We had the good fortune of connecting with Deidre Baker and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Deidre, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am inspired by authenticity and passion. I admire and love connecting with people who are unapologetically themselves, who speak their mind, express their feelings, and pursue what truly fuels their fire. There’s so much pressure to conform to societal expectations and I am by no means completely immune to this influence, but I always strive to do what makes me happy and to remain true to myself. At the end of the day, I’m not answering to anybody else, so it’s essential to be satisfied with the choices that I’ve made, and it is always refreshing and encouraging to encounter sincere individuals who follow their own script and chase their dreams freely and fervently.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Professionally, I manage projects for an industrial gases company. Outside of the office, I am passionate about fitness, adventures, and simply staying active. My primary interests are high intensity workouts, hiking, rock climbing, and running; although I’ve recently taken up biking as well. One of my personal ambitions is to bring people together to achieve their own individual fitness goals while also building and fostering a sense of community. I’ve actually been more successful with this endeavor in the past few months because so many individuals and businesses have been impacted by the pandemic. Morale has definitely, and understandably, been lower this past year but fortunately movement is a natural remedy and it doesn’t cost a cent. Outdoor workouts and hikes are activities that can be safely enjoyed by small groups, so over the spring and summer, I planned several get togethers with various friends, colleagues, and other social groups. to keep us active and connected in a socially responsible way, and I received great feedback that these excursions helped to lift people’s spirits and remind them that their communities still exist and are there to support them even during these difficult times. With the weather cooling down, I am hopeful that more people will be willing to join me in my fall and winter adventures and that I’ll be able to lead these events more frequently.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m not certain that a week is nearly enough time to enjoy all that Phoenix has to offer, but I would pack the days with all of my favorite local hikes – Piestewa, Camelback, Flatiron, Wave Cave, Fat Man’s Pass, and Two Bit Peak – and the nights with my go to restaurants and hole-in-the-wall spots (Joyride or Taco Guild for Taco Tuesday, Breakroom Bar and Grill for Thursday Karaoke, Pomo Pizza for live music on Fridays, and OHSO or Dick’s Hideaway for Sunday brunch). We would definitely make our way to Bitter and Twisted and The Kettle Black, two of my favorite bars in downtown Phoenix, as well as Undertow, a tiki bar on Indian School Road. And at some point, we’d refuel for our hikes with some delectable delights from Urban Cookies, Churn Ice Cream, and Sweet Republic. I’d also bring them to a PHX Fray skeeball night they can see how serious (and fun) the competition can get at The Little Woody. Pre-COVID, we would have attended some concerts at Crescent Ballroom or the Van Buren, but outdoor live music hosted by 528-Live on Saturday evenings is a great alternative now. I’d also have to take them up to Sedona or Flagstaff for at least one day to explore hike some of those trails (Devil’s Bridge, or maybe even Humphreys Peak)!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to my parents. I owe all my success and happiness to them.

Instagram: azfitfoodfun
Other: email: dee_bee123@yahoo.com

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