, everyone!

— 30 —

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APRIL IS BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH!

In honor of my friend, Tom Farrar, who passed away at the tender age of 54. Tom was my accountant and a great guy, but he did NOT take care of himself.

Ever since Tom’s death, a death I believe was preventable, I’ve designated April as the “TOM FARRAR MEMORIAL BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH.”

• You can bring a friend for a week for free!

• No strings attached, no pressure to join!

• I won’t gather their contact info, and I won’t do anything but make them feel welcome!

• Absolutely no sales pitch, no guilt, and no veiled attempt to sign them up.

In fact, if they decide to continue after their free week with us, they’ll have to initiate that!

Let them come and enjoy a week on the Quarterdeck at no charge!

If you no longer live in Memphis, but your friends and family are still here, send them to me for a FREE WEEK!

If you’re injured and unable to exercise with your friend, go ahead and send them to me. You don’t have to be with them. Your referral will be enough.

And if you need to get back on the Quarterdeck yourself, c’mon!

I promise NOT to guilt you or give you a hard time! I don’t care if you’ve gained weight or you’re out of shape. Don’t be embarrassed! I’m not going to shame you or make you feel bad. I’m always so happy to see you! You’ll be met with a hug or a hearty handshake and a “welcome home” reception!

Since I don’t advertise, you guys are my sales staff, so please share this post and tag your friends in the comments.

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Sergeant Major Ashley Holloway, MS, RD, 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.”)

Have a Snack Attack

Is snacking throughout the day bad or good for you? Some people believe that it is better to eat three square meals a day without snacks in between. Others believe that snacking is not healthy because when they think of the word “snack” they think of typical vending machine fare such as candy bars, chips, or regular soda. If you do find yourself craving sweets or other not so healthy treats, it could just be that you let yourself get too hungry.

The good news is that proper snacking is healthy for you and is an important part of anyone’s diet. Eating often, every three to four hours, helps to maintain your blood sugar levels, your carbohydrate stores, and keeps your body fueled for the next activity. Snacking often also helps prevent uncontrollable hunger, which can lead to an unhealthy snack attack where you eat large quantities of food or you make unhealthy snack choices that you wouldn’t have made if you were not so hungry.

The best way to snack is to consider it as more of a mini-meal than a snack. Focus on choosing items that you would have for a regular meal but on a smaller scale. To optimize nutrition, be sure to select items from several different food groups. To make sure that do not skip these all-important snacks, pack your desk at work or your gym bag with healthy items such as dried fruit, nuts, instant oatmeal packets, granola or sport bars, peanut butter, pop top cans of tuna, and whole grain crackers. If you are on the go a lot, take along a small cooler stocked with healthy snacks. Some great healthy snacks to try include:

· – a slice of veggie topped pizza
· – string cheese and a piece of fruit
· – sliced apples spread with peanut butter or almond butter
· – trail mix with nuts and dried fruit with a glass of milk
· – Greek yogurt sprinkled with mixed berries
· – instant oatmeal made with milk topped with almonds
· – whole wheat toast topped with peanut butter and banana
· – baby carrots dipped in hummus
· – 100 calorie bag of microwavable popcorn with 1cup low-fat chocolate milk
· – Triscuit Thins with Laughing Cow or Baybel cheese
· – Whole grain pretzels dipped into peanut butter

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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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Patreon

Through the years—almost 19 now—folks have been super supportive of USMC Fitness Boot Camp and all that I do through it.

Weekly, I hear from former boot campers who’ve moved away. They write saying how significant the program was to them, how much they miss it, and how much they enjoy getting the newsletters and Facebook updates.

Sometimes, those who’ve moved away send money because they want to be helpful and to support the program. This happened just a few days ago. Sometimes these folks know that at any point in time, there are about half a dozen boot campers coming for free because they lost their job, or there’s been some other detrimental change in their finances and they’d have to drop out boot camp.

We’re the only fitness company in Memphis that allows members to continue to participate for free if they lose their jobs or their finances take a horrible hit. And when they’re back on their feet, they just start paying from that point forward. The months they came for free never have to be paid back.

I consider what I do to be more ministry than business, and don’t kick anyone out because of money problems.

Like you, I support different causes and organizations in Memphis just because I believe in what they do and want to help them keep doing it. Monthly, I support 8 different local entities, including WKNO and Literacy Mid-South.

Additionally, last year I started supporting two different people on a site called Patreon. It’s a way to support artists, musicians, writers, instructors, and others who produce content or provide services of a broad nature but might not be able to continue doing so without financial support from patrons … like how educators, artists, musicians, and others were supported by patrons back in the day.

I’ve been encouraged to join Patreon myself, giving folks an opportunity to support the program in small automatic monthly amounts.

Check out the page and if you feel led to support the work I do, even if it’s $1 a month, the number of patrons will be an encouragement to me and others!

https://www.patreon.com/TonyLudlow/overview

Thank you so much!

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ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

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

You should totally do that!

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Q. How can I get up in the morning on a consistent basis?

A. Contrary to what many think, I am NOT a morning person. I have to be “dynamited” out of the bed! Here are some tips to help you get going in the morning:

1. Use two alarm clocks. I have a snooze alarm that starts going off several minutes before I intend to get up. Then I have a “Last Call” alarm clock that is located across the room. This alarm clock is set to go off when I MUST get up.

2. Once the last call alarm goes off, the bed becomes OFF LIMITS! Get moving!

3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn the TV on!

4. Lay out your clothes the night before. Don’t go wandering around the house in the morning trying to find your left shoe and your favorite shorts. So, have things ready the night before.

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What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Text: 901-644-0145

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