Category Archives: Inspiration

Fake it with attitude

By David Tepera, March 21, 2018

Recently, I attended a bodybuilding and physique competition to watch my 19-year-old son Dylan and many other friends compete. At this elite level, most muscular bodies are very similar, so the judges are forced to score competitors based on posing routines.

The importance of stage presence and performance is critical because the competitor must be flawless and project confidence. Part of their showmanship is owning the stage, along with a sense of cockiness.

For Dylan, me and all my family members who compete, the cockiness takes us out of our comfort zone.

You see, naturally, my family and I are very conservative, reserved and kind to everyone. But, we also recognize to succeed, we must take over the stage with a sole purpose of winning. So, for that brief moment, we are trying to knock you out by faking it with attitude.

Now, let’s think about your current life. For those still participating in sports, no one likes to expose their weaknesses. You can’t let your opponent see you cower or be reserved. You must take on the stance of seeming cocky and let your actions overpower a mindset.

Now, my definition of cocky is through attitude and determination. It’s not by using discriminating words to demean anyone. I hope this message is clear.

How many of you are competing for job promotions? Are you the leader that gets the job done and lifts everyone’s spirit? Or, do you fly below the radar hoping no one takes notice?

If you want to get ahead in life, then it’s time to step out of your comfort zone and fake it with attitude.

We typically all have morning routines. Part of mine is psyching myself up in the mirror before heading out the door. Each morning, I challenge myself to be a better worker, father, trainer and person.

We all know, this world is competitive, and if you don’t get out there to kick some butt, you’re going to lose the battle. Yep, you’ll get knocked down, bloodied and sucker-punched. But, today you’re going to jump back up with an attitude to win. Sometimes, you have to fake it until it sinks in and becomes part of your determined character.

So, I challenge you today. What are you truly made of? Whatcha got? Get mad and go out the door with attitude to win the day.

Just know, Dylan took first place and is undefeated for two years running. I’m proud of that boy.

Get up and do it again

By David Tepera, March 13, 2018

During my children’s childhood, while teaching them new experiences, there were many times they would fall-down or get hurt. I would find myself constantly telling them “get up and do it again.”

Now, before you judge me, I always made sure they weren’t injured. Really, typically, the only thing hurt was their feelings.

Also, throughout multiple years of coaching youth sports and even high school, I saw way too many parents babying their kids. Most of these kids were never hurt, they just knew their parents would run to their rescue and bail them out of an embarrassing situation.

Look, you can parent whichever way is best for you and your children. I don’t judge. I only observe because you can parent a dozen kids in the same manner, and you’ll still get 12 different outcomes. If you’re a multi-child family, then you understood that last statement.

But, for me, I chose to teach my kids the lessons of digging deep to accomplish a task, even after a complete failure.

A few examples in our house were: getting hit by a pitch, crashing on your bicycle, catching a football with your face, collisions in soccer and much more.

As of today, even though they are late teenagers, I’m proud to say, this part of my teaching skills is paying off. My kids know winning doesn’t come easy.

Constantly reinforcing this determined behavior in my children has forced me do the same as an adult.

How many of you get frustrated with your job, spouse, family, diet, exercise and so on?

Don’t we all want to cry for mommy to come rescue us?

But guess what? If you want to be the leader in your family, then you must develop the character as one.

There will be many times throughout life where we will get knocked down. Never allow anyone or any situation to keep you down. Let the intensity boil inside, dig deep and just get up and do it again because with the right mindset, you’ll succeed in life.

Let’s go fishing

By David Tepera, March 6, 2018

I believe if you live in Galveston County, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the sport of fishing.

As a young boy, growing up in West Texas City, there were three man-made lakes near my house. All the boys in the neighborhood and I would frequent those lakes and spend hours fishing along the banks.

We typically used artificial bait, so we were constantly casting over and over hoping to get a bite. As we all know, once something tugs on the line, you jerk the pole and start reeling in the catch.

Do you remember the thrill of not knowing what was on the other end of the line? Which type of fish and how big? You’re trying to guess by the fight of the reel and the bend in the pole.

But, sometimes, the fish didn’t turn out to be that great; you’re disappointed, but you keep casting hoping for the big one. But really, you know through time that eventually you’ll land the big granddaddy of a prize.

All us boys wanted to land the big catch of the day for bragging rights, and tease who ever had the small-fry. Of course, we each took turns on the outcomes at each fishing excursion.

If you think about it, life is very similar to the sport of fishing. How many of you are disappointed with your current career choice? Maybe it’s time to update your resume and start casting it out into the sea of opportunity.

You won’t know what big fish is trolling out there and looking for someone of your quality unless you jump in the water. Sometimes, it takes gathering up a few small fish in order to build experience into your resume.

Look, I think we all know it can be a scary world out there. It’s like that big ocean because you don’t know what’s lurking beneath, but don’t let the unknown prevent you from getting your feet wet.

I told my kids that once they’re through with their education, come live or stay at home for at least another year. I want them to chase their dreams and passions and not worry about the initial income.

You’ll need to gather work experience, learn the interview process, and understand how to interact with all people.

Now, to all of you who feel other circumstances are keeping you down, don’t let your age, education or minimal work experience keep you from baiting your hook. Grab your tackle box, get all your gear organized and cast your line because the whale is hungry.

So, my friends, I’ll see you on the pier, and let’s all go fishing because today you’ll earn all the bragging rights.

The Thrill of Victory

By David Tepera, February 27, 2018

If you’ve ever competed in sports, you’ve experienced the agony of defeat. We know it happens every season, and it’s part of the process. That depressing feeling of defeat is what makes victories so much sweeter.

The part of defeat that’s typically most difficult is when there is still a little time on the clock, and you know the score is unreachable, but you must finish the game. You’re probably feeling embarrassed, upset and ready to get out of there.

But, what always impresses me the most, are those players who will battle to the end because pride is on the line.

Which player can you identify with? The one who will never quit or the one who gives up? I’m not trying to fool anyone, I’ve given up and felt defeated plenty of times. I did this in sports, in life and was ashamed of myself.

Now think, typically in the game of life, everything starts off slow, but gathers momentum.

Of course, the purpose is to keep moving forward to reach the goal line, bases, basket and so on. What goals are in front of you? Are you moving forward or backward?

Right now, you have developed a habitual thought process. What thoughts constantly take over your day? Where does your mental energy spend its time? Remember, what ever you’re thinking about will become your actions.

If you’re not sure what your actions are, then look around at your friends. I promise, you are just like them. And, your kids are doing the same things their friends are.

I gave up on close friends over 13 years ago when I became a single parent. My focus was on my kids and the types of friends they chose.

Let’s take today and start a new process of engaging. Kick defeat out of your house. You’ve probably been dwelling in defeat way too long. Remember, defeat is only in the mind of the defeated. Let setbacks become opportunities. Redirect yourself and push for the goal line.

You were made to succeed, so get out there and show us what you’ve got because it’s time to feel the thrill of victory.

Victim or Valor – Your choice

By David Tepera, February 21, 2018

One of the many reasons we all enjoy participating in or watching sports is due to the conflict of battle. Pick a sport, and almost each play ends with some type of win or loss. You either gained momentum or lost ground, scored a point or gave the ball over, including offense and defense overpowering each other.

Of course, depending on who you’re rooting for, we all enjoy watching the underdog team come from behind to win in the last minute or seconds of a game. It’s a part of life that we all subconsciously relate to and want to personally accomplish.

Every one of us have experienced situations of defeat. We were doing our best in the battle of life, but somehow fell victim in the end. Depending on the circumstance, these negative experiences impact our whole mental state for a very long time, if not forever.

Just know, besides the extreme definition of victim, it is also defined as a person who has been duped, tricked or suckered.

How many of you have been duped in a relationship? That person was putting on an impressive front, but eventually and through time, reality kicked in and you realized it was all bologna, and now you feel like a fool.

Don’t let these people prevent you from giving up on relationships and love. You must take this as an experience that helps you to discover quality and sincerity in others. That negative situation was needed to help cross paths in finding your soul mate.

Now, choose any other situation where you felt victimized. The only way you will be a victim, is if you let it. Choose to stand up tall, poke your chest out and let the world know that it can try to knock you down, but you’ll come up swinging.

I’ll keep fighting through difficult times because I am brave, courageous, fearless and daring. There’s no victim in this body, you’ll only find valor.

A person of valor is known to have great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle. Never forget, that person is you.

Let today be your decision day. At this very moment, you’ll never consider yourself as a victim. Stand up and shout, “That’s it world, I’m busting through these doors to be victorious. From this day forward, I am a valor and I’m about to kick some butt.”

Love through a healthy lifestyle

By David Tepera, February 14, 2018

Without giving a complete history lesson about Valentine’s Day, it has been celebrated for love and romance since the 14th century. The first expression of courtly love was through flowers and greeting cards known as “valentines.” This was to be considered as a romantic symbol and expression.

Of course, we all know this tradition has carried into modern day. Yes, flowers, cards and chocolate are an all-time favorite, but sometimes, it can be a bore.

Now, being a fitness column, I wanted to share other ways to fall in love to consider. When’s the last time you invited your special person to take a walk, exercise, work out in the gym, or even grocery shop and cook?

If you noticed, all these suggestions were health related. My training partner for over a year is female, and even though I outweigh her by 60 pounds, we have incredible workouts. Tina is exceptionally strong. And yes, we’ll enjoy a special valentine’s dinner.

To us, we observe many husbands and wives in the gym, but you wouldn’t know it until they leave out the door. Of course, I don’t know their situations, but I do know the gym is great bonding time. I feel, at least pick one day out of the week, and lift weights or do cardio together. I promise, it’ll bring you closer, plus it can be a lot of fun.

Grab your spouse by the hand and invite them for a long brisk walk. Make the whole exercise about them. Let them know how much you love and appreciate all that they do. Go through a whole list of reasons why they are special to you.

I don’t know about you, but I truly hate grocery shopping. I cook six days out of the week, my life is extremely busy, and slowing down to fight my way through the aisles each week is an absolute pain.

Believe me, I’m sure your spouse feels the same way I do. Next time, don’t ask, just go with them and make it special occasion. Act like kids, be silly and find a way to flirt throughout each aisle. I suggest starting in the produce section. Wink-wink.

Now, I was only giving a few easy suggestions for a healthy Valentine’s Day. Let your creative mind explore other possibilities to take the bore out of this special day.

For those of you who don’t have a significant other, then go splurge this day on you. Spoil yourself like a king or queen because, really, the person you should love the most is yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

No boulder too big

By David Tepera, February 6, 2018

How many of you are still struggling with diets? You’ve made a New Year’s resolution; now, it’s February, and you want to throw in the towel. Don’t fret because you are in the 90th percentile of all people.

Let’s be real. Proper dieting is probably one of the hardest parts of life to stick with. That’s why there are so many new trends constantly hitting the market. I’m sure most of you have failed one diet after the other, so you keep trying the new fad.

Just know, when a diet program claims to lose lots of weight within a week or two, it’s mostly water weight. That’s why you’re stuck-in-a-rut by the third week.

Listen, no matter which diet plan you’re trying, it will take at least a month to honestly see and feel the results.

I try to explain to people, dieting is just like everything else we try to accomplish in life. It’s similar to pushing a huge boulder up a hill. At first, it’s difficult to get traction. Then you start gaining a little momentum, but it takes discipline to keep grinding it out.

After you’ve put in a good amount of time (plus it’s part of your daily routine), the boulder will seem smaller and start increasing speed. And, eventually, you’ll get to the top of the hill or desired weight, along with easy coasting and better results.

Besides dieting, uphill boulder pushing has been part of the process in everything you’ve ever achieved. If it’s not difficult and doesn’t require discipline, then you really didn’t achieve anything substantial.

Don’t let challenges and setbacks stop you. It’s just life telling you to dig in a little deeper because you’re getting closer to winning. It’s the same as a final round in an all-out brawl of a championship fight. You will have to dig in deep with pride and start swinging like your life depended on it.

Let today be the day to regroup, takes some deep breaths and mentally prepare yourself to take control of the boulder.

When you have the desire, dedication and discipline, nothing can stop you from achieving your goals. Get out there and take on this world. Be the beast in your family and show everyone you can move boulders like throwing bowling balls.

Remember, there is no boulder too big because you were made to rule the mountain.

Who believes in you?

By David Tepera, January 31, 2018

I’m sure most everyone has heard a reporter interview a star athlete after winning a championship game. And, as usual, these players will thank their teammates, along with saying, “we just kept believing in each other and that helped us to find a way to win.”

Now, most all championship games are full of ups and downs. One minute you’re winning, and next minute you’re losing. But, as a team, throughout the whole season, you’ve battled through the down times to fight your way back in the game. You can’t win championships without believing in each other’s ability.

So, the question is: Who can believe in you? And, who can you believe in?

We all live different lives, but our common denominator is family, work and friends.

For me, I believe marital or strong relationships are based on respectful partnerships. All major decisions affecting the relationship should have equal value. Yes, you’ll have disagreements, but believing in each other’s knowledge and instincts will create winning solutions.

Can your employer or employees believe in you? No matter your position, are you the worker that leads by example, or the slacker and whiner that brings everyone down?

Listen, we all get caught up fighting the grind every day. We have our own personal battles, but we all interact with each other. Just because you decided to show everyone you’re having a bad day, it doesn’t mean that others aren’t having a one, too. They just chose to not show it and prove that everyone can still believe in their ability to get the job done.

A well-known phrase is, “there are three types of people in this world — those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who don’t know what’s happening.”

Which category do you find yourself?

There’s really nothing more challenging than getting out of your comfort zone. Let today be the day you choose to show everyone they can believe in you. We’ve all made mistakes, but each day there should be lessons to develop stronger character and integrity.

But lastly, and most of all, you should believe in yourself.

Life is a Rollercoaster

By David Tepera, January 24, 2018

If you’ve been watching the NFL playoffs, then you’ve observed a rollercoaster of games. It’s been quite a battle between teams with constant lead changes.

Since I’m part of the University of Houston alumni association, I’m a huge Case Keenum fan.

My son Dylan and I were watching the Vikings versus Saints game, and witnessed the game-winning touchdown pass on the last play. I was already a little depressed because it looked like the Vikings had let the game slip away. But then, I leapt off the couch and screamed with excitement as the game came to a rollercoaster end.

You have to admit, it was the water cooler talk at most offices on the following day.

Before you Saints fans get mad at me, don’t get me wrong, I think Drew Brees is an incredible, stand-up guy, but I have to go with my alma mater.

That night, I reflected back over my years and recognized life is its own rollercoaster. You typically start off a little slow and clumsily battle your way up a steep hill hoping to reach the top to find success. Then, out of nowhere, life can take a fast drop that seems to be out of control. Once it stops dropping, you’re trying to gather yourself while life keeps moving around a sharp corner. But, just when you think you’ve regained control, life takes you on an upside-down loop-the-loop. Now, you’re faced with getting your bearings again.

Think about this, that’s just it, no matter what life throws at you, you can somehow regroup yourself and keep pressing forward.

Really, we should all be excited that life has its ups and downs. If not, you’re not living. Get out there and challenge yourself against the elements. Who cares if you fall down and fail? Give yourself a high five for effort because next time you’ll get it.

Just remember, with determination and a positive attitude, you’ll always land on your feet.

So, hang on baby and let the ride begin because it’s going to be an exciting adventure on this rollercoaster of life.

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.