Love through a healthy lifestyle

By David Tepera, February 14, 2018

Without giving a complete history lesson about Valentine’s Day, it has been celebrated for love and romance since the 14th century. The first expression of courtly love was through flowers and greeting cards known as “valentines.” This was to be considered as a romantic symbol and expression.

Of course, we all know this tradition has carried into modern day. Yes, flowers, cards and chocolate are an all-time favorite, but sometimes, it can be a bore.

Now, being a fitness column, I wanted to share other ways to fall in love to consider. When’s the last time you invited your special person to take a walk, exercise, work out in the gym, or even grocery shop and cook?

If you noticed, all these suggestions were health related. My training partner for over a year is female, and even though I outweigh her by 60 pounds, we have incredible workouts. Tina is exceptionally strong. And yes, we’ll enjoy a special valentine’s dinner.

To us, we observe many husbands and wives in the gym, but you wouldn’t know it until they leave out the door. Of course, I don’t know their situations, but I do know the gym is great bonding time. I feel, at least pick one day out of the week, and lift weights or do cardio together. I promise, it’ll bring you closer, plus it can be a lot of fun.

Grab your spouse by the hand and invite them for a long brisk walk. Make the whole exercise about them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate all that they do. Go through a whole list of reasons why they are special to you.

I don’t know about you, but I truly hate grocery shopping. I cook six days out of the week, my life is extremely busy, and slowing down to fight my way through the aisles each week is an absolute pain.

Believe me, I’m sure your spouse feels the same way I do. Next time, don’t ask, just go with them and make it special occasion. Act like kids, be silly and find a way to flirt throughout each aisle. I suggest starting in the produce section. Wink-wink.

Now, I was only giving a few easy suggestions for a healthy Valentine’s Day. Let your creative mind explore other possibilities to take the bore out of this special day.

For those of you who don’t have a significant other, then go splurge this day on you. Spoil yourself like a king or queen because, really, the person you should love the most is yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

No boulder too big

By David Tepera, February 6, 2018

How many of you are still struggling with diets? You’ve made a New Year’s resolution; now, it’s February, and you want to throw in the towel. Don’t fret because you are in the 90th percentile of all people.

Let’s be real. Proper dieting is probably one of the hardest parts of life to stick with. That’s why there are so many new trends constantly hitting the market. I’m sure most of you have failed one diet after the other, so you keep trying the new fad.

Just know, when a diet program claims to lose lots of weight within a week or two, it’s mostly water weight. That’s why you’re stuck-in-a-rut by the third week.

Listen, no matter which diet plan you’re trying, it will take at least a month to honestly see and feel the results.

I try to explain to people, dieting is just like everything else we try to accomplish in life. It’s similar to pushing a huge boulder up a hill. At first, it’s difficult to get traction. Then you start gaining a little momentum, but it takes discipline to keep grinding it out.

After you’ve put in a good amount of time (plus it’s part of your daily routine), the boulder will seem smaller and start increasing speed. And, eventually, you’ll get to the top of the hill or desired weight, along with easy coasting and better results.

Besides dieting, uphill boulder pushing has been part of the process in everything you’ve ever achieved. If it’s not difficult and doesn’t require discipline, then you really didn’t achieve anything substantial.

Don’t let challenges and setbacks stop you. It’s just life telling you to dig in a little deeper because you’re getting closer to winning. It’s the same as a final round in an all-out brawl of a championship fight. You will have to dig in deep with pride and start swinging like your life depended on it.

Let today be the day to regroup, takes some deep breaths and mentally prepare yourself to take control of the boulder.

When you have the desire, dedication and discipline, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. Get out there and take on this world. Be the beast in your family and show everyone you can move boulders like throwing bowling balls.

Remember, there is no boulder too big because you were made to rule the mountain.

Who believes in you?

By David Tepera, January 31, 2018

I’m sure most everyone has heard a reporter interview a star athlete after winning a championship game. And, as usual, these players will thank their teammates, along with saying, “we just kept believing in each other and that helped us to find a way to win.”

Now, most all championship games are full of ups and downs. One minute you’re winning, and next minute you’re losing. But, as a team, throughout the whole season, you’ve battled through the down times to fight your way back in the game. You can’t win championships without believing in each other’s ability.

So, the question is: Who can believe in you? And, who can you believe in?

We all live different lives, but our common denominator is family, work and friends.

For me, I believe marital or strong relationships are based on respectful partnerships. All major decisions affecting the relationship should have equal value. Yes, you’ll have disagreements, but believing in each other’s knowledge and instincts will create winning solutions.

Can your employer or employees believe in you? No matter your position, are you the worker that leads by example, or the slacker and whiner that brings everyone down?

Listen, we all get caught up fighting the grind every day. We have our own personal battles, but we all interact with each other. Just because you decided to show everyone you’re having a bad day, it doesn’t mean that others aren’t having a one, too. They just chose to not show it and prove that everyone can still believe in their ability to get the job done.

A well-known phrase is, “there are three types of people in this world — those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who don’t know what’s happening.”

Which category do you find yourself?

There’s really nothing more challenging than getting out of your comfort zone. Let today be the day you choose to show everyone they can believe in you. We’ve all made mistakes, but each day there should be lessons to develop stronger character and integrity.

But lastly, and most of all, you should believe in yourself.

Life is a Rollercoaster

By David Tepera, January 24, 2018

If you’ve been watching the NFL playoffs, then you’ve observed a rollercoaster of games. It’s been quite a battle between teams with constant lead changes.

Since I’m part of the University of Houston alumni association, I’m a huge Case Keenum fan.

My son Dylan and I were watching the Vikings versus Saints game, and witnessed the game-winning touchdown pass on the last play. I was already a little depressed because it looked like the Vikings had let the game slip away. But then, I leapt off the couch and screamed with excitement as the game came to a rollercoaster end.

You have to admit, it was the water cooler talk at most offices on the following day.

Before you Saints fans get mad at me, don’t get me wrong, I think Drew Brees is an incredible, stand-up guy, but I have to go with my alma mater.

That night, I reflected back over my years and recognized life is its own rollercoaster. You typically start off a little slow and clumsily battle your way up a steep hill hoping to reach the top to find success. Then, out of nowhere, life can take a fast drop that seems to be out of control. Once it stops dropping, you’re trying to gather yourself while life keeps moving around a sharp corner. But, just when you think you’ve regained control, life takes you on an upside-down loop-the-loop. Now, you’re faced with getting your bearings again.

Think about this, that’s just it, no matter what life throws at you, you can somehow regroup yourself and keep pressing forward.

Really, we should all be excited that life has its ups and downs. If not, you’re not living. Get out there and challenge yourself against the elements. Who cares if you fall down and fail? Give yourself a high five for effort because next time you’ll get it.

Just remember, with determination and a positive attitude, you’ll always land on your feet.

So, hang on baby and let the ride begin because it’s going to be an exciting adventure on this rollercoaster of life.

Change your routine

By David Tepera, January 17, 2018

As you know, I’ve helped countless people with diets and fitness programs. It’s also endless of how many people come to me because they are no longer getting results.

They’ve become frustrated and about to give up on training because it now seems to be a waste of time. I’m told over and over that is almost pure misery just to walk into the gym.

Of course, I help tweak everyone’s program according to their perspective goals, including how to continue producing results.

But, I always ask, “You are about to quit exercise because it causes misery. Are there other areas in your life that causes misery, but for some reason, you keep doing them?”

The typical reply is people hating their career choices, spousal issues and overall quality of life. And yes, there are many other difficulties according to your situation.

Wake up, we don’t know how much time we have on this Earth. If you’re completely miserable, then change it. You have more control of your life than you’re giving yourself credit for.

You must constantly change your routine to constantly make improvements.

Last year, a good friend of mine had a serious career situation where she needed to seek different employment. There were some changes that made her life miserable. I told her to stick with it because of the importance of income, but go on a mission to seek and destroy. It took six months, but keeping a positive attitude allowed her to find much better employment.

Even though I’m 56 years old, I haven’t thrown in the towel. I’m constantly looking for other ways to impact people’s life. I’m working diligently to create a brand and start a business that I can be happy to spend the rest of my life with.

I’m hoping, by now, you are doing some serious soul searching. We all have areas in our life that needs a change in routine. If you don’t like it, do something about it.

If there are certain people bringing you down, eliminate them from your environment. If you dread going to work, seek a change. The economy is booming, and there’s lots of opportunity if you do the research.

Come on now, take yourself out of misery because the prince on a white horse isn’t coming.

I know plenty of successful people where others think they just got lucky. Listen, they only got lucky because they created it. They changed their routine and became aggressive. And, you can, too.

This is your day, no more excuses. Let the intensity boil inside of you and get out there and change your life for the better. Yes, it takes time, but it will come when you change your routine.

Learn to flip the switch

By David Tepera, January 12, 2018

There are many well-known professional athletes who are absolute beasts on the field, but are teddy bears off the field. These players are able to “flip the switch” in certain environments.

During my younger years, Michael Singletary of the Chicago Bears was a middle linebacker that scared every NFL team in league. He was part of the 1985 Super Bowl champions. The cameras always zoomed in on his eyes, which had the stare of a mad man. But, he was also known as one of the kindest gentlemen you’d ever meet.

Of course, there are countless athletes in each sport who can flip the switch, but few of today’s modern stars are Tim Tebow and J.J. Watt. Tebow’s reputation reflects strong religious values, but his on-the-field competitive spirit was fierce. Also, everyone reading this article knows about the $37 million Watt helped raised for Hurricane Harvey victims.

So, let’s think about ourselves. Don’t you agree it’s difficult to completely focus on work when there’s lots of personal and home responsibility? And on the flip side, when at home, don’t you get caught up thinking about all the deadlines and stresses of work?

Somehow, we must all learn to flip the switch. I personally struggle with this daily. I’m a single parent with a home office, and separating work from parenting is a constant battle.

My kids don’t need to know or hear the stresses my employer puts on me. This is my occupation decision, so I must find the positives because it allows me to raise these kids in a decent environment. When at home, I must focus on my kids, their youthful needs and continue to guide them to be good people.

And on the flip side, I must focus solely on my job and give the best to my employer. They hired me because their expectation is for me to perform at an elite level.

I know I’m giving my personal experiences, but I feel you can all relate according to your situation and experiences.

As long as you can become aware of this difficulty, learn to flip the switch, and become a beast at work and a teddy bear at home. I promise, your life will be a lot less stressful.

This is your year

By David Tepera, January 3, 2018

Well, here we go, another year to create lasting memories. We will go through four seasons of ups and downs, including wins and losses. As long as you go through these challenges and victories, then you’re living life.

For a lot of people, starting a new year can seem depressing, especially if you feel alone in this world. It’s easy for all of us to dwell on the negatives which will only pull you down. But, all that can change in an instant by just getting in motion and start attacking the day.

One particular year, my boys varsity soccer team was struggling with teamwork. They kept getting upset with each other’s mistakes, and that created more turmoil between themselves.

After a few early losses, I sat them down and had each one stand up and say something positive about each teammate. I wanted them to only focus on our strengths and why we are a championship team.

At the end of the session, they each bro-hugged and we had the best practice of the season. We went on to win the rest of our games and made the playoffs.

You see, my team got caught up, like all of us, to only recognize bad situations and decisions. We have to accept this is part of life that teaches us lessons. Once we can recognize this, then we can proceed to another level of determination and success.

I learned long ago to not cast stones. I’ve made some huge mistakes in life, so I wasn’t someone who could fault others for theirs. If I find your bad decisions will negatively impact my life, then I’ll eliminate you from my social circle, and move on.

Learn to forgive yourself, find the positives you possess and fall in love with the person who matters most — YOU.

It’s time to go look in the mirror and blow some kisses and winks at that awesome person looking back. It’s OK to look silly and laugh at yourself. Life can be a lot of fun if you let it.

So, here we go, another year of accomplishments to partake. You’re beautiful, handsome and the most compassionate person you know. Now, go out there and kick some butt because this is your year.

Time to delete the word “No”

By David Tepera, December 27, 2017

One of the first words almost every toddler learns is, “No.” Of course, because of kids’ curiosity, they are told “No” constantly due to safety and mischievous concerns. So, at an early age, the power of “No” is pounded into our brains.

Now, let’s take out all the negative, uncomfortable and dangerous concerns accompanied with “No,” which is important in those situations.

On the flip side, people who use the word “No” have power. These people feel they can stop you or at least deter you from accomplishing something.

Today’s lesson is about you overcoming the power of “No.” We’ve all heard of countless athletes accomplishing incredible feats because someone told them they couldn’t do it.

Michael Jordon has been very vocal about his high school basketball coach cutting him from the team in 10th grade.

During his Hall of Fame induction speech, he mentioned every person who told him “No” throughout his career. I believe we all know how that ended.

I feel every one of us have or had someone tell us we couldn’t succeed at something. We’ve been told “you’re too stupid, too fat, too old, too ugly, too broke or laughed at for our dumb ideas.”

Yes, those are harsh words, but it’s part of reality that keeps people down.

It took time and experience into my adulthood to figure out those people don’t want you to succeed because they are failures and have given up on life. Your success will make them feel worse about themselves.

Think about it. It makes a lot of sense.

Remember, it’s your life and your destiny to rise up and kick No’s butt. Yes, you’ll get knocked down, but jump back up and throw a knockout punch, and shout “Yes, I did it.”

Let’s take today to brush off the dust from being down for so long. It’s time to delete the word “No,” and to rise up, stick your chest out, put on your mug face to go win back life.

Roll with the changes

By David Tepera, December 20, 2017

In all sports, a team must adjust throughout the game. You can be losing, but if you make the proper adjustments, you can get back on top before it’s too late.

There have been situations where a team stayed with the same game plan, and the other team out-coached them in the second half. Also, holding back and making conservative adjustments can come back and bite you.

I actually made this mistake when coaching high school soccer. One particular year, our team wasn’t that strong compared to the district. We scored early against a dominant team and were up on the scoreboard. I put our strongest players on defense hoping to keep the opponent from scoring. But, what happened? My team was unable to score, so the opponent ended up beating us by one goal. I had to apologize to my players for not believing in their ability.

I promise, that coaching mistake never happened again.

The lesson learned, even in life, we must roll with the changes and keep adjusting, or we’ll get left behind.

As we all know, technology is constantly evolving and it’s difficult to keep up. Us old fogeys lose touch with the real world due to our old-school ways. I’m fortunate to have teenage children who help set up iPads, iPhones and social media.

I’m constantly searching for new ideas and leads, so keeping up with technology allows me to find success.

What about you? Do you feel you’re stuck in the same old occupation because you’re behind with society? One of the fastest growing job opportunities is in the IT industry. Almost all area colleges offer night classes. Did you know that there’s a shortage of welders? You can make a lot of money, even six figures!

Also, it’s easy for all of us to dwell on bad decisions from our past. Don’t let these negative experiences hold you back. We all make mistakes, so you have to keep moving forward and roll with the changes. I decided long ago to not let things I can’t control — control me.

Now, this year is almost over and will be considered our past. Let the remainder of the year be your ramp to leap over into the new year with a fresh start of conquering life. Make the adjustments necessary, roll with the changes and let 2018 be your championship run.

Put me in coach

By David Tepera, December 13, 2017

A common phrase most of us have heard through the years in reference to sports is “put me in, coach.” The true meaning of this phrase represents athletes that are so hyped up that they’re practically begging the coach to put them back in the game.

This type of enthusiastic athlete can be rare, but every coach loves them. Depending on the circumstances of why these players are on the sidelines, you have to respect their passion and desire to succeed.

As a former high school coach through the 1990s, I had a few elite players whose athletic ability made a difference on the outcome of each game. Of course, there were instances that sidelined them until the athletic trainer or I allowed them to return to the game.

They were like a locked up bull breaking out of a cage. These players went full speed — taking no prisoners. Their passion to win was overwhelming which spilled over onto teammates.

Notice, I didn’t reference any particular sport because I witnessed this passion in multiple sports, which included young men and women. If you’ve been reading my column long enough, you’d remember my story of three girls making my boys JV soccer team and were starters.

Now, this attitude of “put me in, coach” is in all of us. We all have passion brewing inside of us to accomplish specific goals. When you really want something bad enough, it takes over your total mental being. You’re like that caged bull ready to succeed with every ounce of energy and each inch of your body. Nothing can stop you because you’re on a mission to win a championship.

When’s the last time you went to work and were hyped to tackle every project or work order? Do you ever surprise your family on the weekend, have the car packed and ready to create lasting memories at the beach?

How about a candlelight dinner ready for wifey or hubby? You’ve made their special meal, along with a personalized card letting them know how much you appreciate their love and support. You might get to take that candle to the bedroom. Wink-wink!

Now, let today take over your creative mind and passionately pursue your day with a “put me in, coach” attitude. I promise, your life will be meaningful, plus impact those around you.