Once upon a time, in a land far away, I went to a Toyota Motor Corporation banquet … as the guest speaker.
Don’t ask me why I was invited to speak — in Japanese, no less — I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t believe my answer anyway.
This extravagant event was held at Toyota’s World Headquarters in, where else, Toyota, Japan. Gathered in this enormous and ornate banquet center, were all of Toyota’s corporate executives and their wives. More than a thousand people. And it was a very very formal affair. When the Japanese do formal, they eclipse any European potentate or aristocracy. Formal in Japan means F-O-R-M-A-L.
In attendance at this banquet was Mr. Toyota. (Yes, there is such a man.) The city is named after his family … his family is responsible for the company. He is a third generation car man, about 73 years old.
If I were asked to speak in English at such a banquet it would have been nerve-wracking enough, but doing it in JAPANESE?!! What was I thinking??
I was supposed to speak after the meal but I could barely eat anything at all because I was so nervous. So instead of eating, I decided to drink the wine. On an empty stomach. Not my best decision.
If you know me well, you know that I’m a cheap drunk. Two, maybe, three beers, and that’s about it. Yes, I know, I drink like a teenaged girl. Whatever. I’ve heard it all before.
The glass of wine I drank not only settled my nerves, but probably made my Japanese a little comical. Hopefully the jokes I had in my speech would work better this way. Or perhaps not.
The program began. My part came. I gave my speech. Everyone laughed at the right times. I got applause. I sat down. I nearly passed out. People came up to me afterwards and were very very nice. “Oh, Tony-san, your Japanese is so … so … interesting.” they said with a smile.
The most important thing that happened that night wasn’t anything about what I’ve just told you. That was just the back story.
No, the most important thing that happened that night was when I was standing back stage waiting for my turn in the program. While the MC was conducting other parts of the program, giving out awards and whatnot, I was back stage with others who would have a part in the program too. Including Mr. and Mrs. Toyota!
I was standing off to one side by myself, reading over my speech, trying to prepare myself, when THEY came over to ME! Oh lord! Mr. and Mrs. Toyota!!! Mr. Toyota’s personal assistant led the way and proceeded to make the introductions. OMG! I was trying to be as inconspicuous as possible and not call any attention to myself and now the most important people in the building were coming over to me. They were the preeminent picture of Japanese grace and elegance.
Introductions in Japan are extremely important and very complicated. Who is introduced first? Who bows first? Who bows lowest? How many times do we bow? Who quits bowing first? Who looks at whom? Who hands their business card first? What is the proper way to receive the business card? How long do you look at the business card before putting it away? How do I properly put the card away? And on and on it goes. It’s very choreographed, rooted in Japanese culture and tradition, and based on an understanding of who is considered the “superior” and who is considered the “inferior.”
There was no question as to who the inferior was in this case.
I somehow managed to survive this minefield of cultural exchanges and introductions without sounding like a buffoon and without embarrassing myself. And then there we were … standing around making small talk. Mr. and Mrs. Toyota were asking ME questions about myself!?? They asked the usual kinds of questions that most Japanese would ask me. Where are you from? What do you do? Do you miss America? Why did you choose to come to Japan? Do you realize that your nose is enormous? Stuff like that. (By the way, big noses are considered attractive there!)
And then this happened.
We were just chatting along casually when I mentioned, very off the cuff and without any agenda whatsoever and just trying to make conversation, that my nephew owned a Toyota truck. When I said that, both of them, Mr. and Mrs. Toyota … the head of Toyota Motor Corporation and his wife … bowed to me … low … low … low … and remained bowed … and said, while bowing, in the most formal and polite Japanese, “Thank you very very much, most Honorable Mr. Ludlow, sir, for your most honorable family’s support of our most unworthy company and for your most honorable trust in our most inferior products.”
Wait. What? What just happened?
Didn’t they know my family is from Arkansas? That my nephew hauls around deer carcasses in the back of his Toyota truck? That the car that brought them to the banquet cost more than the house I grew up in? That the personal assistant standing in front of me makes more in a year than my father made in a decade?
And the three of them — the assistant and Mr. & Mrs. Toyota — remained bowed for so long that I was embarrassed. People were staring. Those back stage saw the head of their company and his wife honoring me as if I were the most important person at the banquet. The fact was, THEY were the most important people at that banquet! And as the head of one of the most respected companies in the world, Mr. Toyota was one of the most important people in the world! And the treatment they gave me was the kind of thing the lowest worker on the Toyota assembly line would show to them! The honor they gave me was so embarrassingly respectful that I returned their bow to them and then started begging them, in whispered and respectful Japanese, to please stop, that I was unworthy of such an honor.
When we finally stood up straight, I had tears in my eyes. I’d never been treated that way in my life. I didn’t know what to say or do.
I’ve never forgotten the lesson they taught me that night. Never have I seen such class and elegance … such humility and kindness … all extended to an average guy from Fort Smith, Arkansas … from one of the most powerful men in the world.
Ask me how everyone treated me the rest of the night.
When I returned to my seat from giving my speech, and it was evident that I hadn’t had a chance to eat before hand, and that my food was now cold, two waiters came quickly and brought me hot food. One of them stood just a few feet away from me for the rest of the evening to ensure that I was completely taken care of. I was entirely and completely humbled and embarrassed by the preferential treatment I was shown.
What was I taught that night?
Mr. and Mrs. Toyota taught me that everyone is important. Everyone matters.
Everyone is important. Everyone matters.
That’s why I remember your name.
Let me take this opportunity to tell you, those who come to Boot Camp, who make this program possible by your support, who have stood by me through thick and thin, who have been more friend than client — and even to you who are in your very first month of Boot Camp — thank you … thank you so very very much for your honorable trust in my meager and inferior efforts to serve you. I will continue to work hard for you and will, to the best of my ability, abuse you with enthusiasm and humiliate you — most honorable Boot Campers — with humor and great affection!
— 30 —
HALF MARATHON TRAINING — STAND-BY
We’ll be at Shelby Farms at 7am, but the day looks like Saturday at this point. The weather report shows 40% rain on Saturday, but 60% on Sunday.
TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by Sergeant Ashley Hofeditz, 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 Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D is essential for strong bones and is an important factor in making sure your muscles, heart, lungs and brain work well and that your body can fight infection.
Could you be deficient in Vitamin D? Ask yourself these questions to find out:
1. Do I get at least 15-30 minutes a day of sunlight on your bare arms and legs?
2. Do I take a multivitamin or Vitamin D supplement?
3. Do I have fair or light colored skin?
4. Am I under 60 years of age?
5. Am I at a healthy weight (not overweight or obese)
If you answered NO to one or more of these questions, you may be at risk for or have Vitamin D deficiency.
Your body actually makes its own vitamin D from sunlight and is usually able to get all the vitamin D it needs if you regularly expose enough bare skin to the sun. However, many people don’t get enough sunlight because they aren’t out in the sun, or they use sunscreen, or they work nights. During the winter months, it is even harder to get enough Vitamin D from the sun since we are all bundled up when we are outside
There are some foods that contain small amounts of Vitamin D such as fatty fish, egg yolks, milk and fortified cereals, but it is very difficult to get enough vitamin D from the foods you eat alone. Therefore, Vitamin D supplementation is often needed for good health.
The darker your skin the more sun you need to get the same amount of vitamin D as a fair-skinned person. The pigment melanin reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D in response to sunlight exposure For this reason, if you have darker skin, you are more likely to have vitamin D deficiency that someone who has pale skin.
As you get older your kidneys are less able to convert vitamin D to its active form, thus increasing their risk of vitamin D deficiency.
The more overweight you are, the more likely you are to be Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D is extracted from the blood by fat cell, so the more fat cells you have, the less Vitamin D you will have circulating in your bloodstream.
The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency are sometimes vague and can include tiredness and general aches and pains and even frequent infections. Some people may not have any symptoms at all.
If you think you may have vitamin D deficiency, you should see your physician, or have a blood test to check your vitamin D levels.
If you are deficient in Vitamin D and getting out in the sun is not an option for you due to the weather or other issues, you should consider taking a Vitamin D supplement.
How much vitamin D do I need to take?
Recommended daily intakes from various organizations:
Vitamin D Council
Food and Nutrition Board
1,000 IU/day per 25lbs of body weight
600 IU/day, 800 IU/day for seniors
According to the Vitamin D Council, adults should take 5,000 IU/day up to the safe upper limit of 10.000 IU a day.
While these amounts seem like a lot, it is important to note that keep in mind that your body can produce 10,000 to 25,000 IUs of vitamin D after a little bit of full body sun exposure. Vitamin D toxicity, where vitamin D can be harmful, usually happens if you take 40,000 IU a day for a couple of months or longer.
BOGA for all tomorrow, Thursday 14 November!
GAME DAY T-SHIRTS
Every Friday during football season is game day t-shirt day! Wear your alma mater’s colors and paraphernalia on Fridays. If your school doesn’t have a football team or you didn’t make it to college, feel free to adopt any school you like!
WE HAVE OVER 3000 LIKES ON FACEBOOK!
Invite your friends to “like” our USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP Facebook page. You can do that directly from our boot camp page. Just go to the page and you’ll see a section on the right that will allow you to easily invite your friends to like the page. In particular, your Memphis friends!
This may be the first seed to sow in helping a friend get back into exercise and fitness! They can get exposed to what goes on, they’ll be more likely to make a change and maybe even join you on The Quarterdeck!
Encourage your friends and family to “Like” the page! It might motivate your friends and family to take charge of their lives!
Keep on checking in! Keep on tagging your friends!
DID YOU START USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP IN AUGUST, SEPTEMBER, OCTOBER , OR NOVEMBER 2012 OR EARLIER AND DON’T HAVE YOUR T-SHIRT?
I am asking you veterans to fill out a card – I have them – with your name, number of years of service, and preferred t-shirt size!
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 KICKASS OR NOT!
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 IS T-SHIRT DAY!
WEAR YOUR RANK INSIGNIA SHIRT, SUB 7 SHIRT, OR OTHER USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP SHIRT!
SUB SEVEN CLUB!
Members of the Sub-7 Club are Boot Campers who’ve run the mile in under 7 minutes under my observation and timing.
Congratulations to the following members of the Sub Seven Club:
Corporal Lee Chase,
Corporal Chris McLelland,
Staff Sergeant Patrick Moore,
Staff Sergeant Rob Johnston,
Staff Sergeant Andrew Stolnicki,
Gunnery Sergeant Bart Thomas,
Staff Sergeant Dory Sellers,
Gunnery Sergeant Henry Kenworthy,
Master Sergeant John Winford,
First Sergeant Matt Green,
And Sergeant Major Andrew Forsdick.
VETERAN BOOT CAMPERS!
Your rank insignia t-shirts look AWESOME on you! (Don’t forget to wear yours EVERY WEDNESDAY AND/OR THURSDAY, T-SHIRT DAY!
Every Wednesday is our Official BOOT CAMP T-SHIRT DAY! You can wear your rank insignia shirt anytime you‘d like, of course, but always every Wednesday!
The Rank Structure of the Quarterdeck:
Under 6 months is a Private
Six months to 1 year is a Private First Class.
Over 1 year is a Lance Corporal
- Morgan Johnson 10/2012
- ShaWanda Upshaw 10/2012
- Tara Ingram 11/2012
- Pam Torres – meritoriously promoted 12/2012
- Rachel Phillips 2/2012
- Teresa Reed 2/2012
- Alan Compton 4/2012
- Natalie Mannon 5/2012
- Steve Havard 5/2012
- Emma Crystal 5/2012
- Megan Collins 6/2012
- Maria Wyatt 6/2012
- Beth Stengel 2/2012
- Chris Kelley 6/2102
- Susye Clark 7/2012
- Victoria Tigrett 8/2012
- Crystal Bloodworth 8/2012
- Lora Gubanov 8/2012
- Shelia Johnson 8/2012
Over 2 years is a Corporal
- Paul Bauer 11/2010
- Jeremy Harris 1/2009*
- Courtney Phillips 2/2011
- Robin Scott 3/2011
- Chris McLelland 3/2011
- JD Dombroski 4/2011
- Randal Rhea 4/2011
- Cindy King 4/2011
- Sherri Thompson 4/2011
- Becky Lawler 5/2010*
- Carrie Schule 5/2011
- Bevan Lee 5/2011
- Melissa Thompson 5/2011
- Michelle Moss 5/2011
- Mary Bauer 6/2011
- Lee Chase 7/2011
- Tait Keller 8/2011
- Heath Anderson 9/2011
- Lindsey Stanfill 9/2011
Over 3 years is a Sergeant
- Cameron Mosley 11/2009
- Karen Massey 11/2009
- Cecelia DeLacy 2/2010
- Malinda Miller 3/2010
- Ashley Hofeditz 4/2010
- Beth Mills 5/2010
- Emily Melonas 6/2010
- Keith Renard 6/2009*
- Ashley McClure 7/2010
- Falana Scott 7/2010
- Jenni Harris 8/2010
- Anne Marie Wyatt 8/2010
- Tim Romanow 8/2010
Over 4 years is a Staff Sergeant
- Jonathan Phillips 10/2008
- Scott Plunkett 10/2008
- Shena Clemons 10/2008
- Jessie Flanders 1/2009
- Andrew Stolnicki 1/2009
- Ben Killerlain 1/2009
- Paul Tronsor 3/2009
- Teresa Faulk 6/2009
- Sarah Vickers 8/2009
- Robert Hunt 8/2009
Over 5 years is a Gunnery Sergeant
- George Rose 10/2007
- Frank Jemison 10/2007
- Patty Dougherty 3/2008
- Oscar Adams 3/2008
- Patty Dougherty 3/2008
- Rob Johnston 4/2008
- Alan Schaeffer 4/2008
- Buddy Daves 5/2008
- Mike Ryan 5/2006*
- Dory Sellers 6/2006*
- Albo Carruthers 8/2008
- Anne Kenworthy 8/2008
- Patrick Moore 9/2008
Over 6 years is a Master Sergeant
- Kay Ryan 10/2006
- Jeff Lee 1/2006
- Anne Mead 2/2005*
- Michelle Dunn 3/2007
- Henry Kenworthy 5/2007
- Leslie Garey 6/2007
- Beth Rehrig 7/2007
- Matt Prince 8/2007
Over 7 years is a First Sergeant
- Gary Thompson 10/2005
- Scot Bearup 10/2005
- Kay Shelton 1/2006
- Leesa Jensen 5/2006
- Megan Warr 8/2006
- Rob Norcross 8/2006
- Ralph Braden 9/2006
Over 8 years is a Sergeant Major
- Melissa Moore 2/2005
- Louis Glazer 3/2005
- Matt Green 5/2005
- Mike Barta 6/2005*
- Anne Emmerth 6/2005*
Over 9 years is a Warrant Officer 1
- David Townsend 1/2004
- Hank Brown 3/2004
- Andrew Forsdick 9/2004
Over 10 years is a Chief Warrant Officer 2
- Pat McGhee 1/2003
- John Whittemore 1/2003
- Peter Pettit 5/2003
- Buddy Flinn 7/2003
- Amy Singer 9/2003
Battalion Executive Officer
Major Richard Bourland
* broken time
ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?
We should be!
HAVE YOU “LIKED” THE USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP FACEBOOK PAGE?
You should totally do that!
NEW BOOT CAMP DISCOUNT
If you set up an automatic payment at your bank (Boot Camp mailing address is 4888 Southern, Memphis 38117) you can subtract $10 off your fee! That’s right, instead of $75, you can pay $65!
(This is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you yourself set up.)
USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES – NEW STUFF!
0530 Monday through Friday
(First and second Tuesday of the month are M-16 Workouts at CUMC. Third and fourth Tuesdays are Mt. Fuji Workouts at the U of M)
5:45 PM: Monday through Thursday, 5:30 on Friday.
BOOT CAMP DISCOUNTS AND FACEBOOK EXPERIMENT!
First of all, find me on Facebook and make me your friend. (Also, be sure to “like” USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP on Facebook.)
Here’s how the discount works!
It’s simple: make a Facebook status update and get a discount!
For every status update that you make that references:
“USMC Fitness Boot Camp,”
“Sgt. Tony’s Boot Camp,”
“Tony’s Boot Camp,”
or something similar, (there are fake boot camps out there) you can take $2.50 off your next reenlistment fee for each update!
You can take up to $20 off for any given month!
Your status update has to be a specific reference to USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP or to me specifically by name.
BE SURE TO TAG ME!
You can do the same thing by “checking in” at USMC Fitness Boot Camp either by using Facebook “places,” Foursquare, or any of the other “check in” apps that show up on your Facebook News Feed.
So log on and start getting your discounts now!
A calendar has been added to the official USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP website.
For you visual learners, you’ll find this an easy way to glance at the week or month and see where the workouts will be, if there’s a venue change.
Q. How can I get up in the morning on a consistent basis?
A. Contrary to what many think, I am NOT a morning person. I have to be “dynamited” out of the bed! Here are some tips to help you get going in the morning:
1. Use two alarm clocks. I have a snooze alarm that starts going off several minutes before I intend to get up. Then I have a “Last Call” alarm clock that is located across the room. This alarm clock is set to go off when I MUST get up.
2. Once the last call alarm goes off, the bed become OFF LIMITS! Get moving!
3. Get out of bed, turn off the alarm clock, and start turning on lights all through the house. Turn on the TV.
4. Lay out your clothes the night before. Don’t go wandering around the house in the morning trying to find your left shoe and your favorite shorts. So, have things ready the night before.
What would you do if money was not an issue, fear was not a factor, and failure was not an option?
To your optimum health and fitness!
SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!
Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Mailing address: 4888 Southern Ave., Memphis, TN 38117
Cell Phone: 901-644-0145