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

Learn to ride the waves

By David Tepera, January 9, 2019

Back in the 1980s, in my early 20s, I chose to take up surfing because it seemed really cool, I loved the ocean, and thought the girls would dig it.

I didn’t think it would be too difficult since I was a competitive swimmer and former water polo player. So, I borrowed a friend’s board and headed out to Galveston seawall along pier 39.

Before I dove into the water, I watched the other surfers hoping to learn some tips and tricks. Feeling confident, I plunged in ready to show off my skills and be king of the waves.

Well, as you can imagine, it didn’t turn out the way it played in my head. With each crashing wave, I slipped, tumbled and choked on water. I couldn’t believe that “me” a strong swimmer was getting his butt kicked by the ocean.

But then it happened, I clumsily rode my first wave along the shore. The feeling of accomplishment to conquer and tame the ocean was addictive. At that moment, surfing became my passion for years.

Within a short time, I became a seasoned surfer learning the importance of waxing for grip, the difference between long and short boards, and to hang-10 under a rip-curl.

How many can relate other moments in life similar to my surfing experience? Remember the feeling of your first birdie or parring a hole, riding a wheely on your bicycle, first home run, or hitting a 3-pointer?

From all the examples I listed above, how many times to did you crash and burn before accomplishing any feats?

For all you sales people, how many times did the gate keepers prevent you from meeting with the top brass? But with persistence and creativity, you found a way to land the business.

A hundred doors of opportunity might slam in your face, but all it takes is one big break to change your life. Remember, your biggest successes came from multiple failures. If you want it, never ever give up because with persistence, you’ll learn to ride the waves

New Year, new level

By David Tepera, January 2, 2019

OK, here we go, another new year full of hopes and promises. Believe me, I agree, we should set higher expectations of ourselves and give it our all.

Tina and I just returned from a Christmas cruise out of Galveston. There were more than 3,700 people on the boat, and we were a little shocked that most people were way out of shape. We stood out amongst the whole group, with tons of people asking questions because we were at a level they’ve never seen in person. Tina and I were very gracious, approachable and offered all the advice necessary.

Now, this isn’t a bragging moment for us, it’s a realization that there’s really a serious problem with American diet and exercise.

Once we returned home, Tina and I took the kids to dinner and had a discussion about taking our lives to another level. We are a family of physique competitors and people need our help, but we have to be leaders in all aspects of life. This isn’t just our bodies, but the way we apply ourselves towards everyone.

Even though my kids, who are 20 and 18 years old, are very kind and respectful, I want them to be leaders amongst their peers, plus anyone they come in contact with.

So, the Teperas’ new year’s resolution is to take our lives to another level by helping others.

What about you? What is your current status in your environment? Are you satisfied with your job, as an athlete, student, parent, employer, religion and so on?

Do you just want to be on the team, or do you want to be a starter? Are you working to improve your skills, giving up partying, studying or going to night school, being more understanding or changing social circle?

Here’s a list of some things that will prevent you from reaching another level: taking things personally, holding on to the past, over-stressing, poor diet, complaining, gossiping, stuck on Facebook and other social media.

Of course, these are my personal opinions, but I’m hoping to create some constructive thinking.

You’ve already decided to make this year better than the past. I’m on board with you. Let’s all continue to improve. Make set-backs and failures be a teaching moment. Learn from these mistakes to better ourselves.

Remember, 2019 is the year you’re going to stay focused and take your life to a whole new level.

Christmas blah, bloated and broke

By David Tepera, December 26, 2018

Well, you’ve made it through a long month of Christmas parties, gifting and lack of exercise. Yep, right now, you’re probably feeling a little blah, bloated and broke. Don’t feel alone, even as a family of professional physique competitors, we’ve battled the diet challenges all month, too.

I know there’s still one more week of celebration with New Year’s around the corner, but it’s time to get your bodies in motion again.

Being in the fitness industry, we typically see people registering for gym memberships in January, along with every quick weight loss program imaginable. Then finally, people start signing up for personal training by February and March due to the lack of success on their own.

I’m not referring to anything negative about this process, it’s just the way it has always been.

The good news is people are truly sincere about enhancing their lives to become healthier. I applaud your efforts because it is life changing.

Remember, the journey to a healthy life is a marathon and not a sprint. When you go all in too quick, you set yourself up for failure. I always tell my clients not to beat themselves up for falling off the wagon. Just pick up where you left off and keep moving.

It takes three to four weeks of steady training to get your bodies adjusted. Then, starting around the fifth week, changes become visible. All of our clients notice muscle gains and fat loss around that time.

What’s most important is to stay focused and determined because your body will keep improving. Yes, if you skip an entire week, it will be a set-back, but don’t give up. Your body will bounce back, plus you’ll feel better about yourself.

Here are some of the benefits for weight training alone; lean muscle, stronger bones, metabolism boost, better immune and cardiovascular system, and most importantly – anti-depression.

I’ve heard repeatedly from people whining about not having time or can’t afford a gym membership. My response “exercise is free”. Back in the day when time and finances were difficult, I would jog throughout my neighborhood for cardio, put cans of food in pillowcases to use as weights, load books in my backpack to perform sets of pushups, plus lay on the floor while watching tv and rep-out tons of sit-ups.

So, to me, there are no excuses, just be creative and have fun.

Now, let’s all get rid of the Christmas blah, bloated and broke feeling, and start ramping up for an amazing 2019.

Discipline, dedication and desire is the only answer

By David Tepera, December 19, 2018

There’s no secret, America is plagued by an obesity epidemic. According to statistics, 67 percent of people will never use their gym memberships, and 80 percent of you will fail new year’s resolution by February.

Back in the 1960s and 70s, local gyms were scarce. There once was a perceived thought that weight lifting was unhealthy, and bulky muscles would slow down athletes. Thank goodness Arnold Schwarzenegger came on the scene because he put weight training on the map. He has spent his entire life changing the health and fitness industry. Now, gyms are popping up everywhere, just like donut shops.

Even though the fitness industry is a booming multi-billion-dollar business, there’s a problem. We are bombarded with false promises, fads and magic pills. Admit it, you’ve been suckered, too.

I’m not one to throw stones because throughout the years, I’ve wasted money on plenty of products. But, that’s where I gained knowledge of this ridiculous fad marketing.

Besides my reader base, our personal training clients range from fitness competitors to serious medical conditions. They need the best advice possible. Our company not only helps patients get lean muscle, but a variety of doctors are signing up for our style of weight training, too.

Believe me, there’s really only one true way to reach health and fitness, and that’s from discipline, dedication and desire.

Yep, there’s plenty of you who’ve lost weight on fad diets. How’s that going for you now? Guess what? You created muscle loss, and sadly — weaker bones. Now, don’t misunderstand me, a healthy diet is more important than any other part of fitness, but not these so-called quick weight loss programs.

This isn’t just my professional opinion, there’s plenty of studies and documents to support this.

Listen, no matter your age, you must add weight resistance into your routine. It’s the path to slowing our aging process. The majority of our clients are from the ages of 40 to 70. After five weeks of training, their bodies are gaining muscle, plus their energy level is growing. It’s one of the most rewarding parts of our business.

The new year is coming, and most people are gearing up to improve their health conditions. Just know, weight training has a long list of benefits beyond stronger muscles.

So, throw away the false promising fads and get your butt in the gym.

Christmas parties about more than just eating

By David Tepera, December 12, 2018

Over the past several weeks, I’ve been bombarded with questions regarding Christmas party eating. Most people are trying to keep their diets in check, but the variety of foods has become challenging.

My advice is to enjoy the holiday festivities because this is that time of year where we have the opportunity to taste many homemade desserts. Now, don’t make a meal out of sweets, only sample the ones you want.

When it comes to slices of pie or cheese cake, I always share with another person. To be honest, I typically share several slices. Since I do all the cooking in my house, it’s not too often I get the pleasure of other people’s homemade delicacies.

Remember, it’s not what you eat, it’s how much you eat during these parties. But, if you feel that you’ve indulged too much, then on the following day, perform extra cardio work, plus reduce carb intake significantly. I promise, you’ll feel less bloated as the day goes on.

Recently, I attended an annual Christmas party given by two animal rescue organizations in Friendswood. I did my fair share to indulge all the tasty treats, but the best experience was meeting the special people who volunteer to help needy animals.

There was David and Vicky, who not only change the lives of countless canines, but gave a financial donation to the PTSD Foundation of America through my book.

A wonderful lady named Karen has literally hand-raised hundreds of kittens, vetted all their needs, plus found loving families to care for them.

The list is too grand because everyone at the party had a special connection for a passion towards animals. These particular gifted people are just to name a few.

Really, my message today is to look beyond the wonderful foods at Christmas parties, mingle with strangers and find the uniqueness we all possess. There’s good in all of us, so this is your opportunity to make new friends.

Now, next time you attend another Christmas party, enjoy the tasty treats, and bring a gift of joy, happiness and love. Remember, it’s more than just eating.

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.