How Peloton’s Head Coach Is Powering Me Through the Pandemic
Turns out Robin Arzón’s motivational koans do double duty as a balm for coronavirus anxiety
I’m dripping with sweat, but it’s not a fever. I try not to think about the global pandemic as a woman’s voice rings in my ears. “The thing I hear most from people is that they’re scared,” she says. “I know strength because I’ve known fear. Deep fear. Fear usually comes from the unknown. So let’s break it down.”
That sounds pretty good right now.
“Let that shit go,” she commands. “We’ve done harder shit than this.”
Have we? I’m not sure. It’s so lonely in the apartment, reading Twitter, wondering whether the grocery across the street will ever have paper towels again. But I’ve read Robin Arzón’s backstory, so I know that she, at least, has previously done some very hard shit. So I keep listening.
When Peloton’s head instructor was in college, in 2002, she and 40 others were taken hostage in a New York City bar by a guy who doused everyone with kerosene and threatened to light them on fire. He grabbed Arzón by the hair and held a gun and a lighter to her head while he was negotiating with the police.
“You’re not actually in the woods being chased by a bear,” she says. She is cooing, sort of, but in a hectoring way.
Now she’s on my laptop talking to me. She’s got abs like the underside of a turtle. But they’re not her best feature. Her true allure — what she might call her “superpower” — is her unwavering positivity. She practically glows with it.
“You’re not actually in the woods being chased by a bear,” she says. She is cooing, sort of, but in a hectoring way. Her long braid is flipping around. Her smile seems bigger than her face. “Curate a savage moment with me. We’re warming it up right now. Let’s dig in. We’re gonna conquer.”
As we all shelter in place, with coronavirus like a wolf at the door, there’s been a lot of talk on social media about the revenge of the Peloton wife: