Category Archives: Dekeday Foundation

A children’s nonprofit organization to help and inspire families and people of all ages.
Founded in 2009 by David, Dylan and Daylyn Tepera

What choices did you make today?

By David Tepera, July 18, 2019

Each morning, when you wake, choices taken will determine your destiny. Every word and every action made will be your choice. You can’t control the actions of others, but you have complete control of yours.

More than 15 years ago, before Tina, I had become a single father. It was at that moment I knew that all my choices would now affect two small children.

I wanted to be the best father and role model possible, so I started off with personal improvements. The kids needed to not only hear positive reinforcement, but to witness it as well. Remember, your kids see your every action. It’s more than what you say, it’s what you do.

Yes, of course, we all make human mistakes, but it’s the lessons learned that is more important.

When the kids were in elementary school, I would wake them each morning with an impromptu funny song that I played on a keyboard in their room. I wanted the kids to start each day laughing and loving daddy. Even today, they still make fun over my dumb lyrics.

Now, how about you? If you’re not happy with being overweight, are you taking the time to cook healthy meals, or you still driving through for fast foods? Have you started that exercise program you’ve been telling yourself for way too long to start?

Do you get to work early to show dependability? Are you asking for extra projects to prove your worth?

How do you treat everyday people? I learned long ago from a multi-millionaire friend of mine to treat all people with respect. Mike talks to the doorman the same as the CEO. And, he’s right, everyone deserves the same respect.

When you’re in the gym using free weight machines, do you rerack the weights, or are you one of those meatheads who leaves many weights on the machine. Just know, you might feel like the king of the gym, but we all know you’re insecure.

Now, do a little soul searching and start making healthier choices. This doesn’t just pertain to physical improvements, but reaching for a positive mindset. Taking these choices seriously will change your life.

We are only on this Earth for a short time, so stop wasting life being a miserable person. This world is in constant motion, and if you only watch the news channels and surf social media, you’re caught up with people dividing our country. Don’t be someone adding to the problems, shut your laptop and be part of the solution. It’s easy because you have that choice!

Don’t stop until you’re done

By David Tepera, July 2, 2019

Being in the health and fitness industry, we interact with people from all walks of life. Everyone who comes to us is looking to improve their quality of life.

Through our weight lifting programs, we teach our clients to not only defeat physical impairments, but to overcome daily challenges as well.

Now, how is this possible by lifting weights? To build and grow muscle, you must push yourself a little harder with each session.

For example, I place a number of repetitions in a client’s head, which gives them a mental goal. They know, as their body is wearing down, they must dig a little deeper to finish the set.

Bottom line, “You don’t stop when you’re tired, you stop when you’re done.” Remember, lifting weights is more than a physical challenge, it becomes a mental battle as well.

For the clients and us, it’s extremely rewarding to witness the victory of overcoming a challenge that was once perceived impossible. Knowing you can push yourself and conquer challenges, will give the confidence to battle something much bigger.

Now, isn’t that what life is all about? Don’t we all face challenges each day? Your current status is from all the battles won and lost. Yes, we can’t always win the battle, but if you keep pursuing, you’ll win the war.

Most of our clients are in the older population, so they typically have medical conditions, osteoarthritis, along with minimal muscle mass from being inactive.

We understand, as we get older, we are concerned about injuring ourselves through exercise. I want you to know, it doesn’t matter what your age is, you can still build muscle, have more energy and change your life.

It’s important to seek out an experienced, quality personal trainer. As we get older, CrossFit, jumping on boxes, including balancing on balls training is not for us. You will get injured.

Now, let’s think about everyone one of us, from young to old and male to female. When’s the last time you challenged yourself to accomplish a goal? How many times did you give up because you got tired? How bad do you want it? Don’t let anyone or any obstacle keep you from your destiny.

Just like athletes and our clients, you can’t stop because you’re tired, you stop when you’re done.

How do you deal with depression?

By David Tepera, July 10, 2019

Iknow depression can be a touchy subject, but through our weight training programs, we help many clients dealing with different forms of depression and PTSD.

I’ve been humbled through the years as a variety of people seek my advice for different situations. I try to explain, “in our darkest times, immediate decisions could determine the long-term outcome.”

If you’ve been reading my column long enough, you know, I’m just like you through my list of tragedies and life-changing events.

You see, exercise and weight lifting saved my life. Not because of the physical benefits, but for helping keep my sanity.

When times get tough, some people reach for the liquor bottle or hang out at local bars. Others run to buffets and gorge on food. For me, I was lifting weights at the gym, running miles on end and was desperately trying to wear myself out.

Yes, I was getting in incredible shape, but my purpose was to be so worn-out that I could sleep at night. My situations were many years ago, but another possible tragedy could be around the corner.

You have to admit, our minds can be our worst enemy when dealing with negative challenges and depression.

Now, don’t get me wrong, professional therapy and seeking religion are typically our best resources for treatment. But, let’s be for real, most of us don’t want others to know our battles.

I could quote countless medical studies supporting the benefits of exercise to help create a positive mental state. The surge of endorphins throughout your body can be life altering.

In 2018, I decided to resign from a 20-year orthopedic career to help change people’s lives through a unique weight training program. It’s become a family business and our passion.

So, my message today is hopefully an opportunity to give you another outlook. Just tie up your sneakers, go outside and take a long walk. Feel the sun beating on your skin and realize you’re still alive and there’s a reason we all need you.

You were put here on this Earth with a purpose, and one day, it will be beautiful. Well, guess what? That day is today, so get out there, punch depression in the face and start enjoying this amazing life.

We all develop calluses throughout life

By David Tepera, June 26, 2019

Unless you perform manual labor, it’s rare to find calluses on people’s hands. All our clients get excited when they see small calluses forming on their palms from lifting weights.

If you’ve ever shook hands with a weight lifter, you’d be impressed with the thickness of their hands. Tina, Dylan and I have been lifting for years, so our calluses are extremely profound.

I know most people love having soft hands, but for me, I find a fit woman’s callused hands to be sexy. Tina thinks I’m weird, but it’s an indicator of hard work and dedication. Remember, we are professional athletes, so it’s part of our phenotype makeup.

Recently, I was reflecting over my life’s journey to all the hardships I’ve faced throughout my 58 years on this Earth. As I studied the calluses on my hands, I realized other parts of my body have hardened.

How many of you had your heart broken, faced unemployment, divorce, depression or the loss of a close family member? I’ve experienced all the above, but I chose to make them mold me into a better person.

I realized tragedies will callus your soul, heart and mind. I’m not pertaining in a negative way but to help you get through the next challenges of life.

Just like a weight lifters’ callused hands, as the weight gets heavier, the calluses get thicker. This is what happens to your internal body as well. With each heavyweight life throws at you, your heart and soul will thicken.

Just because you got knocked down on the canvas, doesn’t mean you’re out for the count. We must all get back up and continue the fight.

What challenges are you facing today? Just know, you’re not alone because we all have them. Maybe, you need a support group, escape route, religion, or just someone to understand, love and help through the process.

I want you to understand calluses will make you stronger, undefeated, super-human and ready for the next big challenge. With each heavy, life-altering experience, your callused body will thicken until no one or tragedy can penetrate your soul.

So, take today, look in the mirror and stare deep at that beautiful person glaring back. Make yourself realize those life experiences created calluses in order for you to become the best person possible. Now, get out there and kick some butt.

How do you measure up?

By David Tepera, June 19, 2019

In every sport, many types of measurements are required to produce the best outcome.

Most football fans are familiar with NFL prospects competing at the combine each year. Speed, strength, weight, height, vertical leap and tons more are put into a measured algorithm to calculate the best player for the money NFL teams will invest.

Some players’ combine results guarantee an opportunity for a draft, others will bomb and dreams will fade.

An interesting fact, Tom Brady had one of the worst combine results in 2000. His 40-yard dash was at a whopping 5.28 seconds. Brady’s time is still the slowest among active NFL starting quarterbacks. Just know, all his other measurements were some of the worst as well.

The New England Patriots needed a backup quarterback, so they drafted Brady in the sixth round. During his second season, Drew Bledsoe was injured, and the rest is history. Brady has played in nine Super Bowls winning six of them, his record-breaking stats are too many for this column.

You see, Brady didn’t let others’ stats be the indicator of his skills, determination and drive to be the best.

Now, the questions is “how do you measure up?” Don’t compare yourself with others. You have control of your own destiny. It’s you who determines progress. Some use the weight scale for fat loss, increased weights when getting stronger, education, employment status or, hopefully, how you treat people.

Years ago, I told my kids, I know I’ve succeeded as I witness them treating all people with respect. That, to me, is more important than an academic education. We all know people in supervising positions who verbally belittle others because they think they’re better than us. To me, it’s disgusting. We are all grown adults and should be treated as such.

Take today to find your personal measurements. Are you someone that makes our society a better place? If you’re not sure or would like to make a difference, volunteering is a great start. Every week, The Daily News has a list of volunteers needed for multiple organizations.

Tina is one of the founders of Friendswood Animal Advocates, which, like many other animal organizations, are always looking for volunteers. We are actually fostering a dog who’s needing a new home.

So, take your measurements and proceed to surpass every goal imaginable. You got this!

What happens when life confronts you?

By David Tepera, June 11, 2019

There are times in life when we are faced with challenging conditions. Some could be perceived small, but some will definitely be of serious nature.

In the world of sports, all athletes prepare for defensive and offensive scenarios. The goal is to produce a better outcome with each game’s confrontation.

As professional athletes, my family takes on this same mentality. We understand the importance of maintaining our bodies in year-round shape for competition. We witness competitors scrambling in the last few weeks to dial in their bodies. Some will make it, some won’t and it will be embarrassing for them.

What types of confrontations are you dealing with? Is it a dead-end job, bankruptcy, divorce or death of a loved one? These are all serious situations, but how you respond will determine your future.

It’s these confrontations that require immediate action. Yes, we all want to curl up in the fetal position hoping it will all go away, but it won’t.

We hear of heroes during fires, hurricanes, bombings and so-on. Most of the time, these are common folks like us. They were faced with a serious confrontation and their natural instinct was to help another human being.

Look, we are all the same. We are heroes with instinct to battle what life throws at us. Let what confronts you only strengthen you. Make sense?

We won’t win every battle, but we can win pride by giving our best. Losing will teach lessons of weaknesses.

Two years ago, Tina took second place that had five different countries competing. Instead of being satisfied with the outcome, she went on a seven-month journey to improve her game. Her next showing was three first places and two pro cards.

The best part of this story, is that the lady who came in second place under Tina, learned her lesson, too. Valerie truly improved her physique and will compete for her pro card in July.

Now, what are you going to do about confrontations you are facing? Are you satisfied with second place, a participation trophy or sitting on the bench? I’m not just pertaining to sports, I’m referencing life. You fill in the blank.

Be your hero of the day. It was you who faced confrontation and gave it your best. Raise your hands in victory, do an end-zone dance and walk off with your head held high.

Here are three simple rules in life

By David Tepera, June 5, 2019

I once read the three simple rules of life, then I studied how it applied to me. Today, I want you to apply them in order to gain personal success.

One: “If you do not go after what you want, you’ll never have it.”

If you can have something, what will it take to obtain it? If you want to be a starter on the team, are you putting in the extra work to better your skills? Find your weaknesses, work them through exhaustion, and take yourself to a whole new level.

It’s countless how many times I hear from people about wanting to losing weight. I always ask “how bad do you really want it and what’s stopping you?”.

Two: “If you do not ask, the answer will always be ‘no.’”

What’s keeping you from asking? We all are scared to get out of our comfort zone to ask for what we want. There’s no time to be passive when you need to stand up for yourself. Quit letting others take what you need in order to better yourself. Step up and ask for what you want. So what if the answer is no. It might not be your time, but you’ll never know unless you ask.

Three: “If you do not step forward, you will always be in the same place.”

Do you want the supervising position that just opened up? Have you proven your worth, and now it’s time for a raise? Maybe, you should ask to take on additional projects. This will definitely get the attention needed. Just give them your best.

As simple as that sounds, it’s so true in all areas of life. The only thing that ever prevents you from accomplishments is you.

It’s you that has complete control of your life. It’s you who determines what you eat in order to lose weight, exercise, get the job, find religion, get out of a bad relationship, and so much more.

When is enough enough? Why stay stagnant? If you’re unhappy, do something about it — now. You have that control. Don’t let others keep you down. You’re better than that. You are unique and was made that way in order to bring something special to all of us.

So, now, this is your day to apply these three simple rules of life and make a change to be the person you were born to be.

How will you be remembered?

By David Tepera, May 29, 2019

This past weekend, we all celebrated the courage of countless soldiers from the past to modern day. This was a special day for my family for we lost my oldest son Specialist Dustin Ray Tepera, who served in Iraq.

I’m sure about every person knows or has relatives who served or are serving in this great nation.

There are many days I walk into the gym thinking how fortunate I am to be free to choose things I love to do. The freedom of choice to be productive or not, occupation, religion and political views.

Think about it, your current status is from all the choices you’ve created. But, how is this so because no one made those decisions for you?

We must take this time to celebrate those who’ve lost their lives and are currently laying their lives on the line for all of us.

Whenever I see someone acting like an idiot, I comfort myself knowing that soldiers like Dustin allowed you to be that way. You just become spoiled to the best nation in the world and don’t recognize the opportunities before you.

Years ago, when I realized that my destiny was totally up to me, I started the journey to not only be a role model for my kids but to change all those around me. I recognize that my time on earth will one day come to an end. How will I be remembered?

My dad created a strong sense of pride in the Tepera name through my sister Karen and I. It was up to us to continue our legacy of strong work ethic and respect for all.

If you’re struggling with your own identity, make today your journey to become a better person and reach out to help others. You get to create your own memorial. How will people remember you? Hopefully, as someone that changed lives and could be counted on in all aspects of life.

So, remember, next time you see a soldier or veteran, shake hands and thank them for keeping you free. I promise, that will be a memory both of you will never forget.

Ask yourself, “What’s my worth?”

By David Tepera, May 23, 2019

I once read, “if you think I’m expensive, hire an amateur and see what that’ll cost you.” I believe we can all relate to that statement from multitudes of past experiences.

Being in the health and fitness industry, many of our clients come to us from bad experiences with other trainers.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of great trainers in our local area, just find the right fit for your goals.

A good example is from our 58-year-old client, Tom. He went to multiple training gyms and observed the different exercise programs, training styles and personal traits of trainers.

You see, Tom had a shoulder issue, along with biceps and meniscal repair. He is not one to be jumping on boxes, lifting weights on balancing objects and so forth. Which, all this led him to our Ageless Muscle program.

So, really, my question to you “what is your worth?” It’s similar to buying a house. To one person, a particular house is the exact fit for the family. To another, the house could be too small, too big or just the wrong neighborhood and school district.

For the right-fit person, this house is worth all its value. If not, the house is worthless. Make sense?

Now, you must ask yourself “am I deserving of my paycheck, do I give full effort in practice, as a parent, husband, friend or co-worker?”

How are you as a person? Do you treat others with respect, do you contribute to society, do you put a hand in or only a hand-out? We must answer these questions honestly about ourselves.

Maybe, you’re content with your current status and would rather fly below the radar screen. Just know, you’ll always be stuck in that same position with no growth, while everyone else is flying by you towards success.

Hopefully, today is a wake-up call. It’s time to take pride in yourself, break the bad habits, change your social circle and project the real person hiding inside you.

We all possess goodness. It’s time to make it part of your daily character. Believe me, the world will beautify before your eyes. You’ll see the beauty in others and realize how awesome you truly are.

So, take a hard look in the mirror and ask yourself “What is my worth?”

It doesn’t get easier, it gets better

By David Tepera, May 17, 2019

One of the biggest rewards from our business is the thrill from clients as they reach weight training goals. Everyone loses fat, but the muscle size is exciting.

A common statement we hear “I know my muscles are getting bigger, but these workouts are getting harder.” My response, “just because you get stronger, doesn’t mean it gets easier; it only gets better.”

If you put some thought into it, weight training is very similar to life. You must keep pushing forward for continual growth. If you don’t, you’ll plateau, get stuck and stop growing. Success doesn’t come easy, but drive and desire will get you there.

When you’re attending school, each semester’s courses get a little more challenging, but your knowledge will continue to expand.

Those of you who’ve experienced martial arts, with each belt level, techniques and training become more advanced. Of course, the ultimate goal is to accomplish a black belt.

How about marriage? After the honeymoon’s over, each year can become more challenging, especially when you have children. But, maturity, growth and love should strengthen relationships. Recognize when you need to step up your game and appreciate each other’s efforts.

One of the many benefits of weight training is the building of confidence. We get to witness our clients exceeding in other areas of their life.

Forty-eight-year-old Mark is training to compete in his first physique competition. Another client, suffering from PTSD, is now interacting with the world, and has started the process to get her realtor’s license.

Hopefully, at this moment, you’re reviewing your own life. No matter your current situation, if you’re not growing, you’re falling. Don’t let this world pass you by. You’re never too old to grow. The majority of our client base is from mid 40s to 70s, and they are all creating new paths of success.

Whatever your circumstances may be today, keep your head up and just grind it out. Because, just like weight training, as in life, it might seem harder, but it’s really only getting better.