Get off the sidelines

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 29, 2016 

In my youth, I played football for many years, but in ninth grade, I found myself standing most of the time on the sideline. I wasn’t the only kid, but I wasn’t happy about it and became discouraged.

Now, I didn’t fault my coach too much because, at that time, I was definitely not one of the bigger skilled players.

Right then I recognized, when it comes to team sports, coaches make every decision of players, plays and strategies. It’s a game of chess hoping to outsmart the opponent’s coach.

The most frustrating part of hardly ever playing was realizing that I had no control of it. As a player, you can only hope that all your efforts in practice would give you an opportunity.

Whenever our team would win, everyone was celebrating and cheering. Not me. I was embarrassed and ashamed, as I stood there in my clean uniform.

The lesson learned was that if I wanted to play the whole game and dictate the outcome, then I needed to pursue individual sports.

Once I was out of high school, I taught myself to surf, ran a marathon, became a triathlete and competed in martial arts.

Not only in sports, if I wanted to dictate my life, then I needed to pursue happiness and success to live the life I wanted.

Yes, I got knocked down, had stitches, broken bones and multiple surgeries to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. But, that only excited me because I knew I was giving my all, and the lessons of failure are only part of the process.

So, what about you? Are you standing on the sidelines of life? Are you just flying under the radar hoping to one day retire? Why have you given up?

As adults, you shouldn’t be happy with a participation trophy.

That lesson in ninth grade was a defining moment and taught me to never want to be on the sidelines again.

Now get up and recognize there’s a lot of life to live. We are fortunate to live in a country where it is possible to not only chase dreams, but to accomplish them.

One day we will all cross the pearly gates of heaven. If you walk in unscathed without scars, then you didn’t give life your best.

I plan on tumbling and sliding into heaven head first like Pete Rose. I’ll jump up and yell, “Wow, that was a crazy ride!”

Life in the red zone

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 22, 2016 

If you’re not familiar with the red zone in football, it’s an opportunity to score from the opponent’s 20-yard line into the end zone. All football teams have a strategy within the red zone because the playing field becomes much smaller.

Really, a team only has three tries to score a touchdown, or at least, hopefully, settle for a field goal. So, there’s a very specific set of strategic plays according to the team being played.

Remember, a touchdown is worth 6 points, along with a possible 1 to 2 extra points, compared to only 3-point field goals.

Teams are particularly not happy with a field goal, but will be somewhat satisfied because it at least puts points on the board.

Now, I believe many parts of our lives are like being in the red zone.

How many of you set a goal to lose 20 pounds, and once you lost around 8-10 pounds, you couldn’t find the discipline to lose the extra 10?

So, you settle for a field goal, and told yourself, “well, at least I lost some weight.” But that didn’t matter because you ended up losing the game, for within a few weeks all the weight came back. I know that last statement hurt.

How many of you settled into a relationship because it was convenient. You thought to yourself “well at least they have a job.”

You can say this about occupations, bad habits, religion, education and so on.

You must dig deep and find a way to not only reach goals, but to blow past it.

When I was teaching karate, I spent many hours showing people how to hit punching bags. To truly develop punching power, you can’t just hit the front of the target, you must put your fist through to the other side. Every muscle within your body has to be behind that punch.

So, come on now, let’s not settle for field goals any longer. We live our lives in the red zone. As we get closer to our goals, the reward is within reach, and strategies become crucial.

It’s time to pad up and strap on your helmet because today you will score a touchdown. No opponent, anyone or any situation can stop you. The ball is in your hands as you fight through all adversity.

Now spike the ball, yell at the top of your lungs and do a crazy end zone dance because you just won the day.

Take the wheel of life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 

Are you behind on your goals and dreams? Are the bills stacking up? Why haven’t you lost the weight needed? For some reason, there is one problem after another.

Look, we all have multiple problems throughout our daily lives. As adults, we can’t escape the responsibilities of trying to maintain a normal life, especially parents.

It’s easy to stay in the same old routine and accept defeat. Don’t throw in the towel and say “well, at least I made it through another month.” Stop letting bad habits keep you from moving forward.

You must dig deep and create a passion to help stay focused and drive through it. You’re in the driver’s seat speeding through a time warp. Sometimes the road will have many curves, stop signs, U-turns, along with speed zones and road bumps. It’s your choice to accelerate or brake.

My previous vehicle lasted for 235,000 miles. During that time, I kept the oil current, put on new tires and brakes, along with another transmission. That car was my livelihood. It took me to work and back, drove the kids to all their functions, and became part of the family.

You must treat yourself like a prized car. Eat healthy foods by changing your diet, and exercise outdoors. It’s also important to pamper yourself when needed.

Get mad and take back your life. Now is the time to put the brakes on old routines and bad habits, and accelerate toward your dreams.

Don’t be scared. Yes, you’ll have a few bumps and dents along the way. Just make the repairs and get back on the road. We’ve all worn casts for broken bones, along with stitches and bruises. And, of course, mental scars too. Give yourself a “high-five” for attacking life.

Enough is enough. You now have control and will keep life on the road to success. When people try to cut in front of you, drive around and pass them up. Take the lead, and be the first through the checkered flag.

You’re the winner, and will earn all the prizes because it was you who took over the wheel of life.


Business planning in the gym

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 

Most business meetings take place in conference rooms, golf courses and nice restaurants. Recently, I sat down with two gentlemen who plan business while training in the gym.

Billy Manovich works in the oil and gas industry, and Mike Smith owns a dental practice in Pearland. Both have been gym training for more than 30 years.

Billy came up with an idea for an invention and pitched it to his workout partner Mike. Through several months of planning, financing and marketing, they launched a product called The Simple Scrub.

What’s interesting to me, through my conversation with them, is they both share a desire to constantly improve their lives through health and fitness. This desire for improvement catapulted to an invention to help others.

One day, Billy’s grandmother was kneeling down while cleaning her bathtub, but struggled to stand back up because of health issues. So, he designed a prototype bath scrubbing device where his grandmother could clean these hard to reach areas while standing. Besides staying out of a slippery tub, it also kept her from inhaling unnecessary toxic fumes.

Each time someone would use this device, they would inform Billy and Mike of how much easier, quicker and safer cleaning became.

Billy knew he had something to help others and improve lives, so the launch of The Simple Scrub began. Their sales started from 250 orders in June to 1,500 in November of this year.

Me, being a single father and cleaning multiple tubs, I had to try it myself. OK, I was overly impressed because it only took a few minutes per tub and was sparkling clean. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be writing about it.

Besides households, I recommend for hotels, hospitals, boaters and any other cleaning services. If interested, check out their website

Listen, we all have great ideas and inventions that swirl in our minds, but putting it into action becomes the biggest step.

You never know, the person working out next to you at the gym might be your connection. So, share your ideas to improve people’s lives like two dedicated training partners named Billy Manovich and Mike Smith.


Clean up after the battle

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2016 

We all have multiple battles we deal with each day. The most common battles are maintaining a job for financial security, relationships with spouses or partners, improving a healthy lifestyle or combating life threatening illnesses — just to name a few.

There are many of you who are, or you have someone you know who is, battling cancer. The good news is you’ve caught it early and won the battle. But, it’s the cleanup that’s preventing you from being excited about life again.

What do I mean by “cleanup?” Yes, you’ve kicked cancer’s butt, and now, there’s many follow-up doctor’s visits, plus the healing process. You must accept this will take time and is part of winning the battle. Don’t let the cleanup keep you down. Make it a victory lap where you get to thank all the medical staff, friends and family involved.

To me, it’s like when a country defeats the enemy in battle. They’ve blown up many buildings to flush out and kill the bad guys. Yes, you’ve won the mission, but the streets and cities must be cleaned up and put back together to help the innocent citizens. It’s hard to truly celebrate until the process has been completed.

I hope this makes sense because it’s just like your body. It needs to repair and clean up after all the treatments.

Think about it, the cleanup process is in every battle, including divorce, occupational changes and even resolved spousal disputes.

None of us can escape life’s battles. It really comes down to a positive mindset. Recognize your life will continue and every day is day to rejoice.

If you’re reading this column, then you’re alive, breathing, heart is beating and you have the emotions of love.

Regain your love of life because we are all unique and beautiful. Look around and see all the amazing people who love and embrace you.

Now relax, it’s going to be OK because today is the best day of your life.