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Tangled Up in Blue — Sgt. Tony Ludlow blog post for June 6, 2018

Jun. 6th 2018

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He sat alone on the back row of the large crowded church where he was not welcome, attending a wedding he was not invited to but had paid for, watching another man walk his daughter down the aisle.

Standing at the checkout, she looked much older than her age, tired, worn out, and rough, with randomly placed indecipherable tattoos. Her complexion suggested that she spent most of her days inside. Her body language said that she was angry, or frustrated, or sad, or annoyed; paying for cigarettes from a purse full of singles, she seemed absent and disengaged.

He put his towel down on top of the poolside lounge chair as his wife did the same. All the while she barked out orders and insults at him as if he were a delinquent teenager. The defeated look on his face made him look beaten down, like an abused person.

She got into her car and sat alone in the hospital parking lot, grief stricken, and unable to move. How was she supposed to drive home and tell her children that their dad was dead.

He was successful beyond imagination and loved by the world over, but Robin Williams sat in a room by himself and wrapped a belt around his neck.

Kate Spade was loved by millions and enormously successful with a loving family, but Monday she wrapped a scarf around her neck and killed herself.

Stories.

All of these people had histories, back stories. Most would never have plotted a course for the place they found themselves in.

Sometimes it seems that Thoreau was right when he said that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Sometimes the desperation leads to depression. And sometimes the depression leads to suicide.

Over 30,000 Americans a year take their own lives.

The tragic deaths of Robin Williams and Kate Spade hit us hard. The sadness and loss of Robin’s passing felt like the death of a family member or close friend. After his death we learned that he’d been depressed for years. Kate Spade’s death is sending shockwaves throughout the fashion world and among her legions of friends and fans.

Many people criticize those who commit suicide saying that it’s an act of cowardice or selfishness. Maybe. Maybe it is because at the moment the decision is made, all the person can think about is their own pain and misery coming to an end.

But what it is for sure, with no argument, is an act of sadness.

USMC Fitness Boot Camp has felt the grievous touch of suicide. Many of us have lost family and close friends. Many of us have struggled with the deaths of our loved ones at their own hands, usually tormenting ourselves with “what ifs.”

We knew they were sad, or hurting, or depressed and we tried to reach out to them and tell them that we loved them. What if we’d done it that day, their last day? What if we’d reached out to them more frequently? What if we’d used different words, said something different? What if they knew how much we loved them, how much everyone loved them? Wouldn’t that have made a difference?

These were the kinds of things that tormented me after my brother killed himself, just a couple of weeks after he and I had talked on the phone. I was living in Japan at the time. On his birthday, I had called him to wish him a happy birthday. That is what we did on our birthdays. He called me on mine and I called him on his. He was my best friend and no two brothers were ever closer, I’m certain.

My brother was a Vietnam vet and suffered from PTSD. I’d prayed for him for years. To say that I prayed for him every day is not an overstatement. Every morning, every single day, I fervently—without ceasing—that he’d have peace of mind and lasting happiness. I didn’t pray for personal riches, or fame, or anything material for myself. I only wanted my brother to be whole and healthy. Sometimes he’d be fine and then at other times the darkness would engulf him and the sadness and depression would pull his mind and heart into a place that no one could enter and where no light could shine.

In the end, my prayers for my brother went unanswered. (Unless you consider “no” an answer.)

Just a few weeks after our last phone conversation I got a call early one morning telling me that my brother was gone.

By that afternoon, I was on a flight home. Twenty-four hours later I was back in Arkansas. Alone in a small room of a funeral home, I fell on my knees in front of my brother’s flag draped casket … and begged for answers … asking “WHY!?!” through my tears.

In the years prior to moving to Japan, I had been a volunteer counselor for the Suicide and Crisis Intervention Center, answering the phones and doing my best to help add another day to a troubled soul. I did this for almost 2 years. But even with my training and experience … I couldn’t save my brother.

My life has never been the same. I am not the same person I was. Things changed. I changed, never able to go back to being that person who picked up the phone early that morning in Japan.

How it affected me and how it changed me was one of the reasons my first marriage ended.

The pain and sadness that my brother carried with him didn’t end when he died, it was simply passed on to us, the ones who loved him and mourned him.

The “what ifs” that plagued me and my family have mostly been set aside, coming to terms with the knowledge that there was nothing we could have done. We accepted the fact that my brother knew how much we loved him, yet it didn’t alter the pain that tortured his soul … there was nothing we could have done. It took a long time to accept that.

The adoration of millions couldn’t free Robin Williams from the torment that he felt and the depression that had him bound and imprisoned in the dark, cut off from the warmth and love of his family and friends. Someone who made us all laugh and who brought us such joy and happiness couldn’t provide those things for himself. All of Kate Spade’s success and fame couldn’t rescue her from whatever it was that tormented her.

The REM video of their song, “Everybody Hurts,” is the most moving reminder of the fact that everyone has a story. Everybody hurts. I think everyone ought to watch that video every couple of months. Just so we never forget. It’s the best sermon I’ve ever heard.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijZRCIrTgQc

I remind myself of a quote, often attributed to Plato: “Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

We have an obligation as members of the human race to be kind to one another. Professing Christians have a religious mandate to extend the hand of love and compassion to everyone, without exception, without qualification, and without condition. (And irrespective of that person’s legal status in this country.) Loving the person next to you in the pew isn’t hard; loving the person who looks like you, believes like you, votes like you, hates the same people as you isn’t hard. That’s easy. But loving the person who is nothing like you is the real challenge.

Ashley Holloway is the person I admire most. When it comes to unconditional love, she has no equal in my experience. She went into a hospital, at great risk to herself, in order to donate a kidney to a complete stranger. Today, someone out there, living in another state, is alive and well with Ashley’s kidney inside them all because she allowed surgeons and a transplant team to remove her kidney. She’s the best living sermon I know. She knows nothing about the person whose life she saved by donating a living part of herself.

I was inspired, in part, to become a teacher by “Dead Poet’s Society” and Robin William’s wonderful and brilliant performance. The poem, “O Captain! My Captain!” is featured in that amazing film and I offer it to you here.

The poem was written by Walt Whitman as a tribute to his dear friend Abraham Lincoln, (his Captain) whom he loved, after the President’s death.

“O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.”

With many going on vacation and enjoying the summer, it can be a time of melancholy and sadness for those who’ve experienced death, divorce, separation, breakups, or estrangement from family or friends.

I hope you’ll be extra sensitive to those in your life who may be hurting, and if possible do something to help get them through this difficult time.

If the hurting person is you, I hope you’ll reach out and talk to someone.

It would sound self-serving of me to tell you that exercise plays an enormous role in coping and moving forward, but it’s true. In almost 19 years, we’ve only lost 2 active boot campers (Jim Steiner and Ken Kenworthy—Henry’s brother) both to cancer. The rate of depression and the mortality rates for boot campers is significantly lower than those who don’t exercise.

Exercise is the only thing in my life that has delivered on every investment I’ve made. Nothing else in my life has been as dependable as exercise.

Be kind … to others … to yourself.

— 30 —

http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/depression-recognizing-signs-of-suicide

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Patreon

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.

Occasionally, one of you guys who are actively involved in the program will tell me that they want to pay MORE in fees. They claim I’m “giving away the store.” I never discourage boot campers from paying more if they like!

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!

——————————————

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

Coconut Oil – Helpful or Hype?

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the meat of coconuts harvested from the coconut palm And according to recent reports, is widely touted to be have health benefits and be the latest food cure-all. Claims abound that coconut oil help with everything from Alzheimer’s, poor immune function, thyroid disease, heart disease, cancer, obesity and even HIV.

So, should you run on down to Whole Foods and stock up on coconut oil? Not so fast.

The evidence that coconut oil is a super healthy cure-all is not convincing and these claims appear to be more testimonials than clinical evidence.

Coconut oil is extremely high in saturated fat and contains more saturated fat than any other food available. Saturated fats help to raise your good cholesterol levels (HDL) but raise your bad cholesterol levels (LDL) as well. Neither the American Heart Association nor the 2010 Dietary Guidelines suggest that coconut oil is any better or preferable over other saturated fats. All saturated fats, including coconut oil should be limited to 7%-10% of calories because it can increase risk for heart disease, according to the AHA and 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Most experts agree that to reduce the risk of heart disease, you should replace saturated fats in your diet with healthier unsaturated fats. There is further agreement that more research is needed in the area of fatty acids and its relationship to health.

If you are looking for real health benefits, switch from saturated fats to unsaturated fats and including vegetable oils, fish oils, and plant fats in nuts, avocados, and seeds. These fats should be the primary fats in your diet because they are either neutral or raise HDL cholesterol but don’t raise LDL cholesterol. Increasing the good.

Enjoy coconut oil if it is your preference but do so in moderation until further research indicates it is better than other saturated fats.

———————————————

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Death By Small Group — Tony Ludlow, May 17, 2018

May. 17th 2018

Do you remember your best day at school?

I do.

It didn’t have anything to do with exams or social intrigue. No extra-curricular activities or special events. In fact, though I loved school, or rather, I loved being at school, but not always loving the subjects, it wasn’t until my junior year in college that I had this “best of the best days.” It also wasn’t until college that I got serious about my studies. It’s funny how your own money financing your education does that.

The professor for this particular English class, Dr. Amy Blankenship, was, to put it kindly, a lady of a certain age who had never married and had passed beyond the age of birthing babies. Her work was her life. She taught and she wrote and — as if she weren’t stereotypical enough — she took care of her 5 cats. She was wonderful and her enthusiasm for academics and teaching were almost equal to her love for cheesecake.

On this best of all days, she divided us into groups and gave each group an assignment. Ordinarily I’d rather take a hammer to my head than to break into small groups. I groan inside every time a teacher or speaker says “let’s break into small groups.” And this breaking into groups thing was starting out like every one of those other miserable experiences. (Thing is, they’re never nearly as miserable as I imagine. I have no idea why I have such an aversion to the whole thing.)

The assignment was simple: as a group, formulate 10 opening sentences for a book or short story. The sentence needed to get the reader’s attention and draw them into the story. We were to compose things like:

“We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.” — “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” by Hunter S. Thompson.

“When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow.” — “To Kill a Mockingbird,” by Harper Lee.

“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” — “The Dark Tower,” by Stephen King.

“In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since.” — “The Great Gatsby,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

“Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after that Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die.” — “Fight Club,” by Chuck Palahniuk. (This line also incorporates the beginning of “The Satanic Verses,” by Salman Rushdie! Kind of a genius move, I’d say!)

“It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.” — “The Bell Jar,” by Sylvia Plath.

“I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.” — “I Capture the Castle,” by Dodie Smith.

“Call me Ishmael.” — “Moby Dick,” by Herman Melville.

“The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting.” — “The Red Badge of Courage,” by Stephen Crane.

All of us were quite certain that none of us in our little groups were going to come anywhere close to these lines, but we were determined to try. And I can’t tell you how much fun this was! I don’t remember any of our lines, I just remember how much fun it was to conjure them up out of thin air.

Afterwards, one member from each group read their group’s lines to the whole class. When that was over and the group time was over, Dr. Blankenship had us write 10 sentences of our own composition and hand them in. When we were finished, we could leave early. I stayed until the bell rang. I was finished with time to spare, but I just kept rewriting the lines, correcting or altering or modifying, and I just kept writing additional sentences.

I wasn’t alone. Several of my classmates did the same thing. And when the bell rang, we reluctantly got up and handed in our pages of work, happy in the experience, but sad that it was over.

For some students, this might be “the worst of times.” But for me, it was the “best of times!”

I think the essence of happiness in this world is to find things that give you that kind of joy. Things that ignite your passions! Things that make time fly. Things that you get lost in.

Not long ago a new friend asked what I did for a living and I said “I’m a reader and a writer.” She got very excited and said, “Oh, how exciting! Have you had a number of things published … could I buy your work on Amazon or Kindle?” “No,” I said, “the few things I’ve had published aren’t available anywhere … I don’t actually make any money writing … I run a fitness company for money … but I write for a ‘living.’” (Actually, I’m pretty passionate about fitness and athletics too!)

Sometimes people tell me that they’re unhappy in their current job or profession. I ask them what they’d like to do instead. A lot of times they don’t know, they just know what they don’t want to be doing. But sometimes they say that they’d love to be doing X, Y, or Z because they’ve got a love for that, a passion for it. I always encourage them to try doing those things part-time. Test the waters without giving up the gig that pays the bills.

If you’re serious, downsize your life to facilitate the dream. Buying a smaller house, driving an older car that you don’t owe anything on, giving up needless luxuries like country club memberships and Florida condo timeshares to simplifying your life so that you can worry less about money and invest more of your time and psychic energy into your passions. We must be careful that we don’t become enslaved by our possessions. There’s an interesting admonition in the New Testament book of Luke that goes like this: “Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how much you own.”

What are you passionate about? What makes the time fly? What gives you joy?

It may not be anything that will ever pay the bills, but find a way to carve out space and time in your life for those things. For those things are what redeems the time you have in this life.

— 30 —

———————————————————

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!

———————————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Sergeant Major Ashley Holloway, M.S., Registered Dietitian, L.D.N.

(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 you need to Detox?

Detox diets are touted as a way to flush toxins out of your system. These diets are quite popular, but they are not scientifically proven.

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 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.

Finally, keep in mind that fad diets aren’t a good long-term solution. For lasting results, your best bet is to eat a healthy diet based on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.

———————————————————

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 DAYS!

WEAR YOUR RANK INSIGNIA SHIRT, SUB 7 SHIRT, OR OTHER USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP SHIRT!

—————————————————————

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
Text: 901-644-0145

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


‘Tis But a Scratch — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 5/10/2018

May. 10th 2018

Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 9.26.17 PM

Two of my favorite movie swordsmen are complete opposites.

The Black Knight is an unyielding buffoon from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” and Ujio is a dedicated warrior from “The Last Samurai.” The Black Knight is totally comedic. Ujio (eew-gee-oh) a samurai, is quite the opposite.

Two opposites.

Two awesome guys!

If you’re not a Monty Python fan, The Black Knight is famous for saying the most absurd things while LOSING a sword fight. I mean, you’re LOSING a sword fight and you’re talking?

In the movie, King Arthur systematically dismembers The Knight. And if dismembering can be funny, then this scene is the funniest dismembering scene in cinematic history.

The King wants to end the duel since he’s obviously beaten the Knight. But as each body part is lopped off, the Knight continues to taunt the King, trying to provoke him into continuing the duel. It’s silly and so stupid that it’s funny.

The Black Knight’s famous response, after the King cut off his arm, was to dismiss it as nothing because “it’s just a flesh wound.” And even as King Arthur is leaving the scene and continuing on his quest to find the Holy Grail, the dismembered Knight continues taunting and yelling at The King, calling him a coward and trying to get him to keep fighting!

In the very serious “The Last Samurai,” Ujio spends the first two thirds of the movie wanting to kill Tom Cruise. A feeling that we can all relate to from time to time, no doubt. (Probably more so after that whole “couch hopping” foolishness on Oprah several years ago. Or maybe after his interview on The Today Show when he called Matt Lauer “obtuse” or “feckless” or some such vague, but insulting sounding word. Not to mention the whole Scientology business.)

But in the end Captain Algren (Mr. Cruise) and Ujio become comrades and go into battle together against a common enemy. It would be a battle that Ujio would not survive.

At one point during the battle, Ujio is wounded multiple times, severe enough that he could have been taken from the field, and where he would surely die … behind the lines. Not an option for a proud and noble samurai. No warrior wants to die on the ground behind the lines.

Ujio rebuffs the concerns and the assistance from his fellow samurai, all the while spitting out blood. He gets to his feet without help, stands up straight, readjusts his battle armor, and without a word being spoken, nods to his fellow samurai, to let them know of his readiness and his resolve. Ujio then sets himself in preparation for the next wave of enemy soldiers. And when those soldiers attack, Ujio rushes into the battle to meet his enemy head on!

The fact that neither The Black Knight nor Ujio ever gave up would be reason enough for me to admire them. And would be reason enough for me to tell you about them.

But what I particularly like about Ujio and The Knight are their obvious choices to focus on something other than their circumstances, their wounds, and their sure defeat. They are singularly focused on their duty. Their eyes are fixed upon doing their duty, staying the course, and finishing their mission. They are mission focused and mission capable. By an act of their will, they ignore the obvious calamity and turn their attention to finding a solution to their dilemma and completing their mission.

“Tony are you ever serious?” I get asked from time to time. Usually it’s in the form of some critical remark or tone. Usually it comes from some stuffed-shirt-stick-in-the-mud-fuddy-duddy who takes things waaaay too seriously and takes exception to my jocularity and optimism. Usually it’s from someone who doesn’t know me very well.

I get the impression from them that they believe that somehow, I’ve managed to live this long without being touched by tragedy or heartache. That somehow the lines on my face have been caused only by sophomoric and juvenile jokesterisms and tomfooleries. That I’ve been spared the rejections and betrayals that accompany most others through this journey. That I’ve somehow veered away from the potholes and pitfalls; I’ve avoided the deathbeds and the funerals; I’ve missed out on life’s misfortunes, the pain of loss and loneliness, the death of a dream, or the tragedy of brokenness.

But if you know me at all, then you know that I am well acquainted with those things, the same things that accompany all of us in life.

What I refuse to do is to focus on them.

Or at the very least, try not to focus on them. I’ll take the rose-colored glasses any day over playing the victim or yielding to cynicism.

I don’t want my worst moments, or my most misguided decisions, or my deepest tragedies, or my most horrific experiences to define who I am. They will not permanently discolor my world nor cast darkness across my personality.

I want to be like The Black Knight and Ujio. I want my focus to be on moving forward. On the mission.

I’m not looking for excuses. I’m looking for opportunities.

I want to face my enemy with a sword in my hand and a crazy grin on my face. And in the process, I’m going to be irreverent and silly, occasionally serious, but mostly absurdly borderline inappropriate, light, and funny.

But I will also purposely and daily engage in introspection and reflection with a hope of discovering a better way to be a better me.

But at the end of the day, I want more laugh lines in my face. I will systematically put aside those things and those people that are not in my best interest, who take the smile from my face, or who drain the energy from my life. Not everyone in my life has earned the right to be there.

And so should you put those things aside.

Dismiss from your life those who constantly misunderstand you and assign ill intent to your most innocent of actions. Keep at a distance from those who would rather jump to conclusions than understand the situation and the circumstances. Let the “right fighters” fight alone.

There are many of you reading this who have overcome incredible and horrible experiences and yet you CHOOSE, by an act of your will, to focus on the now and the future! You know that happiness isn’t found, it’s manufactured … from within. You refuse to be shackled to the past or to an experience that YOU did not choose.

Many of you have honored me by sharing some of those experiences with me. You have brought me into your inner circle of friends and family and allowed me to see the burden — invisible to the rest of the world — that you have chosen to leave on the side of the road. You’ve shared with me your stories of victory and triumph. And the ugliness of those experiences has only made me admire, cherish, and appreciate you all the more. You shine like diamonds in the sun! You have become more noble and winsome in my eyes … you are more precious and amazing.

I have a recurrent theme, a sermon, a message that I am almost daily compelled to recall and share. It’s the ancient lesson from Plato: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Choose life! And choose it on your own terms! Ignore the critics and the fearful. Take chances. Say yes!

Live an extraordinary life, despite your circumstances!

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~ Mark Twain.

— 30 —

——————————————————————–

Thursday’s Schedule: Rain? BOGA. Clear? CARDIOGA

————————————————————————

We have a fellow boot camper who is on the search for a new job. She is searching for something in the field of meeting planner, executive assistant, or project manager. If you know of anything or need more details please let me know.

————————————————————————

I’m excited to announce that our own Ashley Holloway has been asked by the University of Memphis to join the faculty as an Adjunct Professor! She’ll be teaching graduate students in the area of nutrition. They sought her out because she is outstanding in her field! She remains with Abbott Nutrition and with us! Congratulations, Ashley!!!

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Sergeant Major Ashley Holloway, M.S., R.D., L.D.N., Adjunct Professor

(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 Health Benefits of Oatmeal

1. Boosts Energy- Oatmeal has a good number of carbohydrates, and your body needs carbs to keep its energy levels up. That’s where oatmeal can come in handy. Low fat and relatively low calorie, a single bowl of oatmeal can help to boost your energy levels (very important in the morning) while not loading your body with fat. Pair a small bowl of oatmeal topped with chopped up fresh fruit and nuts with a glass of milk to give your muscles the tools necessary to rebuild while giving your muscles a head start on post-workout muscle recovery.

2. Prevents Diabetes- Oatmeal has a low glycemic index which is beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes. A low glycemic index helps the stomach empty its contents slowly, which has a positive effect on our insulin sensitivity. Oatmeal also contains fiber which slows down how quickly the carbohydrates effect blood sugar levels.

3. Helps with Weight Loss- Oatmeal helps decrease your appetite because it is full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, which delays the emptying of your stomach, keeping you full for longer periods of time. This is very beneficial if you are trying to eat less. Also, cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, is increased with the oatmeal compound beta-glucan. A 2009 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found satiety increased as a result of eating foods that contain beta-glucan, like oatmeal.

4. Fights Colon Cancer- Oatmeal is full of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and a high-fiber diet can be beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect and adds bulk to the stool, which prevents constipation. This fiber attracts water and passes through the digestive tract easily, speeding the passage of food and waste. And according to the American Cancer Association, insoluble fiber helps the body to fight against bile acids, and their toxicity, which helps to lower the risks of cancer and helps to promote good colon health. A 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal found that total fiber intake, was strongly associated with a reduction in colon cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber consumed there was a 10 percent decreased risk in colon cancer. The more fiber people ate, the more risk reduction was found.

5. Boosts Heart Health- Oatmeal’s soluble fiber helps with heart health. The soluble fiber helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood stream. The way this works is the soluble fiber sort of gathers the bad cholesterol to itself while traveling through the body, then takes the bad cholesterol with it as it leaves your body. Oatmeal also contains both calcium and potassium, which are known to reduce blood pressure numbers. A 1999 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found whole grain consumption, because of its soluble fiber, was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

—————————————————————————

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!

—————————————————

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.

—————————————–

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
Text: 901-644-0145

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Taylor Swift is Right! — Tony Ludlow, blog post for 4/27/2018

Apr. 27th 2018

wall-3342629__340

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

Unknown to me, the speaker the previous week had rambled, and babbled without notes, or point, or graciousness, or humor, or content, and went over his allotted time. He was a State Senator and showed up to just wing it. It was a bit of a disaster, they told me after I spoke.

So, after I was introduced, I stood up and walked to the podium, with notes—and all of the things the politician didn’t have—and there seemed to be some sense of expectation that I at least had something prepared.

As a father of two sons, and a high school coach, I’d written a list of traits and characteristics that I called “50 Things About Being a Gentlemen.” I gave my sons and all of my players that list. It spelled out to my sons and my players what I expected in their behavior and what I considered to be the character traits of a gentleman. My talk at MUS contained 10 of those things. And I’ve given that list to other young men who might appreciate such a thing.

Yesterday morning, I received a message from one of those young friends. I had given him that list when he graduated from high school in 2006. On Wednesday, he quoted one of those traits back to me and mentioned its application. And that’s why I decided to share this with you today. He reminded me that the list had some value. Here are 20 of those 50 traits.

• A gentleman stands up to greet a woman, an older person, or a superior. When in doubt, get to your feet!
• A gentleman opens doors for ladies.
• A gentleman is discreet.
• Gentlemen read books. They know that the written word feeds their minds, gives them pleasure, and helps to make them more interesting.
• A gentleman is modest. He doesn’t boast nor does he sulk in the presence of someone more accomplished.
• A gentleman doesn’t discriminate. He treats those around him with equal consideration, whatever their position, whatever their age.
• Gentlemen are kind. They show kindness and consideration to everyone without considering if that person can “do anything for him.”
• A gentleman places great value on honor and loyalty.
• A gentleman’s handshake is as good as his word and his word is more binding than a signed contract.
• Gentlemen can keep quiet and not interrupt the other person.
• Gentlemen show deference to women and those older than himself.
• Gentlemen are confident without being arrogant.
• Gentlemen are men of elegance.
• Gentlemen stand up straight and have good posture.
• Gentlemen suppress body noises.
• Gentlemen don’t gawk, or stare when another person makes a mistake, has an accident, or has some other kind of misfortune. If he can’t help, rescue, or assist, then he will look away, allowing the other person to save face. Or he’ll take the appropriate action dictated by the situation.
• A gentleman knows to correct a subordinate privately, but to praise them publicly.
• A gentleman doesn’t stare, leer, or gawk at an attractive lady.
• A gentleman will choose dignity over stupidity.
• Gentleman respect others and place their feelings before their own.

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

#1 is something we intellectually acknowledge, but practically ignore. We wait until the last minute to do something or we don’t allow enough time for a task or errand. It will always take you more time to pack than you think it will. It will always take more time to load the car than you think it will. It will always take more time to lose weight and get in shape than you think it will. You get the idea.

But #2 is different. It’s harder.

Not caring runs contrary to our earliest lessons in life. Our parents wanted us to care. They demanded that we care. They insisted upon it!

They wanted us to care about everything: how we look, how we talk, how we eat, how we stand, how we sit. They told us to put on something clean, don’t talk to me in that tone, say “yes, sir” and “no, sir,” don’t eat with your mouth open, don’t slouch, sit up straight. They wanted us to care about everyone: treat others as you want to be treated. Be nice. Be polite. Share. Show respect.

Getting older meant a widening and deepening sense of caring about things and caring about others. In fact, the argument could be made that caring is the chief cornerstone of a civilized society.

As a species, we survived because we gathered together in groups so that we could care for one another. As a nation, we come together to aid and defend our allies because we care. We give to charities and benevolent organizations because we care. We give to the poor because we care. We gladly pay taxes in order to meet the needs of our fellow citizens because we care.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It’s a hard thing to give up and quit caring. It’s a hard thing to withdraw. It’s a hard thing to keep people at arm’s length. But sometimes, well, sometimes self-preservation requires it. Though I think Mr. Trump’s border wall is ridiculous, sometimes we have to build a wall, establish boundaries, to protect us. The height of the wall is negotiable. It could even be a picket fence.

Things take longer than you think.

Sometimes we just gotta shake it off and let it go.

— 30 —

———————————————————

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!

———————————————————

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 Sergeant Major 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 than 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.

————————————————————————

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 »


Cosmic Tumblers — Tony Ludlow, 4/18/2018

Apr. 18th 2018

field-of-dreams-2

The first book that I ever read was a book about running. Well, maybe not technically. But the very first sentence I ever read was about running.

“See Tom run.”

That was the first sentence I ever read in my life.

Running — pure running that wasn’t associated with some sport I was playing — has been a part of my life since I was 18. I’ve been running ever since. I started coaching other runners in 1981.

Huffpost Healthy Living recently posted an article entitled “19 Reasons to Start Running.” None of those 19 reasons were anything new to me, and if you’re a runner they wouldn’t be news to you either. I like the list. It’s a good one. But there’s nothing on that list that runners don’t already know. The experience of years leads to that kind of knowledge.

I started keeping journals of my running and weight training workouts beginning in 1977. By 1998, I’d written in and filled up 12 journals covering 20 years of weight workout diary notes; running workouts, running notes, and race results; triathlon training, triathlon notes, and race results. My journals included nutrition experiments, equipment analysis, training ideas, trial and error approaches, and everything else you could imagine that covered my personal athletic and fitness journey.

When my shipment from Japan arrived here in Memphis in 1998, guess what was missing?

I was devastated.

The journals, along with all of that knowledge, experience, and wisdom gained over two decades were lost, along with everything else in that box. The written journals were lost, but the knowledge, hopefully, remains. One of the things in journal #2 was the list of lessons learned from my first triathlon. Seven lessons, actually.

Today’s installment will only highlight the 7th lesson, and one that has been an encouragement to me since the day I learned it: July 22, 1980, when the sport was so new I had to explain the details of it to all my friends.

As we join our story, yours truly has come to the last mile of the last leg of the race, an 8-mile run. The run followed a 1-mile swim and a 35-mile bike race. The run, like the bike leg, was up and down horrible hills that seemed to have no end.

The finish line was on a horse racing track inside a county fairground. Runners entered the fairgrounds, ran onto the track, and took one lap around the track to the finish. So, with “Rocky,” “Chariots of Fire,” and “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from the big speakers set up in the infield, I entered the horse racing track and tried to pick up the pace a bit. I wanted to finish strong.

With about 150 yards to go, I started hearing a wheezing gasping sound from someone behind me. They were obviously in distress. “Good lord, someone’s dying back there,” I thought. But the thing was, the dying sound was getting closer!

WHAT???? How could this be? How was the dying guy gaining on me???? “Inconceivable!” I thought, in my best “Princess Bride” voice.

With about 100 yards left in the race, the “dying guy,” … with the gray hair, passed me. HE PASSED ME! I tried to keep up with him. I tried to stay near him. But I was spent. He wasn’t.

The old dude beat me!

Although I crossed the finish line, proud of my first triathlon, I was a bit miffed about the old dude. After all, I was only 3 days from my 23rd birthday and the very idea of some ancient mariner passing me was messing with my head. My finish time was respectable, not bad at all. But post-race, all I could think of was finding that decrepit dude.

You know how people linger after races around the refreshment area, eating free snacks and gulping down Gatorade? That’s where I found the gray-haired gentleman (aka “the dying dude”) eating a banana.

“Congratulations on a great race!” I said to the man who humbled me.

“Oh, thanks,” he said with a smile, kind of embarrassed.

“That was ME you passed right there at the end!” I said.

“Oh, sorry ’bout that,” he said with a smile that said he wasn’t sorry at all. And then he added, “I hope you’ll forgive me.”

“Sir, I hope you won’t be offended by my question … but, I have to ask … how old are you, if you don’t mind me asking?”

Sticking his chest out with satisfaction, he said, “I’m 65 years old!”

“You, sir, are my new role model … my goal … my HERO!!!”

And this unknown 65-year-old man has been my hero ever since.

Seventh Life Lesson from First Triathlon: “It’s not about age either.”

I’m now closer to that gentleman’s age than I’ve ever been. Last year, I entered my 60s! An age I own with pleasure! If I hadn’t met him, maybe I wouldn’t have tried to be like him my whole life! At 23, I lived in a world of young Marines, bullet-proof and badass, in a society that glorified being young. That man was the first athlete I ever met who was older than 30. It’s not hyperbole or a storyteller’s exaggeration to say that I decided right then and there, on that day, July 22, 1980, at that very moment to live my life like that man was living his.

Sometimes, life can turn in an instant. Over a casual conversation. An encounter that probably left that gentleman’s memory within hours, changed my life and has stuck with me for a lifetime.

And those moments, those spontaneous and unremarkable moments, can alter a life. And you’re never too old or “too far out of the race” to have those moments! I had one of those conversations with one of my professors just a couple of weeks ago. A casual conversation that put parts of my thinking and planning, that had been foggy, into sharp focus!

As Ferris Bueller famously said, six years after my encounter with that 65-year-old-bad-ass, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

And while I’m quoting 80s movies, here’s this one from one of my favorites of all time, “Field of Dreams,” when Ray Kinsella, played by Kevin Costner, says, “There comes a time when all the cosmic tumblers have clicked into place … and the universe opens itself up for a few seconds … to show you what’s possible.”

Those things I learned in my first triathlon have been true in my life and not just about triathlon. It shattered many of my misplaced notions and prejudices born out of youth and inexperience. It helped to realign my thinking about things. They were not exactly the lessons I thought I would learn, but it was proof that one of the cool things about life and about sport is that we can continue to grow and learn and evolve, with or without the humble pie!

— 30 —

——————————————————————

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

Hot! Hot! Hot!

The temperature and humidity will arrive SOON! Despite the current situation!

This increases your risk of dehydration and even life threatening hypernatremia if you exercise in the Memphis heat. But just how much and what kind of fluid should you be taking in?

For those shorter runs and for some general hot-weather fluid tips, try these tips adapted from the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines:

Before exercise: Try to drink plenty of fluids in the 24 hours before your planned exercise session and then drink two or more cups of fluid two to three hours before exercise. This will help keep you hydrated while allowing your body time to get rid of any excess fluid before your exercise session begins.

During exercise: Drink 6 to 12 ounces of cool fluids (water is fine) every 15 to 20 minutes. If your exercise session or run is less than an hour, a sports drink is not needed. These drinks contain calories, many up to 200 a bottle and can add to weight gain if they aren’t counted.

If, however, you are to be exercising longer than 60 minutes, you will definitely benefit from the extra sugar/carbohydrates and electrolytes from a sports drink. The carbohydrates help to fuel your muscles and the electrolytes, especially sodium and potassium, reduce urine output, speed the rate at which fluids empty the stomach, promote absorption from the small intestine, and encourage fluid retention.

After exercise: Be sure to continue drinking after your exercise session is over. You can weigh yourself before and after your runs. Try to drink about 24 ounces of fluid for every pound lost. Don’t forget to include some sodium (salt) either in fluids or with the post- exercise meal. Sodium can help in the rehydration process and increase your desire to drink.

If you are curious to see just how much fluid you really need when you exercise, then be sure to check out the USA Track and Field’s Self Testing Program for Optimal Hydration. This test uses a formula to determine how much fluid you need based on your weight, the weather conditions and your exercise intensity. You can find this self-test at:
http://www.usatf.org/groups/Coaches/library/2007/hydration/USATFSelfTestingProgramForOptimalHydration.pdf

Knowing how much fluid you need is just as important as being fitted with the right running shoes or following the perfect training program. Too little or too much fluid can have serious, even life-threatening consequences. Be sure you know how to properly hydrate by following the above guidelines and by following your thirst.

———————————————-

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!

———————————————————

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

But 80% of your HEALTH and WELLNESS DO!

And 100% of your FUNCTIONAL FITNESS AND CAPABILITIES ARE DIRECTLY TIED TO 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!

——————————————————

Have a GREAT day!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


A Perfect 10 — Tony Ludlow, blog post for 4/11/2018

Apr. 11th 2018

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After reading a recent essay I wrote, a friend of many years said, “Tony, I think I’ve heard most of your stories, (he hasn’t … I haven’t even told half my stories!) but I don’t think I’d ever heard that one.”

By most accounts, some of you have heard this particular story. In fact, several of you tell me it’s your favorite story.

Bless your hearts. Thank you for that!

I shared this tale with a new friend the other day. She was also a swimmer and diver in high school. And since she thought it … amusing, I share it again. A humiliating story from the annals of yours truly.

Allow me to set the scene.

Imagine, if you will, you’re sitting in the aquatic center at the University of Arkansas. You’re watching the State Swimming and Diving Meet. It is the senior year of this story teller’s high school adventure.

As we join our story, yours truly is standing on the diving board, preparing to perform his tenth and final dive of the state meet. (I never know if I should capitalize that or not: State Meet?)

Anyway.

I stood there, suspecting that fame was in my grasp.

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 unremarkable swimmer on my high school swim team, I was also a slightly average diver. I came by this perishable skill through the help of one of my brother’s friends, Paul. Paul had been a diver in college and took me under his wing during the summer between my 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. 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 mathematically untouchable. None of us were going to catch him. Second place was going to be GREAT though! My previous dives had gone pretty well and I’d practiced this last dive several times that morning. The dive 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 watched diving on television, you’ve no doubt seen divers do this many times.

Diving is a pretty standard solitary sport. It’s not easy, mind you. 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. No one is trash-talking you from the stands. In point of fact, everyone is quiet when you dive.

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, the diver strides forward, leaps straight up into the air (called the hurdle), and comes 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. Friends from school were there. 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.

For me.

And all of those people silent so I could concentrate.

Everyone was looking at me.

And waiting on me.

To do something.

But there I stood.

Doing nothing.

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 simple background noise, scenery with 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, there they were.

And that crowd of people was all I could think about.

Eventually you have to do something. You can’t just stand on the diving board forever. I don’t actually know if there’s a time limit, like a shot-clock, where you MUST go. But I didn’t want some referee or umpire to jump up and blow a whistle or throw a flag for delay of game. I didn’t want to be ordered to dive.

And I could feel everyone becoming anxious. Whatever the usual time for gathering my wits was allowed, I felt I’d probably exceeded it. The crowd’s anxiety was rising. My not doing something was making them uncomfortable. I had to move. I had to do something.

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

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, as seen on TV … and instead of taking off into the air and performing the dive, as seen on TV … I froze on the end of the board. I mean I FROZE there!

“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.

“Nononononono!” I said to myself.

In that situation, there is nowhere to hide. You’re completely exposed! Standing on the end of a 3 meter board in a swimsuit skimpier than your underwear, there’s nothing to hide behind. AND, you’ve just done something no other diver had done during the two-day meet … or EVER! 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!” But he said that in slow motion, like you’re playing a song at half speed.

Yes, that’s right. 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. I had never seen what I had just done! Or not done, as the case was.

What happens next?

I wasn’t even sure. I was ready to just jump in and do a cannonball or a can opener and 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 …

With EVERYONE in the place leaning forward and watching my every move …

Nothing.

I was 17 years old and having the worst day of my entire life in front of a crowd of people … and I was doing it practically naked. I could literally FEEL the people sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for me to dive, willing me down the board and into the air.

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 would 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 in front of 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 meltdown. 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 fail known to man … That’s how I felt.

The next week at school I was met in the hallway by my worthless friends mocking my shame with “BalkBalkBalkBalkBalk” … sort of like how someone imitates a chicken clucking. Like how that camel in the GEICO 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 Tony Ludlow

You’re welcome!

— 30 —

———————————————————

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!

———————————————————

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 Sergeant Major 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.

————————————————————————

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

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But I just looked around … and he’s gone.

Apr. 4th 2018

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My grandfather—my “Big Dad”—taught me things that would have equipped me for his world, his generation. But didn’t really help me much for the one I would be in. Much of what he taught me disappeared in polite society along him:

• Hats worn with suits,
• Walking on the outside, closest to the street, when with a lady,
• Hand-written thank you notes,
• Opening doors for ladies,
• Standing when a lady enters the room,
• Taking off your hat when speaking to a lady or someone older,
• Taking off your sunglasses when speaking to a lady or someone older,
• Giving up your seat on a train or bus for a lady or an adult,
• Asking permission to leave the Table,
• Saying “may I have,” not “I want,”
• Addressing all men and women with “sir” and “ma’am,”
• Addressing older men and women as “Mr. Smith” or “Mrs. Jones.”

How do we measure others today? How do we measure a man? A woman?

Wasn’t it character?

Isn’t it character?

Shouldn’t it be character?

In 9th grade, I started keeping a notebook of the quotes of great people in history. After I filled it, I carried it with me all over the world. It was lost in a box that never made it from Japan back to Memphis in 1998. I imagine that box fell off the cargo ship in the Pacific and washed up on Tom Hanks’ little island.

The quotes of great people inspire and inform us, don’t they?

Martin Luther King said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Plato said, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.”

J.C. Watts said, “The measure of a man is not how great his faith is, but how great his love is.”

Plutarch said, “The measure of a man is the way he bears up under misfortune.”

“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can’t help him.”

One way to measure a man, or a woman, is by what kinds of things irritate them.

Or moves them.

Or breaks them.

I nostalgically hold on to the things my Big Dad taught me. When he came to visit us from Little Rock, he slept with me in my room. In the darkness I asked him questions I was too afraid to ask my parents or even my teachers. “When will I be a grown man?” “Do you ever get scared?” “What is death?” “How can I be brave?” “What do I do when my heart is broken?”

He taught me to look for greatness in others and to try to use their example to shape my own life.

In the darkness of my bedroom on the night of April 4, 1968, I asked my Big Dad, a man of noble character, why the negro man was killed in Memphis. There was a long pause from my grandfather, V.W. Lancaster. A pause so long that I thought perhaps he’d fallen asleep.

And then he sighed.

I thought at first the sigh was an indication that I’d finally asked him too many questions. That he was tired of the nightly inquisition. That I’d exasperated him to the point of fatigue and irritation.

He had never tired of my questions before. Had never shown any sign of agitation from them. But now I seem to have asked one too many of them. I imagined his patience had run out and that I’d asked an inappropriate question.

And then, he cleared his throat.

I expected him to chastise me and tell me he was tired.

But in a broken voice, almost a whisper, he said, “Son, there is greatness and goodness in the world.” And then another long pause, a pause I didn’t understand for many years. And then he said, “And son … there is also hatred and evil.”

It wasn’t until I had children of my own, when I had to dispel the myth and take away their innocence by explaining to them that there was greatness and goodness in the world, but there is also hatred and evil. It’s the moment every parent dreads the most. To tell their child something that will take the twinkle from their eyes and will tarnish the joy in their hearts.

But then we encourage our children to love. Just like my grandfather did for me. To be a light in a dark world where hate and anger and evil try to destroy us. We must be better and to do good in the world.

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

Hate can’t drive out hate. Only love can do that. Thank you, Dr. King.

— 30 —

—————————————————————————

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.

—————————————————————————

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

———————————————————

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!

—————————————————

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!

—————————————————

ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

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

You should totally do that!

—————————————————

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.

—————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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

Mar. 28th 2018

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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.

—————————————————————————

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!

—————————————————

ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

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

You should totally do that!

—————————————————

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.

—————————————–

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

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Zuuto Tomodachi — Tony Ludlow, 3/22/2018

Mar. 22nd 2018

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You have to try hard to avoid seeing published articles—almost daily—explaining the far-reaching benefits of exercise. Benefits that go beyond the physical! Toward that end …

APRIL IS BRING A FRIEND TO BOOT CAMP MONTH!

030307FarrarT_03032007_1

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.

As an Air Force vet, he enjoyed chiding me for being a Marine 24/7 and always staying in shape. “All of that running around and sweaty exercise is good for you Marines, Tony,” he’d say, “I’m more of a fine wine and dining sorta fella!”

No matter what I said, I couldn’t convince my Type-A, overweight, high-strung friend to exercise and lose weight.

Tom had a heart attack and died in his front yard picking up his newspaper one morning in the spring of 2007. (He would have joked that The Commercial Appeal was responsible for his demise.)

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!

And I promise not to be mean to them!

You guys aren’t clients or members; you’re family and friends to me. So, thank you for your continued support. If the program has been beneficial to you, invite a friend to join you for a week, especially a sedentary friend. This isn’t really an invitation to people who are actively involved in some other all-inclusive fitness program. Sedentary people, people who only run or who only cycle are the kind of folks that I’m hoping we can reach!

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.

30

—————————————–

Patreon

Through the years—almost 19 now—folks have been super supportive of USMC Fitness Boot Camp and all that I do through it: lead 3 daily exercise classes, counsel members, lead half marathon training, write essays, and provide health, fitness, and nutrition counseling.

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.

Some of those folks still live in Memphis but life and circumstances have “providentially” hindered them from coming back to the Quarterdeck, usually because they’ve moved out the city into the county.

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 5 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 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!

————————————

TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK

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.”)

Nutritional Science 101- Muscle Mania

In order to have the best physical health, we need to make sure that our bodies are packed with muscle. Muscle makes up about 75 percent of our lean body mass. Lean body mass also includes our organs, bones, tissue, and skin. It generates heat, and it serves as a pool of protein for our muscles and vital organs, and tissues. Muscle gives us mobility and balance and allows us to get up from a sitting position, to walk across the room, and to do all activities that we do in our daily lives.

The bad news is, the amount of muscle mass we have will decrease as we get older! And by older, I mean around 25-30 years of age. The reason we begin to lose muscle as we age is due to the slowdown of how our body uses the protein we eat to build muscle, called protein synthesis. By age 40, we can lose up to 8% of our muscle mass every ten years, and then around 70 years of age, this muscle loss can almost double to a 15% loss every ten years. That is a lot of muscle loss!

Another way we lose muscle is if we become ill or injured in some way. If our bodies are trying to fight off an illness or repair from an injury, it increases our need for calories and protein. And if we are unable to eat or consume enough protein for the healing process, our bodies will actually break our muscles down so that the protein can be used for healing. This muscle loss can happen very quickly and rapidly! If we are younger and have plenty of muscle, breaking down a little of our muscle may not be a big deal. But if we are older and are already losing muscle due to aging, the consequences can be devastating, and could also be life ending!

Losing just 10% of our muscle mass leads to decreased immunity and increased risk of infection. The more muscle mass we lose, the worse it is.

Losing muscle and lean body mass leads to:
♣ the inability to heal and recover from surgery, illness or disease
♣ Decreased strength and energy
♣ Loss of independence
♣ Increased risk of falls and fractures
♣ Weakened immune system and increased risk of infections
♣ Impaired healing
♣ Weakness/fatigue
♣ Increased susceptibility to illness
♣ Decreased quality of life

Sadly, when our body loses 40% or more of lean mass, it is incompatible with life, we die. Our body has become so weak, that it just can’t sustain itself any longer.

A person’s weight on the scale is not always a good indicator of muscle loss, especially in people who are overweight and obese. And obese person can be a skinny frail person on the inside, with just a lot of cushion on the outside. One of the best indicators for muscle loss is to look for changes in functional status, strength, and energy. Think about someone older in your life that you have known for a long time. Has their strength, stamina, energy level, or their ability to get around decreased? Is this YOU?

Now that I have sufficiently depressed you, let me tell you the good news! There are things we can do to counteract the natural loss of lean body mass as we age. We can’t slow down the loss completely, but we can slow it down considerably. We can avoid losing our independence, our functionality, our strength, and stamina by doing two key things.

The first key thing we can do (and should do) to maintain muscle mass is to do strength training exercises. You have probably heard the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Well, research shows that performing weight bearing exercises a minimum of 2-3 days a week does help to prevent muscle loss and build our muscle mass. These exercises don’t have to include heavy weights or even joining a gym, but each session should cover all the major muscle groups. Push-ups, sit-ups, wall squats, planks, lunges, and many other body weight exercises can be done to accomplish this goal.

The second thing we can/should do to prevent age-related muscle loss, it is recommended that we eat protein at least three to four times a day, consuming 20-30 grams at a time, for the highest muscle building rate. An average three-ounce portion of meat (about the size and thickness as the palm of your hand) contains a little over 20 grams of protein. The type of protein should be high-quality protein such as meat, milk, poultry, and fish. Nuts, seeds, legumes, and many other foods also contain protein to meet that 20-30 gram per meal goal.

Consuming plenty of protein is usually no problem at all when we are younger. But as we age, we typically eat a lot less protein. Why? The reasons can be numerous: taste changes, digestion issues, chewing problems, difficulty preparing meals, living solo, and many more reasons. As we age, we need to pay close attention to the amount of protein we eat and strive to take in enough to prevent the loss of our muscle and decreases in functionality, strength, and energy.

As you can see, muscle mass is extremely important and is vital for life. Strength training exercises and good nutrition play a key role in helping maintain and build lean body mass. Having healthy muscles equals a healthier, stronger, independent you!

Have you ever wondered how the protein we eat turns into muscle? When we eat eggs, turkey, beef, pork, and other sources of protein, your body uses about 8% of the calories from protein for muscle building and repair. Here is a simplified tutorial adapted from Men’s Health on how it all works.

Step 1-Digestion: When we eat protein, enzymes from your stomach and small intestine break down protein into smaller pieces called amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and peptides (which are chains of at least two or three amino acids.) More enzymes in the small intestine further breakdown the peptides into amino acids for use throughout the body.

Step 2-Transport: Once the protein is broken down completely into amino acids, they travel to the liver through a vein called the hepatic (liver) portal vein. One of the jobs the liver has is to send out amino acids back into our bloodstream to be used by our muscles.

Step 3-Response: Our muscles are made up of woven bundles of muscle fibers. When we perform weight bearing exercises, we develop small micro-tears in the muscle fibers. When this happens our body signals to your immune system that muscle repair is needed. Growth hormones, stem cells, and amino acids are all called in to help repair the damage.

Step 4-Construction: Amino acids are then weaved together to form myofibrils which are bundles of protein threads to be used for muscle building and repair.

Step 5-Repair and Growth: These bundles of protein threads are then fused with the damaged areas of our muscles to repair the micro-tears that were caused by exercise. These myofibrils not only repair the damage, but also help to make your muscles bigger and stronger.

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REMIND!

I’ve recently signed up for the messaging app called Remind. Designed with schools in mind, it is easily adaptable for groups and organizations like ours.

Signing up is free and easy. Your privacy is ensured and there will be no group text situations that makes us all crazy! I’m the only one who can reply to everyone. Any messages from you will only go to me, not to the whole group.

I’ll only utilize this messaging service to inform you of any changes to venue or times. Likewise, I’ll use it, in addition to Facebook, to announce any weather-related cancellations or changes.

Just copy and paste this link into your browser to sign up: remind.com/join/usmcfi

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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
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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Mar. 15th 2018

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Professor Stephen Hawking, PhD, has died at the age of 76.

If you missed “A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes,” published in 1988, you might have been exposed to Dr. Hawking through his “appearances” on “The Simpsons” or “Futurama,” or his real appearances on “The Big Bang Theory.”

And if not those things, you might have seen the 2014 movie, “The Theory of Everything,” a movie about his amazing life.

Even his doctoral dissertation, which I’m planning to plagiarize in my own dissertation, is available online: PDF – PR-PHD-05437_CUDL2017-reduced.pdf

I love physics and science, but I don’t have much of an aptitude for them. Much like my appreciation of music, but with no ability to play beyond rank beginner. I tested out of one semester of physics in college, but I couldn’t test out of the second semester. And I didn’t make straight A’s in the two years of college physics I took. But I did okay. But I loved it nonetheless.

The title of the movie, “The Theory of Everything,” comes from the hypothesis, famously put forward by Albert Einstein, that there is a theory of everything (ToE) that ties quantum mechanics with astrophysics with cosmology with every other physical aspect of the universe and explains it all.

I’ve been in a PhD program for almost two years working on a doctorate in leadership. I attended my first official leadership training in 1977. I graduated first in my class in that Non-Commissioned Officer’s Leadership School. (On a side-note, Scot Bearup’s father was my primary instructor and the Senior Staff NCO of the school!) I’ve attended some form of leadership training about every 3 years since.

I said all of that to say this: there is a theory of everything where leadership is concerned. And I think it’s summarized in one word.

Relationships.

Good leaders formulate good relationships with those they lead.

Tubby Smith has been fired as University of Memphis Men’s Basketball Head Coach. When he signed to come to Memphis 2 years ago, I was excited! Coach Smith came with an impressive resume as a college basketball coach. He led the University of Kentucky to a National Championship in 1998. (But as one disgruntled U of M student said yesterday, “Yes, he won a championship in 1998 … but I wasn’t even BORN in 1998!”) Her comment sort of echoes the “But what have you done for me lately?” mentality. Tubby couldn’t ride his own coattails and fill the seats at the FedEx Forum.

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Still, I was excited and hopeful when he came, and wanted our Basketball Tigers to match our Football Tigers! The Memphis faithful will know that for decades the reputation of the U of M has been just the opposite. We were always considered a basketball school. But that has changed in recent years! The football program increased as the basketball program decreased. It was like “Stranger Things” and the upside down!

But my excitement started to cool almost from the beginning.

Coach Smith seemed low energy. His television interviews were lacking in the kind of spirit and enthusiasm I had remembered. Still, I didn’t worry too much. That is, until he failed to connect with the University and the community. It looked like he had no relationships with either. I feared he was just “phoning it in.” Like Memphis was just another stop in his coaching career. I wondered if he and his wife had actually unpacked from their move from Texas Tech, where Smith coached for only 3 years.

College coaches moving around from school to school isn’t unusual. But the best programs across the country have a strong tradition and have had few coaches over the years. Since 1961, North Carolina has had only 2 coaches! Coach Mike Krzyzewski, “Coach K,” has been at Duke for 38 years. Rick Byrd has been at Belmont for 32 years. Coach Jim Boeheim has been at Syracuse for 42 years. Tom Izzo has been at Michigan State for 23 years. I could go on. And that’s just a few in NCAA Division 1.

High turnover in any institution or organization is a sign of things wrong, not things right.

Did Coach Smith make a valiant effort to connect with Memphis and build solid relationships here within the community? I can’t answer that. But it doesn’t look like he did. John Calipari, love him or hate him, connected with Memphis. He formed relationships here. He even had a restaurant, “Cal’s Steakhouse,” in the Doubletree Hotel. The place was covered in Cal’s coaching memorabilia. It was his connection here that made his departure so hard to swallow for many. That, and the recruits he took with him to UK.

I had other complaints about Tubby that aren’t germane to this essay, but there seemed to be a shallow relationship between the coach and his players. There was certainly a visible lack of respect on the part of some of the players towards their head coach.

It’s a shame, really. I had high hopes.

If relationships are the theory of everything for leadership, then “Ask better questions” is at the heart of building those relationships. It’s not a matter of asking yes and no questions. It’s all about asking better questions. Open ended questions. Questions that indicate a sincere interest in the other person.

A long time ago, I started evaluating my relationships with people based on something I call the “Question Quotient.” Simply stated, does that person know as much about me as I know about them, based on the kind and quality of the questions we asked one another?” Stated another way, “Are they as interested in me as I am in them?”

I have a friend about whom I know a TON! I can tell you where they went to high school and college. I can tell you where their spouse went to high school and college and what both of their majors were. I can tell you their children’s names and their children’s hobbies and habits. I can tell you which of those children are doing well and which ones aren’t. I can tell you where they vacation and why they go there. I can tell you their pet’s names. I can tell you the names of their parents and things about them. I could easily write a 10-page essay on this friend and their life.
This friend could not tell you how many children I have, much less their names. Actually, I think they could tell you how many children I have only because, like most parents, I’ve talked about my kids without being asked!

As it relates to what my friend knows about me through the questions they’ve asked, very little. What they know from what they’ve asked could fit on one side of a 3×5 card with plenty of space for doodles and cartoons!

I suspect we all have friends like this. And you know the depth of the relationship based on how little interest they seem to have in you. The Question Quotient is below zero. Only when the QQ value is a positive number is that relationship thought of as significant.

A long time ago, I was fixed up on a blind date. I hadn’t been in the States from Japan for more than a couple of years. She seemed nice enough and pretty enough. But when I mentioned that I didn’t know about something that had happened 5 years earlier because I was in Japan. She never asked a single question about that. WHO WOULDN’T ASK A QUESTION ABOUT THAT? “Oh, really? Japan?” “What were you doing in Japan?” “Where did you live in Japan?” “What was it like in Japan?” “Oh, I’ve always wanted to visit Japan! Tell me about living there.”

Nothing.

I thought maybe she didn’t hear me, so later in the conversation I mentioned again that I’d just moved back 2 years earlier from Japan.

Cricket noises.

QQ value of less than zero.

If relationships are the key, then better questions turn the key.

Good questions are better than no questions at all.

But better questions will have a lasting effect on the depth and significance of your relationships. And if you’re in a position of leadership—and who isn’t leading someone, irrespective of our roles?—then being a better leader by asking better questions will make an enormous difference!

Want to be a better friend? Ask better questions!

Want to be a better parent? Ask better questions!

Want to ask better questions? Look beyond the surface. Look beyond the interrogation questions. Look beyond yes and no and the resume. Think in terms of feelings, emotions, motivations, reactions … touch the shared humanity you have with that other person.

Maybe I should write some examples of those kinds of questions.

-30-

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Patreon

Through the years, people have been super supportive of USMC Fitness Boot Camp and all that I do through it. Almost weekly, I’ll hear from some former boot camper who’s moved away. They write saying how significant the program was to them and how much they enjoy getting these newsletters.

Some of those folks still live in Memphis but life and circumstances have “providentially” hindered them from coming back to the Quarterdeck. (This sounds better than “they got lazy and got out of the habit.”)

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 situation and would otherwise have to drop out boot camp.

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

Today, the work produced by members of Patreon is found in printed materials, blog posts, YouTube videos, face to face instruction, consultation, reviews, lectures, and any number of outlets. I support the two I mentioned because I like what they do and want to help.

I’ve been encouraged to join Patreon myself, giving folks who aren’t actively in the program (or even those who are), an opportunity to support the program in small automatic monthly amounts.

More about that later!

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK

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.”)

Nutritional Science 101- Muscle Mania

In order to have the best physical health, we need to make sure that our bodies are packed with muscle. Muscle makes up about 75 percent of our lean body mass. Lean body mass also includes our organs, bones, tissue, and skin. It generates heat, and it serves as a pool of protein for our muscles and vital organs, and tissues. Muscle gives us mobility and balance and allows us to get up from a sitting position, to walk across the room, and to do all activities that we do in our daily lives.

The bad news is, the amount of muscle mass we have will decrease as we get older! And by older, I mean around 25-30 years of age. The reason we begin to lose muscle as we age is due to the slowdown of how our body uses the protein we eat to build muscle, called protein synthesis. By age 40, we can lose up to 8% of our muscle mass every ten years, and then around 70 years of age, this muscle loss can almost double to a 15% loss every ten years. That is a lot of muscle loss!

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Another way we lose muscle is if we become ill or injured in some way. If our bodies are trying to fight off an illness or repair from an injury, it increases our need for calories and protein. And if we are unable to eat or consume enough protein for the healing process, our bodies will actually break our muscles down so that the protein can be used for healing. This muscle loss can happen very quickly and rapidly! If we are younger and have plenty of muscle, breaking down a little of our muscle may not be a big deal. But if we are older and are already losing muscle due to aging, the consequences can be devastating, and could also be life ending!

Losing just 10% of our muscle mass leads to decreased immunity and increased risk of infection. The more muscle mass we lose, the worse it is.

Losing muscle and lean body mass leads to:
♣ the inability to heal and recover from surgery, illness or disease
♣ Decreased strength and energy
♣ Loss of independence
♣ Increased risk of falls and fractures
♣ Weakened immune system and increased risk of infections
♣ Impaired healing
♣ Weakness/fatigue
♣ Increased susceptibility to illness
♣ Decreased quality of life

Sadly, when our body loses 40% or more of lean mass, it is incompatible with life, we die. Our body has become so weak, that it just can’t sustain itself any longer.

A person’s weight on the scale is not always a good indicator of muscle loss, especially in people who are overweight and obese. And obese person can be a skinny frail person on the inside, with just a lot of cushion on the outside. One of the best indicators for muscle loss is to look for changes in functional status, strength, and energy. Think about someone older in your life that you have known for a long time. Has their strength, stamina, energy level, or their ability to get around decreased? Is this YOU?

Now that I have sufficiently depressed you, let me tell you the good news! There are things we can do to counteract the natural loss of lean body mass as we age. We can’t slow down the loss completely, but we can slow it down considerably. We can avoid losing our independence, our functionality, our strength, and stamina by doing two key things.

The first key thing we can do (and should do) to maintain muscle mass is to do strength training exercises. You have probably heard the saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it.” Well, research shows that performing weight bearing exercises a minimum of 2-3 days a week does help to prevent muscle loss and build our muscle mass. These exercises don’t have to include heavy weights or even joining a gym, but each session should cover all the major muscle groups. Push-ups, sit-ups, wall squats, planks, lunges, and many other body weight exercises can be done to accomplish this goal.

The second thing we can/should do to prevent age-related muscle loss, it is recommended that we eat protein at least three to four times a day, consuming 20-30 grams at a time, for the highest muscle building rate. An average three-ounce portion of meat (about the size and thickness as the palm of your hand) contains a little over 20 grams of protein. The type of protein should be high-quality protein such as meat, milk, poultry, and fish. Nuts, seeds, legumes, and many other foods also contain protein to meet that 20-30 gram per meal goal.

Consuming plenty of protein is usually no problem at all when we are younger. But as we age, we typically eat a lot less protein. Why? The reasons can be numerous: taste changes, digestion issues, chewing problems, difficulty preparing meals, living solo, and many more reasons. As we age, we need to pay close attention to the amount of protein we eat and strive to take in enough to prevent the loss of our muscle and decreases in functionality, strength, and energy.

As you can see, muscle mass is extremely important and is vital for life. Strength training exercises and good nutrition play a key role in helping maintain and build lean body mass. Having healthy muscles equals a healthier, stronger, independent you!

Have you ever wondered how the protein we eat turns into muscle? When we eat eggs, turkey, beef, pork, and other sources of protein, your body uses about 8% of the calories from protein for muscle building and repair. Here is a simplified tutorial adapted from Men’s Health on how it all works.

Step 1-Digestion: When we eat protein, enzymes from your stomach and small intestine break down protein into smaller pieces called amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and peptides (which are chains of at least two or three amino acids.) More enzymes in the small intestine further breakdown the peptides into amino acids for use throughout the body.

Step 2-Transport: Once the protein is broken down completely into amino acids, they travel to the liver through a vein called the hepatic (liver) portal vein. One of the jobs the liver has is to send out amino acids back into our bloodstream to be used by our muscles.

Step 3-Response: Our muscles are made up of woven bundles of muscle fibers. When we perform weight bearing exercises, we develop small micro-tears in the muscle fibers. When this happens our body signals to your immune system that muscle repair is needed. Growth hormones, stem cells, and amino acids are all called in to help repair the damage.

Step 4-Construction: Amino acids are then weaved together to form myofibrils which are bundles of protein threads to be used for muscle building and repair.

Step 5-Repair and Growth: These bundles of protein threads are then fused with the damaged areas of our muscles to repair the micro-tears that were caused by exercise. These myofibrils not only repair the damage, but also help to make your muscles bigger and stronger.

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REMIND!

I’ve recently signed up for the messaging app called Remind. Designed with schools in mind, it is easily adaptable for groups and organizations like ours.

Signing up is free and easy. Your privacy is ensured and there will be no group text situations that makes us all crazy! I’m the only one who can reply to everyone. Any messages from you will only go to me, not to the whole group.

I’ll only utilize this messaging service to inform you of any changes to venue or times. Likewise, I’ll use it, in addition to Facebook, to announce any weather-related cancellations or changes.

Just copy and paste this link into your browser to sign up: remind.com/join/usmcfi

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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
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145

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