You can’t keep me down

By David Tepera, April 18, 2018

There are many well-known athletes who’ve come back from what most would think were career-ending injuries. One of the most popular names is Peyton Manning who played in four Super Bowls — winning two of them in 2007 and 2015 seasons.

I’m sure most of you remember that Manning suffered a severe neck injury in 2011, which sidelined him for the rest of the season. Everyone counted him out, including the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts decided to get rid of the perceived old man and replace him with a new young talent out of Stanford named Andrew Luck.

But, general manager and Hall of Famer John Elway saw a seasoned veteran and signed Manning to the Denver Broncos in 2012.

Within three seasons, Manning led his team to win Super Bowl 50 at the ripe old age of 39. This made him the oldest winning quarterback in Super Bowl history. He not only won, but set so many records, that I don’t have enough column space to list them.

An interesting fact: Elway was the previous oldest winning Super Bowl quarterback at 38.

After listening and watching many interviews of Manning, it was obvious, as everyone was trying to keep him down, he was determined to get back up and fight for his passion of the game.

Now, haven’t we all had or have people trying to keep us down? You’re told your ideas are stupid, you’re too fat, old, broke and worthless.

A friend of mine who’s been working for the same company for many years had an upper management change. He’s upset because they’ve changed his salary and commission structure to where he’s lost a lot of income. Obviously, he wants to quit.

I asked him, “what’s your biggest passion in life?” His reply was how much he loves to foster animals and find quality family homes for them.

I told him to start his own organization or partner with others and find a way to generate an income in the multiple avenues in the animal industry. Maybe, start a specialty pet and supplies service or store.

I don’t know what the income can produce, but once you start researching and networking, then you’ll get many ideas.

So, no matter what your situation is, don’t let them keep you down, get up and take control YOUR life.

Don’t be scared to strike-out

By David Tepera, April 11, 2018

In 1977, while I was in high school, Reggie Jackson became a household name for hitting three home runs on only three pitches to win the World Series for the New York Yankees.

Reggie was given the title as “Mr. October” for his postseason spectacular batting career, for not only the Yankees, but his time with Oakland Athletics as well.

Reggie was the home run king for many seasons expanding to 563 throughout his 21-year-career.

But, guess who had the most strikeouts than any other player in the history of the MLB? Yep, Reggie Jackson with a total of 2,597.

Don’t we all fear striking out in life? Don’t we fear standing up to the bully that keeps putting us down, starting a business, asking the girl for a date, trying something new, and so on?

How many times did you fall down learning to ride a bike, but eventually, you could ride with no-hands?

Think of every skill you’ve become an expert at and all the times you failed or struck out. None of the failures matter once you’ve mastered your craft because you were determined to be at your best. Now, you’re known as the leader in that category.

In all sports, as I watch the professional players, I think about how many times they must have failed in-order to reach the pinnacle of their skills. Yes, we will get frustrated, but our passion should catapult the drive and determination to get back up and keep pushing through it.

Maybe, you’re battling an addiction. How many times have you struck out trying to beat the habit? I’m sure each time only made you more depressed, which didn’t help to get out of the rut.

Just know, I’m not a therapist, so I always tell people to seek legal, professional and spiritual help, according to the severity of the situation.

But, I am telling you not to get down on yourself for each failure. As long as you get back up and try again, you can eventually succeed and hit that home run.

Words from the hall of famer himself Reggie Jackson, “I feel the most important requirement in success is learning to overcome failure. You must learn to tolerate it, but never accept it.”

Beauty of being “Bull in the Ring”

By David Tepera, April 3, 2018

If you’ve played sports, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the drill “bull in the ring.” This drill typically consists of one person in the middle with everyone else circling around them.

In football, the circled players take turns hitting the bull, while the bull takes on the block or tackle.

In soccer, I had my goalkeeper as the bull, with each player rapidly taking turns firing the ball, while the keeper deflects.

In martial arts, the circled attackers would quickly take turns grabbing and putting the bull in specific holds, then the bull uses self-defense to free themselves.

The beauty of bull in the ring is that the bull learns to think fast and be quick on their feet. It’s an extremely exhausting drill that typically leaves the bull digging deep to get back on their feet and keep fighting.

How many of you can relate this to life? Haven’t we all seemed to be just moving along smoothly and carelessly, then out of nowhere, something comes along and knocks us off our feet? Now, you must think quickly trying to resolve the best outcome.

Maybe you were diagnosed with an illness or unexpected medical bills, your car suddenly breaks down needing engine repair or a new transmission, an unexpected divorce, death of a loved one or unemployment.

But, that’s just it. This is our time to be the bull in the ring. There’s no choice — you must get back on your feet and keep fighting back in this game of life.

There’s no time to play the pity party. We all have or will have extreme circumstances that change our course. You can either choose to let it define you or you can take action and make you stronger.

Sometimes playing bull in the ring in sports can leave external scars where you can wear them proudly. But, also, life’s bull in the ring will leave internal scars.

When scars heal, they leave a stronger thickened skin to protect the body from future impact. Well, guess what? You should recognize internal scars react the same way.

That negative impact should harden you, not soften. Take that experience to find determination and get back up, plus take on another challenge. Because, through time, you’ll always fight your way back in life to win the day.

Now, get ready bull because another unexpected event is coming, but you’re a warrior and will kick its butt. So, put me in, coach — I got this!

Spring season is your new beginning

By David Tepera, March 28, 2018

If you’re like me, this is your favorite time of the year. Yep, spring season has arrived! The air is still cool with sunny days, plus all the plants are blooming. But, the best part of all, baseball season has started.

I remember when my kids were younger, playing ball to dust off last year’s gloves and bats to see if they had outgrown them. Sometimes a glove could make a few seasons, but because of yearly growth spurts, a new bat would always be purchased.

I loved the many years of building memories and bonding with my children through baseball and softball seasons. Even if you don’t volunteer to coach, it’s still a great opportunity to spend quality time with your children.

How many of you, like me, actually take on the task of spring cleaning? We’ve been cooped up throughout winter months of dreary weather. But now, the windows and doors are open while cleaning all the extra dust, including putting away jackets and sweaters.

I enjoy getting outdoors, working in my flowerbeds, riding my bicycle again, and feeling the sun radiate on my skin.

Really, spring should be a yearly decision to not only do external cleaning, but internal as well. I guarantee, almost everyone of us has something in our past that still haunts us or is hard to let go.

Look, last year is gone, even yesterday has past. All you need to do is learn from it and keep moving forward. Sometimes, life will slow your momentum, but it’s OK because there’s times you need to change speeds.

It’s time to recognize what’s holding you back. Get outside, breathe the fresh air, and fill your mind with positive thoughts. We all have something to be thankful for, so baste yourself in goodness.

Let spring season be your new beginning. It doesn’t matter what your current status is. You’re never too broke or worthless when you project kindness and love. Step out of your norm and go hug your family members to let them know you appreciate who they are. I promise, lives will change instantly.

Now, get out there and make this world a better place because you are needed.


Fake it with attitude

By David Tepera, March 21, 2018

Recently, I attended a bodybuilding and physique competition to watch my 19-year-old son Dylan and many other friends compete. At this elite level, most muscular bodies are very similar, so the judges are forced to score competitors based on posing routines.

The importance of stage presence and performance is critical because the competitor must be flawless and project confidence. Part of their showmanship is owning the stage, along with a sense of cockiness.

For Dylan, me and all my family members who compete, the cockiness takes us out of our comfort zone.

You see, naturally, my family and I are very conservative, reserved and kind to everyone. But, we also recognize to succeed, we must take over the stage with a sole purpose of winning. So, for that brief moment, we are trying to knock you out by faking it with attitude.

Now, let’s think about your current life. For those still participating in sports, no one likes to expose their weaknesses. You can’t let your opponent see you cower or be reserved. You must take on the stance of seeming cocky and let your actions overpower a mindset.

Now, my definition of cocky is through attitude and determination. It’s not by using discriminating words to demean anyone. I hope this message is clear.

How many of you are competing for job promotions? Are you the leader that gets the job done and lifts everyone’s spirit? Or, do you fly below the radar hoping no one takes notice?

If you want to get ahead in life, then it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and fake it with attitude.

We typically all have morning routines. Part of mine is psyching myself up in the mirror before heading out the door. Each morning, I challenge myself to be a better worker, father, trainer and person.

We all know, this world is competitive, and if you don’t get out there to kick some butt, you’re going to lose the battle. Yep, you’ll get knocked down, bloodied and sucker-punched. But, today you’re going to jump back up with an attitude to win. Sometimes, you have to fake it until it sinks in and becomes part of your determined character.

So, I challenge you today. What are you truly made of? Whatcha got? Get mad and go out the door with attitude to win the day.

Just know, Dylan took first place and is undefeated for two years running. I’m proud of that boy.

Get up and do it again

By David Tepera, March 13, 2018

During my children’s childhood, while teaching them new experiences, there were many times they would fall-down or get hurt. I would find myself constantly telling them “get up and do it again.”

Now, before you judge me, I always made sure they weren’t injured. Really, typically, the only thing hurt was their feelings.

Also, throughout multiple years of coaching youth sports and even high school, I saw way too many parents babying their kids. Most of these kids were never hurt, they just knew their parents would run to their rescue and bail them out of an embarrassing situation.

Look, you can parent whichever way is best for you and your children. I don’t judge. I only observe because you can parent a dozen kids in the same manner, and you’ll still get 12 different outcomes. If you’re a multi-child family, then you understood that last statement.

But, for me, I chose to teach my kids the lessons of digging deep to accomplish a task, even after a complete failure.

A few examples in our house were: getting hit by a pitch, crashing on your bicycle, catching a football with your face, collisions in soccer and much more.

As of today, even though they are late teenagers, I’m proud to say, this part of my teaching skills is paying off. My kids know winning doesn’t come easy.

Constantly reinforcing this determined behavior in my children has forced me do the same as an adult.

How many of you get frustrated with your job, spouse, family, diet, exercise and so on?

Don’t we all want to cry for mommy to come rescue us?

But guess what? If you want to be the leader in your family, then you must develop the character as one.

There will be many times throughout life where we will get knocked down. Never allow anyone or any situation to keep you down. Let the intensity boil inside, dig deep and just get up and do it again because with the right mindset, you’ll succeed in life.

Let’s go fishing

By David Tepera, March 6, 2018

I believe if you live in Galveston County, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the sport of fishing.

As a young boy, growing up in West Texas City, there were three man-made lakes near my house. All the boys in the neighborhood and I would frequent those lakes and spend hours fishing along the banks.

We typically used artificial bait, so we were constantly casting over and over hoping to get a bite. As we all know, once something tugs on the line, you jerk the pole and start reeling in the catch.

Do you remember the thrill of not knowing what was on the other end of the line? Which type of fish and how big? You’re trying to guess by the fight of the reel and the bend in the pole.

But, sometimes, the fish didn’t turn out to be that great; you’re disappointed, but you keep casting hoping for the big one. But really, you know through time that eventually you’ll land the big granddaddy of a prize.

All us boys wanted to land the big catch of the day for bragging rights, and tease who ever had the small-fry. Of course, we each took turns on the outcomes at each fishing excursion.

If you think about it, life is very similar to the sport of fishing. How many of you are disappointed with your current career choice? Maybe it’s time to update your resume and start casting it out into the sea of opportunity.

You won’t know what big fish is trolling out there and looking for someone of your quality unless you jump in the water. Sometimes, it takes gathering up a few small fish in order to build experience into your resume.

Look, I think we all know it can be a scary world out there. It’s like that big ocean because you don’t know what’s lurking beneath, but don’t let the unknown prevent you from getting your feet wet.

I told my kids that once they’re through with their education, come live or stay at home for at least another year. I want them to chase their dreams and passions and not worry about the initial income.

You’ll need to gather work experience, learn the interview process, and understand how to interact with all people.

Now, to all of you who feel other circumstances are keeping you down, don’t let your age, education or minimal work experience keep you from baiting your hook. Grab your tackle box, get all your gear organized and cast your line because the whale is hungry.

So, my friends, I’ll see you on the pier, and let’s all go fishing because today you’ll earn all the bragging rights.

The Thrill of Victory

By David Tepera, February 27, 2018

If you’ve ever competed in sports, you’ve experienced the agony of defeat. We know it happens every season, and it’s part of the process. That depressing feeling of defeat is what makes victories so much sweeter.

The part of defeat that’s typically most difficult is when there is still a little time on the clock, and you know the score is unreachable, but you must finish the game. You’re probably feeling embarrassed, upset and ready to get out of there.

But, what always impresses me the most, are those players who will battle to the end because pride is on the line.

Which player can you identify with? The one who will never quit or the one who gives up? I’m not trying to fool anyone, I’ve given up and felt defeated plenty of times. I did this in sports, in life and was ashamed of myself.

Now think, typically in the game of life, everything starts off slow, but gathers momentum.

Of course, the purpose is to keep moving forward to reach the goal line, bases, basket and so on. What goals are in front of you? Are you moving forward or backward?

Right now, you have developed a habitual thought process. What thoughts constantly take over your day? Where does your mental energy spend its time? Remember, what ever you’re thinking about will become your actions.

If you’re not sure what your actions are, then look around at your friends. I promise, you are just like them. And, your kids are doing the same things their friends are.

I gave up on close friends over 13 years ago when I became a single parent. My focus was on my kids and the types of friends they chose.

Let’s take today and start a new process of engaging. Kick defeat out of your house. You’ve probably been dwelling in defeat way too long. Remember, defeat is only in the mind of the defeated. Let setbacks become opportunities. Redirect yourself and push for the goal line.

You were made to succeed, so get out there and show us what you’ve got because it’s time to feel the thrill of victory.

Victim or Valor – Your choice

By David Tepera, February 21, 2018

One of the many reasons we all enjoy participating in or watching sports is due to the conflict of battle. Pick a sport, and almost each play ends with some type of win or loss. You either gained momentum or lost ground, scored a point or gave the ball over, including offense and defense overpowering each other.

Of course, depending on who you’re rooting for, we all enjoy watching the underdog team come from behind to win in the last minute or seconds of a game. It’s a part of life that we all subconsciously relate to and want to personally accomplish.

Every one of us have experienced situations of defeat. We were doing our best in the battle of life, but somehow fell victim in the end. Depending on the circumstance, these negative experiences impact our whole mental state for a very long time, if not forever.

Just know, besides the extreme definition of victim, it is also defined as a person who has been duped, tricked or suckered.

How many of you have been duped in a relationship? That person was putting on an impressive front, but eventually and through time, reality kicked in and you realized it was all bologna, and now you feel like a fool.

Don’t let these people prevent you from giving up on relationships and love. You must take this as an experience that helps you to discover quality and sincerity in others. That negative situation was needed to help cross paths in finding your soul mate.

Now, choose any other situation where you felt victimized. The only way you will be a victim, is if you let it. Choose to stand up tall, poke your chest out and let the world know that it can try to knock you down, but you’ll come up swinging.

I’ll keep fighting through difficult times because I am brave, courageous, fearless and daring. There’s no victim in this body, you’ll only find valor.

A person of valor is known to have great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle. Never forget, that person is you.

Let today be your decision day. At this very moment, you’ll never consider yourself as a victim. Stand up and shout, “That’s it world, I’m busting through these doors to be victorious. From this day forward, I am a valor and I’m about to kick some butt.”

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!