Robin Arzón is best known as vice president of fitness programing and head instructor at Peloton. But she’s also the founder of Swagger Society; a Master Class instructor; a two-time New York Times bestselling author who just released a self-empowerment journal titled “Welcome, Hustler”; and the creator of Bebé Fuerte, a bilingual toy line.
Basically, she’s made it her business to help people take care of business.
But before she became the superstar she is today, she had a very different life... as a litigator.
“One of my biggest inflection points happened to me — not because of me — but then I kind of took it and I literally ran with it,” Arzón said when she recently joined us, Raj Punjabi and Noah Michelson, co-hosts of HuffPost’s “Am I Doing It Wrong?” podcast, to talk about how to make big life changes.
“I am a reformed corporate lawyer,” she said. “The biggest change that I really owned was that career change, but the seeds of that were [planted] in the second part of my story ... which was being held at gunpoint when I was in my senior year at NYU.”
“That trauma, and being a trauma survivor, created a new narrative in me that I didn’t know existed,” she went on. “Then I kind of took that pen and I said, ‘What story am I writing? Am I going to be a victim, or will I be victorious despite what’s happened?’”
Arzón decision to leave law behind was the first of many major pivots she made to get to where she is now. But she says the first step you need to take, when making any big change, is always the same ― namely, “any first step.”
“The path to success ― how we define success ― is circuitous. It is not this ‘A, B, C,’ and we know that intuitively. But when we’re in it, and the progress is invisible, it can be really disheartening,” she said. “But progress is often invisible. The scaffold to the next level is probably really boring. I think about LeBron [James], the Beyoncés — insert whoever you admire here. They have had thousands of boring moments that we don’t see. So... take any step.”
Arzón said she likes to dream and journal about the possibilities in front of her, and she couples that “imagination game” with concrete action.
“The creative pursuit of that dreaming — I call them ‘dreamscapes’ — is a worthwhile pursuit ... So I say, do the dreamscape, and then what verbs are you going to put on your calendar?” she said. “I mean right then and there, take a micro-action. And then you build on that, and you build on that, and you build on that.”
She also suggests writing a letter to yourself, in anticipation of what she calls “the messy middle,” when you might feel less motivated than you did at the beginning of your new project or regimen.
Pull the letter out on “the day you don’t do the run, the day you don’t buy the right groceries — whatever the goal is. And give yourself grace, but also that’s a specific call to action from you to you,” she said. “It can feel weird writing the ‘letter to yourself,’ but when you read it in that time, you’re like, ’I knew I was going to be in this moment, and now I have the choice of what I’m going to do with this information — with this version of myself.’”
During our chat with Arzón, we also learned about why asking for help can be a “superpower,” how failure can fuel us, and much more:
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