The Unknown Winner

By David Tepera, November 22, 2017

In almost every game played, at any level, there’s moments when an athletic player performs a spectacular play. The crowd yells and cheers, including teammates and coaches. Even after the game is over, people still celebrate these star players.

But, here is something I want you to think about. Let’s revert back to children’s early years and into high school activities.

As I’ve just written, star athletes get all the attention, and they should. I’m not taking away from their efforts. But, in most cases, there are other players on the team that conquered bigger battles just to be in the game.

I know obese kids who lost a significant amount of weight because they loved football. I know of a family who lost a son in a tragedy, but his brother and sister finished the season in his honor.

We recently had major destruction from the flooding of Hurricane Harvey, and Dickinson High School sports are thriving. Of course, so many other county schools were affected, as well, but Dickinson was hit the hardest. I’m sure many of their athletes are living in uncomfortable conditions.

Now, I’m not just referring to sports. What about in the classroom? Who could possibly be an unknown winner for academics?

My 19-year-old son Dylan has been a talented athlete his whole life, including impeccable grades throughout school. But, the biggest winner in our family is my 17-year-old daughter Daylyn.

Daylyn was diagnosed with extreme dyslexia in second grade. I had her repeat a grade due to the severity. Just know, she gave me permission to write about her struggles.

Here’s my point. Daylyn studies twice as long as most students, battles through all her classes, and had a season-ending knee surgery this past summer, including so much more.

For Daylyn, she doesn’t get grounded for making subpar grades, we celebrate any number that reflects passing. Our family knows her struggles and frustrations because life doesn’t come easy for her.

One day she came home very disappointed and embarrassed with herself due to a 42 grade on a major text. I looked at her, gave her a high five and said, “at least it wasn’t a 41.” We laughed and went for ice cream.

I’m only giving my experiences of the unknown winner. I’m sure all of you have personal stories and life experiences, too. Take the time today and reach out to the unknown winner in your family. Let them know how proud you are of their efforts, and go celebrate like the game winning shot.

You Can’t Knock Me Out

By David Tepera, November 16, 2017

Sylvester Stallone became a famous, wealthy man for being known as one of the world’s greatest boxers as an actor. The character Rocky Balboa always fought his way back to the top after a multitude of negative life circumstances.

When very few people supported Rocky during times of trouble, he always believed in himself and fought back in the game of life. The journey to the championship ring was tougher than the fight itself.

In case you didn’t know, Stallone’s real life was turbulent and defeated before the Rocky sagas.

One of the many famous quotes taken from the Rocky movies is “Life’s not about how hard of a hit you can give. … It’s about how many you can take, and still keep moving forward.”

Now, let that sink for a moment. There’s not one person reading this article that hasn’t either gone through or is currently going through some difficulty. We all would like to think we prepare ourselves for the worst, but somehow, life comes out of nowhere and sucker punches us.

It could be a life-threatening diagnosis, unexpected unemployment, death of a loved one, or as many of our neighbors experienced — loss of a flooded home.

But really, the question is “what are you going to do about it?” Are you going to just lay there on the canvas while the referee counts you out? Did you give up on yourself because you felt worthless?

Stallone knew he could grab the hearts of his viewers if Rocky was beat to a pulp, and then somehow gathered himself to fight the last round because pride was on the line.

One of the most gruesome scenes from Rocky I was when Rocky told Mickey to cut him. His eye was swollen shut from taking a pounding and could no longer see. Mickey slices his eyelid, and Rocky proceeded to stay in the fight.

Yes, I know these are fictitious movies, but there are so many circumstances that are motivating to dig deep within ourselves and realize we can take punches, too.

Now, join me with a new determined mindset, “Yesterday was the last day that life held me down. You can throw punches and knock me around, but I refuse to get knocked out. I will keep pushing forward and believe in myself, even if others don’t. Every day is training day because eventually I will be standing in the ring putting on the championship belt because I am the heavyweight champion of the world.”

Planning a Game Day Proposal

By David Tepera, November 8, 2017

For all you fellas who are planning a marriage proposal or had been through it, wouldn’t you agree it takes on the same mentality as competing in sports?

First of all, I’m sure most of you are stressing the outcome. Will you win or lose? Will you feel shame and embarrassment or be victorious?

You’ve put in a lot of thought, preparation and planning to develop an action plan. The day is set, and everything must go right in order to win the event. You’ve tucked the ball away, started running down the field, dodging every obstacle because no one can stop you from scoring a touchdown. This isn’t just her day, it’s your day.

Just like sports, you’ve practiced multiple times to get the words out without fumbling. It’s important to work your breathing technique to keep from passing out. If not, you might end up in concussion protocol, and put on the bench for a few weeks, but delay is not an option.

Admit it guys, finding the perfect ring is way too much stress. I bet whoever made up the rules that wedding rings are made with diamonds owned a jewelry store. My goodness, it requires selling blood and working overtime to pay for it. Then, because you’re shaking so bad for the big moment, you’re scared of fumbling the rock and looking like a rookie idiot.

Ladies, just know, most men’s DNA isn’t wired to truly know which style ring you most desire. At this point in the relationship, the only beauty we recognize is you walking through the door.

Remember, all past failed relationships were only practice to develop better skills, maturity and growth in order to win the ultimate life trophy. This championship ring will mean more than any Super Bowl because it comes with deep true love.

Understand guys, your woman will run off to her friends and family to celebrate your big moment. You’ll feel left behind and realize it’s no longer about you. But don’t fret it, the wedding day will eventually come, and you’ll have her all to yourself for eternity.

So, fellas, put your game plan together, practice like a champion, get ready to score a touchdown because it will be you celebrating in the end zone with a crazy unskilled dance. You got this!

Find the solution

By David Tepera, November 1, 2017

In every sporting event, defeating situations and challenging objectives are constant. For example, when a team is losing at halftime, the coach needs to develop a new strategy.

There are many coaches who are great at making halftime adjustments to come back and outsmart the opponent. I should know, I was raised by a football defensive coordinator, and observed my dad during games throughout my entire childhood.

Other mastermind coaches are five-time Super Bowl winning Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. He is known for out-coaching opponents by coming back and ripping their hearts out. Head basketball coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs holds the same record in the NBA. Plus, both these amazing coaches are currently leading their teams to another season. Obviously, these men are hall of famers who are masterminds at problem solving.

Now, don’t we all have difficulty and problems in every category of our lives? Do you dwell on challenging situations, or try to strategize a positive solution?

Take a deep look into your life. Are you a problem solver or a problem maker? I understand, I’ve just asked a personal question that no one wants to answer. We all want to play the blame game for reasons why we’ve become stuck in a rut.

I want you to realize that our minds are powerful when it comes to strategizing and problem solving. It just takes releasing all negative thoughts and dive deep into concentration with a positive mindset. This will allow your mind to accept new ideas and become creative.

I know I’m getting a little deep today, but we all eventually hit a roadblock in life and there must be a better way out.

Have you ever sat around with a group of friends, business partners or spouses to strategize a solution to a particular problem? Once someone begins the conversation, then mental creativity occurs, and everyone has ideas.

Many of today’s and most of tomorrow’s inventions will be created through this process.

Maybe today is the opportunity to truly expand your mind and resolve your most difficult problems.

I know many people who are facing health crises for a variety of reasons. Some more severe than others. Typically, an immediate strategy is crucial, and requires input from doctors, therapists, family and spouses. As long as you have a plan in place, and surrounded by encouragement and love, you’ll conquer the crises and live a prosperous life.

No matter what you’re facing today, take a deep breath and focus on positive solutions and kick stinking-thinking to the curb. This will fast track you back on path, plus life will soar to new heights.