In this series, we dive into one busy day of a dynamic individual to understand the rituals and routines that foster their success (plus the small, unplanned moments that keep life interesting).
Here, Deja Riley, entrepreneur, fitness expert, and trainer for Lululemon’s the Mirror, walks us through her working weekday, from on-the-go car calls to dinner with friends.
6:30 a.m. — I’m definitely a person that goes based on feeling. I listen to my body all the time and I’m constantly just making adjustments throughout my day, according to how I’m feeling. I got eight and a half hours of sleep the night before, so I woke up feeling good. I did some breath work with my husband. And then I did meditation by myself—just getting in my own zone. Then I journaled after that. I’m reading Viola Davis’s new book Finding Me. I’m on chapter two right now. That’s been the driving force for a lot of my journal prompts lately, I’m asking myself the same questions that she’s asking herself throughout the book. I usually don’t have any sense of structure when it comes to my journal—I can write anything in it. It’s my way of talking to myself, and having like a vault for all my feelings and my thoughts. After that, I stretched—I usually choose a restorative yoga class that I can do on the Mirror [from Lululemon]. One of my favorite teachers is actually one of my friends, her name’s Pilin Anice. Today, I had all of 15 minutes to get it in. The Mirror offers anywhere from five minutes all the way to 60 minute classes, so no matter how much time you have in your day, there’s something for you in there.
7:15 a.m. — I jumped in the car to head to my gym workout session. While I’m in the car, I worked on programming for my future workouts for the Mirror. I feel like I’m always trying to get work in when I can.
8:00 a.m. — From eight to nine, I worked out with my trainer. He is really focusing on a lot of upper body strength with me because I have a really, really strong lower body. So we’ve been doing work with kettlebells, dumbbells, and barbells, doing pull ups, things like that. It was a great session. I love working out with Percell. He’s a great friend and mentor. But he’s an excellent trainer as well.
9:00 a.m. — Back in the car, did some more Mirror programming on the way back home.
10:00 a.m. — I had an agency meeting for about an hour. I think that whoever I partner with, it needs to be an organic partnership. I do a pretty deep dive on the company’s morals and belief system. I want to make sure that it’s something that fits well alongside my own brand, because I think one thing that my audience relies on me for is authenticity.
11:00 a.m. — I found my little window to have breakfast/brunch. My husband made pancakes, so I had pancakes, a fruit spread, a side of eggs, orange juice and then all my vitamins. We also finished watching an episode of Ozark.
11:30 a.m. — I had a call for my fundamentals workout. The Mirror has this new group of workouts called fundamentals, which is a way to introduce beginners to standard exercises. The fundamentals class that I’m teaching along with my four other classes is going to be on lunges. I just get to break down a lunge—all of the tips and tricks.
12:00 p.m. — I had a little window of time to give myself a little bit of a mental break and just breathe. Sometimes I just take moments to go out on my terrace—I have a beautiful terrace in Brooklyn. I can see the city of Brooklyn and you can really actually see the sky.
1:00 p.m. — I had a podcast interview with a Canadian outlet. I’ve been doing them throughout this week as a press run for Lululemon and Mirror. We have some new exciting things coming down the pipeline. They also wanted to introduce me to the Canadian community, because we just launched Mirror in Canada in November.
2:30 p.m. — Got in the car to head to the studio. I had to take a call from the car with my athletic manager, Natalie. We do check-ins usually about once a week if not once every other week. We discuss whatever is coming up at the time for Lululemon and Mirror or outside brand partnerships. Really quick touch base. Then I had two Mirror programming calls with my colleagues Xtina and Lonnie, partially in the car and then partially while I was walking into the studio.
4:15 p.m. — I started blocking in the Mirror studio. Basically camera blocking is when I mark the moves, where I’m going to be standing, what I’m going to be doing with my body, what equipment that I might have, and which cameras are supposed to be focused on me at each moment of the workout. We do camera blocking 15 minutes before every workout. I did live workouts until 7:30.
8:15 p.m. — I headed from the studio to meet some friends for dinner at 1803 NYC. It’s such a vibe, I really like places where you feel like you’re not exactly in that city. There’s all this greenery, it’s a pretty place to be but also really delicious. I had spring salad and a grilled chicken sandwich—that’s a go-to for me. And I definitely tasted my friend’s mac and cheese. I can’t do too much cheese but it doesn’t hurt to have a little taste.
12:00 a.m. — In bed. I try to be asleep by 11:00 p.m., but if I have later nights like this, I can recover pretty well. It’s not like I’ll have that kind of night the next night and the next night and so on. I wear an aura ring, so I’m always conscious of my sleep hours—how long I slept, how deep I got into my sleep, and how much my body has recovered. But I do try to get my full 8 hours before waking up and doing it all over again!
This as-told-to piece has been edited and condensed for clarity.