Sometimes we need a time-out

By David Tepera, September 27, 2017

In almost every sport, timeouts are part of the game. When a coach sees their team losing the battle or needs a new strategy, a timeout is called. This gives the team an opportunity to rest and rebuild their confidence.

In case you didn’t know, there are no timeouts in soccer. A coach can only slow the game down by substitutions.

Timeouts seem to have become popular with modern day parenting and teaching. As we all know, when a kid is misbehaving, they are put in timeout and removed from any fun activities. The lesson is for kids to learn negative actions create negative responses.

Just know, there were NO timeouts during my childhood for anyone in the neighborhood. We feared other consequences and that was enough to keep us focused. Now, don’t misunderstand me, my sister Karen and I were fortunate to be raised by loving parents, plus dad was my superhero. But, dad had superpowers, too. Love you, Dad.

Ok, so where and when do we need timeouts as adults? For those of us who work a full-time job, we are given several weeks of vacation according to years of employment.

I learned an important lesson a few years ago. I worked eight years in medical sales for one company, and only took a one-week vacation per year. Money was tight, and as a single parent, I feared losing business while away from work. After those eight years, I moved to a better opportunity and realized I lost critical time with my kids. Now, I take all the vacation I can get and make the most of it by building lasting memories. And, you should, too.

Sometimes, we get bombarded with stress from work, society, children and spouses. You feel like the world is crashing down and you’re drowning in anger. We all experience this, but it’s important to put yourself in timeout.

I’ve actually trained myself to recognize these situations, stop my actions, regroup my thoughts and foresee the bigger picture. This might seem strange, but when the world is punching me from all angles, I start laughing hysterically and yell, “Is that all you got? Bring it, because I’m stronger than that!”

Listen, if you’re giving your best each day, then you are experiencing all that life has to offer. There will disappointments, tragedies and you’ll get knocked down. But, you will also have victories, triumphs and successes because no one and nothing can keep you down.

Now, take a timeout today, regroup and recognize how truly amazing you are.

We can all win first place

By David Tepera, September 20, 2017

When we compete in any sporting event, our goal is to win first place. We’ve all experienced it on some level and taking first place is the ultimate feeling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a team or individual sport.

Winning first place is a moment to celebrate because you are the best on that particular day.

Every time we hear a professional athlete speak about winning, they are all chasing a championship ring. It’s the ultimate trophy expressing first place.

Now, first place or being first can be experienced in countless situations.

How many of you were the first in your family to graduate college or trade school, eat healthy, exercise daily, find religion, volunteer and so on? The list is endless according to your status.

If you can’t find any “firsts” in your life, what’s holding you back?

Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile in 1954 when everyone thought it wasn’t possible by any human. Now, it’s the standard for male athletes to qualify for the Olympics.

Back in the 1976 Olympics, Russian gymnast Olga Korbut was the first woman to accomplish a back flip on the balance beam. The world went crazy with such a feat. Now, all elite gymnasts look at back flips as no big deal. But, Olga became the pioneer that changed balance beam competition forever.

Bottom line, if you truly have a passion to accomplish something, don’t let others’ negative words stop you. I guarantee lazy people hate when those around them have ambition. Losers seem to migrate to each other, just like ambitious people will eventually cross paths.

My kids have a passion to one day own businesses that help people. They are teenagers, so at this time, they’re not sure what that business is, but know it will be discovered in time.

I told them, all you have to do is find a need, then figure a way to solve it. That’s how all inventions are discovered. You will be the first to figure it out and, in turn, change people’s lives.

Now it’s time to take a realistic look at ourselves. Have we created any firsts? Are we just following others’ paths hoping for the same or better results?

Listen, it’s never too late for anything. Go out there and break barriers, create new paths, tackle the world to improve your life and those around you. Dig deep and be the first because we need you.

Daily life is your workout

By David Tepera, September 12, 2017

Lately, I’ve been really studying people’s actions and postures as they go through daily life. I’ve come to the conclusion that most people, if not all of us, seem to perform tasks with as little effort as possible.

For example, when you bend over to pick something up, do you bend your knees and go into a squat? Or, do you just reach down sticking your booty up in the air? Besides looking funny, it’s not doing your back any favors.

When carrying something heavy, do you let your shoulders slump over with arms fully extended? Or, do you keep your posture up straight and hold the item close to your torso?

From those two examples just listed, if you would pick up and hold things properly, it would strengthen muscles and develop a stronger core.

Bending with your knees develops stronger leg and butt muscles. Keeping a straight posture while holding items correctly develops stronger shoulders, chest and biceps.

This doesn’t just happen in daily life, I see it all the time in the gym. Most people have horrible postures while picking up weights and dumbbells. Most injuries in the gym are due to poor posture and incorrect lifting habits.

If you frequent the gym, have you noticed the lazy inconsiderate people who leave their weights on the machine? I have a real issue with this, but that rant is for another day.

What’s the speed of your pace while walking? Are you one of those slow-moving people who shuffle their feet that I always get stuck behind? Or, do you have quick steps because you’re trying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible?

You’d be surprised how daily living can be turned into a workout. Even your metabolism would kick-in and burn more fat.

Start paying attention to yourself. I promise, you’ll catch all the obvious mistakes and realize you have lazy habits. Believe me, I catch myself all the time, but I’ve become aware and I’m doing my best to correct it.

Now, let’s all do our best each day and strive for a healthy active life.

Getting back to normality is a must

By David Tepera, September 6, 2017

There’s no secret: in some way, Hurricane Harvey affected everyone in Galveston County. Of course, the storm created havoc across the state and beyond, but today’s focus is on you and family.

All of our lives have been disrupted and getting back to normal will take time, more for some than others.

I was having an interesting discussion with Natasha Reyes who owns Fit Life Fitness in League City. Natasha was kind enough to give me a key to her gym in order to continue training for an upcoming competition.

Natasha’s gym sustained minimal rain damage and was ready for business. Natasha was feeling a bit torn to announce Fit Life was open to all her clients and members. She knew people were busy picking up the pieces to put their lives back together, and the gym would be last on the list of things to do.

So, our discussion became about helping people get back to a normal life. Believe me, there are countless people who utilize a gym as part their daily routine. When you haven’t worked out in a few days, you become unbalanced physically and mentally. It’s difficult to explain unless you’re one of them.

Natasha quickly realized people needed the therapy of her gym and opened immediately. You see, her clients and members are like family. She even had a company serve breakfast to the community at Fit Life.

OK, so what point am I trying to make in today’s column? A storm can disrupt our lives, but getting back to normality as quickly as possible is a must. You must start with all the little things like drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and reading The Daily News. At least your day started normal, then go from there, according to your lifestyle.

A storm can break us, but as we are witnessing, we will all come back stronger. Just like a broken bone, the body will form a callous around the fracture in order for it to be stronger than before. That, my friend, is each and every one of you.

It’s a glorious revolution to witness people coming together as one. The human spirit has a natural compassionate ability to come to aid in emergency situations. We recognize politics, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and race are not on the table when saving lives. We are not just Texans or Americans, we are of one human race.

Now, as all of our new journeys begin, punch destruction in the face, and strive each day to find normality. You got this!