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.

The speed of the game equals the speed of life

By DAVID TERPERA | Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My daughter’s volleyball experience is similar to life.

My daughter, Daylyn, is a club volleyball player. This year, she moved up to the 14-year-olds level.

The biggest difference compared to last year is the speed of the game. These 14-year-olds are flying all over the court with great saves, power serves, bumps, and spikes.

If you notice, speed increases with each level in all sports. How many times have you heard a rookie in the NFL say the difference between professional and college is the speed of the game?

I feel this is just how life moves. When we were kids, it seemed like it took forever for our birthdays or Christmas to come back around. Now, it seems like we just celebrated them.

You see, as we get older, life does seem to speed up. We now have so many more responsibilities, along with financial obligations and debt, that we get caught in a time warp. Because of this, we keep putting off our goals, ambitions and health.

Don’t give up on your dreams. What are your goals? Do you want to continue your education, get in better shape, find a better job, get out of a bad relationship, get off drugs and alcohol or find religion?

The list is endless according to your professional and personal lives. Write down your life goals and put a plan together. Share your plan with others to help be accountable.

Don’t let Father Time fly by you. Don’t throw in the towel and feel you’re too old, too late or too dumb.

Colonel Sanders founded Kentucky Fried Chicken when he was 65-years-old. Ronald Reagan became the 40th president of the United States at the ripe old age of 70.

Stick to your plan, love all people, volunteer, and be the amazing person that’s been hiding under your skin.

It’s your life — be happy. Go for it — you deserve it.

If you want to change your life, take the shot

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I want to share a story from an experience my son learned through basketball. It’s a life lesson for all of us.

Dylan is a 10th-grader playing basketball for his high school team. A few weeks ago, his team was down by two points with time running out. He found the ball in his hands, behind the three-point line, with 5 seconds left on the clock.

Dylan glanced at the basket and chose to pass to his teammate. His teammate shot the ball and missed the bucket. My son’s team lost the game. No big deal, this is part of the experience in playing sports.

Afterward, we had an opportunity to discuss the game. I asked Dylan if his teammate had lost the game for missing the shot. Dylan’s reply, “No sir, not at all.” I then asked if his teammate made the shot, would he have won the game? Dylan’s reply “Absolutely.” I looked at Dylan and told him, “Take the shot”.

One shot doesn’t lose a game, but one shot can win a game.

That’s a lesson in life for all of us. We are all afraid to expose our weaknesses. Are there certain aspects of your life you want to change?

Are you a salesman and want to ask a client for their business? Take the shot. Is there a friend or family member where there is a conflict and a need to rekindle the relationship? Take the shot. Do you need to change your diet and start exercising? Take the shot.

Whatever you are dealing with in your lives — take the shot.

If you never take the shot, then nothing changes and life stays the same. If you take the shot, then it could be a life changer. Even if you miss the shot, you’ve accomplished so much more.  You now have the experience and confidence to take another shot.

Wayne Gretsky, famous hockey player, once said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”

So, as in basketball and in life, don’t hesitate. Take the shot and fulfill your dreams

Help strengthen relationships through fitness

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Have your kids grown up and are out of the house? Do you look at your spouse and ask “Who are you?” For the last 18 plus years, your lives were focused around raising your kids. And now, there is a major void in your lives. The most important thing you had in common is gone.

This is actually an exciting time in your mature lives — you get to date again. Now, it’s time to rekindle and strengthen the love you once had for each other.

My personal thought: there’s no better way to fall in love again than through fitness. 

I’ve interviewed multiple couples in my local gym, ranging from mid 20s to almost 90 years old. Almost all of them warm up together on a variety of cardio machines, lift weights together, join a cardio class or do their own thing to end up back together before they leave the gym. Not only are you improving your health, but improving your relationships at the same time. 

You don’t always need a gym. You can take walks, bike rides and perform various core exercises together at home. Why not try something completely different and go ice or roller skating? You should get a huge laugh out of it, and who cares if you’re the oldest people there?

It gets even better. Now, you can grocery shop together to choose best diet and healthy foods. At home, share the kitchen and learn to cook heathy in a variety of ways.

The kitchen is a great place to flirt. Preparing food, cooking, setting tables, and cleaning up can be a sexy romantic environment. It’s your private time, so why not grab here, pinch there and wear loose comfy clothes, if you know what I mean? By the way, I don’t recommend olive oil for anything but cooking.

Always make sure to give daily compliments and encouragement.  Hearing a compliment from the person you love is most special. 

Put a smile on each other’s face, and enjoy being teenagers again, with a mature twist.

Winning in life starts with winning attitude

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Are you in need of a pay raise? Is there a specific job opening or a possible promotion within your company? Are there other people in your position applying for the same promotion and you need an edge?

If everyone is equal in production and work ethic, who would you hire? The person who dresses sloppy and is way overweight, or the person who possess physical fitness? Think about it. Who would you want representing your company?

Sloppy dress and out of shape bodies reflect lack of discipline and non-leadership skills. A physically fit person reflects strength, confidence and leadership. It might not be fair, but it’s reality. 

Where do you stand amongst your coworkers? Are you the person you would hire? 

Maybe, it’s time to make a change and do something about it. The one aspect in your life that you can change is you. 

Start by getting into better shape and stop making excuses, pointing fingers and complaining. Once you’re on the right path of improvement, the world will open up. I promise, lifting weights and doing cardio will build confidence and determination.

People want to be associated with winners and positive people. No one wants to socialize with whiny people, negative attitudes and complainers, except for other negative people. Notice, people who complain the most hang out with each other. Which crowd are you in?

Kick people with bad attitude to the curb, and only surround yourself with winners. Winners learn from each other, share great ideas and put them into action. That’s why they are on top of their game and keep getting pay raises and promotions. 

Get to work 15 minutes earlier than your supervisor, and stay 15 minutes after they leave. Volunteer for a small project to show dedication and worthiness. Your company will be impressed and give you more responsibility. 

I guarantee, your increased paycheck will come, and so will the promotions. 

Become that person you would hire, and have the incredible life you deserve.

Change your thinking, change your quality of life

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014

There are no limits on what you can do, except for the limits you place upon yourself.

You are truly an amazing and exceptional person, and can achieve anything you want, if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. The important key is to start today and never give up.

I never thought a boy, who couldn’t make a grade higher than a C in English class, would become a columnist for a well-respected newspaper.

If you’re not satisfied with your current fitness state or life circumstances, then you must change your thinking. You must mentally train to visualize yourself as you desire to be.

When performing fitness exercises, do you visualize yourself as a professional athlete? For example — while running, what are your body mechanics? Are you running with slump shoulders, sloppy hands and feet? Or, do you visualize an Olympic athlete racing for a gold medal?

How do you walk around in daily life? Throw your shoulders back, walk with confidence, and give off the presence of the amazing person you truly are.

Take charge of your life. All successes and failures are completely in your control. Failures are learning steps towards success. It’s failures that make successes much more meaningful.

If losing weight and toning our bodies was easy, then we would all possess them. That’s why you get so much respect from others when they see your dedication to improve. It’s not easy, but the results are rewarding.

We all have an athlete within us. It’s up to you to have the discipline and desire to improve in every aspect of your life — be that physical, emotional, educational, or financial.

Today is that day you’ve been waiting for. Now, get up and scream, “Today, I’m going to kick bad habit’s butt!”

Hit a dead end in fitness program? Mix it up

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Have you been working out a few months or more, and your body isn’t making any improvements? During the first few months, you were losing weight, getting sore muscles and dropping dress and belt sizes. Now, nothing seems to be happening. Are you stuck and getting frustrated?

This happens to all of us, and the answer is somewhat simple. Your body has adjusted to your workouts, met the demands you placed upon it, and has settled. 

You can’t keep doing the same routine over and over. You have to play tricks on your body which forces it to continually adjust. 

For cardio, find at least three different types of exercises and regularly change it up. Each week, pick a different cardio exercise like treadmill, bike, speed walk, stair climber, Precor and others. Get your heart rate up where you feel it beating in your chest.

For weightlifting, change the order of muscle groups in your routine, use different machines and free weights, use heavy weights one week and the following week use light weights with high repetition. 

Confuse your body with variety of workouts and it will continually make changes.

This will get you out of a rut, plus it’s a lot more fun. We are all creatures of habit, and making changes throws us out of our comfort zone. That’s why us older folks struggle with all the new technology in the world. By the way, when did Etch-a-Sketch turn into iPads? 

You have one life. This is no dress rehearsal. Every day needs to be a step closer to your goals, no matter your age. Don’t throw in the towel on life — use it to wipe off sweat. Challenge yourself today, step out of your comfort zone and make a difference in you and the people around you.

Consider investing in a personal trainer

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Have you ever walked into a gym and were overwhelmed by all the fitness equipment? It can be intimidating looking at the sea of weights and cardio machines. You probably felt like a high school freshman on the first day of school.

If you haven’t worked out in quite some time or need help accomplishing fitness goals, then seek a personal trainer.

There are many qualified trainers who will help acclimate to a gym environment. You’ll learn which weight lifting equipment targets specific muscle groups and how to activate cardio machines to burn calories.

A good trainer will listen to your specific goals and set up personalized programs to accomplish them. Trainers should be highly motivating, informative and completely focused on you during the hour training sessions.

Here is my personal advice in choosing a personal trainer. First of all, when starting a program, only invest in minimal amount of training sessions. You need to make sure there is a personality connection with your trainer, and they are truly involved with your fitness goals. You’ll have a tendency to purchase larger amounts of training sessions due to overall costs being lower, but you don’t want to be stuck and disappointed if this trainer isn’t for you.

Second, if the trainer is pushing you to purchase supplements and products, then they are only interested in making money. You don’t need to purchase any products when starting a fitness program. Your body will make improvements, and energy levels will increase by just getting in motion.

After a period of time, if you feel the need, then a qualified personal trainer or nutritionist will help set up a personalized diet program.

Remember, training sessions are your “Me Time”, so make the most out of it!

Eat, if you want to lose weight

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Most people think they must skip meals or eat as little as possible in order to lose weight, but doing either of those makes you feel horrible and almost certainly fails.

The good news is, you actually should never go hungry and eat six to seven times a day. I eat all day long and have a low body fat percentage.

You’ve might had heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Guess what? It is. This is the meal you can load up on carbs like whole wheat pancakes, toast, waffles or oatmeal for the best choice.

These complex carbs give you energy to burn throughout the day. Then, every two to three hours prior to lunch, replenish energy levels with raw nuts, fruits and vegetables. Repeat process until dinner. There are other healthy snacks. I only listed a few.

Note: It’s important to reduce carbs after breakfast to very minimal by dinner. Eating carbs into the evening will only store as fat.

Replenishing your body with quality food keeps metabolism burning all day. When you starve, your metabolism shuts down and tries to hang on to as much fat as possible. Starving also forces your body to tap into muscle tissue for energy. So, when you look at the scale and are excited that you’ve lost weight, sorry to inform you but a good percentage of that weight loss is muscle. And, if you blow your diet, you’ve put more fat on top of smaller muscle. Now you look worse than ever. That’s the destruction of fad diets.

Think about it, how did our prehistoric ancestors survive through harsh winters? The body has an amazing way of surviving. It won’t burn fat if it’s needed to live. When you skip meals, the body goes into survival mode. Make sense?

Dr. Roxanne Edrington from Friendswood said it best, “It’s like building a fire. You have to keep adding a log every hour or so to keep the fire burning.” The fire is your metabolism and the logs are food energy sources.

Remember, you’re only trying to be healthier for a better quality of life. Don’t worry about a little extra fat here and there. Just as long as you feel better and have more energy.

Strive for progress, not perfection

Weight training, cardio helps conquer depression

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014

This week’s article is dedicated to a couple of friends of mine battling depression due to personal tragedies. We’ve all had or will encounter adverse situations in our lives, like divorce, loss of a loved one and unemployment. I’ve experienced all three, and weight training became my medicine. My goal was to wear myself out in order to sleep at night, but it helped me to start enjoying life again. To my surprise, I was able to get into incredible shape through the process.

Duke University performed a study finding 60 percent of people who trained four months for 40 minutes four times a week overcame depression without the use of antidepressant medication.

A Harvard study found that 10 weeks of strength training reduced clinical depression more successfully than counseling.

Now, don’t misunderstand me, some people need professional help, along with support from family and friends. I’m only giving you an option to consider because it worked for me personally.

Some proven facts from weight training are — instant release of endorphins which is the “feel good” hormone, stress reduction, increased energy levels and improved immune system.

Go outside to walk, run or bike and move faster than before. Feel the fresh air filling your lungs, the sun radiating on your skin and the sweat pouring to cool your body against the wind.

Get into a weight room to take out all your anxiety and frustration against the hard cold iron. Challenge yourself and push more weight than usual. Use every force of muscle to its limits with a “take no prisoner” attitude. You’ll walk out of that gym ready to conquer whatever life throws at you.

You’re going to feel better, look better and receive plenty of attention and compliments on your new body.

Remember, you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always control how you respond to it. Surround yourself around happy people, watch comedy shows and movies, read motivational books and put on some great music to dance around the house showing off your best moves.

Life is awesome because you’re in it with me. Through my years, I’ve found beauty and love in everyone and it’s changed my life forever.

1st marathon a humbling experience

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014

First of all, if you have the desire to run a marathon, get proper shoes, train and go for it. It is quite an exhilarating experience and athletic accomplishment. Besides the physical grind it takes to complete a marathon, there’s a mental toughness component as well.

I don’t recommend training for too many marathons because the constant road pounding takes its toll on your feet, knees and hips, especially for women. Ladies, you’re not built for long distance running unless you don’t have childbearing hips. Female femur bones are torqued from hips to knees, and can cause wear and pain. Of course, there are exceptions, and I commend your dedication.

Fourteen years ago, I decided to run the Houston marathon for my 40th birthday. The race is typically in January, so I started training in August. My training was progressing very well in distance and time. Then my daughter was born in November, and all training stopped. I was the father who did all late night feedings.

January came around and I hadn’t run in over two months. I decided to go for it, since I’d already invested money into the race. The weather was sunny and cool, which made for perfect running conditions.

The race started and I felt fairly well until the 12th mile. That’s when King Kong jumped on my back and I carried him the rest of the way. I did finish the 26.2 mile race, which took me five and a half hours.

There are large crowds of people who attend these events cheering on the runners. During my last few miles, the crowd felt sorry for me and kept yelling “You’re going to make it.” That’s what happens when you look like a zombie limping down the road.

I finally crossed the finish line crying like a newborn baby. Someone snapped a picture and sent it to me. I had the picture blown up to poster size, so I could boast to all my friends and family. Well, to my humility, the oversized picture exposed my crocodile tears and large snot bubbles exploding from my nostrils. The poster never made it to the wall.

It took me two months to recover and I haven’t run since.