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

It’s time to set some new standards in life

By David Tepera, July 29, 2020

I want to share with you some ideas I’ve incorporated in my life throughout my adult years. For various reasons, it took until I was in my early 40s and reading countless positive books to change my ways.

One big lesson is realizing failure was only the beginning. A failed relationship helped get rid of turmoil and to one day finding true everlasting love. Besides being a single father for almost 15 years, my wife Tina has been the biggest blessing in my life.

How many of you tried countless diet and exercise programs to finally find the right choice that fits your body type and lifestyle? This is one of the joys we get at Ageless Muscle. We customize programs for all our clients and, we are proud to say, they all get the results and life changes they were looking for.

There was a time where I was too passive and wasn’t getting ahead in life or the results I needed. I got out of my comfort zone, changed my standards and aggressively went after what I wanted. At 59 years old, I’m more successful and happier than I’ve been in my entire life.

So, what do you really want? What’s holding you back? Enhance your character and go after it.

There’s not one of us who hasn’t made mistakes — some more than others. There was a time in my life where the biggest idiot I knew was starring at me in the mirror.

The best change that helped me from living in the past was making peace with myself. I forgave all the mistakes I made, those who wronged me and allowed God to guide my ways. This was the biggest life changer of all because it wasn’t in my hands anymore, plus I was able to release all tension and depression.

Lastly, stop comparing yourself to others. Each one of us is unique with a different set of skills and traits. How many of you are intimidated to walk into a gym for the first time because you think everyone there has bodies you see in commercials and magazines?

Yes, at some gyms, there are those who are young and look good. But, if you truly look around, there are more overweight people just trying to be healthier. I applaud all those who are there for themselves and not comparing to others.

Bottom line, if you’re not happy and feel you’re going nowhere, it’s time to set new standards in your life. Go for it, my friends because, I promise, life will never be better once you do.

Also, today is my 59th birthday, and the countdown to 60 has started.

Each day, you get to start over and do things differently

By David Tepera, July 22, 2020

As we get older, there’s many of us who look back and say to ourselves “Boy, if I could do it all over again, it would be different.”

Well, as you may guess it, today is that day you get to do things differently. Don’t let another many years go by without making the necessary changes. Today is the start of the new and better you.

It’s interesting how many people think they are too old, unattractive, broke or out of shape to start over. No, the only thing missing is ambition. How bad do you really want it? What sacrifices are necessary to achieve the person you want to be? If you desire something strongly enough, it won’t feel like sacrifice because it becomes your new identity.

Now, what are those changes needed? You must start with your mental state. It’s easy and habitual for us to stay glued to negativity, so you must escape what media and others are pouring into your mind.

Get off that train leading to mental destruction. You have the choice to read positive books, as well as listening to uplifting podcasts and music. Force your mind to only fill with encouraging words and confidence, then there’s no room for negativity.

You can immediately help your mindset with an exercise program. Get out early mornings or late evenings to take a long walk. Get your eyes off the path and look to the skies where beauty surrounds you. See the birds, squirrels and nature going about their busy lives and become a part of it.

How would you had changed your life 10 years ago? Why can’t you start that change today? Don’t let other’s negative thoughts and actions control you. This isn’t the support group you need. Don’t get sucked into this world of hate because you’re better than that.

Surround yourself with only positive ambitious people. We are fortunate to own our business and control the environment. Our clients will only hear words of encouragement and positive reinforcement.

That person you want to be can start now. Don’t wait any longer wishing you did things differently today. Carry yourself around in this world with explosions of love and respect. The universe will send good people to you and life will change forever.

Don’t focus on perfection, concentrate on progress

By David Tepera, July 15, 2020

Being in the professional body building industry, every competitor is focused on perfection. You must bring you best A-game to have an opportunity to take first place or to win your pro-card.

Of course, this is totally understandable to all my fellow competitors. It was the same dedication Tina and I went through to become professional athletes.

But when it comes to diet, exercise or getting ahead in life, don’t focus on perfection; concentrate on progress. This is the advice we give all our clients and those who reach out to us across the country.

There will be days of failure and setbacks, but that doesn’t mean to give up. They are just lessons to help pivot in a better direction.

We have a client totally hooked on frappuccinos, including drinking one every day for years. Like all of us trying to diet, she kept losing the battle. Tina helped her by not letting her get depressed and reducing her to one every other day. Well recently, she completed one month without any frappuccinos.

What did this do for our client? She now has the confidence to tackle the next hurdle of diets and exercise. She’s making progress and not setting herself up for failure by focusing on perfection.

Isn’t this process the same throughout our lives? Think of every sport, hobby or interest you’ve been involved with. With each attempt and accomplishment, you gain the confidence to continue and pursue a higher skill. You weren’t focused on perfection, just progress.

An example is as simple as learning to ride a bicycle. We had to learn to steer and peddle with training wheels, then to balance on two wheels. For us boys in the neighborhood, we rode with no hands, wheelies down the street, plus built ramps like Evel Knievel. Yep, I lived with scabs my entire youth, but I could fly on that old Schwinn with a banana seat.

How many of you are intimidated to walk into a gym or fitness center? We have people contact us every week who have never been in a gym. They feel like an outcast because all the marketing and social media are geared toward the younger fit crowd.

We let them know they just completed the largest hurdle by contacting us. From here, walking through our front door will start your progress to obtain goals.

Look, whatever you’re involved in to improve your life, don’t focus on perfection; concentrate on progress and you’ll get there.

More than likely, you only got hurt, not injured

By David Tepera, July 8, 2020

I’ve told this story many times, but it’s a must repeat for today’s lesson. Yes, I said “lesson” because for some reason, we have a growing society of pampered youth without responsibility.

Of course, this isn’t all parents, but there are those who babied their kids way too long. Yes, we all want life to be better and easier for our kids than it was for us, but you’ve lost a valuable lesson.

When my adult children were in elementary school, I volunteered in multiple sports for many years, including soccer. Before every season started, I sat all parents down to explain the rules.

Just know, I never cared about winning at that age. I played every kid equal time, made practices challenging, but fun because I wanted everyone to have a positive experience, including parents.

Now, what’s the lesson I explained to the parents?

“Your kid is going to fall down during games. It’s part of the experience. They are going to look at you to come to their rescue and baby them, but I’m going to shout at them to get back up and pursue the game.”

Listen, there’s a difference between getting hurt and being injured. OK, you got your feelings hurt, and you’re embarrassed because you got played. Well guess what? That’s life.

We need to teach our kids to problem solve, and realize it’s up to them for the final outcome. You can lay there and expect people to come to your rescue, or you can take matters in your own hands and learn from the experience.

I have an abundance of plaques, medals and awards surrounding my home office walls, but I have more failures listed in my head and scars on my body. It’s those failures that helped create the displayed victories. I guarantee, the kids or I don’t possess any participation trophies.

That’s today’s problem, the growing youth expect something for nothing. It’s up to us elders to teach the real world, and that’s why my kids played sports their entire youth. If you want to make it to the top, you have to outwork your competition. Otherwise, you’re going to sit on the bench the rest of your life. Not in the Tepera house.

Wherever you are at this exact moment is because of all the failures and victories you’ve experienced. Learn from those failures and keep pushing forward because you only got hurt, not injured.

Did you make a difference today?

By David Tepera, July 1, 2020

Each day, we have an opportunity to make a difference in our lives and others. What did you accomplish yesterday, and what’s on the agenda today?

When is the last time you exercised, ate healthy, showed kindness to others or made a positive influence?

There’s no secret, today’s society is snowballing into a frenzy with the media bombarding us with turmoil and hatred. But, I know there’s goodness in all of us, so let’s make a difference by choosing love and respect over hate.

Just like negativity attracts negative people, goodness will attract greatness. It’s only you who gets to make the choice of which person you want to be. This must start internally first.

What’s your first thought of the day? Do you wake up with negative thoughts about people and situations you’re dealing with, or do you thank God or a higher power for giving you another day to make a difference?

Many years ago, I made a conscious decision to not let my feet hit the ground until I said a prayer of thankfulness and love. I enjoy starting my day in the best mood possible because I interact with people all day. I love seeing others smile when we greet.

What’s your first meal of the day? Are you running late for work and the drive-through breakfast of greasy foods crashed your diet again?

Did you make it to the gym, find time to exercise or did you create another excuse? Dylan, Tina and I train people all day, we are exhausted, but we still make the time to improve our bodies because we know it will also enhance our mental state.

At Ageless Muscle Fitness Center, it’s a friendly family environment. Just like the client’s bodies are improving with each session, we know they walk out of the gym in the best mood possible.

If you have a trainer that only talks about drama in his or her life, you need to seek someone else. If a trainer is upbeat and showers you with goodness, stick with that trainer.

Listen, it’s only you that has control of your thoughts and attitude. It’s your choice to be happy or not. Punch negative thoughts in the face because today you’re going to make a difference.

We must love all mankind!

You take pride in what you’ve earned

By David Tepera, June 24, 2020

Look at all your possessions and things you’ve accomplished. Did you earn them, or did someone give them to you?

Did you outwork your teammate for the starting position, or do you think you deserve the spot because you’re a senior? Guess what? The athlete who works the hardest, plus improves their skills, will beat you out every time. The winning athlete will take pride knowing they earned it.

Are you the person who put in the extra hours at work to win the promotion, or the lazy family member who gets the breaks? The hardest worker possess winning pride, while the other will never learn leadership skills.

We see people on a daily basis who come to us that are mentally and physically broken. Some are desperate to have their lives back. Through the years, their bodies depleted of energy and life became a daily battle.

Our biggest pride and joy, is watching people grow with pride as they put in the consistency and work to get their bodies back in shape.

My eyes always swell listening to smiling aging clients tell us they worked in their yard for the first time in years, they can now walk without a limp, or that their shoulder, knee, sciatic nerve pain is gone and they have more energy to enjoy time with family.

This is exciting for them because they earned it through their own hard work. I truly enjoy working with older clients because they experienced a life of strong work ethic. Just know, the average age of my clients range into their 70s.

To me, there’s a big group of today’s youth who has lost their sense of work ethic and only puts a hand-out instead of a hand-in.

To all you graduating college students, here’s a word of advice: “clean up your social media.” You will fight for new jobs against other inexperienced college grads. I promise, the ones with the cleanest and most wholesome social media will get the interviews.

It’s time for everyone to start helping others. Find a way to volunteer, mentor, coach and stop judging people you don’t know. We all have a different set of experiences, so respect others’ decisions as long as it’s not destructive.

The only thing you can control is the hard work you put in each and every day. This will give you pride knowing that you’ve earned it.

Did you put in the effort to make it to the top?

By David Tepera, June 17, 2020

When I was 11 years old, I started mowing grass for a few people in my neighborhood. This was around 1972, so I was charging $5 per yard.

There was one particular neighbor that made an impact on my young work ethic. The owner of the house told me that she would pay the $5 for the mow, an extra dollar if I edged the driveway and another dollar to include raking.

The yards in my neighborhood weren’t that large, so the opportunity to make $7 was attractive because I could buy a pound of bubblegum with extra money.

Remember, the electric weed-eater wasn’t invented yet, so edging was done with a hand clipper and a hatchet. Yes, I still have all my fingers.

It was the first time that I was challenged to give my best effort to earn more money. I worked on that lady’s yard for hours. Once completed, the lady came out and gave a full inspection of her beautifully manicured yard. She was pleased and handed over the $7.

The impact that experience gave me was knowing that if I stepped up my game in everything I did, I would be rich with pride. Starting at that age, I knew money and success would come from a strong work ethic.

How about you? Are you truly worth your paycheck? If you’re making minimal wage, are you giving the effort to earn an extra dollar per hour? If you are, your bosses are taking notice and will put you in a position for more income. Just know, if you’re not putting in the effort, you’ve already reached your peak position and income.

How about other areas of your life? What level of effort do you put into your diet, exercise, sports or even marriage?

Could you lose the extra pounds with more discipline? If you want the starting position on your team, are you getting up early for skill training and lifting weights? Are you outworking your competition?

For couples, have you settled with a minimal wage relationship? Do you both continue to grow together with a set of goals, spiritually, along with love and respect?

Whatever your current circumstances may be, just know, with a little more pride and effort, you’ll make it to the top.

Lifting weights help strengthen knee replacements

By David Tepera, June 10, 2020

Research shows there were approximately 1.6 million hip and knee arthroplasties performed in the United States in 2017, of which more than 966,000 were knee replacements.

Just know, most knee reconstructions are categorized by total, partial or revision. In the knee reconstruction business, the knee is considered by three compartments. To keep it simple, this is the inside (medial), outside (lateral), and middle (patella femoral) parts of the knee.

A partial knee replacement is only replacing the compartment that is damaged, which could be any one of those compartments. Your orthopedist will replace one compartment if the other compartments are intact.

A total knee replacement consists of all three compartments of the femur and the entire tibia.

A revision is performed if a partial or total knee fails. This could be from a variety of reasons too long to explain in this column, but it happens.

At Ageless Muscle Fitness Center, we have nearly a dozen clients weight training post-knee replacement and physical therapy. Most of these clients come to us because they’re still having issues with flexion, extension and muscle atrophy. They are required to bring me their X-rays to understand the alignment, type of replacement and potential problem areas.

We have a special weight training formula that helps build muscle and resolve other issues. We’ve even been able to prolong knee surgery for others because of strengthening the muscles around the joints.

Now, before I continue, you must speak with your surgeon before starting any weight training program. If utilizing a personal trainer, make sure they are experienced in knee replacement therapy before lifting any lower extremity weights.

So, if you’re ready to get started and get those legs strong again, here are some do’s and don’ts.

Some of the most popular leg strengthening machines typically at every gym are a leg press, leg extension and leg curl.

Leg press machines are in a sitting position pressing both feet against a platform. It’s important to keep your feet high on the platform, so you don’t overstress the patella tendon. Also, don’t go into a deep flexion, keeping the knees no deeper than 90 to 100 degrees. This is the one machine you can test the weight.

A leg extension is concentrating on the quad muscles. Since your feet are not compressing against a platform and pulling the weight from the front of your ankles, you must keep the weight relatively light. Heavy weight could cause stress on the knee implant and ligament stability.

This is the same situation for a leg curl, which concentrates on the hamstring muscles. It’s good for strength training, but it’s another must to keep the weights light. Remember, your pulling the weight from the back of your ankles.

There’s much more detail to all of this. I just wanted to give some insight to know it’s still possible to strengthen legs after recovering from knee replacements.

If you need additional information or have questions, please email me.

Agelessmuscle@gmail.com

Keep moving with 101-year-old WWII Vet

By David Tepera, June 3, 2020

Yes, you read that title correct. Today’s article features one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

Having lived for more than a century, it will be difficult to put Leonard “Pater” Johnson’s whole story in one article. The following are a few highlights of a man born in 1918 who loves to lift weights.

Several months back, Pater didn’t ask, but told his family that he was going to start working out with me to improve his strength and balance.

His son Greg, who’s been training at Ageless Muscle, brought Pater in to test the weights to see if this was possible. It was a nonissue because Pater isn’t your average century man.

You see, Pater’s motto is “keep moving” which all of you know is part of my famous catch phrase of “keep moving and improving.” So, we bonded immediately.

How many people start Spanish classes at the age of 97? This wasn’t online classes. No, he drove himself to College of the Mainland each week. Pater taught me to count to 20 in Spanish for the reps in our workouts, so now, I must be bilingual.

Pater comes to our fitness center twice a week, and only uses a walker for balance. He has never had any major surgeries or injuries. His health is impeccable, and claims using raw honey for the past 30 plus years enhanced his immune system.

Over these past few months, Pater has become much stronger, improved his walking gait and has more energy to enjoy each day.

What a treat for me to listen to the wisdom from a man who lived and experienced the world from the 1920s to present day. His wit is quick, along with endless hilarious jokes. Pater stays up on the latest news and has a strong opinion of what’s happening in our country.

Pater was drafted and served this country in World War II as a sergeant in the Armed forces for four years. Once he finished his service, Pater became a self-made man by building a successful valve company that’s controlled and owned by his son Greg. It all started from selling out of an old used green army van, along with a hard work ethic. At 101 years old, Pater still brings that work ethic into the gym.

For a man who believes in “keep moving,” his hobbies include ballroom dancing. He even had a dance floor built into his house. Some of Pater’s favorites are the foxtrot, waltz, rumba, tango and cha-cha. I’m sure he can cut the rug much better than most of us.

There’s no doubt, Pater is an inspiration to all of us. Whatever excuse you’re using today, it’s time to throw it out the window and get back into this game of life.

Let’s all be like Mr. Pater Johnson because all it takes is to “keep moving.”

Don’t stay knocked down, get back up – NOW!

By David Tepera, May 27, 2020

Who knows what it’s like to get hit by a fast-moving pitch? Have you ever caught a ball with your face? How bad were the multiple bike wipeouts you experienced?

I’m sure many of you have a story or two to tell when it comes to crash-and-burn from an activity or sport, including the scars to prove it.

I hope, the biggest lesson from those experiences was that you got back up and attempted that feat again. And, after a period of time, you mastered the skills.

What about adult knockdowns? Have you experienced divorce, unemployment, bankruptcy or coronavirus shutdown?

Well, my friends, quit waiting on the right time to get back up because that is today. My family and I have agreed that we don’t accept this idea of the “new norm.” Nope, to us, it’s “get back to normal.” We acknowledge that this will take time, but if we have a positive mindset and don’t allow others keep us down, we’ll get back up.

I, like many of you, have been knocked down, but you can’t knock me out.

Don’t let divorce sour you. Do your best to mediate, accept your losses and get back up. If not, only the attorneys win.

Too many people have lost jobs and income over the past few months. Let go of your ego and explore the new job market, even if it’s a lower income than before. At least you’re pulling in some money until other opportunities become available.

That’s why it’s important for all of us to get back up. It will create opportunity, or at least, bring back jobs.

Now, I’m only sharing my opinions based upon my experiences, but sitting there doing nothing is accepting defeat. At least, get your step-by-step plan ready that puts you back on your feet.

At the Ageless Muscle Fitness Center, not only are all clients back, but we are signing many new weight training clients as well. What’s exciting for us is that all the new clients are from 50 to 70 years old. These people want their lives and health back, and we deliver.

Now, if you’ve been down too long and sick and tired of wasting life away, get back up — now!