Find the solution

By David Tepera, November 1, 2017

In every sporting event, defeating situations and challenging objectives are constant. For example, when a team is losing at halftime, the coach needs to develop a new strategy.

There are many coaches who are great at making halftime adjustments to come back and outsmart the opponent. I should know, I was raised by a football defensive coordinator, and observed my dad during games throughout my entire childhood.

Other mastermind coaches are five-time Super Bowl winning Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots. He is known for out-coaching opponents by coming back and ripping their hearts out. Head basketball coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs holds the same record in the NBA. Plus, both these amazing coaches are currently leading their teams to another season. Obviously, these men are hall of famers who are masterminds at problem solving.

Now, don’t we all have difficulty and problems in every category of our lives? Do you dwell on challenging situations, or try to strategize a positive solution?

Take a deep look into your life. Are you a problem solver or a problem maker? I understand, I’ve just asked a personal question that no one wants to answer. We all want to play the blame game for reasons why we’ve become stuck in a rut.

I want you to realize that our minds are powerful when it comes to strategizing and problem solving. It just takes releasing all negative thoughts and dive deep into concentration with a positive mindset. This will allow your mind to accept new ideas and become creative.

I know I’m getting a little deep today, but we all eventually hit a roadblock in life and there must be a better way out.

Have you ever sat around with a group of friends, business partners or spouses to strategize a solution to a particular problem? Once someone begins the conversation, then mental creativity occurs, and everyone has ideas.

Many of today’s and most of tomorrow’s inventions will be created through this process.

Maybe today is the opportunity to truly expand your mind and resolve your most difficult problems.

I know many people who are facing health crises for a variety of reasons. Some more severe than others. Typically, an immediate strategy is crucial, and requires input from doctors, therapists, family and spouses. As long as you have a plan in place, and surrounded by encouragement and love, you’ll conquer the crises and live a prosperous life.

No matter what you’re facing today, take a deep breath and focus on positive solutions and kick stinking-thinking to the curb. This will fast track you back on path, plus life will soar to new heights.

It’s game day

By David Tepera, October 24, 2017

It’s game day! You’re coming out of the gate with a fierce vengeance. All the hard work, training, studying, sweat and bruises have prepared you for this day.

Just know, everyone has aches and pains on game day. It’s those who can embrace the pain, forget its existence and charge forward that will become victorious.

For the past nine months, I’ve been training an elite athlete for a world-class competition. Her body has bruises, there’s back and shoulder pain, plus the exhaustion of an extreme diet. But, when she looks in the mirror, there’s a gladiator staring back ready to conquer the enemy.

Keep in mind, there’s a difference between pain and injury, but that explanation is for another day.

What about all you other athletes? Have you truly prepared, or just went through the motions because it’s a team sport? Yes, support your teammates to win in the trenches, but you must hold up your end to win championships.

Challenge yourself to prepare endlessly because game day isn’t only physical competition. Don’t we all have careers, children, spouses or goals? Are you prepared to give your best to your employer or employees? Which role model have you chosen to be for your children? Did you teach your kids to put a hand out or a hand in?

Most people are in relationships. Yes, we get comfortable with each other, but sometimes, someone is taking advantage of the other. It might be time to step up your game and quit being a lazy grumpy slacker. You wouldn’t want to live with that person, so don’t be it. Find good in everyone and love those around you.

Why not wake up today and choose to be the ultimate you. Go beyond the norm to be adventurous and daring. Step out of your comfort zone and quit worrying about what others think. It’s your head that lays on the pillow at night reflecting the day’s events. What will you be thinking about tonight and planning for tomorrow?

Don’t let your dreams die. We are only on this earth for a short time, and it’s never too late to make an impact. When you change your life, you change others. Become the leader in your family and teach your children to never give up on dreams because getting ready for game day will turn dreams into reality.

Find your passion

By David Tepera, October 17, 2017

In a few weeks, hundreds of athletes, my training partner Tina and I will be competing in an international world physique competition. Even though we’ve been training for countless months, the last six weeks requires total dedication and focus.

Our lives have been more than just weightlifting, it’s a complete lifestyle every hour of the day. To be a champion, timing of certain complex carbs, proteins, water and sodium is a must. The entire preparation is to be at your best on game day. Our passion to win has completely consumed us.

My question to you is — what’s your passion? What makes you wake up every morning to be at your best? What are you willing to sacrifice in order to reach the ultimate goal? Do you truly want to be a champion or just receive a participation trophy?

We all have a desire to go beyond the norm, but the will to sacrifice can be most challenging. Are you willing to get up early mornings and stay up late to study, learn, educate or train? Can you give up bad habits, partying and break away from those who hold you back?

We all have different lifestyles, but you honestly know that so much more can be accomplished by eliminating negative factors.

Isn’t today the day you’ve had enough? Tell yourself, “that’s it, I control my life, so get out of my way because I’m not going around you.”

We are all put on this earth to make lives better and to be a productive and kind citizen. I don’t care what your current status is because you know deep in your heart that it can start changing immediately with a determined mindset.

Yes, I’m being very direct today, but sometimes, someone needs to get in your face and tell you, “wake up.”

Listen, this is your day. Let passion consume and boil inside of you. Feel the intensity growing to become what you truly desire to be. You’re already a champion, so let that warrior out and bust through this life to kick some butt. Stomp your feet, pound your chest and shout at the top of your lungs, “I will be what I was destined to be.”

Let sports be your happy place

By David Tepera, October 11, 2017

Here we go, for the next nine months there are multiple professional sports to enjoy. October and November are the only two months of the year where we get to watch pro basketball, football and baseball. Of course, if you’re an ice hockey fan, then this is your season, too.

We all have a competitive spirit, and that’s what attracts us to root for our local teams.

I’ve always viewed sports as my escape from the daily grind of reality. It’s really a big downer when controversy is brought into sports. I feel we have enough negativity in our daily lives, and I’d rather be in my “happy place.”

With my father being a football defensive coordinator my entire childhood, I was brought up in a very strong athletic environment. And, being a single parent for more than 12 years, my children were brought up the same way. Athletics and sports is one component that bonded me with my children.

As you know from reading my column over the past many years, my children were talented athletes. Even to this day, my 19-year-old son Dylan and I compete in physique contests several times a year.

There are many families where sports are an intricate part of raising children. But not only that, how many friendships are made with other parents during sport seasons?

Typically, after each game, families gather to celebrate the day’s events. It didn’t matter if the kids won or lost, it was about having a good time and escaping from responsibilities of daily pressure.

Back when my kids were in elementary school, playing three different sports a year, my house was that house everyone gathered. I created a huge playground in my backyard for all the kids to enjoy and create wonderful memories together. That bond stayed with them throughout high school.

You can say the same for all the parents. Everyone would bring coolers and food, and we would sit outside laughing and making fun of each other.

Now, I drive by the parks and see all the little kids running around with new sets of parents creating friendships. I truly miss those days.

For those of you where this is now your world, embrace every moment. Don’t let the running around trying to get your kids to practice be a burden because it will eventually end and you’ll be sad.

So, as all the new seasons begin, make sports your happy place, and teach your kids the same. Not all kids have athletic talent, so make sure to keep it fun for them.

Remember, it’s only a game, and this will be there most treasured childhood memories.

It takes first downs to score a touchdown

By David Tepera, October 3, 2017

In the game of football, the goal is to drive the ball down the field to score a touchdown. As we all know, it’s typically not an easy task. So really, the offense is more focused on getting first downs in order to reach the goal line.

Now, some teams can put together a strong run and march down the field within minutes. Other teams might take almost an entire quarter, but they still accomplished a touchdown. This took patience, perseverance and teamwork.

For those of you trying to score touchdowns in life, making first downs is a must. We all have a set of goals we’re trying to accomplish. What are yours? Have you reached the ideal weight? You must make first downs by giving up bread, then sweets, start exercising, drink more water and so on. It takes all the small accomplishments to reach you goal.

How about those of you in business or sales. It takes first downs in order to land that big account. I was in medical sales for 20 years, and I ran my territory like a football game.

When I made sales calls to clients, I knew it was possible to not score a touchdown and win the business. But, if I did my homework and came prepared, I could at least score a first down and get their sincere interest. Of course, I would regroup another plan of action, revisit the same client with additional information to meet their needs.

My planning and customizing a program per client gained me integrity and character.

They learned to appreciate my dedication, and after many first downs, I would score a touchdown, then my bank account grew. Are you starting to understand?

Let’s get more personal. We all deal with negative influences in life in which some of you might be battling addictions. You recognize there’s a problem because you keep fumbling the ball which prevents from making first downs.

Remember, even in the game of football, you’re given four tries to make a first down. So, don’t beat yourself up for dropping the ball. Yes, life can sack you and set you back, but hang on to the ball and believe in yourself.

You might have lost the game yesterday, but today, it’s a new set of downs, along with a new determined attitude. So, get back up and keep pushing forward because it’s you who will score in this game of life.

Sometimes we need a time-out

By David Tepera, September 27, 2017

In almost every sport, timeouts are part of the game. When a coach sees their team losing the battle or needs a new strategy, a timeout is called. This gives the team an opportunity to rest and rebuild their confidence.

In case you didn’t know, there are no timeouts in soccer. A coach can only slow the game down by substitutions.

Timeouts seem to have become popular with modern day parenting and teaching. As we all know, when a kid is misbehaving, they are put in timeout and removed from any fun activities. The lesson is for kids to learn negative actions create negative responses.

Just know, there were NO timeouts during my childhood for anyone in the neighborhood. We feared other consequences and that was enough to keep us focused. Now, don’t misunderstand me, my sister Karen and I were fortunate to be raised by loving parents, plus dad was my superhero. But, dad had superpowers, too. Love you, Dad.

Ok, so where and when do we need timeouts as adults? For those of us who work a full-time job, we are given several weeks of vacation according to years of employment.

I learned an important lesson a few years ago. I worked eight years in medical sales for one company, and only took a one-week vacation per year. Money was tight, and as a single parent, I feared losing business while away from work. After those eight years, I moved to a better opportunity and realized I lost critical time with my kids. Now, I take all the vacation I can get and make the most of it by building lasting memories. And, you should, too.

Sometimes, we get bombarded with stress from work, society, children and spouses. You feel like the world is crashing down and you’re drowning in anger. We all experience this, but it’s important to put yourself in timeout.

I’ve actually trained myself to recognize these situations, stop my actions, regroup my thoughts and foresee the bigger picture. This might seem strange, but when the world is punching me from all angles, I start laughing hysterically and yell, “Is that all you got? Bring it, because I’m stronger than that!”

Listen, if you’re giving your best each day, then you are experiencing all that life has to offer. There will disappointments, tragedies and you’ll get knocked down. But, you will also have victories, triumphs and successes because no one and nothing can keep you down.

Now, take a timeout today, regroup and recognize how truly amazing you are.

We can all win first place

By David Tepera, September 20, 2017

When we compete in any sporting event, our goal is to win first place. We’ve all experienced it on some level and taking first place is the ultimate feeling. It doesn’t matter if it’s a team or individual sport.

Winning first place is a moment to celebrate because you are the best on that particular day.

Every time we hear a professional athlete speak about winning, they are all chasing a championship ring. It’s the ultimate trophy expressing first place.

Now, first place or being first can be experienced in countless situations.

How many of you were the first in your family to graduate college or trade school, eat healthy, exercise daily, find religion, volunteer and so on? The list is endless according to your status.

If you can’t find any “firsts” in your life, what’s holding you back?

Roger Bannister broke the 4-minute mile in 1954 when everyone thought it wasn’t possible by any human. Now, it’s the standard for male athletes to qualify for the Olympics.

Back in the 1976 Olympics, Russian gymnast Olga Korbut was the first woman to accomplish a back flip on the balance beam. The world went crazy with such a feat. Now, all elite gymnasts look at back flips as no big deal. But, Olga became the pioneer that changed balance beam competition forever.

Bottom line, if you truly have a passion to accomplish something, don’t let others’ negative words stop you. I guarantee lazy people hate when those around them have ambition. Losers seem to migrate to each other, just like ambitious people will eventually cross paths.

My kids have a passion to one day own businesses that help people. They are teenagers, so at this time, they’re not sure what that business is, but know it will be discovered in time.

I told them, all you have to do is find a need, then figure a way to solve it. That’s how all inventions are discovered. You will be the first to figure it out and, in turn, change people’s lives.

Now it’s time to take a realistic look at ourselves. Have we created any firsts? Are we just following others’ paths hoping for the same or better results?

Listen, it’s never too late for anything. Go out there and break barriers, create new paths, tackle the world to improve your life and those around you. Dig deep and be the first because we need you.

Daily life is your workout

By David Tepera, September 12, 2017

Lately, I’ve been really studying people’s actions and postures as they go through daily life. I’ve come to the conclusion that most people, if not all of us, seem to perform tasks with as little effort as possible.

For example, when you bend over to pick something up, do you bend your knees and go into a squat? Or, do you just reach down sticking your booty up in the air? Besides looking funny, it’s not doing your back any favors.

When carrying something heavy, do you let your shoulders slump over with arms fully extended? Or, do you keep your posture up straight and hold the item close to your torso?

From those two examples just listed, if you would pick up and hold things properly, it would strengthen muscles and develop a stronger core.

Bending with your knees develops stronger leg and butt muscles. Keeping a straight posture while holding items correctly develops stronger shoulders, chest and biceps.

This doesn’t just happen in daily life, I see it all the time in the gym. Most people have horrible postures while picking up weights and dumbbells. Most injuries in the gym are due to poor posture and incorrect lifting habits.

If you frequent the gym, have you noticed the lazy inconsiderate people who leave their weights on the machine? I have a real issue with this, but that rant is for another day.

What’s the speed of your pace while walking? Are you one of those slow-moving people who shuffle their feet that I always get stuck behind? Or, do you have quick steps because you’re trying to get from point A to point B as fast as possible?

You’d be surprised how daily living can be turned into a workout. Even your metabolism would kick-in and burn more fat.

Start paying attention to yourself. I promise, you’ll catch all the obvious mistakes and realize you have lazy habits. Believe me, I catch myself all the time, but I’ve become aware and I’m doing my best to correct it.

Now, let’s all do our best each day and strive for a healthy active life.

Getting back to normality is a must

By David Tepera, September 6, 2017

There’s no secret: in some way, Hurricane Harvey affected everyone in Galveston County. Of course, the storm created havoc across the state and beyond, but today’s focus is on you and family.

All of our lives have been disrupted and getting back to normal will take time, more for some than others.

I was having an interesting discussion with Natasha Reyes who owns Fit Life Fitness in League City. Natasha was kind enough to give me a key to her gym in order to continue training for an upcoming competition.

Natasha’s gym sustained minimal rain damage and was ready for business. Natasha was feeling a bit torn to announce Fit Life was open to all her clients and members. She knew people were busy picking up the pieces to put their lives back together, and the gym would be last on the list of things to do.

So, our discussion became about helping people get back to a normal life. Believe me, there are countless people who utilize a gym as part their daily routine. When you haven’t worked out in a few days, you become unbalanced physically and mentally. It’s difficult to explain unless you’re one of them.

Natasha quickly realized people needed the therapy of her gym and opened immediately. You see, her clients and members are like family. She even had a company serve breakfast to the community at Fit Life.

OK, so what point am I trying to make in today’s column? A storm can disrupt our lives, but getting back to normality as quickly as possible is a must. You must start with all the little things like drinking a cup of coffee in the morning and reading The Daily News. At least your day started normal, then go from there, according to your lifestyle.

A storm can break us, but as we are witnessing, we will all come back stronger. Just like a broken bone, the body will form a callous around the fracture in order for it to be stronger than before. That, my friend, is each and every one of you.

It’s a glorious revolution to witness people coming together as one. The human spirit has a natural compassionate ability to come to aid in emergency situations. We recognize politics, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and race are not on the table when saving lives. We are not just Texans or Americans, we are of one human race.

Now, as all of our new journeys begin, punch destruction in the face, and strive each day to find normality. You got this!

Play The Ball Where It Lies

By David Tepera, August 31, 2017

I have to admit, I’m not one who plays much golf. I’ve been hyperactive my whole life and couldn’t slow down enough to enjoy the slow pace of golf. My thought process was -“There are spikes on the bottom of my shoes, so why don’t we all sprint to the ball?”

Recently, I was invited to play with a small group of business friends. I have a beautiful set of oversized Callaways, golf gloves, visor, along with all the gear and necessities for a golf game. Believe me, I look like a pro. Everyone wants me to be on their team, until we practice at the driving range.

Yep, I can drive the ball a great distance, but 50 percent of the time, I can’t find it. My short game? You can plant a garden behind me from all the divots. Once on the green, it takes me three to four putts. I need a bigger hole on a flat surface.

So, as I began my journey to complete 18 holes, I found my golf game was similar to current life circumstances.

It’s been a bit of a rough-go over the past six months trying to find a solution to a particular important situation. I’ve researched many avenues looking for the best outcome, plus I put full effort into each of them hoping for success.

I found myself reflecting on this as I fought my way through each hole on the golf course. Typically, I would drive the ball through the trees into the rough. First, I would need to find the ball, then choose the correct club to get me back on course.

I was determined to complete each round with as little effort as possible, but it rarely turned out that easy.

As we all have learned, life isn’t easy, even when we are giving it our best. We find ourselves in the rough trying to get back on course, hoping for a better result.

My son Dylan just graduated high school and we both agreed for him to not start college until the spring semester. Dylan needed a break from academics and wanted to concentrate on working as a personal trainer to have a stronger sense of the responsibilities of the real world.

I told Dylan to go out there and fail. Give the world your best and learn from mistakes. You see, failure and mistakes only means you’re giving it your all. If you’re not falling, then you’re not learning to get back up.

None of us can escape circumstances when life knocks us into the rough. We have to gather ourselves, choose a different path and pursue getting back on course.

Just know, it’s OK when you’re giving life your all and you get knocked off course. Just keep pushing forward and accept you must play the ball where it lies because you’ll eventually reach your destiny.