Robin Arzón elects to be a voice, not an echo. After a near-death experience being held hostage, Peloton’s Head Instructor and VP of Fitness Programming found healing through movement. This sparked her transformation from a kid who used to forge notes to get out of gym class into a fitness superstar. The New York Times bestselling author and ultramarathon runner joined Chief Member Dr. Jennifer E. Turner for a conversation on making a daring pivot away from a high-power legal career, managing motherhood as a leader, and finding strength in resiliency. Read on for Arzón’s advice on what it takes to uncheck all of the boxes and prioritize what makes us feel most like ourselves.

On Making a Big Career Pivot

“Making a career change was scary for me. I practiced law for seven years as a corporate litigator in New York City,” Arzón said. “Coming from an [industry] where there weren’t tons of Latinas, I felt like, ‘Oh gosh, if I’m literally the [only] one at the law firm, how do I leave?’ I totally understand those identity conversations we have to have internally and that can be really hard, but we have to have enough confidence to say, ‘No, I’m going to pivot.’ It's OK to change our minds, even for the stuff that is celebrated by our communities as the thing.”

Arzón started with small steps. “I would count down working 80 hours a week to the 20 minutes I could go for a run in Central Park,” she said. “I thought, ‘That doesn’t make any sense, I’m literally living for the 70 minutes a week I get to myself.’ So what I started doing was little by little reclaiming some of my time back. I started with a 10-minutes-a-day rule that was blocked on my calendar that my team and my assistant knew was protected. In those 10 minutes, I was sending the email, asking for the informational chat, doing the Google search. And those 10 minutes over two years actually amounted to quite a bit of time. That was how I took a little bit of my agency back.”

“Leaving law felt risky, but I had that little voice that was like, ‘You have to figure out how to monetize movement, even if you’re never going to be in the Olympics or you’re never going to win a marathon. I had to figure it out,” Arzón said. Her vision involved global scale and disruptive technology and when she read about Peloton CEO John Foley, she knew she’d found it: “I just sent a cold email to the company and I was like, ‘Let's rock.’”

On Finding Your Flow

"Whether it’s professionally, or a side hustle, or a hobby, or just how we want to spend a Sunday afternoon, pay attention to the moments of flow. Pay attention to the moments where you lose track of time," she said. "It could be playing with your kids, it could be cooking dinner, it could be listening to a song. How can you amplify them and create more and more?"

According to Arzón, "Are you acting like the person in your life? Or are you living as the person in your life? I want us to have urgency about the lived experience. Honestly, I’ve been in stages of my life where I didn’t know what that was, especially before I found running and movement, so if that’s you, get curious about your greatness. Get curious about your peace. Get curious about your joy, because those are always going to be worthy endeavors."

On Bringing Your Authentic Self to Leadership

"We're always going to be too much for someone. Guarantee, if you are a part of Chief and you’re a part of this organization at some point in your life, you’ve been called ‘too much something’ — too passionate (which is a euphemism for a whole lot), too big, too small, too brown, too light. Let's start to own that ‘too much’ as a superpower. That doesn’t mean we need to go around bulldozing people. We can still be collaborative, spirited, and values-driven, but I'm not going to do it in somebody else's cloak." Own it in small ways, she said, and ask yourself, "Why not?"

On Inspiring a Team — Without Causing Burnout

"I think it’s listening to the team and giving them enough trust in us and the leaders that we're going to listen and really try to lead with some compassion," Arzón said. "There's such a difference between leadership and management. Management is the day to day — we're living in a spreadsheet and KPIs and worried about what stakeholders are involved. And leadership is what happens when you're not there."