Maybe it’s time to upgrade your life

By David Tepera, November 29, 2018

While in college, I trained and competed in my first triathlon. As a former water polo player and competitive swimmer, the swimming portion came easy. I was a decent runner, so keeping up with the pack was doable.

Now, where I lost all opportunity of winning was during the 50-mile biking event. Being a poor college kid in the 1980s, my bicycle was bought at a garage sale for only $50. At that time, I didn’t understand the importance of a quality bike in order to compete.

Since the biking event was last, most of the strong competitors flew by while leaving me in the dust — as my chain made horrible rattling noises.

It was at that moment I realized, that if I want to truly compete as a triathlete, then I would need to invest and upgrade my bike.

This experience followed me into my adult life and career. There’s been times where I felt stagnant and not getting ahead. I knew the only way to make another leap forward was to improve me personally.

How about you? Do you feel stuck-in-a-rut? You fight the daily grind, but you just can’t seem to catch a break.

Just like me, this is your wake-up call. It’s time to make an upgrade. This could pertain to night school, changing your social circle, seeking religion, joining a gym or a help group. The list is endless according to your situation.

Now, notice I didn’t refer to anything materialistic when it’s about upgrade.

We all prefer to fly below the radar so no one takes notice, but maybe it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and focus on you.

We are fortunate to live in a country with countless opportunities and unlimited resources. A good friend of mine is in her late 50s, and just went back to school to work on a PhD.

Forget what other’s think. This is your life, so take back control. We all know our weaknesses, so get out there to overcome them. That’s the beauty and reward of success, it takes hard work and perseverance.

It’s in you. You’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. Find a way, and make this the day to upgrade your life.

Thanksgiving a time for family bonding

By David Tepera, November 22, 2018

As most of you know, I was fortunate to be one of the assistant football coaches during the 1990s state championship runs at La Marque high school.

There’s no secret, a lot of these players were from different neighborhoods that had rivalry issues. But, through an amazing football program from head coach Alan Weddell, all these players came together to build a winning brotherhood.

One of the best parts of the whole experience was not only players bonding, but coaches, parents and the entire community. Every game was sold out with standing room only crowds, reporters from all over the area, along with police escorts to and from games. We all felt like rock stars. It was one of the most memorable times in my adult career.

Whenever a group of people come together with a common goal, a championship can be won. We must find a way to release our differences, have each other’s back and fight our way to the top.

This week, there will be many of us celebrating Thanksgiving together. If you’re like our family, there will be relatives and friends coming from all over to gather during this special holiday.

This is a time for people to forget their political views, discrepancies and all other differences. Believe me, there’s no winner in these debates.

For me, I only get to see some relatives once a year, so I take this opportunity to love and cherish the moments. I’m looking forward to seeing Tom and Jean from Philadelphia, along with my sister Karen and her family.

Our only goal is to reflect over past memories while creating new ones. It might be hard to think about, but it’s possible this could be the last year to see each other, so make it the best.

Maybe, it’s time to shut the TV off to play board games, teach the young’ns how to shuffle bones, play cards and so on. These types of activities force people to interact, smile, laugh and have a good ole time.

Think about it, don’t let this special holiday be a time of turmoil, make it an opportunity to express love and togetherness.

Don’t forget, ask a lonely neighbor or coworker to come join in on your celebration.

So, remember, just like my football team, leave the differences at the door, come together for family bonding and make this Thanksgiving a state championship victory.

We must all learn to fly

By David Tepera, November 14, 2018

Not too long ago, I was riding my bicycle along some wooded trails. By nature’s luck, I got to witness a young bird learning to fly for the first time.

This little bird was perched on a limb with its mother nudging it to leap. It was obvious the young bird was scared as it fought and struggled to stay in the tree. Finally, after a few minutes, the bird leaped with wings uncoordinatedly flapping as it crashed to the cushioned grass below.

I watched as the bird gathered its bearing and attempted to fly again. It barely cleared the grass line to only make it a few feet. With each attempt, it flew a little further. But, after several tries and many failures, the bird glided to the next tree.

It was an exciting experience because I knew I was witnessing a choice of survival. It wasn’t long before the little bird was soaring in the wind, and had overcame the scariest moment of its young life.

Isn’t this little bird in all of us? Aren’t we scared to take a leap, get out of our comfort zone and possibly fall on our face?

Are you disappointed that you’re not where you were expecting to be at your age? Do you regret not trying out for the team or participating in an organization? At some point in life, we all dread not going out on a limb and leaping.

But, just like the little bird, with each attempt, you’ll fly a little further until you soar to the next destination.

July 2018, I took one of the biggest leaps in my life. I resigned from the medical industry to start my own business. I was scared because I have the responsibility of some serious bills, plus taking care of a family.

I decided to not try it part time, but to go all in and give it 100 percent full effort. Yes, at first, I was barely making enough money to survive. There were other medical companies wanting to hire my services, but I knew deep in my heart to keep pushing forward.

With each week, I flew a little further, and within a few months, I was picking up speed as I soared with the wind.

Even though I work seven days a week, my business partner Tina and I celebrate our continual successes. As the business grows, we get to change other people’s lives to where we know that we’ve made a difference in this world.

Bottom line, it’s OK and normal to be scared, but take the leap. When you crash to the ground below, it’s not as hard as once thought. Before you know it, you’ll learn to fly.

How do you see yourself?

By David Tepera, November 9, 2018

Being in the fitness industry, I’m surrounded by all body types. This is from the morbidly obese to the almost severe anorexia, and, of course, all the in-betweens.

But, what doesn’t surprise me anymore is how almost everyone is not happy with their bodies. Believe it or not, people who compete in physique and bodybuilding competitions are the worst when it comes to self-body shaming. A lot of these competitors develop a condition known as muscle dysmorphia.

To us, we see huge well-developed muscles. To people with this disorder, they see themselves as having small underdeveloped bodies.

Also, what happens to some extreme competitors, they look their absolute best on the day of the show, but quickly lose discipline, eat everything in sight, and completely fall off the wagon when it comes to training.

Because of these extreme conditions, Tina, Dylan and I keep our bodies within four to six weeks of competition year-round. We don’t allow ourselves to be depressed over a few pounds of extra body fat. We know, within a few weeks, along with discipline, we can be competition ready.

Now, how about you? Do you find yourself constantly body-shaming? Listen, women, it’s normal to carry extra weight around your butt and hips. Guys, as you get older, it’s normal to carry weight around your midsection.

I tell all my clients, our goal is to add lean muscle mass, increase metabolism, and improve cardiovascular function. As we accomplish these goals, the fat will burn its way off.

Really, the most important process of exercise is to help live a more energetic life. It’s a fun world out there, so get out of the habit of running to the couch each night. Yes, we are all exhausted from a hard-day’s work, but through time, your body and mind will crave exercise.

By now, if you’ve been reading my column long enough, you learned how exercise is an anti-depressant.

I’m only 57 years old, but I know for a fact, if it wasn’t for a healthy lifestyle, I would not be here today.

So, tonight, when you’re about to get in the shower, take a hard look at yourself in the mirror. Make a commitment to never say another negative word about your looks. Find the beauty that you possess because I guarantee, you are the most magnificent, incredible amazing person you know.

All you need to do is smile, laugh, love and take care of yourself. That’s how I see it.

Don’t stop, recover in motion

By David Tepera, October 31, 2018

A technique used with all my personal training clients is called “recover in motion.” To give you a better understanding, here’s an example: While training the lower body, instead of taking time to rest from an exhausting set of weights, I have them perform upper body exercises while the lower body recovers.

In high school, I was part of an all-state water polo team. Coach Don Boyd’s practices were brutal. The only time we were allowed to rest was treading water.

If you’ve ever been a sprinter in track, after a hard sprint, the coaches have you walk it off instead of collapsing to the ground. The body will recover in motion. You get my point?

Now, this technique needs to be used in all aspects of life. Have you been laid off from work? There’s no time to rest. You must immediately update your resume and get back out there and interview.

Maybe, you’ve been through a devastating divorce or other depressing circumstances. There’s no time for a pity party. It’s your wakeup call to better yourself. Go join a gym, read every positive book possible, and only surround yourself with successful happy people.

Six years ago, I lost my oldest son to PTSD after serving four years at war. Being a single parent of his brother and sister, I had no choice but to keep everyone in motion. The worst nightmare possible became my reality.

There were many days and nights I fought depression in the mirror, but I wouldn’t allow myself to stop moving. Even though Dustin’s memory will never fade, I vowed to fight my way through life in his honor. When Dylan and I compete on stage in physique contests, we wear Dustin’s dog-tags in our posing trunks. Those dog-tags are more precious than the medals we win.

Look, we all have our challenging circumstances. Don’t let anything or anyone defeat you. You are alive with only a short time on this precious earth. Get out there, be kind, loving and respect all people. This world is going through some troubled times, so don’t add to the problem, be the solution.

All you have to do is recover in motion.

Inspiration in your personal lives and business