Leaders float to the top

By David Tepera, July 29, 2017

Reasons why people become leaders is a debatable topic. Some think people are born leaders and others believe they are taught. My thoughts are the combination of both.

I feel we all have leadership qualities within us. It’s just finding and recognizing what we truly have a passion for and then pouring every ounce of ambition into it.

In every situation, leaders will float to the top.

For those of you who’ve been in Galveston County over the past 25 years, you know former La Marque head football coach Allan Weddell took the team to five state championships — winning three of them. This occurred during the 1993 to 1997 seasons.

I had the privilege of being one of his assistants through those years. You might not know this, but Coach Weddell produced six of our area high schools’ head football coaches:

Leland Surovic in Texas City, Mark Knipes in Sante Fe, Dean Deatley in Brazoswood, Tony Heath in Pearland (just retired), Eric Wells in Pearland Dawson, and Brian Lane in West Columbia (no longer current).

If you keep up with high school football, all these schools have incredible programs and are playoff contenders each year. Plus, Pearland won the football state championship in 2010.

Coach Weddell not only created quality leader coaches, but, obviously, players as well. Many of his players went on to be successful men in the corporate world.

It doesn’t matter what environment you grew up in or your current status. You have a leadership quality that’s brewing inside your body. You must determine what type of leader you want to project.

How many of you reflect leadership at home, work, youth sports, athletics or simply in everyday life?

In every aspect of your life decisions are being made. Who’s in control or controlling others in a positive direction?

The definition of a leader is the ability to help people achieve things they don’t think possible.

Today is your wake-up call. No more lagging behind and accepting defeat. Pull out your leadership skills and make this world a better place.


Lets be extraordinary

By David Tepera, July 19, 2017

There’s much in your lives that seems ordinary because it’s what keeps our stress levels low. For some of you, your ordinary life doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. Just the typical daily grind and routine day after day.

Remember when we were little kids tying towels around our necks pretending to be superheroes? I would run around the yard and jump off the picnic table feeling like I could win the day. No one could defeat me because I was extraordinary.

When I was a high school coach, I would huddle my players and tell them, “I see a lot of ordinary athletes here. How many of you will step up and make this practice extraordinary?” This is where I found team leaders and captains.

It doesn’t matter where you are in life at this moment. You can turn every ordinary situation into something extraordinary.

This could be parenting, as a spouse, at work, diets and exercising, athletes or maybe through volunteering.

You see, it’s possible that your ordinary is a waste of time, so make your hours extraordinary.

Yes, putting more effort into something will take you out of your comfort zone, but the rewards could be life-changing.

For some, trying to discover extraordinary within yourself can be a challenge. Life can knock us down, and we get caught up feeling sorry for ourselves.

It took many setbacks and a tragedy to discover my extraordinary. You must realize hardships are life’s way of forcing you into extraordinary.

For me, when I feel like giving up, I find strength through my late grandmother Frances Tepera. She buried a husband when my dad was an infant, raised five successful children and she only had a seventh-grade education.

I could write a book on grandma’s struggles, and how she would conquer each day. She became our family’s backbone.

So, when you get down on yourself and life, who can you look for strength to become extraordinary?

If you can’t discover that person, then guess what? You are the chosen one. It is you who will teach other family members to fight in this world and create extraordinary into the bloodline.

It’s in you. Go look in the mirror, focus deep into your eyes and soul search. Tell yourself over and over, “I have been chosen to be extraordinary and today the world will see it.”

Now, get out there and be extraordinary. We need you.

No time to exercise?

By David Tepera, July 11, 2017

I can’t tell you how many times people have told me, “I don’t have time to exercise.” I try not to roll my eyes because we all know it’s an excuse. I’d rather someone tell me they don’t want to exercise, then I will be more agreeable.

My first question is, “What’s your favorite TV show or shows?” My follow-up statement: “There’s your exercise time slot. Tape the show, and get to the gym.”

Look, if you’re working, have a family, business owner or caring for someone, then yes, you are busy. But, isn’t that all of us? We’ve all found a way to fill up our days and nights. It’s what you chose to fill in those hours.

A new study shows healthy people save a least $2,500 per year over unhealthy lifestyles.

Also, unhealthy people will call in sick for work more often than others and require more doctor’s appointments.

How much do you spend on medication due to health issues? Be honest.

I’m not shaming any of you. We all have bad habits, and demons that haunt us. If you’ve read my column long enough, you know I’m realistic, and my goal is to wake up some of you. I stopped judging people over a decade ago.

Here’s the misconception for people when it comes to gym time. Most people are shocked I spend less than an hour in the gym, especially since I’m a professional physique champion. This includes weight training and cardio, but really, I rarely perform cardio in the gym. I prefer riding my bike on the weekends or evenings now it’s summer season.

The trick to staying healthy is consistency. It’s a rare day that I’m not exercising in some sort of way. When I do train, it’s full-on commitment and concentration. I’m not one who is socializing — until I’m finished. My body gets warmed up and it’s “go time.” I keep my head phones on and bounce from one exercise to the other.

The gym is your time to step away from the grind. When I was married, and the kids were toddlers, my gym time was 5 a.m., then back home to wake everyone up. I didn’t take any time away from my family.

We all have different schedules, find what’s best for you. I know tons of people dedicated and have great workout ethic.

Let today be the day to start a healthier lifestyle. I promise, you’ll develop more energy and love life more than you could imagine. It just works.

There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here

By David Tepera, July 5, 2017

We are all familiar with the word “underdog.” The term originated in the late 19th century when dog fighting was popularized. The losing dog would end up on the bottom, and of course, the winning dog would end on top. Note the term “top dog.” Just know, I do not condone dog fighting and have a strong compassion for all animals.

Recently, I was having a great discussion with a friend of mine about underdogs in different sports and reasons why people root for them. During the discussion, my friend made the comment, “But aren’t we all underdogs?”

How true is that? In every area of our lives, we were once, or are still currently, the underdog. We typically start at the bottom and battle our way up. Every succession accomplished was competing against someone who might have been more skilled.

We’ve all been bullied in school, bullied at work, pushed around in the neighborhood, taken advantage of or not respected at home. This is part of society that’s frustrating, which prompts us to cheer for the underdogs.

Why do you think Sylvester Stalone became a rich and popular man from all the Rocky movies? Because we all want to beat the top dog and punch out the bully.

For all you old fogies like me, a cartoon called “Underdog” ran from 1964 to 1973. It was about a shoeshine boy’s alter ego that would appear when his love interest Sweet Polly Purebread was being victimized by villains. Underdog was an actual dog that wore a cape and had powers.

When Underdog would appear to win the battle, he would yell, “There’s no need to fear, Underdog is here!” Of course, all us little kids used that battle cry in every sandlot game.

Just know, we all have Underdog within us. Sometimes you’ll need to pull out your superpowers and stand up for yourself. If people can’t respect you for all your hard work and kindness, let them know and eliminate them from your social circle.

Next time you’re in a demanding situation, look them straight in the eye and yell, “There is no need to fear, Underdog is here!” I promise, they’ll run away because they’ll think you went bananas.