Ludlow’s boot camp takes fitness to a higher level

The Memphis Daily News/The Memphis News

Nov. 30, 2013

While there are those people who jump headlong into exercise, pulled in by the rush of endorphins and an eagerness to look and feel better, others need a push.

That’s where Tony Ludlow comes in. The former staff sergeant for the U.S. Marine Corps leads participants five days a week in push-ups, crunches, weight training and jumping jacks through his USMC Fitness Boot Camp in the parking lot of Christ United Methodist Church in East Memphis.

Ludlow hails from Ft. Smith, Ark., and a military family.

“I’ve got family members that have served in the Marine Corps going back generations,” he said. “Military service was kind of expected. It wasn’t really a matter of whether or not you would serve, just which branch you’d serve in.”

He enlisted after high school and served from 1975 to 1985. After leaving the Corps, he went into education and taught world history and English as a second language in Japan at an international school and a Japanese University. He had served in Millington and came back to Memphis in 1998, where he taught and was the athletic director at Memphis Catholic High School.

He began a similar boot camp program while in Japan.

“The parents would drop the kids off at school in the morning and then they would work out with me, and then they’d go on their way to their jobs,” he said.

He coached multiple sports at Catholic and restarted the boot camp program in 1999. When his sport was in season, he would be on campus by 7:15 a.m. and might not leave school until 10 p.m., going home to grade papers and complete lesson plans. The boot camp grew from his desire to stay fit while making some extra money on the side . . . (read more)