Never say “Should’ve, would’ve, could’ve”

By David Tepera, June 27, 2018

For all of you who follow my column each week, you’re aware that my training partner Tina and I recently competed in a national physique competition.

For your understanding, all body builders, fitness and physique competitor’s biggest goal, is to win a pro card. Once you’ve become a pro, then all kinds of opportunities can happen like sponsors, endorsements, money earnings, and much more.

The only way to win a pro card is by taking first place in either multiple national events or winning first in a national pro qualifier. Just know, people fly in from other countries to compete in these shows because they are, too, trying to obtain a pro card.

I was fortunate to obtain a pro card in my age group back in 2016. Since then, I’ve helped others chase their dreams of competing on stage, including my son Dylan and Tina.

During Tina’s journey all year to chase her pro card at this last event, she told me that no matter what place she earned, there was no way she was going to walk away saying “I should’ve, would’ve or could’ve.”

Tina trained like no other person I’ve ever encountered for a physique contest. I really don’t have enough space in this column to write down all the prep and hard work she put in seven days a week for the past six months. Her days started at 4:30 a.m. and ended at 9 p.m., which included training twice a day.

My question to you is, “if you really want something, and you’re truly giving it your all, will you walk away never saying I should’ve, would’ve, could’ve?”

There are many athletes with a summer break returning to school in a few months. Are you training for next season to make first string and have an impact to a winning season?

How do you prepare for a job interview or promotion? What kind of parent or spouse are you to your family?

This question can be asked for almost every aspect of your life. Don’t be like every other average person. Step up your game to be a leader and change your life because you can positively change everyone around you.

Just so you know, Tina not only won her pro card, but won three first places in multiple events. She stole the show and kicked everyone’s butt. I, too, took first place in the men’s pro athletic division.

Time for the Real World

By David Tepera, June 5, 2018

Well, it’s another graduating year for many high school and college students. Depending on your situation and economics, you’re about to embark on the real world.

I think we all know, none of us are ever fully prepared for what lies ahead. But, you can at least give yourself a decent start.

So, the biggest question is, “is your social media clean?” Do you realize that almost all employers research your social media?

It was so interesting to me that last year I was in a business meeting hoping to increase my income. The main gentleman conducting the meeting began by telling me all that he learned from researching my name. Since my profile was clean and wholesome, I eventually landed the business.

I have to admit, if it had been 35 years earlier, it might not have turned out in my favor.

You see, it’s a whole different world out there for you youngsters. The positives are that the world is very connected. The negatives are that we’ve all lost our privacy. So, early decisions will affect your future.

What about all you athletes hoping for a scholarship? What will the university find on your social sites? Do you reflect maturity, because if it’s a choice between you and another athlete, your social sites might be the determining factor?

My sister Karen, who is a well-known executive in the apartment industry, told a story about a young lady they wanted to hire, but she had a small theft charge on her record from when she was 17 years old. The young lady and several friends had stolen some CDs from a music store while in high school.

Now she’s 30-something and still battling a dumb mistake as a teenager. She did eventually get the job, but still, how embarrassing to know this will follow you the rest of your life.

Look, whatever happened yesterday is over. The only thing you can control is now. So, maybe it’s time for you to troll through your files and do some deletion. So, no more pointing the finger at others, and take full responsibility for your actions.

I know I’m being a little straight forward today, but as your parents will agree, sometimes you need someone to give you a sense of reality.

It’s a tough world out there, but there’s lots of opportunity, life experience, failure, victory and a whole lot of fun.

So, get ready, put your big-boy pants on, and find a way to make this world a better place. You are our future.

Find Your Happy Place

By David Tepera, June 19, 2018

There’s no escaping, typically in some kind of way — we all face adversity and negative situations every single day. It’s just a part of life that we must adjust and move on. Of course, the most difficult part is learning to let go and find continual happiness.

So, the question is, “what puts you in your happy place?” Some examples are walking your dog, riding a bike, lifting weights and exercising. The list is endless according to your lifestyle.

Notice, my examples were all health related because if you put your body in motion, the endorphins will create a sense of happiness and self-awareness.

One trick I taught myself years ago, was once negative thoughts took over my mind, I would force myself to only think about life experiences that made me smile or laugh. For me, of course, most of these happy thoughts came from raising my children.

You see, we all get caught up in the grind of everyday life. You have a full-time job, a family to raise, including all the activities, plus the stress of paying the bills.

We must learn to take a step back, try to relax and realize it’s all going to be OK. Don’t let the stresses of life take away your happiness. Every negative situation we’ve ever faced has come to an end. Learn to fight through it, stay focused with your head up high, and see all the good that surrounds you.

When’s the last time you’ve taken a family vacation? I’m actually relaxing at a beach house with my family this week of my article. I find it funny that I give diet and exercise tips daily, but this week, I’m eating all the foods that I tell people not to eat. I’m enjoying it all because when vacation is over, I’ll get back to eating healthy and training again.

So, even though I’m a professional athlete, I realize that it’s important to spend quality fun time with my family and let everything else go. This week, I’ve chosen to create more happy memories so I can reflect on them when times become challenging. You starting to understand?

I’m hoping, at this very moment, while you’re reading this article, that you’re digging into that memory bank and withdrawing some happy special times from your life. Let your mind concentrate on each one of them as though it’s happening now because today — you’ve found your happy place.

The Mind is Stronger than the Body

By David Tepera, June 12, 2018

My training partner Tina, friends and I will be competing in physique competitions over the next several weeks. So, I’ve been helping others tweak their diets in order to dial in the best condition for show day.

It’s always interesting to me, that during the last few weeks of prep work, all these athletes start questioning if their bodies are ready for competition. But really, they are in top shape to conquer and win their perspective divisions.

Typically, all athletes want to get bigger, stronger and faster, right? Whenever you walk into the gym, do you vision yourself as the best athlete? I tell my clients to leave all negative thoughts outside. There’s only room for positive words and support in this house.

If you feel it, you’ll be it. So, quit body-shaming yourself and find that warrior deep in your soul.

What thoughts dominate your days? Where ever your mind spends most of its time, is who you are and where you’re going.

I actually know a few people dealing with different forms of health issues. Are you going to let it make you a victim, or are you going to decide to live and take on the challenge?

You can’t always control what happens to you, but you have complete control on how to respond. Force your mind to only see a healthy energetic body while looking in the mirror.

Touch your arms, legs and feel the beat of your heart. Embrace the heat and energy your body is producing. That my friend is life in motion.

Are you in a dead-end job? Do you regret going to work each morning? I don’t care how long you’re currently working, if you hate it, do something about it. Why not? It’s your life.

Take your passion and find a way to make income at it. I promise, if you do the right research, you’ll find and land that dream job. But, you have to already vision yourself working in that environment. Remember, your mind has to see it, then the body will follow.

Look, focus on what you want, not what already happened. Let it go and move forward. Be the person you always fantasize about. You should not only control your life but create it.

“If you think you can, or think you cannot, either way, your right.” — Henry Ford