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Fitspiration: Deanna Jade Duxbury on P[H]assion and Being a Fitness Instructor

We all make resolutions to be fit or eat healthy in a new year, only for those resolutions to fall apart by mid-January. We blame it on being too busy or too tired, failing to prioritize our fitness over other pressing matters. One incredible McGill student has incorporated her love for fitness into her routine. Deanna Duxbury, is in her last semester majoring in English Literature with a triple minor in Communications, Political Science and History. She has a lot on her plate – an independent research project, she is a communications associate at the McGill Alumni Office, intern for a small PR/Marketing agency, teaches fitness classes, Director of Media for P[h]assion and she blogs for That’RealTalk.com.

Great opportunities tend to come out of nowhere. That’s what happened with Deanna and how she ended up teaching fitness classes at Enso Yoga. She started off volunteering as a Trade to get free classes (a tip she’d recommend to anyone trying to workout on a budget) but when one of her teachers encouraged her to teach her own class, she went for it:  “She told me that the only way to go from here was up and that I wouldn’t regret it. Now she’s a good friend and I’m loving every day I work!”

When asked about how she stays motivated to workout, Deanna points to the positive impact a fit lifestyle has had for her: “My general health, sleep, work habits, productivity, energy, time-management and self-confidence has only increased.”  We all know the struggle of getting up and going to the gym, Deanna thinks timing and motivation are the biggest issues people have. To fix this, she suggests making fitness a priority, which means scheduling that class or gym time into our calendars, Make it a lifestyle choice that is as real as studying or your job (rather than a chore to check off) and it can be a really rewarding method of self-care.” She says that “a lot of planning and playlist making” goes into being an instructor but it’s all worth it when “clients come back to your classes again and again with a positive attitude and an excitement to be there.”

For the past two years, she has been involved with P[h]assion, where she is the Director of Media. Her role entails “copywriting, editing, blogging, resourcing content, brainstorming events with the team and organizing photo-shoots for the models and committee.”  An organization that supports Aids Care Community Montreal (ACCM), Deanna has had the opportunity to interview volunteers associated with the charity and individuals living with HIV/AIDS. “Their work is incredibly influential and I’m really proud to be able to give back to the community in any way I can.” Before P[h]assion, she worked with ECOuture which brings environmental issues in fashion to the light. “Learning about that has really changed the way I shop.”

How does she manage all of this in 24 hours? Well, Deanna is a major planner – she schedules her day from 8am all the way till 11pm. Some might think her being on her phone all the time is not being productive, but she uses that time to connect with her friends and family.They keep me sane as I’m running around and help make sure I’m not forgetting to schedule lunch!”

When I asked her about her favourite memory at McGill, Deanna recalls a night on Saint Laurent. She and a friend bumped into Carly Rae Jepsen at Nesta and Busty and the Bass later that night at a Karaoke bar where “They serenaded us with Ignition (the remix) and danced out the door with us to Closing Time.”

Her favourite place in Montreal is Maison Kam Fung on Sunday mornings: “The best thing about weekends is getting dim sum for brunch.” Agreed!

As a senior, she is applying to jobs in Montreal. “I’ll still be teaching at Enso Yoga but hopefully, with only two or three jobs, I’ll have more time to read the fiction I want to read (sans the essay requirement).” She think’s she’ll slow down after graduation but in reality, “I don’t think that’s me at all.”


Images provided by interviewee. 


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