How One Athlete Turned Activist Gets It All Done in a Day – Alyssa Nelsen

woman in boxing ring

How One Athlete Turned Activist Gets It All Done in a Day

In partnership with our friends at Reebok

Taylor Rae Almonte is what one would call a multihyphenate. She’s an athlete, of course. A hardcore boxer. And an
actress who dabbles in off-Broadway. But beyond the beaming smile, the signature slicked-back pony, and that
seriously impressive left hook is where Almonte’s most important work lies: anti-racist activism in the wellness
space. It’s a crusade she’s leading via livestream workout classes, weekly newsletters, and the just-launched ACTIV-ISM fitness program that
offers resources and support to a growing community of steadfast pupils.

“I realized that I was using fitness as a way to process a lot of the complex emotions that I was
experiencing—especially at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement,” she says. “I thought, If this works for
me, maybe it will work for other people.”

Almonte admits that speaking her truth in class was, at first, daunting. Would she say the right thing? Would
people care? What she realized was this: Connecting with her community was just the stoking her fire needed; all she
had to do was lead with her heart to keep it from flaming out.

“When you do things for other people, you take the focus off of yourself and your own worries and your own
anxieties,” she says. “I try to focus not on whether I’m good enough but on how I can serve others and
better impact the world.”

With the weight of the world seemingly on her shoulders, how does Almonte keep her mind and body as grounded as the
Reebok sneakers she rocks? It’s a game of stamina. A one-two punch of healthy boundaries and goal setting. And
devoting a little time each day to fighting the good fight and, in the words of her personal hero, Barack Obama,
being “the change that we seek.”

15 Hours with Taylor

RISE AND GRIND

6:30AM

I use an app called Clubhouse, and one of the chat-room moderators put something into perspective for me:
When you wake up and open Instagram, imagine that you’re walking into a room full of your friends and
colleagues. You wouldn’t wake up and immediately enter that room. You’d do your morning routine first: Eat
breakfast, work out, shower. Then you would go into that room.

After that I sat down and thought: What do I need to do before I walk into that room every day? Before I
scroll through social media or open my email or teach my first class? Since then, I’ve been waking up at 6:30
a.m. (which feels like zero o’clock in the morning), ice-rolling my face, and reading a few pages of The
Four Agreements
. It’s one of my favorite books. My mom used to read it over and over when I was young,
so I feel like I’m reading it with her.


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8:00AM

I have this journal of short prompts that I love, because they’re usually simple—like, write down five things
you’re grateful for, or five people you’re thankful for, or five goals you want to achieve. Then I practice
Spanish because my parents’ first language is Spanish, but for some reason they decided, hey, let’s not teach
our kids! I try to do that at least once a day.


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8:30AM

Get dressed, do a Theragun session (because I know I’m going to work out every day of my life), and stretch.
Some days, I’m Sporty Spice in streamlined leggings and crop tops with my Reebok Nano X1 sneakers. Others, I’m in a utility jumpsuit. I also
love a turtleneck, but I’ll layer leggings and a sports bra underneath so that when I need to teach, I’m ready
to go. And jeans? I don’t know her. Have not worn jeans in a thousand years.


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9:00AM

I used to be the queen of skipping breakfast, so I’ve been trying to get better about eating at the right
times and ensuring I get enough protein and carbs so that I’m not depleted at the end of the day. Breakfast
usually involves chugging a glass of GOOPGLOW and making my “secret” smoothie recipe, which does a great job
of hiding all the protein powder I dump in. It’s one frozen banana, oat milk, plant protein, and a scoop of
almond butter with chia seeds, flax seeds, and a little ice. Party in a cup.

Jumpsuit

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I try to focus not on whether I’m good enough but on how I can serve others and better impact the world.

2:00PM

Every day, I spend a couple of hours doing research for my newsletter. After the killing of George Floyd, I
started exploring racial dynamics in America and doing some heavy digging. Friends started asking me to send
them what I learned, and I thought, Why don’t I put all my research into one place? So I started this anti-racism
newsletter
that I send out every week. The last few issues covered mental health in the Latinx,
Indigenous, and Black communities.

I also founded an anti-racism wellness program called ACTIV-ISM with my friend and wellness blogger Kira West, which
combines educational resources with action steps to give people an opportunity to process what they’ve
learned. It could be a walk or a flow or a journal prompt or even a meditation—just some way to connect your
body to this transformative learning.

MAXIMIZING DOWNTIME

6:00PM

My work boundaries are firm: At 6 o’clock, I’m offline so that I can spend that time with my fiancé, Richard. We
are a big cooking household. And Richard is the king of baking. He’ll casually say something like,
“Oh, I just learned how to make these lavender shortbread cookies.” We always cook dinner together. There’s a
singer named Madeleine Peyroux that we love to listen to. Or we’ll say, “Hey, Google, play French
cooking music.” It’s the most relaxing thing.


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9:30PM

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about this: How do I get myself back into a headspace where I have something
left for myself? I’ve found that the number one way to recover my body and my mind is by doing nothing. No
planner, no phone—just sit in stillness. Scrolling before bed gives me so much anxiety and makes my brain
melt. So I’ve implemented a no-cell-phone rule before bedtime. Instead, I’ll lie in bed and think of three
things I want to accomplish the next day, so I’m totally aligned on what my focus is when I wake up.


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