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

 In Uncategorized


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But #2 is different. It’s harder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Things take longer than you think.

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

— 30 —



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thank you so much!





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!


by Sergeant Major Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one-year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The meat section at the grocery store can sometimes be a little overwhelming. There are so many cuts to choose from and then they are all labeled with different terms like “choice” or “prime.” How do you know what to choose? Hopefully the information below will help sort out some of the confusion.

For most types of meat, the more fat that is on and in the meat, means more flavor. The less fat and marbling (the white streaks of fat throughout the meat) of the meat means it is less tender and less flavor.

The meat we see in the stores all meets safety standards set by the The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It is all then graded and labeled as either USDA Prime, USDA Choice, or USDA Select. These grades are not based on nutrition, but instead are based on juiciness, flavor, and texture. “Prime” is considered the best quality, is the fattiest, has lots of marbling throughout, is tender, and is full of flavor. The next best is considered “Choice” which are still
high quality cuts of meat, but are leaner with less marbling. “Select” cuts are the leanest of the bunch with little to no marbling.

If you are cooking a steak and are looking for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, I would choose a “Prime” cut. If I am making a stew that has a lot of seasoning and is cooked over low heat for a long period of time, I would go with the “select” cut. It is less expensive and will become more tender with the slow cooking process and more flavorful with the seasoning of the stew.

When choosing ground meat, the numbers represent the amount of lean versus the amount of fat in the meat. For instance, and meat that is 80/20 is 80% lean and 20% fat by weight and 90/10 is 90% lean and 10% fat. The more fat usually means more flavor and juiciness. The higher the fat content the higher the calorie level too. The advice for consuming is the same for whole pieces of meat. If you are mixing it into a flavorful dish, leaner may be a great choice
because of less calories and total fat, but if you are wanting a super juicy burger, higher fat ground meat would be your go to.

It is important to note that often ground turkey isn’t always the better choice than extra lean ground beef. In regular ground turkey it can contain dark and white meat and even skin and fat. This can increase the calories and fat content. On the other hand, ground turkey breast, which is the white meat only, is fairly lean. But in a side by side comparison, the leanest ground beef
still comes out on top in regard to grams of total protein and the mineral content.





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

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


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






Have a GREAT day!

Yours in good health and fitness!

Sgt. Tony

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search