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

To succeed, you must be accountable

By David Tepera, November 20, 2019

Since we own a family business, the term accountability is extremely important to us. All our clients know they can count on us to deliver the best outcome for their investment. We are result driven.

Each client quickly learns through consistency, hard work and accountability, they will exceed their expectations.

As you go about your daily routines, try to observe your surroundings. When at work, who are the employees worth their salaries? If you play sports, which teammate continues to outwork the others? Which family members are slackers and who is taking up the slack?

Earlier this year, Tina and I bought our last resting spot in an old established neighborhood. Our house was renovated but still has some bugs to work through.

Our new dishwasher has some electronic board issues needing trouble shooting. It’s taken five months and countless phone calls to finally get someone to come out and fix it. It’s been a bit of a nightmare because no one would step up to the plate and be accountable. Believe me, there’s much more to this situation. But, this issue did prompt a family discussion about the importance of accountability.

When I was coaching high school ball, part of the training program was teaching young athletes to be the best at their perspective positions. There’s no way a team sport can be successful unless everyone is going full speed. As we know, this accountability is necessary for every company and organization. The old term that a chain is only as strong as the weakest link is true.

As a parent, are you teaching your kids to be accountable? Do they understand the value of adhering to rules and laws? Have they learned to take ownership for consequences?

We all know too many people who point the finger and blame others for their failures.

Now, it’s time take a hard look at ourselves. Yes, there are times to step back and cruise through daily life, but there’s also time to strap on our helmets and go full speed.

Maybe that day is today. You’ve been putting off projects and serious situations that need attending. Tomorrow is too late, so put your foot down, psych your mindset and be prepared to win this game of life.

When it comes down to it, to succeed, you must be accountable.

Being daddy in a daughter’s world

By David Tepera, November 13, 2019

Many years ago, I became a single father when my youngest child Daylyn was in second grade. Since I grew up as a coach’s son in an athletic environment, it was natural for me to raise all my kids the same way.

Even though Daylyn is my only daughter, she participated in every sport possible. This ranged from martial arts, softball, basketball and soccer.

I didn’t know much about all the girly stuff out there, so we did try gymnastics and dance. Thank goodness Daylyn hated dance because the tap shoes hurt her feet. I guess she was used to only wearing sneakers her whole young life.

But, as much as I was trying to understand daughters, Daylyn was teaching me how to be a mommy. We bought matching aprons and cooked many cookies and brownies that would not have won any awards, but we still laughed and ate them up.

I probably spent five years with multiple colored toe nails from Daylyn’s collection. She thought it was cool for us to have matching toes. Yes, there were some embarrassing moments when people starred at my feet, but I got the biggest chuckle.

From the moment Daylyn was born, she receives a dozen roses on every birthday and Valentine’s Day. Not a year has been missed.

Through all the years of sports, Daylyn’s passion turned to volleyball while in middle school. She not only played for her school but for multiple select teams as well.

In the beginning, I didn’t understand volleyball that much, but quickly, I became the biggest cheerleader for the entire team. The game was full of strategy and explosive action. We spent many hours in the driveway learning to serve overhand on to the roof of the house. Daylyn’s brother Dylan would join us to volley the ball in our backyard.

Everyone would tell me that when girls become teenagers that it could be challenging, but Daylyn has always respected me for doing my best as an only parent. You have to remember, she’s my only girl.

Well, yesterday marked her 19th birthday, and our love is stronger than ever. We spent this past weekend shopping for girly stuff that included another pair of sneakers. And yes, she loved the dozen roses waiting for her.

Happy birthday Daylyn. You stole my heart at birth and will always be daddy’s little girl.

Be willing to fail, but don’t quit

By David Tepera, November 6, 2019

One of the hardest lessons in life is failing. To most people, failing can be embarrassing, so we make excuses and quit. The problem is, you’re letting others dictate your life.

Believe me, there’s not one person reading this article who hasn’t failed a diet. Just because you had a bad day or two of unhealthy eating, don’t quit, and proceed back on path. Remember it took a long time to put the weight on, so it will take time to remove it.

How many times have you tried to quit a bad habit, but failure got the best of you? I know people who smoke tobacco, and everyone of them wants to quit. Sometimes, you just can’t stop the entire habit, but at least try reducing the amount of usage. Find an activity that keeps you busy to take the smoking time away.

How about learning sports? I know parents who let their kids quit because they keep striking out, fell on their face during a soccer match, got hit with a ball and so on.

There are more young adults living with their parents than any other time in our short history. Maybe, it’s because of our youth not learning to problem solve.

When’s the last time you encouraged you kids to keep trying, instead of babying them? Yes, we don’t like our children to fail or be discouraged, but if you don’t allow them to get back in the game, they will always be quitters in life.

By statistics, there are more people with gym memberships than who actually use them. The only reason you keep your membership is because you expect to use it every day. Guess what? You failed yesterday, but make today different. Put your gym clothes in your car before leaving for work, and take the new step of getting back in shape today.

We all know daily life has its challenges. As adults, there are plenty situations that we want to throw our hands in the air and give up. I’m telling you to pick yourself up and keep pursuing forward.

Your best day could be tomorrow, so be willing to fail today, as long as you’re giving it your best. Take control of your life and punch failure in the face. Don’t accept anything or anyone to hold you from your destiny. You’re the most amazing person you know, so, remember, it’s OK to fail, but just don’t quit.

You might have a before, but there’s no after

By David Tepera, October 30, 2019

Recently, I was working with one of our male clients, Steve.

He has been with us for around six months and has made some significant changes. The 58-year-old Steve was displaying before and after photos from our Ageless Muscle program. He was excited to see the muscle growth, along with fat loss.

I explained to Steve that anyone who truly starts and stays on a healthy lifestyle will never have “after” photos because the journey never ends. Physical enhancements, along with mental awareness will now be part of your daily life. This has become true with most of our clients, especially the older ones.

We understand that people must set goals, which is important, but I want you to think beyond that.

Just because you lost the needed 20 pounds, how are you going to keep it off? More than 80 percent of people who lose weight will go back to an unhealthy lifestyle to put excessive fat weight back on. This is totally depressing but don’t beat yourself up for it.

If you’re on a diet that requires eliminating certain healthy foods, you’ll eventually fail. Eating healthy is a lifestyle, not a crash course, so there’s no after photos because our bodies will continue to develop.

Pick out your favorite sport you played or competed in from your youth. How many times did you shank a volleyball learning to serve overhand? How often did you get hit by a ball learning to catch, fall off a bike learning to ride, miss free throws learning to shoot, and so-on?

Hopefully, you got mad, dug deep into your pride, and kept pursuing until you accomplished each feat. But, it doesn’t stop there because more skills were needed to compete at higher levels.

This reigns true in the workforce. Before we started our family business, I told my children that to be successful, you must find your dream job and work your way up. Start at the entry level and don’t worry about the low pay scale. Prove your dependability and worth, and I promise, promotions will happen. At each level, keep exceeding expectations, and within time, you’ll be the CEO or develop your own successful company.

So, remember, your whole life is an adventure. It’s OK to take photos along the way to display the journey because if you keep pursuing life, there are no after photos.

Keep swinging, and you’ll eventually “Go Yard”

By David Tepera, October 23, 2019

With the baseball playoffs upon us, it’s an exciting time to be a fan. For those of you who are not familiar with the baseball term “go yard,” it refers to hitting home runs.

Think about it, the ball will travel the entire yard of the field to proceed over the fence.

We all love home runs because they are rare, plus they often make a huge impact in the outcome of a game. We spend most of our time observing strikeouts, walks, base hits and a ton of throw-outs to first base.

To me, baseball has a huge reflection of our lives. How many times have you struck out in relationships, but eventually, you found the perfect partner? How many interviews did you go on before you landed the dream job?

What new diet program have you started this time because you can’t seem to make it to home plate?

During all these life events, you were hitting foul balls, base hits and sometimes scoring runs. It’s part of the ups and downs in competition, but the goal is to win the game of life.

I’m 58 years old, and over the past few years, finally went yard with a successful business, marrying my amazing wife Tina and building a stronger relationship with God.

Now, we all live different lives but have a common denominator for desiring success and happiness. We must recognize that striking out and losing games is part of the learning process. I stopped judging myself for losing and turned failure into experiences and opportunities.

Did you know, Carlos Correa’s 2019 batting average is .279. This means he is only hitting the ball less than three out of 10 times at bat. But, during those hits, he has 21 home runs and 59 RBIs. As we all know, he’s one of the most dynamic players on the Astros.

What about 5-foot, 6-inch Jose Altuve going yard with a walk-off two-run home run to clinch the ALCS against the Yankees? His batting average for this playoff series was .348.

So, what’s the true message today? Don’t let obstacles and set-backs keep you from reaching your dreams. Don’t ever give up on life because of all the failures. You must take these experiences to mold you into a mean-lean-fighting machine because if you keep swinging, you’ll eventually “go yard.”

Own your mistakes and keep moving forward

By David Tepera, October 16, 2019

I must begin today’s column with a sincere apology. I had a misprint in last week’s article regarding the title of my guest. It should had referred to him as the chair for the board of Moody Gardens. Even the Daily News reached out to me to confirm, but before I had caught the mistake, it went to print.

This mistake solely lies upon me — the columnist. I corresponded to my humbled guest who clearly didn’t think much of it. But, I must truly apologize to the Moody organization and family members for an honest mistake. Your value to our society has been astonishing.

Now, this did make me reflect about different types of mistakes we all encounter throughout our lives. There are many people who are known for their mistakes more than their accomplishments.

For example, how about the baseball player who hit multiple home runs and RBIs to get his team to the playoffs but is best known for their strikeout at the bottom of the ninth inning? What about the quarterback who threw countless touchdowns but is only known for the interception in the last game?

Also, we all know people who can never admit their mistakes. For some reason, they only want to blame others for their failures. Just remember, next time you point your finger at someone, look at your hand because there are three other fingers pointing back at you. You get my drift?

Not too long ago, I came home from a long tiring day from work. I was upset with my son Dylan for leaving a dirty cooking pan on the stove. I verbally expressed my disappointment without letting him speak. Dylan respectfully apologized and went to his room.

Once I started looking around the kitchen, I noticed he had put away all the clean dishes, folded the towels from the dryer, and the dirty pan was from meals he cooked for the entire family.

I called Dylan back to the kitchen where we sat down, with tears in my eyes, I apologized for being not only short-minded, but not giving him the credit and respect a fine young man deserved.

You see, even as parents we must admit our mistakes to our children. I promise, this will make them better parents, too.

So, as you head out the door today, how will you treat your family, coworkers, coaches or teammates? But, more importantly, how will you treat people in our society.

Just remember, once you can own up to your mistakes, you’ll be able to keep moving forward.

One of Galveston’s finest and fittest

By David Tepera, October 9, 2019

If you’re from the Galveston county area, or a Galveston native (B.O.I.), you’re familiar with the name Moody.

The Moody family has impacted many lives through their real estate and development that goes beyond just Galveston. My family enjoys the festivities and weekend getaways at Moody Gardens throughout the year.

A fine gentleman named Doug McLeod, is the chairman on the board of directors for The Moody Gardens. Even though McLeod is a well-accomplished attorney, he has been an executive for the Moody’s most of his adult life.

Recently, after many email responses, McLeod and I finally had the opportunity to meet over lunch. You see, besides all of his accomplishments, who sat across from me was a tall handsome, well-groomed, athletic 78-year-old man with enormous amounts of energy. McLeod was talking a mile-a-minute with a profound zest for life.

Since most Ageless Muscle clients are active seniors, I was curious to know McLeod’s fitness background because he’s clearly an inspiration to us all.

In McLeod’s youth, he excelled in track and swimming and was a letterman at Ball High. After his freshman year in college, he served in the United States Marine Corps for six years. McLeod proclaims the training and discipline was rugged but is prouder of that service than anything else in his life.

In the 1960s, during college, McLeod and some buddies started fooling around with some light weight training. It was during that era coaches started realizing the benefits of lifting weights.

Along came the early 1970s, and McLeod took up jogging because of the dramatic improvement in athletic equipment and shoes, along with three trips per week to a fitness center. Doug continues his same routine of cardio and light weight training to date.

McLeod sadly said his commitment to a lifetime of health and fitness came from losing his 31-year-old brother from a sudden heart attack, and within the same year, lost his mother because of heart disease.

I asked McLeod for his best advice to people of all ages. His reply was simple.

“You must do everything in moderation,” he said. “This pertains to eating and watching your weight. Just stick to your routine because good habits are just as hard to break as bad habits.”

By the end of our lunch, it was clear to me that McLeod was one of Galveston’s finest and fittest.

Can we count on you to deliver?

By David Tepera, October 2, 2019

If you’re a basketball fan like my son Dylan and I, you’re familiar with Karl Malone.

His most famous nickname was “The Mailman.” This name was created while playing college ball at Louisiana Tech University because he always delivered.

Malone played 19 years in the NBA, 18 of which were with the Utah Jazz. Most of us enjoyed watching the chemistry between John Stockton and Malone. It was poetry in motion.

Malone was a 14-time NBA All-Star with record-setting career points of 36,928, including the most free throws attempted and made.

Malone took his nickname to heart by playing in 97 percent of all games throughout his career. All the fans and teammates knew he would deliver.

How many of you are someone we can count on? Do you show up for work each day and give it your best? Are you the role model for your children because your actions will affect their drive for success?

It’s important to realize that when you’re on the clock at work, don’t just walk through the day, put a kick in your step and be the person who brings energy to the whole workplace.

When you get home from a long day of work, you must catch a second wind to shower your family with enthusiasm and love.

At Ageless Muscle, we take pride that all our clients know we are not just accountable but will deliver results with energy. Our training days start at 4:30 a.m., which means we are up before 3 a.m. Just know, on most days, we work until 8 p.m. Yes, these are incredibly long hours, but we love changing people’s lives.

We placed this same accountability on our clients. We understand people have busy careers and personal lives. But, to get results, you must stay consistent.

Just like everything in life, if you only give 50 percent, you only receive half the reward. The clients who don’t miss training days have transformed their bodies.

One client came to us to strengthen leg muscles because she was scheduled for a knee replacement within three months. Well, it’s been almost eight months, and her knee replacement has been put on hold. That, my friend, is giving a 100 percent each and every day.

Now, today, as you’re getting ready to head out the door into this wonderful world, put your game face on and become “The mailman.” We need you to deliver.

Dieting is more than eating right

By David Tepera, September 25, 2019

Recently, I was leading a discussion with a small group covering diet tips.

As each person gave their dieting failure testimonies, it became obvious there’s more going on than just bad food choices.

My question to the group was, “What are you feeding your brain?” It seemed like everyone had a bad attitude toward life and others. My mission for the rest of the session was to bring uplifting and inspiring suggestions.

Now, let’s turn this question to each of you, “What are you putting into your mind throughout each day?” Why are you wasting time with negative thoughts? There is so much good in this world, but we can’t seem to find it or focus on it.

I’ve stopped watching news and political channels because of all the negativity. We know there’s evil in this world but choose not to get caught up in it. The only way to stop it is within ourselves. I can’t control the actions of others, but I sure can control mine.

I often get asked how I come up with so many different inspiring topics each week for this column. It’s easy because my mind has been trained to love everyone, plus finding the good each of us has to offer.

Just know, when we meet, I see only beauty, not ugliness. The only way you can turn me away is if you treat others with disrespect.

I love coming home in the evenings to see my family because we all have the same positive attitude. My family is full of love and laughter. Why don’t you be the one in your family that makes everyone happy.

If you’re still struggling to find happiness, maybe you should reach for spiritual help. There is always a higher power waiting on you. It’s just a prayer away.

So, remember, as you start putting things into your body, don’t just reach for healthy foods, include creative positive thoughts, including love through spiritual being.

It might take some time to develop this new habit, but I promise, it will change your life.

Carb manipulation is a simple system to lose weight

By David Tepera, September 18, 2019

I’m sure about everyone reading this column has failed a diet or two. Today’s dieting world is extremely confusing because of the variety of programs thrown at us each day.

I’m not here to say anything negative about any diet. I’m only going to share a simple system we use, along with some of our clients. Even though we are professional physique competitors, this system works for all body types and genders.

Now, if you have a medical condition, you should check with your doctor before you start any diet or exercise program. Most of our medical clients are sent to us from their doctors, and we take great pride improving their lives.

OK, here it is. It’s all about carbohydrate manipulation. Now, you’re probably saying, “What? That already sounds complicated.”

Look, carbs are your friend or your enemy. It just depends when and how much you’re eating. You must remember, carbs are your energy source. Just like a car needs gas to run, your body needs carbs to maintain energy through the day.

The simple system is this: load carbs for breakfast, have a moderate amount of carbs for lunch and a small portion for dinner. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight, no carbs for dinner. Eat all the protein and veggies you want.

Notice, I didn’t mention anything about skipping meals, starving yourself or taking anything out of your daily diet. Just know, we eat at least six meals per day.

Instead of snacking in-between meals, we eat a full meal. It’s definitely recommended to eat healthy snacks between meals, but don’t worry if your snack is unhealthy at this time.

As for today, it doesn’t matter what your diet consists of, try to manipulate your carbs as I described, and the weight will start to fall off.

All our meals consist of meat protein, green veggies and carbs. Yes, we are carnivorous. Don’t judge others. If you use plant-based proteins, good for you.

Just to name a few carbohydrates that we incorporate into all our daily meals: rice, potatoes, oatmeal and sweet potatoes. Notice what you didn’t see: bread, pasta, sugar or dairy products. We save those for the weekends when we are not dieting. You must reward yourself on the weekends.

If you need example meals or want weekly dieting and exercise tips, like our Facebook page Ageless-Muscle to get on our list. We help people all over the country with simple, easy tips.

So, my message today: If you need a simple and easy system, try carb manipulation and watch the pounds melt away.