Fitness Friday (on Sunday) with Taylor Rae Almonte

This week we caught up with Taylor Rae Almonte (@taylorraealmonte). Not only is Taylor a great friend to many on the GDD staff, but more recently, she has stepped into the role of an activist since the beginning of the Black Lives Matter movement. Be sure to watch the video above for our full conversation with her on her work within the movement and tips she offered for assessing small businesses during this time.

Off camera, Taylor also filled us in on all things exercise, ways she’s found her GDD Bucket Tote most helpful, and her recent engagement! Taylor said initially she never expected herself to be someone who would have a fitness or wellness presence on social media.

“I think my account definitely lends itself to fitness but is also a space to talk about mental health, building confidence, and being vulnerable as something that helps us to be “well” overall,” Almonte said during our Q&A.

“Most recently, I’ve developed my account into what I’m calling “Fitness Activism” where all of my classes and wellness collaborations either help support an organization, or have a component that sparks conversation on the practice of being anti-racist,” she added. Check out Taylor’s Instagram account and her most recent newsletters to learn how to be an anti-racist, find places to donate, and collect resources to continue your personal education.

Everyone has a different approach to staying active and healthy during these past few months, and we’ve been sure to ask all our guests on the blog that exact question. Taylor starts her day meditating coupled with reading a portion from her favorite book, The Four Agreements, a habit that she picked up from her mom, she said. Those practices are followed by some form of mindful movement, she added.

“I think it’s so important to take time to move without any set goals related to aesthetics, but just a focus on how it feels,” Almonte said.

While catching up with Taylor, we made sure to ask her how she’s been using her GDD bag, and what features she has found most helpful. “I’ve jokingly said I’m going to start packing this bag just to bring it from my bedroom to my living room while in quarantine,” she said. “Recently, I actually went to my first boxing session in 3 months and it was so exciting packing my bag!”

What’s the best story from her GDD experience, you ask? Well, Taylor was using our snap-in-snap-out crossbody when she got engaged!

“My fiance and I went hiking to the same spot, where we went on our third date, we’ve now gone there for four years,” she said. “I had my hand sanitizer and mask and all of my essentials in my GDD bag!

We got to the spot on the top of the mountain and my best friend on earth, Richard, asked me to marry him! And obvs I said yes!” You can check out their gorgeous engagement shot on her Insta, and that RING (cue the heart-eye emojis).