Sergeant Tony's Blog

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Two Hundred and Forty-two Years!

Nov. 10th 2017

His statement hung in the air for what seemed like a very very long time.

It was the most profound challenge I’d been given and my response to it changed the course of my life.

“Your country has provided you with 18 years of freedom, opportunity, security, and happiness … now it’s time to give something back. Serve. Join the Marine Corps or the Peace Corps, but find a way to serve your country and your fellow man.”

I joined the Marine Corps, since the Peace Corps didn’t have cool uniforms.

Of course, the decision was a little more complicated than that.

Today is the 242th birthday of my beloved Corps. And like all good birthday celebrations, cake is involved.

Every Marine Corps unit across the globe will celebrate the birth of Our Corps in very similar ways. There’ll be the parties and the revelry. There’ll be the formal Marine Corps Balls with everyone wearing their dress uniforms. It’s a fun mix of activities meant to pay honor to the birth of the Marine Corps on November 10, 1775, and to give special remembrance to the exploits of Marines throughout our 238 year history.

There’s a special ceremony connected to the cutting and eating of the birthday cake at the Ball. The first two pieces of the cake, cut with a Marine Corps sword, go to the youngest and the oldest Marine present in that unit. After that, everyone gets some.

My first Marine Corps birthday occurred while I was a Marine recruit in boot camp at Parris Island, SC. There was no Ball for us, far from it. But with the evening meal that day, each of us received a piece of Marine Corps birthday cake on our trays.

We filed through the chow line and quickly took our places at our long tables where the entire platoon waited for our Drill Instructor to give the command “trays … DOWN!” (All trays would come down at the exact same moment on the table so that there would only be the sound of ONE tray being placed on the table.) Then the Drill Instructor would give the command “SEATS!” (There would be the sound of only ONE butt hitting the bench as everyone sat down at exactly the same instant and froze in position.) And then the command, “ATTACK!” – meaning “EAT!”

As I stood there at attention, waiting for the command to sit, I stole a glance at my piece of Marine Corps birthday cake as it sat on my tray looking up at me. It looked delicious. And since we hadn’t had any sweets in a very long time, that piece of cake looked especially yummy!

But instead of the command “SEATS!” … the Drill Instructor yelled:
“PICK UP THE BIRTHDAY CAKE!
PICK IT UP WITH YOUR NASTY, PATHETIC, WORTHLESS HANDS!
PICK IT UP!!! NOW, GO THROW IT AWAY!!! … NOW!!!!”

What?? You’ve GOT to be joking!

By this time, Platoon 398 was a well oiled machine, instantly and willingly giving obedience to all orders.

Without hesitation, each of us picked up our piece of cake and went directly to the big metal garbage can in the mess hall and threw our cake into it.

So sad. Such a waste. I hated Senior Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Warren, one of our four DI’s. He was the one who ordered us to throw our cake away.

We quickly returned to our tables and stood in front of our trays, the empty spot on the tray where our cake had been, reminding us of our loss. We waited for the command to sit. But instead, the Senior Drill Instructor began to lecture us.

“Yew filthy pukes think you deserve a piece of cake honoring the birthday of MY BELOVED CORPS?? DO YOU??? (It was rhetorical, we didn’t say a word.)

You worthless excuses for humanity aren’t MARINES! You’re not even worthy to say the name of MY BELOVED CORPS! You don’t rate anything honoring MY BELOVED CORPS! Many of you will NEVER become Marines in MY BELOVED CORPS, I promise you this!! … I promise you that I will continue to weed out you pathetic little parasites and send as many of you back to your mommas as I can! You little spoiled, over indulged, self-esteem seeking pieces of sh!t! But you’ll NEVER BE A MARINE! DO YOU HEAR ME??

And know this … KNOW THIS … I will make it my solemn duty to make every single second that you’re on my BELOVED ISLAND the most horrifying, god-forsaking, painful experiences of your worthless existence! Not ONE of you pukes, NOT ONE … will ever earn the title of Marine until I’m satisfied that you’re worthy! Until I’m satisfied that you deserve to go into combat as a Marine with me, I’ll not give even ONE of you worthless pieces of excrement an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor–the emblem of MY MARINE CORPS–unless I’m satisfied that I can trust you assholes with my life in combat.

And until then, UNTIL THEN … me and my fellow Drill Instructors will treat you like the dishonorable slimy civilian refuse that you are! If there are only two of you miserable pieces of human waste left when we’re done, that’ll suit me just fine!”

By this time, my platoon, which had started with 80 recruits, was down to about 45.

When I was finally allowed to sit down, I’d lost my appetite.

When our training was complete, Platoon 398 graduated only 32 of the initial 80. Only 32 of us earned the title “Marine.”

At my graduation ceremony, I remember the Commanding Officer of Third Battalion say to us: “Today, you are Marines. From this day forward until the day that you die, you will be a Marine. No matter where you go in life, no matter what you may accomplish in life, you will always be a Marine. You now stand on the shoulders of all of those brave Marines who have preceded you. You will carry the legacy and the responsibility of that legacy forward with you for the rest of your life. Never forget that. Never forget that Marines at rest in their graves this day are depending on you to carry the title of Marine forward with honor, courage, and integrity.”

I have never forgotten that charge.

Rest easy, America, your Marine Corps has your back!

Happy 242th birthday to MY BELOVED CORPS and to my fellow Marines!

Semper Fidelis!

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Gibbs is Wrong — Sgt. Tony’s blog post for 9/21/2017

Sep. 21st 2017

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Like cat videos, tattoo fails are all over social media. Misspelled words, horrible “portraits” that bear no resemblance to the actual person are comical. Then there are the tattoos of random words, goofy inspirational phrases (some with conflicting ideologies), and all those barbed wire and tribal decorations. My favorites might be the ones with unreadable Chinese/Japanese symbols or kanji characters that don’t mean anything remotely close to what the tattooed person thinks they mean.

But the tattoo that says “No regerts” is priceless and ironic.

Why no regerts?

One of Frank Sinatra’s signature songs, “My Way,” contains this famous line: “Regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention.” (I bet you just read that in Frank’s voice!) Apparently, having regrets must be a sign of weakness or an admission of failure. And these days, everyone must look strong and infallible.

The problem is, we ARE fallible. It’s the narcissist who thinks otherwise.

The movie “Love Story,” based on the novel of the same name by Erich Segal, had a famous line that is simply NOT true: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Balderdash! Love most certainly means having to say you’re sorry. (We all probably have that one friend or acquaintance who never apologizes.) Even the fictional character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs of “NCIS,” says that saying you’re sorry is a sign of weakness. Nope. You’re wrong about that Special Agent Gibbs.

Here’s the thing, every single day I end it with some form of regret. Every. Single. Day. Along with counting my blessings every day and having a spirit of gratitude, I must also take note of my shortcomings. How can I get better if I don’t? How can I be the best version of myself tomorrow, if I take no notice of my missteps today?

What kind of regrets?

Failures in time management. Wasting time. Not using my time profitably or wisely. Allowing myself to be distracted. Procrastination.

Then there are the multitude of failures in conversation. Did I need to say that? Did I need to say that at that moment? Did I miss out on an opportunity to be kind, encouraging, friendly, cheerful, winsome? What about my tone of voice? Was my tone positive and uplifting? Was I rude or disrespectful? Was I judgmental? Impatient? Arrogant? Petty? Was I condescending? Did I speak to others with compassion? Did I commit any of those regrettable things online? Did I use social media well?

What about my failures in conduct? Did I lose my temper in traffic? Did I assume the worst in that person who cut me off? Did I show anger to the person going 20 MPH when the speed limit is 45? Was I unfriendly to the person at the grocery store? Did I give others the benefit of the doubt? Did I interpret the actions of others in the most respectful way possible?

If I don’t reflect on my regrets, if I don’t spend some time in examining my conduct and conversation, how will I improve as a person? As a man?

Tomorrow I will do better. And if I must make restitution or ask for forgiveness, I’ll do that too … because I have regrets. And that’s okay, because tomorrow, as Scarlett said, is another day.

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DO YOU USE VENMO?

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by First Sergeant 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.” You could follow the nutrition advice of some Facebook friend of a friend … or you could follow the advice of a scientist.)

Ashley recommends that you read this excellent article from the New York Times.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html

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

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

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EVERY WEDNESDAY IS T-SHIRT DAY!

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

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Have a GREAT Thursday!
Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

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Protected: Buffalo Runners 2017 Half Marathon Training Guide

Sep. 2nd 2017

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What is the name? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow’s blog for 9/2/2017

Sep. 2nd 2017

A few years ago, I was the speaker at Memphis University School’s weekly assembly. I am not an alum of MUS. I was asked to speak because I come cheap. Or something like that. Maybe because I am the father of three grown adults? Maybe because I was a high school coach? Maybe because I was not a felon? Whatever the reason, they asked, and I spoke.

During my talk, I told the story of marching my three kids (between the ages of 8 and 13 at the time) into our kitchen. In the sink, there were three “dirty” cereal bowls, three spoons that had been used for the Cap’n Crunch, and three cups with milk rings. On the counter, there was an open cereal box, an open loaf of bread, an open container of butter, a “used” butter knife, and enough bread crumbs to make a park pigeon happy. The three unsuspecting messy kids were happily watching a video before I pushed the pause button on the remote and escorted them into the kitchen.

“What do you see in the sink?” I asked.
The guilty looked but said nothing.
I asked the question again.
“Dishes,” said the oldest one.
Head nods in agreement from the other two culprits.
“Whose dishes?” I asked.
Cricket noises.
I asked the question again.
“’Our’ dishes,” answered the oldest offender.
Head nods in agreement from his co-accomplices.
“Tell me the name of the person you expected to clean up your mess and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher?” I asked.
The three plaintiffs nervously shuffled their feet, looking down at the floor.
I waited.
“C’mon, what’s that person’s name?” I said.
No answer.
At last, the oldest conspirator got the point. He explained it to his fellow violators. They went to work cleaning up their messes. I never had that conversation with them again. All I had to do was ask, “What is the name …”

To the young men at MUS, eager to be free and independent of their parent’s confinement, I explained how personal responsibility is an attribute of adult behavior learned early in life. When your parents see you being responsible in small things, I said, they will be eager to give you freedoms and responsibility in bigger things. Ultimately, they want you to leave their house and lead your own life, independent and responsible. They want to see you doing things for yourself.

(I wonder what kind of adults helicopter parents think their children—pampered, protected, problem free, and privileged—will be?)

Of course, the accumulation of years does not mean a person is responsible. I know a woman in her early 50s who is in between husbands #7 and #8. She cannot do anything for herself and she cannot be alone. She has to be taken care of.

There are plenty of men who are equally inept at managing their own lives. In fact, joking about men unable to get their s—t together is a thing in our culture. When I returned from 10 years in Japan, there were a number of television shows that were of the “Yes, Dear” variety. Shows where the hero, or in these cases the heroines, were the inept guys’ wives or girlfriends. The men were more like children than men. Big doofuses. “King of Queens,” “Everybody Loves Raymond,” and “Friends” had a cast of unremarkable men doing stupid stuff.

What happened to men while I was gone, I wondered.

It is not just on television. I met a lady at a faculty party when I was teaching and as we were chatting she learned that I was single. “Well, who takes care of you?” she asked. My answer, “I take care of me” seemed to confound and amuse her. “God doesn’t want you single,” she said, “you need a woman.” Then it was my turn to be confounded and amused.

That day in the kitchen with my children has played over and over in my mind since then when I have asked myself “What is the name of the person who must do this?” I am reminded in that moment that I am responsible for me. No one is coming over to make decisions for me, nor do I want them to. I broke up with a woman many years ago who turned out to be pretty bossy. After telling her repeatedly that, according to my resume, I had managed to accomplish things in my life without her and that I needed neither a mother nor a project manager, I broke up with her. Her response was classic: “Tony, you’re obviously making a huge mistake and you need to reconsider your actions.” “Nope. I’m good,” I said. These days, she is married to some poor schmuck. Every once in a while, I see her and her husband out and about … I always say a silent prayer for him. Then again … maybe he is the kind of man who needs a boss and a project manager.

I am responsible for me. I am responsible for my perspectives of the world. I am responsible for my attitude and my happiness. I am responsible for my failures and accomplishments. And whenever I am in doubt, or stuck, or procrastination is keeping me from progress, taking action, or making a decision, I ask myself, “What is the name of the person who is going to move you forward?” That person’s name is always my name.

And the same is true of you.

As the rabbinic sage, Hillel the Elder, famously said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?”

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” ~ Carol Burnett

What is the name of the person who is going to change your life?

–30–
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The weather tomorrow looks a little iffy for Cardio!
If it rains, we’ll do BOGA in the gym instead!

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ARE YOU UP FOR PROMOTION?

ARE YOU DUE FOR PROMOTION?

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

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ALL HAIL THE BUFFALOES!

The Buffalo Runners are running! Half marathon training begins this weekend!

We’ll meet at 7am on the southeast-side of the Visitor’s Center at Shelby Farms. (That would be the area in between the bicycle rental shop and the Visitor’s Center.)

We’ll be running 1hr 10min on Saturday, using the run/walk program made popular by top marathon coaches across the country.
IF it’s raining Saturday morning, we’ll switch to Sunday morning. I’ll post on the Buffalo Runner’s Facebook page. “Like” that page now if you haven’t already. If you’re still not sure, you can text me at 901-644-0145.

ALL ARE WELCOME! The cost for the 3 months of training is $75 for active duty boot campers and $125 for inactive boot campers and “friends of boot camp.”

SEE YOU SATURDAY!!

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No BOOT CAMP on Labor Day! Enjoy your holiday and I’ll see you on Tuesday! The 5:30am class will be at St. Mary’s on Tuesday morning, September 5th.

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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!

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by First Sergeant 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.”)

Processed Foods: What’s OK, What to Avoid
by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org)

Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It’s blamed for our nation’s obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes. But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and drive-thru hamburgers. It may be a surprise to learn that whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple are also processed foods.

While some processed foods should be consumed with caution, many actually have a place in a balanced diet. Here’s how to sort the nutritious from the not-so-nutritious.
What Is Processed Food?

“We have to determine what processed really means when we’re talking about processed food,” says Andrea Giancoli, MPH, RD, past spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. For example, Giancoli considers white bread refined since most of the healthy fiber has been removed during the processing. “It’s also processed, but keep in mind, that as a cook you’re doing processing yourself. Have you ever heard of something called a food processor? I think we get really caught up in the word processed without realizing what it truly means.”

Processed food falls on a spectrum from minimally to heavily processed:

* Minimally processed foods — such as bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.
* Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned beans, tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.
* Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
* Ready-to-eat foods — such as crackers, granola and deli meat — are more heavily processed.
* The most heavily processed foods often are frozen or pre-made meals including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.

The Positives of Processed

Processed food can be beneficial to your diet. Milk and juices are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Canned fruit (packed in water or its own juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is not available. Some minimally processed food such as pre-cut vegetables are quality convenience foods for busy people.

“Bagged vegetables and salads are helping people eat more vegetables,” says Giancoli. “They’re more expensive, but if your choice is between paying less and chopping it when you know you’re not going to do that, and paying a little more for the bagged vegetable you know you’re going to eat, the [bagged vegetable] is a better choice.”

“You have to look at the big picture,” says Giancoli. “Be a detective — read the ingredients list and review the nutrition facts panel. Food is complex and we need to get to know it.”
Look for Hidden Sugar, Sodium and Fat

Eating processed food in moderation is fine, but consumers should be on the lookout for hidden sugar, sodium and fat.

Sugar
“We have tons of added sugars in our food supply,” says Giancoli. “We think that just because a product says ‘organic’ or ‘natural,’ that means it’s better and healthier for us, but that’s not always the case … whether [a product] has added high-fructose corn syrup or natural cane sugar, we need to be wary of both.”

Sugar isn’t just hidden in processed sweets. It’s added to bread to give it an appealing browned hue, and there’s often a surprising amount added to jarred pasta sauces and cereal. The number of carbohydrates on the nutrition label also includes naturally occurring sugars which may be a significant amount in foods such as yogurt and fruit. Instead, review a product’s ingredients list and look for added sugars among the first two or three ingredients including sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate.

Sodium
Most canned vegetables, soups and sauces have added sodium, which enhances taste and texture and acts as a preservative. We need some sodium, but we often consume much more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation of less than 2,300 milligrams a day.

Surprisingly, a heavy hand with table salt may not be to blame for our overconsumption of sodium. “Three quarters of our sodium intake comes from processed foods,” says Giancoli. “Only 20 or 25 percent of it comes from salting our food. The salt shaker is not the major problem.”

Canned vegetables, soups and beans can be packed with nutrients, so don’t cross them off your shopping list entirely. Instead, look for reduced or low sodium on labels. “Buy products light in sodium, and then sprinkle a little bit of salt on top if you need it,” suggests Giancoli. “You’re still going to get a lot less sodium than if you bought the regular product.” Also, always rinse canned beans and vegetables — this simple step reduces sodium content by about 40 percent.

Fats
Added fat helps make food shelf-stable and gives it body. Trans fats — which raise our bad cholesterol while lowering our good — are on the decline in processed foods, but you should still read food labels. According to the FDA, a product can still claim it has zero trans fats if each serving has less than half a gram of the fat.

“If [a product] has a really small serving size and you’re eating three or four servings, [trans fats] add up,” says Giancoli. “Even if a product says it has zero trans fat, check the ingredients list. If it contains partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, then it’s going to have to have some amount of trans fat in it.”

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

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

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

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The Goodbye Girl — Sgt. Tony’s blog post for 8/23/2017

Aug. 23rd 2017

She regularly left fruit at my apartment door. She never knocked or rang my doorbell. She just left the little bag and disappeared.

For a long time, I didn’t even know it was a “she” leaving the fruit. I had no idea who was doing it, nor why.

It wasn’t until I inadvertently caught her about to leave the plastic bag of fruit at my door that I discovered who it was. I was on my way to an appointment and had just run home for a quick bite to eat. My car wasn’t there — I’d taken the subway home — so she thought I wasn’t there. When I opened the door to leave, I was as shocked as she was when we stood there face to face, her with the familiar bag of fruit in her hands and me with a puzzled look on my American face.

She was noticeably embarrassed and now the mystery of several months was over.

For almost a year she’d been anonymously leaving seasonal fruit at my door. She had hoped to keep it a secret. Thing is, I knew her very well from my neighborhood and had spoken to her at least once a week for over a year. She never said anything about the fruit.

Of course, I started out by apologizing for startling her. That only seemed to embarrass her more. I tried to make her feel more at ease by thanking her for all of the food she’d given me. But that didn’t seem to help. So, I did the only other thing I could think of. I asked her why.

I expected an explanation that was easy and reasonable, maybe just wanting to be neighborly and kind, I thought. Nothing more.

Instead, she started telling me a story that began 50 years earlier, when she was just a girl of 18 or 19. Growing up in the south of Japan in a small city called Chiran, the concern, she said, was that the second world war would soon move from Okinawa to the mainland of Japan as Allied forces, mostly Marines, island hopped across the Pacific. The small town of Chiran, a town I’d never heard of, was at the southernmost part of the mainland and would surely become an invasion point.

“Obaachan” was the name I called her, which is really just a nickname Japanese children give their grandmother, kind of like “Nanna,” and what she insisted I call her. I only called her Isaji-san (Mrs. Isaji) once or twice in the beginning, before she asked that I call her Obaachan. I liked calling her that. I was happy to have a Japanese Meemaw since I never knew my own.

Chiran, she told me, was only mildly famous for one thing. It had been the location of one of the last Kamikaze training bases during WWII. And with Allied forces preparing to invade mainland Japan, many more young men were arriving in Chiran to receive their training before flying off to their deaths to save the Empire from the invading foreign horde of white demons. The young men arriving kept getting younger and younger, hardly more than boys, she said. But in all of Japanese history, the mainland had never been successfully invaded and this generation of Japanese was not going to fail in their duty. They would repel the invaders; they would sink their ships; they would hurl them back into the sea.

Obaachan could see the look on my face and realized that I was having trouble making the connection of bags of fruit at my door to her girlhood home in the south of Japan.

“My brother,” she continued, “was two years younger, and had decided to become Kamikaze. He had seen other older boys march off to become soldiers and he was full of zeal to join them. My sister and I had already been serving as ‘goodbye girls,’ (nadeshiko). We gave the Kamikaze their final farewell at the airfield. We bowed and waved and bowed and waved as the boy pilots taxied their planes and took off into nothingness.

“We waved and waved until we could not see them anymore. Why did we have to endure such sorrow, I wondered?

“In July of 1945, we said goodbye to my brother. Then the rest of my family and I went north to a small village in central Japan to live with other family members. We thought it might be safer there. We braced for the invasion. But during that time little brother stayed in Chiran to became Kamikaze. It was the most horrible of horrible things. Our little brother, lost to us forever. The sadness was more than we could speak of.

“In August, the US dropped atomic bombs. The invasion that we anticipated never happened. My country surrendered. The war was over. All was lost and the country was burned, beaten, and starving. But soon American GIs filled the streets all throughout Japan. They were not the white devils and foreign demons we were told. They were kind and generous. The Americans brought food and supplies. On their shoulders were our hopes and future. They saved our lives and our homeland.

“Soon we heard from my brother! It was a miracle! His Kamikaze mission was planned for August 7, 1945, but the first bomb fell the day before and all missions were immediately postponed. The military leaders met to decide what to do. After the second bomb, the decision was evident. Japan surrendered. My little brother’s life was spared!

“I am not bitter about the atomic bombs. They were terrible parts of a terrible war. Our government and our military leaders lied to us and led us into that shameful horror. The bombs prevented more death and destruction and saved my little brother’s life. And when the Americans arrived, they did not come as conquerors to enslave us, as our leaders had said they would. They came to help us rebuild our country. Without the Americans, my family would have starved to death. Without the bomb, my brother would have died for no reason.

“All of my life, I have wanted to repay the American kindness in some way. Over forty years passed and still I had no opportunity to say thank you. But then, my hopes were fulfilled! You moved into my neighborhood and became my American friend, my American grandson. You love Japan and you love the Japanese and your heart is tender and kind. So, I try to take care of you, Tony-san, because your country took care of me and my family. Every day I see you, I am reminded of these things and my heart is made whole.”

I wept.

— 30 —

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The weather tomorrow looks good for Cardio! Come and get your run, jog, and power walk on!

If it rains, we’ll do BOGA instead!

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by First Sergeant 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.”)

Q & A with the Registered Dietitian

Q:I like fruits and veggies, but dislike buying and eating fresh fruits and vegetables. All the produce I buy in Memphis spoils within 2 days and it usually takes me forever to eat. I end up throwing it all away, not purchasing at all, or I’m in the grocery store 4 times a week!

I do cook with frozen veggies, but I don’t eat canned fruits or veggies since I thought those were bad for you. I normally make smoothies with frozen fruit and spinach but I’ve grown tired of that. I am looking for something to mix it up. I keep reading that there are juices that have 100% of your daily value of fruits and vegetables. I would prefer a juice but also want to be conscious of how much sugar I would be adding to my diet. Do you have any suggestion for a juice alternative to eating fruits and veggies? Thank you!

A: What a great question! I completely understand about fresh fruits and veggies going bad before you have a chance to eat them. Actually, canned fruits and vegetables are very healthy for you, just like frozen and fresh are.

Canned and frozen fruits and veggies are packed at the peak of freshness. And often, canned vegetables are higher in nutrition than fresh, especially tomatoes. And there are plenty of no-added-salt canned vegetables to choose from too.

Regarding canned fruits, just choose those packed in juice, not in heavy syrup. This way you are not getting lots of extra added sugar. You can also substitute no-added-sugar dried fruits in place of fresh, but make sure to pay attention to the serving size, since it will be smaller since the fruits will shrink when dried.

I would recommend choosing canned, dried, and frozen fruits and veggies over juice for one main reason … you get more fiber. Nutritionally, I would recommend no more than 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of juice a day because juice is higher in calories and since it is a liquid it doesn’t seem to provide the same level of satiety that the whole fruit does. The type of juice you should choose if really based on your own preference, just choose the kind you would drink … orange, pineapple, mixed fruit, etc. But I would recommend one with 100% of the RDA for Vitamin C.

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BUFFALO RUNNERS OFFICIAL HALF MARATHON TRAINING TO BEGIN

The first weekend in September—hopefully that Saturday, weather permitting—will be the start of my 28th half marathon training group! This training is set up for those running the St. Jude Half Marathon in December, but anyone is welcome to participate.

Prerequisite: you should be able to cover 3 miles in 36 minutes or less. Our weekend long run is set up for 5 minutes running at an 11’30” pace, followed by a 1 minute walk break.

All are welcome, not just boot campers. However, the fee is less for active duty boot campers. It’s $75 for the 3-month training for boot campers and $120 for “friends of boot camp” and former active duty campers.

Group runs, training manual, nutrition advice, and constant consultation are only parts of the benefits of being a Buffalo Runner!

Location will be Shelby Farms. We’ll meet at 7am inbetween the bike rental and the Visitor’s Center. (That’s the same location as last year.)

The first run is FREE for those not sure.

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Running with Music!

If you run with music, for safety’s sake, turn the music down or use only one earbud, especially in a race. I use an excellent single earbud (XDU Noise Isolating Earbud) from Far End Gear http://farendgear.com/xdu/)

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MAKE A FACE!!!!

INCREASE YOUR WEIGHTS!

YOU GET OUT WHAT YOU PUT IN!

What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.

YOU DETERMINE WHETHER YOUR WORKOUT IS HALF-ASS OR KICKASS!

It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!

MAKING A FACE (THE GRIMACE) IS THE POOR MAN’S (OR WOMAN’S) FACELIFT!

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EVERY WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY ARE T-SHIRT DAY!

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

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Are you coming up on promotion? Let me know!

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!

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ARE WE FACEBOOK FRIENDS?

We should be!

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

You should totally do that!

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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!

(This is not in conjunction with other discounts and is not an automatic bank draft that I set up with a voided check. This an automatic payment that you yourself set up yourself with your bank usually online and easy as pie!)

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USMC FITNESS BOOT CAMP CLASSES

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

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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!

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

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

To your optimum health and fitness!

SEE YOU ON THE QUARTERDECK!

Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow

USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
Text: 901-644-0145

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


One Good Egg — 8/10/2017

Aug. 10th 2017

In the spring of my senior year of high school I lied to my mother and said I was camping with some buddies in the Ozark National Forest. What I actually did was drive two hours to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend my first concert. I knew mom would say “no” if I asked, so I just didn’t ask.

By the spring of my senior year in high school, I no longer thought of myself as a boy under my parent’s care. I was earning my own money. Bought my own car. Paid for my own gas and insurance. Bought my own clothes. Ate 90% of my meals out, paying with my own money. Gave money to my mom every Friday when I got paid to help ends meet at home. And on top of that, I’d already joined the Marine Corps. So, I decided it was time I got a little more independent.

The concert wasn’t a big time event at all. No stadium rock show. No laser lights. No drugs being passed around. No “wooohooo” drunk chicks riding piggy back on some dude’s shoulders. I couldn’t even convince any of my pals to go with me. So I drove to Tulsa by myself to see a little known guitar player named Leo Kottke.

On the stage with Leo was a plastic chair, two microphones, and two acoustic guitars leaning on stands. That was it. I’ve been in living rooms larger than the venue he was playing that night in Tulsa.

When the concert was supposed to begin, a guy came out on stage and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, Leo Kottke!” Then Leo walked out to the cheers of a couple hundred of us, picked up one of his guitars, sat down, and started to play.

I sat on the front row and learned to hate Leo Kottke.

Let me explain that. My envy bubbled up like hatred, but it was really just acute admiration and awe. Here’s why.

Sitting to my left were two pretty college girls. I really wanted to talk to them, but I was shy and though I’d convinced myself I wasn’t a high school boy any longer, they wouldn’t have known that. They were WOMEN! And if I’d lied and said I was in college too, their next question, no matter what it was, would have revealed that I was a phony.

But LEO talked to them.

While he played his 12 string guitar!

As his fingers flew flawlessly up and down the neck of his guitar, producing unbelievable music from the 12 string, he carried on a conversation with these two girls! As if he were two different people: the musician and the conversationalist! “Thanks for coming. How are you ladies? Are you from Tulsa? Oh, you’re in college? Where do you go to college? What are you majoring in? blah, blah, fricken, blah!” He was doing two things I couldn’t do and he was doing those two things at the SAME TIME! THE SAME TIME!

SHOW OFF!

Leo sings, but he’s not a particularly good singer. So I took some solace in that. At least he wasn’t great at everything! Allegedly, before he picked up the guitar he tried to play the trombone and sucked at it. So there was that.

In all truth, I sat there mesmerized and spellbound.

I’d driven all that way and lied to my moms just so I could hear him play one particular song, “A Good Egg.” I was like a kid on Christmas morning waiting impatiently for their parent’s signal that they could come in and see what Santa had brought. When at last I heard the first note of that song I knew so well, I could literally feel the muscles in my face starting to fatigue from the big grin I couldn’t suppress. I’d long since abandoned my attempt to look cool in front of these college girls. I was in the presence of greatness and just wanted to soak it all in.

After the concert, Leo hung around and talked and signed autographs. I had no pen or paper, but I did manage to meet him and babble something inane. “Mr. Kottke, sir, I er uh … well, that’s to say, um … your music … you see, uh well … I really like it.” (Oh, lord, did I REALLY just say all of that nonsense … pathetic … geez.) He probably glanced over to Security and gave them a nod in my direction, alerting them to the borderline stalker blabbering on in front of him. Leo Kottke was gracious and patient with this young runaway from Arkansas.

Leo Kottke transcended “good at something” to the level of “phenomenal at something.” It was the first time I’d been in the presence of that kind of spectacular. I knew people who were good at things, but I knew no one who was phenomenal at anything. A few years earlier, my 8th grade English teacher told me that she “expected greatness” from me. A burden for which I was unsuited to bear. I wasn’t great at anything and saw no visible means toward that end in the future.

I was an average 17 year old kid, ordinary, and unremarkable. I was an average athlete. An average, to sort of above average, student. (I had to work twice as hard to be a “good” student.) I had no talent and no means to achieve “greatness.” It wasn’t until years later that I realized there were things I could actually excel at. I could have a great curiosity. I could exercise great kindness. I could be a great friend. My sense of loyalty and duty could be great. I could have a great sense of humor. I could have a great work ethic. I could read great books. I could serve a great country.

Unlike talents and skill-sets that can fade, none of those things—curiosity, kindness, friendship, loyalty—deteriorate with time.

You might not care for Leo Kottke’s style of music, and that’s okay. There’s no accounting for taste. But you’d certainly have to acknowledge his talent. I don’t care for jazz, or country, or hip-hop, or rap, or polka, or death metal … but I can recognize the talented players in those genres. When I lived in Japan I attended several concerts featuring traditional Japanese music. The Shamisen is a Japanese banjo that’s so difficult to play that new students generally practice for months before they’re able to make any kind of noise come from it. You and I might not care for the Shamisen, but we can all admire the dedication of those who play it well, or at all.

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have the talent and skill of those musicians, or athletes, or writers, or whatever, who seemingly are from a different planet. We call them “stars” and “super stars” for a reason. Their gifts and talents are so rare they don’t even seem human. We mortals just sit back and admire them. I own two guitars and have tried to play them over the years, but I barely sound like more than a first year guitar student.

My first night with Leo Kottke confirmed the fact that I was average, at best, and would only be granted the gift of recognizing genius without the ability to achieve it.

My mom passed away in 2012 and of course I never told her about the trip to Tulsa, Leo Kottke, sleeping in my backseat parked at a Howard Johnson’s, none of it. A few months after that concert I was on a plane to Parris Island and the Corps and confessions to mom about my solo high school road trip didn’t seem necessary after that. But I always felt bad about lying to her. I still do.

I’ve seen Leo Kottke several times since that Tulsa gig. He’s 71 years old now and still going strong. In fact, I saw him here in Memphis just last year! And he played “A Good Egg” again … for me, I’m sure!

— 30 —

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Next Tuesday morning, the 5:30 class will meet at St. Mary’s track. St. Mary’s is located at Perkins and Walnut Grove.

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DO YOU USE VENMO?

If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check! Click, click, click, done! All done!

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TODAY’S NUTRITION TALK
by First Sergeant Ashley Holloway, MS, RD, LDN,
(An 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.” You could follow the nutrition advice of some Facebook friend of a friend … or you could follow the advice of a scientist.)

Ashley recommends that you read this excellent article from the New York Times.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/health/biggest-loser-weight-loss.html

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

————————————————————

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 Thursday!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


And Oh, So Many Startlements … 7/26/2017

Jul. 26th 2017

Screenshot 2017-07-26 15.32.07

Esquire magazine’s, “What I’ve Learned,” is one of my favorite features.

The piece isn’t written by magazine staffers. Instead it’s written by famous non-staffers, guys like Robert De Nero, Bruce Springsteen, Brad Pitt, and Colin Powell.

I’m expecting Esquire to call me soon for my contribution since I’ve reached the “Sage Age.” But until that happens I’m going to update and republish my own feature on my birthday, which was yesterday! So here’s the 2017 installment of …

“What I’ve Learned So Far, “ by Tony Ludlow, Sage.

“Son, you can do anything or be anything you want,” my mother said, “if you put your mind to it. Study hard! They can never take away your education.” I didn’t understand at the time who “they” were and why “they” would or could take anything away from me. Until I discovered that my parents grew up in the Great Depression when “they” took everything from everyone.

Education, like art, is for its own sake. Education, formal and self-styled, isn’t for employment, though employment may come because of it. Education is for learning. Learning how to think, how to appreciate, how to understand, how to process the world around us, and how to advance the human race forward. Now, more than at any time in my life, has the lack of education been more obviously detrimental to our Republic.

I’d rather spend money on experiences than things.

My grandfather—my “Big Dad”—told me that it was unnecessary to tell others “how smart you are or how much money you have.” People will know without you telling them. I was only 12 years old when he said this. At the time, I was managing my vast fortune of $8.75 in a passbook savings account at the First National Bank of Fort Smith, Arkansas. After Big Dad taught me this, I kept my portfolio information as secret as Donald Trump’s tax returns!

What he told me about money:
– The love of it is ridiculous.
– Obsession over it will ruin you.
– It can’t compensate for a lack of character.
– Opulence and extravagance are misguided behaviors, like Christian fishes on $80,000 automobiles.
– Live below your means. Even though Oscar Wilde said, “Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.” But I’ve outlived him by almost 15 years. So I’ll take my lack of imagination, thank you very much.
– Pay off your credit card bill at the end of the month.
– Be a good tipper.

Helping others reach their goals and ignite their ambitions is the best way to make a difference in the world.

More than what you believe, or claim to believe, more than what creeds you espouse, dogma you declare, things you consider true, or political views you hold, it’s what you do that defines you. It’s what you do that defines you. It’s what you do … that defines you. Everything else is just talk, pleasant parlor conversation, proud boasting in Sunday School, cheap talk at a cocktail party, pontificating in a Sunday sermon, chit-chat at the country club, bragging over beers, ranting on Facebook, or taking to Twitter in the middle of the night. It’s what you DO that defines you.

The universe rewards action, not intention.

Have a plan and a contingency plan and a contingency plan to the contingency plan. Be flexible. “No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy,” it’s said. Sun Tzu wrote, “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

Women who are confident, kind, and clever are the most attractive women I know! And if they like to smile and if they have a great laugh … well, that’s the best! (Remind you of anyone in my life? Maybe … Ashley Holloway? lol) Party girls are a dime a dozen. Head cases, manipulators, and drama queens stir the pot, but they don’t represent a foundation for anything stable. They make for poor companions and even lesser friends. Same thing applies to men.

I don’t trust extremes, political, religious, or social activist.

I don’t trust people with agendas.

I have little respect for people who label others. It’s the hallmark of bullies. Calling multidimensional people by one dimensional names is lazy and stupid at best and insolent and disrespectful at worst. Most people are too complex for one label. When someone only knows one small part, maybe only 3% of who you are, but assign you a label based on that 3%, you know how shortsighted and wrong labeling others is.

Those whose friends all come from one gene pool, one interest group, one religious affiliation, one political party, or one ethnicity make me suspicious.

I don’t trust people who don’t like dogs and I don’t trust the people dogs don’t like.
How someone treats the wait staff, hotel clerks, airline representatives, anyone in the service industry for that matter … that’s who they really are.

There’s no accounting for taste.

The true measure of a man has little to do with what you can see.

Happiness is an inside job. Money can’t buy it; stuff won’t provide it; vacations won’t alter it. Who you are on Monday morning is who you are.

I admire people who live by a code, who value honor, who are discerning, who won’t suffer a fool.
I think everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt, a second opportunity, and a chance to be forgiven. There are two sides to every story and every situation. No matter how flat you make the pancake, it still has two sides.

One of the hardest things to do in life is establishing boundaries to keep toxic people, and even careless people, at a safe distance. Removing people from your life is tough, it’s like a coach cutting players from the team.

I’ve learned the difference between style and substance.

Defining “enough” is the most liberating thing I’ve ever done.

Getting along with others is an essential skill. More people get fired because they’re unpleasant, hard to get along with, or just jerks with no social skills than because they’re incompetent.
When I meet someone for the first time, I fully expect to like them. New people start out with an “A” in my book.

I’ve learned that someone’s attitude, the way they process the world around them, the spirit and enthusiasm that they use to engage life, and the energy they exude everyday are more important than looks, money, beauty, or education. A good attitude will compensate for a lack in those four things.

Everyone has these three things in limited supply and they must be respected and treated with care: time, energy, and money. Don’t waste anyone’s or your own.

Not even God can change the past, so forgive yourself and move on, as best as you can … and purpose to do better. And distance yourself from anyone who prefers to shackle you to a past that you can’t change.

Find out what the right thing is to do, and then do it.

When you quit laughing it’s over.

When you quit physically moving, it’s over.

I know what I know and it’s not enough.

I’ll try and do better this year!

— 30 —

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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 First Sergeant Ashley Holloway, MS, 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.”)

Two Common Nutrition Myths

#1: Thinking that all organic foods are healthy. Organic cookies and ice cream are still cookies and ice cream. An organic foods (or their ingredients) are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. That may be admirable, but it doesn’t automatically make it a health food or lower in calories or higher in nutrients. Read your labels! Every year the Environmental Working a Group puts out a list of 12 foods that they encourage consumers to purchase the organic varieties of.
The list for 2017 includes:
Strawberries
Apples
Nectarines
Peaches
Celery
Grapes
Cherries
Spinach
Tomatoes
Sweet bell peppers
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumbers

#2: Thinking that certain types of foods will help boost your metabolism. The whole idea of metabolism boosting foods is generally a myth perpetuated by hype and the excellent marketing teams of different diet products and services. Your metabolic rate is determined by your gender, height, weight, body composition, and age. While there are a few foods that may very temporarily increase your calorie burn such as hot peppers and cold water, these effects are so very small that they should be secondary weight loss strategies, not primary. The best way to increase your calorie burn is through exercise. My recommendation is USMC Fitness Boot Camp! A really awesome Marine runs it!

__________________

With the heat rising, know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exerci…

—————————————————

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 »


Do You Know Joe?

May. 20th 2017

Let’s make some money!
We’ll have to be a little unethical, white lies mostly, maybe a little slight of hand.
It won’t hurt anyone. Not really.
In fact, it might actually be kind of good for them.

Here’s what we’ll do.
We’ll develop a nutritional supplement.
Maybe a pill or a drink or something to eat.
It’ll have healthy ingredients.
Or at least the kind of ingredients we think of as healthy.

We’ll give our product a cool name.
We’ll make some pretty bold claims about it.
It’ll make you faster.
It’ll make you stronger.
It’ll help you recover quicker.
It’ll help you lose weight.
The claims may or may not be true.
Some people will feel better.
Some people will be faster.
Or at least they’ll think so.
More than likely it’ll be the placebo effect.

We’ll market our cool product and get well-known people to endorse it.
We’ll make a lot of money.

I don’t know if this is how the shelves get filled with the latest snake oil. (It may be worse than this.) Or the process may be slightly less benign. It depends on the product and the people.

What’s the consumer to do?

There are literally hundreds and hundreds of products sold by drug stores, vitamin shops, online stores, and friends selling stuff through hundreds of multi-level marketing companies that don’t measure up. The majority of those products are nothing more than the same kind of vitamins and minerals and other health foods that have been around for years. Some products are good sources of vitamins and minerals, to be sure. But some products just produce expensive urine. The vast majority of those products are grossly overpriced and unnecessary.

I bought my first plastic bottle of snake oil in 1977 and have been studying the claims and effects of those things ever since. What was in that bottle I bought in ‘77, you ask? The label said, “predigested protein” and was sold by a company owned by the legendary Joe Weider. (I was a young Corporal in the Marine Corps, lifting heavy and running 6 days a week, and was looking for nutrition to help me recover quickly.) If you were involved in health, fitness, weight training, and bodybuilding in the 70s and 80s, you knew about Joe Weider. He was a master marketeer, entrepreneur, salesman, businessman, publisher, and “father” of modern body building. His name was on everything you could think of in fitness and exercise. Trump probably took branding advice from Joe. But Joe wasn’t a scientist and the products that bore his name were usually little more than repackaged products already available from other sales people. But you were buying the Joe Weider name.

130323213350-joe-weider-story-top

What exactly was in that bottle of “predigested protein”?

No one really knew. I certainly didn’t. I was no food scientist. But I CAN verify that it tasted NASTY! And I CAN verify that I couldn’t say with any degree of assurance that the product did what it said that it did. It might have worked. I couldn’t be sure. And the FDA was no help.

The FDA isn’t involved in dietary supplements. Period. Let that sink in.

There’s no requirement for the supplement industry to publish the ingredients of their product nor to prove their claims. Anyone can sell anything and call it whatever they want and make any claim they want. The companies are left to police themselves. Let the buyer beware. It truly is the Wild West in the supplement business. Snake oil in the modern world.

Every week, it seems, I see a new product introduced on social media or someone tells me about some something they’re taking or selling. It’s almost impossible to keep up. And so MANY people want me to sell it. I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve told a friend or acquaintance “no” when they asked me to represent some product they stumbled on.

So, what is the consumer to do?

First of all, and this applies to everything, not just dietary supplements: get out a copy of your resume and check your areas of expertise. What does your formal higher education and experience say about what you’re an expert in? What subjects do you have a graduate or terminal degree in (a masters or doctorate)? What skill, trade, or area of research do you have 10,000 hours or more in? That is what you’re an expert in. Everything else is outside of your “wheelhouse,” not inside your “silo.” Everything else will require the consultation of those people who ARE experts. If I have a toothache, I don’t Google “toothache” to see what I should do. I go to the dentist. If I’m considering vaccinating my children, I don’t ask a Hollywood starlet for advice.

Since the FDA isn’t involved in dietary supplements, the consumer has to rely on the experts. The consumer has to do their homework and research the work of experts in the field. We have to depend on science, demand proof, and expect transparency.

Imagine that you and I want to develop a product, but we’re going to operate above board and are going to produce a genuine and effective supplement. We want to produce a product as effective as Gatorade or GU. These are some of the steps an honest developer might go through.

1) Research what the needs are in athletic performance and endurance, general health, or recovery from workouts or illness.

2) Gather experts: Registered Dietitians, PhDs in Food Science, PhDs in Exercise Science, PhDs in Human Performance, etc.

3) Secure research funding through grants and other science investments. Receiving a grant requires a lot of work and details related to your project. About 99% of all grants are intended to advance the human race forward, not make a profit for unnamed investors or stock holders. (I recently took a grant writing class and wrote two grants and can tell you that an organization or individual who receives a grant has done their homework and have convinced a panel of evaluators of the merit of their project.)

4) Develop and test the product. Over and over and over again.

5) Conduct double-blind comparison and contrast research of the product.

6) Seek out peer review research into the product.

7) Make necessary adjustments to the product.

8) Repeat #4, 5, and 6 until satisfied with the results.

9) Secure additional funding. Step 1: Apply for grants, Step 2: Ask the experts from step 2, Step 3: Seek investments from those who fund evidence-based research and science.

10) Secure patent and legal ownership of the proprietary intellectual rights.

11) Seek FDA approval.

12) Manufacture finished product.

13) Promote product through advertising and marketing that relies on science and field success, depending on the testimonials of those involved in the research, development, and assessment of the product. Since the product is designed for athletes, the testimonials would include athletes, coaches, trainers, and other sports professionals. Think Gatorade.

Anything that doesn’t rely on science and research, and doesn’t promote those things with expert testimonials is, AT BEST, suspicious. (I’m obviously impressed by products that were initially funded through grant money.) And you can almost certainly bet that a supplement or product that is as good as the claims isn’t going to be marketed and sold by a multi-level marketing company. Gatorade, developed in 1965 by members of the faculty of the University of Florida (Dr. Robert Cade, Dr. Dana Shires, Dr. John Lloyd, Dr. Harry James Free and Dr. Alejandro de Quesada), isn’t being sold by the University of Florida. In 1969, the developers entered into an agreement with Stokely-Van Camp, a canned food packaging company, to produce and distribute Gatorade. After being acquired and sold a few times since then, Gatorade is now owned by Pepsi-Co and accounts for 75% of all sports drink sales world-wide.

In my experience, if a product designed for health, fitness, and athletic performance is, after 3 to 5 years of its development and introduction to the market, still being distributed by people selling products out of their garage or in booths at expos, there’s every reason to believe that that product doesn’t do anything significant in the area of health, fitness, and athletic performance. Every pro athlete and pro sports team in the world, every college team and athlete are ALL looking for an edge and will quickly adopt any legal drink, paste, pill, ointment, bar, supplement, meal substitute, or piece of equipment that will give them that edge. Think Gatorade.

The internet has made “experts” out of people with no expertise. When you go to their websites, their education deficiencies are hidden behind adjectives and claims that mean nothing. “Life Style Expert” isn’t a real thing. Neither is “Food Enthusiast.” Nor is “Exercise Guru.” Look for graduate level degrees, earned doctorates, and post-doctorate research and experience from accredited colleges and universities. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve researched the claims of someone only to find their education is bogus and their “degrees” come from a paper-mill and not a legitimate accredited university. (There is a well-known “celebrity trainer” whose only certification was from a paper-mill in Dyersburg, Tennessee.)

Look at your resume.
If you aren’t an expert, ask one. Do your research.
Demand evidence!

Caveat Emptor!

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


The Fitness World Is Setting You Up For Failure — 4/26/2017

Apr. 26th 2017

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Do you struggle with not feeling good about your body, your progress, and your results in the gym?

Chances are you’re looking at the wrong goals, and because of this you are constantly feeling unaccomplished, which leads to feelings of failure and never getting to where you want to be, it becomes extremely challenging to motivate yourself.

Does this sound familiar?

All those people in magazines, at competitions, and filling Instagram with their awesome workout pics are the small percentage of the population who are intrinsically motivated. Who are able to suffer and sacrifice based on some internal psychology. What’s important to note is that the majority of the world is not like this, maybe YOU are not like this, AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!

Most people suffer along thinking: Why can’t I be like them? Why can’t I like fitness and working out? Why is this so hard for me? What is wrong with me? Will I ever get to my goal? Why don’t I have abs? Why am I even doing this?

What is the secret?

The secret is to truly change your entire mindset when it comes to your health and fitness. You have to change your goal. You have to change your understanding of what fitness is, and only then will you become successful.

First off, success is not just about losing weight, looking a certain way, or fitting into smaller clothes. These are not good goals; these are byproducts of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Secondly, your fitness isn’t a 6-week program. If you think you can achieve a healthier lifestyle in 6 weeks, it means you think you only need to commit to your fitness for six weeks and you’re setting yourself up for disappointment.

What is success?

Success is participating in regular fitness and physical activity until you finish your program.

When do you finish your program?

When you die.

This is the secret to fitness.

What have you been told by fitness marketing over the years? Decide to ‘make a change’ and fit into different clothes or look a certain way or lose X number of pounds and then embark on a regimented program to get to those “goals.”

We forget that humans are motivated by the now. Not by things in the future. So, if your goal is to drop 2 sizes or to lose 15 pounds, every day before you hit that goal you have failed. Every day. Hence the proliferation of ‘quick fix’ programs and ‘4 weeks to a new you’ sales pitches!

Traditional fitness marketing is constantly trying to get you there faster, so you feel accomplished.
But rarely do people have the time, energy, coaching, or drive to do what it takes to hit that goal in a fast enough time period to have them feel accomplished. Those people I mentioned above who are able to accomplish this — that small minority who are on the magazines, go to the Olympics and compete in advanced challenges, they are the MINORITY who are able to be motivated by long-term rewards.

Note: minority.

So, what can you do as you struggle with this?

You are doing it.

You have taken your valuable time to read this message, and the next step is to reach out to a community and coaches for support. This is step number one. Humans are social creatures and need support.

Next, you MUST reframe your idea of what success is. At our brick and mortar business, and with our online business we promote the same message — frequency of training leads to success!
Frequency of training is THE only goal you should EVER be focused on. Add physical activity to your lives daily, and focused fitness to your life 2-7 times a week.

The little things all add up. Yes, take the stairs instead of the escalator. Chop your vegetables for dinner instead of buying pre-chopped. These are your daily physical activity goals. Then do a focused training program 2-7 times a week depending on what you can fit into your life.

CELEBRATE THAT SHIT! THIS IS WHAT FITNESS IS ALL ABOUT!

What did we tell her? You just accomplished your goal. YOU ARE a success.

Will this make someone drop a size by next week? No.

But if a person continues incorporating training and more activity into their life over the next 20 years – I PROMISE you that it will have a huge impact. They will be able to hike, travel, play with their kids and grandkids, and enjoy life!

If you try a 6-week program and drop 15 pounds and then stop doing fitness (which over 85% of people who have short term goals find themselves doing) then 20 years from now you will be doing the exact same thing; trying to figure out how to find motivation and how to hit your short-term goals.

Stop the cycle.

You have to be active until the end of your ‘program,’ which means the end of your life!
There is literally NOTHING more important than that. Nothing.

So, don’t stress if one week you only train once. That’s ok. Next week hit two workouts. Over 50 years that won’t matter. Regular and consistent physical activity is everything.

If you can recognize this and truly change the way you look at fitness and health you will have a better life. Seriously, I promise you.

How do you deal with your current struggles? One step at a time. One day at a time. One flight of stairs at a time, and set your new goal and timeframe – forever!

(This post originally appeared in Huffington Post Canada. On Fridays, I don’t ask if you lost weight. On Fridays, I don’t ask you if you’re using heavier weights? On Fridays, I ask how many times that week you were on the Quarterdeck. I do that on purpose. This article explains why.)

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FRIEND MONTH ENDS THIS WEEK

Many thanks to those who brought and invited friends to come this month. Thanks, everyone!

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Our next MT. FUJI WORKOUT will be Tuesday, May 16th & 23rd.

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What would you do if money were not an issue, fear were not a factor, and failure were 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 »


“Watermelon, Watermelon, Watermelon Rind …”

Apr. 22nd 2017

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My professor asked the class last night about scoreboards. “How do you keep score in your life, in your profession, in your organization? How do you know if you’re winning? How do you define ‘winning’?”

Who can forget Charlie Sheen’s crazy video rants from a few years ago? “WINNING!” became a catchword for a while, said in Charlie’s tone of delivery. Though we repeated it sort of as a joke because Charlie clearly was NOT winning at the time.

In his book, “The Rhythm of Life: Living Every Day with Passion and Purpose,” Matthew Kelly said: “Albert Einstein wrote, ‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.’ The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is, ‘What is your genius?'”

I have to admit, I keep score when I play sports, play chess, and engage in thumb wars. Outside of that, I’m not too competitive. I lived happily and successfully in a Marine Corps barracks, eating in a Marine Corps chow hall, and driving a horrible little 4 cylinder Mustang II. What you live in, where you eat, and what you drive is of zero importance to me.

I don’t judge you on those things. I judge YOU on how I judge MYSELF. How do I know if I’m “winning” or if I’m successful?

For me, it’s the answer to a few simple questions: “Did I live with passion today? Did I help someone become healthier, fitter, or happier today? Did I make someone laugh today? Did I make someone think today? Was the corner of the world I live in made better by what I contributed to it today? Did I learn something new today?” If I can answer “yes” to those questions, then for me, that’s winning. For me, that’s success.

In a conversation I had with some boot campers last night, I was reminded that our fitness experiment is a “superior product” because we’re the only program that addresses ALL FIVE aspects of fitness: 1) Muscular strength and stamina, 2) Cardio-respiratory strength and stamina, 3) Flexibility, 4) Balance, 5) Agility. And though it’s not recognized by exercise science, I like to add 6) Comedy.
Some programs are heavy on weight lifting (no pun intended), others are cardio intensive, and still others are all about flexibility or balance. But there is no other program in our corner of Memphis that does what we do. And for me, that’s winning! That’s success!

I like what Steve Jobs said in his commencement address at Stanford: “Your time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Living with intention, living conscientiously, and keeping score my way is how I approach life. How do you know if YOU are winning? How do you keep score?

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Uncategorized | No Comments »


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