All posts by David

Growing up with a father who was a high school football coach, I was around sports my entire life. Even to this day, at the age of 55, I'm a professional physique competitor. So, as you can read from my blog, I see the world as one big sports arena that teaches us all lessons on life. Enjoy, because today, your life will change.

Change your routine

By David Tepera, January 17, 2018

As you know, I’ve helped countless people with diets and fitness programs. It’s also endless of how many people come to me because they are no longer getting results.

They’ve become frustrated and about to give up on training because it now seems to be a waste of time. I’m told over and over that is almost pure misery just to walk into the gym.

Of course, I help tweak everyone’s program according to their perspective goals, including how to continue producing results.

But, I always ask, “You are about to quit exercise because it causes misery. Are there other areas in your life that causes misery, but for some reason, you keep doing them?”

The typical reply is people hating their career choices, spousal issues and overall quality of life. And yes, there are many other difficulties according to your situation.

Wake up, we don’t know how much time we have on this Earth. If you’re completely miserable, then change it. You have more control of your life than you’re giving yourself credit for.

You must constantly change your routine to constantly make improvements.

Last year, a good friend of mine had a serious career situation where she needed to seek different employment. There were some changes that made her life miserable. I told her to stick with it because of the importance of income, but go on a mission to seek and destroy. It took six months, but keeping a positive attitude allowed her to find much better employment.

Even though I’m 56 years old, I haven’t thrown in the towel. I’m constantly looking for other ways to impact people’s life. I’m working diligently to create a brand and start a business that I can be happy to spend the rest of my life with.

I’m hoping, by now, you are doing some serious soul searching. We all have areas in our life that needs a change in routine. If you don’t like it, do something about it.

If there are certain people bringing you down, eliminate them from your environment. If you dread going to work, seek a change. The economy is booming, and there’s lots of opportunity if you do the research.

Come on now, take yourself out of misery because the prince on a white horse isn’t coming.

I know plenty of successful people where others think they just got lucky. Listen, they only got lucky because they created it. They changed their routine and became aggressive. And, you can, too.

This is your day, no more excuses. Let the intensity boil inside of you and get out there and change your life for the better. Yes, it takes time, but it will come when you change your routine.

Learn to flip the switch

By David Tepera, January 12, 2018

There are many well-known professional athletes who are absolute beasts on the field, but are teddy bears off the field. These players are able to “flip the switch” in certain environments.

During my younger years, Michael Singletary of the Chicago Bears was a middle linebacker that scared every NFL team in league. He was part of the 1985 Super Bowl champions. The cameras always zoomed in on his eyes, which had the stare of a mad man. But, he was also known as one of the kindest gentlemen you’d ever meet.

Of course, there are countless athletes in each sport who can flip the switch, but few of today’s modern stars are Tim Tebow and J.J. Watt. Tebow’s reputation reflects strong religious values, but his on-the-field competitive spirit was fierce. Also, everyone reading this article knows about the $37 million Watt helped raised for Hurricane Harvey victims.

So, let’s think about ourselves. Don’t you agree it’s difficult to completely focus on work when there’s lots of personal and home responsibility? And on the flip side, when at home, don’t you get caught up thinking about all the deadlines and stresses of work?

Somehow, we must all learn to flip the switch. I personally struggle with this daily. I’m a single parent with a home office, and separating work from parenting is a constant battle.

My kids don’t need to know or hear the stresses my employer puts on me. This is my occupation decision, so I must find the positives because it allows me to raise these kids in a decent environment. When at home, I must focus on my kids, their youthful needs and continue to guide them to be good people.

And on the flip side, I must focus solely on my job and give the best to my employer. They hired me because their expectation is for me to perform at an elite level.

I know I’m giving my personal experiences, but I feel you can all relate according to your situation and experiences.

As long as you can become aware of this difficulty, learn to flip the switch, and become a beast at work and a teddy bear at home. I promise, your life will be a lot less stressful.

This is your year

By David Tepera, January 3, 2018

Well, here we go, another year to create lasting memories. We will go through four seasons of ups and downs, including wins and losses. As long as you go through these challenges and victories, then you’re living life.

For a lot of people, starting a new year can seem depressing, especially if you feel alone in this world. It’s easy for all of us to dwell on the negatives which will only pull you down. But, all that can change in an instant by just getting in motion and start attacking the day.

One particular year, my boys varsity soccer team was struggling with teamwork. They kept getting upset with each other’s mistakes, and that created more turmoil between themselves.

After a few early losses, I sat them down and had each one stand up and say something positive about each teammate. I wanted them to only focus on our strengths and why we are a championship team.

At the end of the session, they each bro-hugged and we had the best practice of the season. We went on to win the rest of our games and made the playoffs.

You see, my team got caught up, like all of us, to only recognize bad situations and decisions. We have to accept this is part of life that teaches us lessons. Once we can recognize this, then we can proceed to another level of determination and success.

I learned long ago to not cast stones. I’ve made some huge mistakes in life, so I wasn’t someone who could fault others for theirs. If I find your bad decisions will negatively impact my life, then I’ll eliminate you from my social circle, and move on.

Learn to forgive yourself, find the positives you possess and fall in love with the person who matters most — YOU.

It’s time to go look in the mirror and blow some kisses and winks at that awesome person looking back. It’s OK to look silly and laugh at yourself. Life can be a lot of fun if you let it.

So, here we go, another year of accomplishments to partake. You’re beautiful, handsome and the most compassionate person you know. Now, go out there and kick some butt because this is your year.

Time to delete the word “No”

By David Tepera, December 27, 2017

One of the first words almost every toddler learns is, “No.” Of course, because of kids’ curiosity, they are told “No” constantly due to safety and mischievous concerns. So, at an early age, the power of “No” is pounded into our brains.

Now, let’s take out all the negative, uncomfortable and dangerous concerns accompanied with “No,” which is important in those situations.

On the flip side, people who use the word “No” have power. These people feel they can stop you or at least deter you from accomplishing something.

Today’s lesson is about you overcoming the power of “No.” We’ve all heard of countless athletes accomplishing incredible feats because someone told them they couldn’t do it.

Michael Jordon has been very vocal about his high school basketball coach cutting him from the team in 10th grade.

During his Hall of Fame induction speech, he mentioned every person who told him “No” throughout his career. I believe we all know how that ended.

I feel every one of us have or had someone tell us we couldn’t succeed at something. We’ve been told “you’re too stupid, too fat, too old, too ugly, too broke or laughed at for our dumb ideas.”

Yes, those are harsh words, but it’s part of reality that keeps people down.

It took time and experience into my adulthood to figure out those people don’t want you to succeed because they are failures and have given up on life. Your success will make them feel worse about themselves.

Think about it. It makes a lot of sense.

Remember, it’s your life and your destiny to rise up and kick No’s butt. Yes, you’ll get knocked down, but jump back up and throw a knockout punch, and shout “Yes, I did it.”

Let’s take today to brush off the dust from being down for so long. It’s time to delete the word “No,” and to rise up, stick your chest out, put on your mug face to go win back life.

Roll with the changes

By David Tepera, December 20, 2017

In all sports, a team must adjust throughout the game. You can be losing, but if you make the proper adjustments, you can get back on top before it’s too late.

There have been situations where a team stayed with the same game plan, and the other team out-coached them in the second half. Also, holding back and making conservative adjustments can come back and bite you.

I actually made this mistake when coaching high school soccer. One particular year, our team wasn’t that strong compared to the district. We scored early against a dominant team and were up on the scoreboard. I put our strongest players on defense hoping to keep the opponent from scoring. But, what happened? My team was unable to score, so the opponent ended up beating us by one goal. I had to apologize to my players for not believing in their ability.

I promise, that coaching mistake never happened again.

The lesson learned, even in life, we must roll with the changes and keep adjusting, or we’ll get left behind.

As we all know, technology is constantly evolving and it’s difficult to keep up. Us old fogeys lose touch with the real world due to our old-school ways. I’m fortunate to have teenage children who help set up iPads, iPhones and social media.

I’m constantly searching for new ideas and leads, so keeping up with technology allows me to find success.

What about you? Do you feel you’re stuck in the same old occupation because you’re behind with society? One of the fastest growing job opportunities is in the IT industry. Almost all area colleges offer night classes. Did you know that there’s a shortage of welders? You can make a lot of money, even six figures!

Also, it’s easy for all of us to dwell on bad decisions from our past. Don’t let these negative experiences hold you back. We all make mistakes, so you have to keep moving forward and roll with the changes. I decided long ago to not let things I can’t control — control me.

Now, this year is almost over and will be considered our past. Let the remainder of the year be your ramp to leap over into the new year with a fresh start of conquering life. Make the adjustments necessary, roll with the changes and let 2018 be your championship run.

Put me in coach

By David Tepera, December 13, 2017

A common phrase most of us have heard through the years in reference to sports is “put me in, coach.” The true meaning of this phrase represents athletes that are so hyped up that they’re practically begging the coach to put them back in the game.

This type of enthusiastic athlete can be rare, but every coach loves them. Depending on the circumstances of why these players are on the sidelines, you have to respect their passion and desire to succeed.

As a former high school coach through the 1990s, I had a few elite players whose athletic ability made a difference on the outcome of each game. Of course, there were instances that sidelined them until the athletic trainer or I allowed them to return to the game.

They were like a locked up bull breaking out of a cage. These players went full speed — taking no prisoners. Their passion to win was overwhelming which spilled over onto teammates.

Notice, I didn’t reference any particular sport because I witnessed this passion in multiple sports, which included young men and women. If you’ve been reading my column long enough, you’d remember my story of three girls making my boys JV soccer team and were starters.

Now, this attitude of “put me in, coach” is in all of us. We all have passion brewing inside of us to accomplish specific goals. When you really want something bad enough, it takes over your total mental being. You’re like that caged bull ready to succeed with every ounce of energy and each inch of your body. Nothing can stop you because you’re on a mission to win a championship.

When’s the last time you went to work and were hyped to tackle every project or work order? Do you ever surprise your family on the weekend, have the car packed and ready to create lasting memories at the beach?

How about a candlelight dinner ready for wifey or hubby? You’ve made their special meal, along with a personalized card letting them know how much you appreciate their love and support. You might get to take that candle to the bedroom. Wink-wink!

Now, let today take over your creative mind and passionately pursue your day with a “put me in, coach” attitude. I promise, your life will be meaningful, plus impact those around you.

Love it while it’s here

By David Tepera, December 6, 2017

There’s no secret, most people still reflect on the glory years of high school. For those who competed in sports, typically high school was your heyday. If you had a winning season or not, you were probably in the best shape of your life and created lasting memories and friends.

But now, you’re just an old fogey like me, missing the good old days and wishing you could relive them again. At that time, you didn’t realize how much you loved the game until it was gone.

Even recently, you were probably involved in other uplifting experiences, but now they’ve come to an end. You might be a little disappointed and depressed because you didn’t really take in the moment while it was happening. It never crossed your mind that all good things really do come to an end.

Over the past several years, I’ve been attending quite a few funerals celebrating people’s lives. It’s common that everyone closest to the deceased wished they’d spent more time with them.

We all do get caught up in routines with our busy lives. Most days are filled with work and weekends loaded with kid activities.

I know it’s hard to think about it, but sometimes we must recognize that we will lose people close to us. You’ve been putting off spending time with grandparents, parents and other relatives.

Believe me, I completely understand. I’ve been a single parent for more than 12 years and venturing out of our routine has been most challenging. I don’t visit others as frequently as I should. I recognize the disappointment within myself for not taking a step back from my schedule to spend time with people who unconditionally love me.

Sorry, I’m really not trying to be a downer today, but just hoping to make you slow down and go love and hug those people who miss you.

I’m sure most of us have already experienced losing someone we’d like to just sit and talk, laugh and cry, eat a meal, have a drink and just enjoy the moment with again.

So, maybe today, you can take a step back and reach out to those special people while you can. I guarantee a new memory will be made that’ll be cherished forever.

Remember, you once loved the game and now it’s over, but it’s not too late to reach out and love your family. Sometimes, all it takes is a phone call.

What color do you see?

By David Tepera, November 29, 2017

In the game of football, besides special teams, you’re either on offense or defense. As complicated as the game may seem, it’s really just black and white.

Offensive players’ goals are to take the ball down the field to score a touchdown. The defensive players’ goals are to tackle the ball carrier to keep the opponent from scoring.

I was recently in a debated discussion with someone who only could see this world in black and white. They’ve somehow let others dictate their emotions, and you’re either on their side or perceived as the enemy.

Even though we disagreed, I pointed out the beauty and passion this person possessed. I only suggested, “if you could use that same passion towards beauty and color, your life will explode in goodness.”

Let me ask you, “how do you see life?” Do you only see black and white, good or evil, or do you recognize color and beauty each of us hold?

How do you treat people? Is it with hatred and negativity or with kindness and love?

I’ve had multiple conversations with people in power positions who are having difficulty with their employees. My first question about their leadership is, “do you put your workers down or lift them up?”

There’s not one person on this planet who doesn’t enjoy the words of encouragement, especially coming from someone special.

How do you respond to your children? Are you caught up only yelling at them for wrong decisions, or do you give praise for all the good deeds?

Remember the classic movie Wizard of Oz? The movie starts off in black and white because the characters are living in gloom and despair on a poor farm, plus a storm is brewing.

But, as soon as Dorothy and Toto land on Oz, brilliant colors are displayed. Do you remember the joyous feeling that came over you as all the explosion of vivacious colors rush into your eyesight? It’s at this moment you followed the yellow brick road with Dorothy and became one of the characters.

Now, why don’t we all see the beauty each of us possess? When’s the last time you shook hands with a total stranger and gave them a compliment?

It’s time we all throw away black and white to enjoy the beautiful colors that surround us. We need it. Don’t you agree?

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.”