Not a bad life for an unlikely athlete

By David Tepera, February 27, 2019

In case you weren’t aware, the rodeo is the largest event Houston hosts each year. Last year’s rodeo brought in over 2.4 million visitors during the 20-day event. To give you a better perspective, the Houston Texans had 574,000 attendees through the whole season.

Typically, we think only humans can be athletes, but since it’s rodeo season, I’d like to share a few facts about American Bucking Bulls (ABB).

First of all, the rodeo is highly regulated and the members are incredible animal lovers. There’s the Professional Bull Riders Association, or PBR, that maintains the safety for bulls and its riders.

The ABB is a top breed of bulls bred specifically to compete. They are part of an elite program that breeds genetically superior bucking bulls. Currently, there are over 200,000 animals alive with bucking bull genetics. Their lineage, like race horses, can be traced a long way.

Believe it or not, these bulls know they are competing and are trained in a rodeo atmosphere. This starts at the age of 1 to get accustom the sounds of a highly attended event by using surround sound speakers. Then, by the age of 2, they’re loaded with weights on their backs called a “bucking dummy.” This dummy is remotely operated to only stay on the bulls for 8 seconds.

Just know, these bucking bulls enjoy the excitement of a rodeo event, and knows it will only compete once for the entire night.

Also, the spurs from the cowboys are not sharp. They are dull and only used for grip due to the bull’s skin being seven times thicker than humans.

Over the many years, the PBR has crafted chutes to eliminate all injuries from bulls and riders.

The animals can only be transported for 10 hours a day, and must ride in 6-10 inches of sawdust. Not only that, they are fed high-quality hay every day loaded with vitamins and nutritional supplements to keep them healthy.

Most bulls compete around the ages of 4-5, with some up to 10 years. They live well into their teens. Once they do retire, they become sires and breed more bucking bull calves.

I do find it funny that these bulls are pampered and have the best of treatment from humans, and then, every once in a while, they get to buck one off and kick its butt.

Now, I don’t know about you, but that’s not a bad life for an unlikely athlete.

In sports and in life, learn to enjoy the journey

By David Tepera, February 21, 2019

When competing in sports, there’s the ultimate goal to win trophies or championships. Depending on which sport, the season could be a couple of months or up to a year.

Last year, Dylan, Tina and I competed in a national body building championship, and it took over seven months to prepare for it. Since I’m already a masters pro champion, our goal was for Tina to win her pro card.

Just know, in 2018, Dylan was still competing in the teen category, so pro status opportunity wasn’t available, even though he won first place.

Along the way, during those long seven grinding months, our lives were completely consumed with training and dieting. In body building, there’s rarely a day off when preparing for a show.

There were many days that getting to the gym was tiring, constantly eating clean foods was old and boring, plus recovering from extensive workouts became exhausting.

It was during these challenging times, I would make everyone stop and take in the moment. My message to them was, “remember, being on stage is just one day, but our journey to get there should be the moments we must bond and embrace.”

Isn’t that what life’s all about? Don’t we all set goals for ourselves to complete? This could be education, a long prosperous marriage, raising children, running a marathon or any athletic event.

Each one of those examples takes a long time to accomplish, but it will one day come to an end. Even our lives have a final destination, so what impact did you make along the way?

We all get up each day to fight our way through the grind of life, but we must take a step back and realize the journey is the most important part of it.

Sometimes you don’t win championships or trophies, but if you gave it your best, you’ll love the process to get there. Those are the memories you should cherish the most.

Don’t forget, you’re in other people’s journey, so give your kids a big hug, embrace your spouse, and let loved ones know how much you care. Remember, it’s the journey of life that will determine your final destination, so enjoy the ride.

Go beyond the obstacles to bloom with greatness

By David Tepera, February 14, 2019

I once observed a wild flower blooming through the crack of an old sidewalk. I couldn’t believe how something could survive, plus look so beautiful, under all the elements it must encounter.

There’s no one to help fertilize and water its soil. No one to protect it from the Texas wind, heat, or being trampled from the busy pedestrians. But, somehow, this flower reached to the skies, with determination, to show all its beauty.

How many stories have we heard about people who found financial success coming from poverty?

Oprah Winfrey was raised by a single mother and lived without running water and electricity. She is now worth $3.1 billion. Oprah kept her focus on school, participated in beauty pageants, and worked at a radio station before getting her big break.

How many famous athletes with severe disabilities overcame the obstacles?

James Abbott, a former baseball pitcher, was born without a right hand. He was named the best amateur baseball athlete in the nation in 1987. Abbott played 10 seasons in Major League Baseball with the Angels, White Sox, Yankees and Brewers from 1989 to 1999.

What separates all these people from the average person? What traits do successful people have in common?

Persistence and determination are at the top of the list. No matter what obstacles you face, you should keep taking small step towards your goals. You can’t achieve or find success without commitment.

Years ago, when my oldest son Dustin was around 10 years old, I took him with me on a business trip to the border of Mexico. I wanted Dustin to observe other children at his age who live in very questionable conditions. The whole purpose was for Dustin to never create excuses for not succeeding.

There are plenty of us who take the basics of life for granted. We’ve become spoiled to having fundamentals of food, housing and a booming economy. But, for some reason, you still have a hand out wanting more.

Why aren’t you putting a hand in? Are you getting up each day to not only better yourself, but also others?

Let today be just like that wild flower. No matter your circumstances, find a way to reach to the skies and bloom with greatness.

If not now, then when?

By David Tepera, February 6, 2019

Lately, I received emails from people pertaining to joining a gym, plus starting to eat healthier, as soon as they receive their tax returns. Of course, my question to them is: “Why you waiting? Yes, a gym membership will help, but why not start doing something now?”

Here’s my best advice; start exercising your body during the time slot you’re expecting once you’ve joined a local gym. I’m referring to random exercises like walking, riding a bike, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and so on. What will happen is over time, your body will adjust to exercising at this particular time each day. So, when you finally can afford a gym, your body is ready to go. Make sense?

Let’s ask ourselves this same question, ”If not now, when?” to other areas of our lives.

How many of you keep putting off seeing relatives, going to evening classes, completing projects, attending church, taking vacation, cooking healthy, etc.?

Let’s be for real, you’re not really going to save any more money than you’re doing right now. Procrastinating has been your downfall for way too long. It’s what has kept you stale, blah, depressed, and stuck-in-a-rut.

Look around you. It’s possible you’re socializing with others who’ve lost their ambition. Break away from the norm. You no longer have time to waste. The time is now, today, this very moment that you’ve decided to change your life.

How many times did you fall learning to ride a bike? Plus, once learned, how many times did you slip and fall again? But did that stop you from getting back on again? Nope, because before long, you were riding wheelies down the street.

I have a 54-year-old client who has been battling stage four bone cancer. Without the consent of his doctor, he took off for a three-day mountain climb and snow-skied back down. Sounds like a Tim McGraw song doesn’t it?

Now, I’m not telling any of you to do anything against a doctor’s orders, but I believe you get my point. We don’t know when Father Time comes a knocking. If you’re like me, I read the obituaries every day in The Daily News. It’s never empty.

Pull out your phone, snap a picture of your meanest face possible, save it, and look at it throughout each day. It’s your reminder that no one or any obstacle can stop you from your goals.

So, the answer to the question “when?” is “now.”