The Sunski Collective: Dez Taylor-Douglas
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The Sunski Collective: Dez Taylor-Douglas

Who is DEZ? Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a lifelong learner that is constantly evolving and trying to become a better version of myself each day. I cherish being active outside, and sharing my experiences to empower people to move in a way that feels good to them

How did you get into running?

I got into running at a very young age. My parents joke that I ran before I walked. Both of my parents were athletes and used to take me to the track to run as a kid. Running on the track felt like a safe space for me to run wild and it planted the seed for a life long relationship with running.

Dez from the Sunski Collective in Yuba Honey Forest shades 

You are so full of positive vibes, where does that come from?

I have a saying that we should leave people and places better than you found them. I try to put that type of energy into the world that I would want directed at me. There was a time in my life where I wasn’t so optimistic or full of positive vibes due to a series of tough life experiences that left me anxious, drained, and complacent. One day, I told myself that I wanted better for a future version of Dez, so I started by consuming positive affirmations each day, meditating, doing yoga, and then surrounding myself with friends that built me up and encouraged me to grow into the person that I wanted to be while honoring where I was in my journey

Who are the Midnight Runners and when can we run!

Midnight Runners is the community you didn’t know you needed in your life. It’s a hype group of athletes whose sole mission is to spread good vibes and sweat! This particular global running crew does a 10km run with club style music that stops every mile for a HITT style workout. It is incredibly hard not to go to this group and leave without feeling uplifted, challenged, and inspired to come back for another week of fun! Midnight Runners San Francisco meets on Wednesdays at 6:30pm and anybody can RSVP and get more details using the Heylo app 

You just finished the AIDS Lifecycle and it looked so incredible, what was one of your favorite moments?

AIDS Lifecycle is such a special event and I’m thankful to have participated in it twice. One of my favorite moments this year was crossing the finish line and busting out in tears of joy. I was moved to tears for many reasons, one because I was able to cycle with several close friends that kept me motivated, helped me change four flat tires, and shared deep stories that I will never forget. Two, I was thinking about the “love bubble” energy from all of the volunteers, staff and other rides of the event. It is one of the most supportive environments that I have ever been a part of. Lastly, I was thankful for my body’s ability to safely endure 545-miles from San Francisco to LA. I am forever grateful for the experience and still get tears of joy thinking about it 

Biggest challenge you have overcome?

The biggest challenge I have overcome is anxiety and not trusting myself. I used to think life was one size fits all, or that there was a specific recipe for success or happiness, but quickly learned that you have to be flexible and go with the flow. Being an anxious person prevented me from being my most authentic self for most of my life, and caused me to play it safe. That in combination with believing there was a right and a wrong way to do things caused me to not question why I was going through the motions of life, and not living. It wasn’t until I asked myself “what’s my why” that I started to fully live, and do things that made me feel whole. Now I approach each day as it comes and try to do something that a future version of myself would appreciate. 

Dez Taylor rocking his Yuba Honey Forest shades

You are a scientist PHD. What's your occupation and how did you get into it?

I work in business development for a German biotech company called QIAGEN. My main focus is helping scientists unlock meaningful insights from their biological samples that can in turn become a pharmaceutical drug to treat a disease. I got into business development after my postdoctoral fellowship at Gladstone Institutes. I did a lot of informational interviews to understand what types of careers that people with my background got into. After 100+ informational interviews, I decided that business development was my calling because of the flexibility, career growth opportunities, and the ability to be a scientist in every field.

What does Live Life Outside mean to you?

Live Outside means get outdoors and get curious! Spend some time exploring and moving outside, whether that be yoga, cycling, running, walking, or any other activity. Take advantage of the fresh air, sunshine, and feeling of freedom and replenishment you get from being in nature.

Favorite pair of Sunskis and why?

My favorite pair of Sunskis are the Yuba Forest Honey shades because they make me feel like I’m sharing warmth and good vibes. Plus they make me smile when I look in the mirror before I head out the door!