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.