Here’s How a Risky Career Change Paid Off For These Peloton Instructors

By PelotonUpdated October 14, 2019


Whether it’s during a Peloton class, a passion project or a career change, taking a risk can be uncomfortable, but is often worth the reward. Our instructor roster is made up of many women who have taken chances and chased opportunities in order to do what they love. We talked with Peloton instructors Robin Arzon, Olivia Amato and Jess Sims about their first steps toward a new career in fitness, how their risks have paid off and why making a career change has inspired them to continue to create their own history.

Taking Risks Takes Hard Work

When our instructors knew they needed a career change, the same feeling was always evident: they were unhappy. “I felt like I was leading a divorced existence, counting down the hours as a lawyer until I could work out,” says Robin. “I wanted to figure out a way to monetize my passion, and for me, that was entering fitness.” Once she narrowed in on her goal, she knew she needed a plan of action. “I took it in small steps: I made a calendar appointment for the same time every single day and forced myself to do something, whether it was an email or a social post--something that contributed towards my end goal.”
Jess found herself in a similar position and did some soul searching to figure out exactly what was missing from her current role. “I had the most ideal position the year I left education--I felt balanced with work and life, I loved my students and colleagues and I was the Assistant Principal of a school in the city that my father grew up in--how cool is that?,” says Jess. “But I was still unhappy.” She talked with friends, advisors and worked to determine what changes she needed to make. “I realized that I had to figure out what I loved from my current job and what I was missing--I realized that my calling is definitely to teach, but I was in the wrong setting,” says Jess. After she moved back to NYC, she started putting in the additional work to help set herself up for success in the fitness world. “I went to different fitness studios to get a feel for where I could see myself, networked with other instructors, studied for my NASM personal trainer certification and started a new fitness Instagram page,” says Jess.

Olivia explains that the hard work for her came in the form of uncertainty. “The beginning was scary and a bit lonely, but nothing that I didn’t already anticipate,” she says. “I felt I didn’t know who to talk to because no one was in the same position as me,” says Olivia. And once she did make the switch from her previous career in finance, a totally new schedule, including work on the weekends, was something she had to adjust to. “I knew it was a sacrifice I had to make for the time being and that I had to continue to hustle--finding a balance between work and my personal life is something I’ve had to work on since my career transition and is still something I work on to do this day. Balance is key!”

Why Risks Will Make You Stronger

Success or not, taking risks will always make you stronger. Olivia reminds us that when you take a chance on something, you might get negative feedback about it, but you always have to do what’s right for you. “Taking risks in my career has taught me so much about myself and other areas of my life,” says Olivia. “The main thing it taught me is that you have to do what’s right for you, and what’s right for you may not be what other people think you should do--it taught me to trust my intuition, to get up when I fell down and to work hard endlessly while enjoying the process.”

Taking risks will also encourage you to take more. “Your appetite for risk gets a little bit greater the more you know that you can build your wings and your fortitude on the way down,” says Robin. “The more you do it, the more you have the confidence to do more of it, and to do scary things.” And failing will soon become something that you welcome as feedback and a way to be stronger throughout future opportunities. “In the moment, even the worst mistakes are always strengthening--you’ll know that ‘I rebuilt myself then, I can rebuild myself now.’”

How Your Risks Will Inspire You

Choosing to tell your own authentic story will always be a way to inspire yourself. “You are the author of your story and you can create the life that you want to live,” says Olivia. “Don’t feel like you have to fall into the patterns of others just because it seems like the easier thing to do, create your own path and start living your truth! Remembering that the choices we make to tell that narrative depend on what we tell ourselves in our minds. The storytelling behind our perceived power or weakness really is in between our ears,” says Robin. “When I’m having doubt or being my worst inner critic, I have now through athletics created outlets for me to change the channel of that narrative. I always tell myself if I don’t like the story I’m telling myself, I can change the channel just as quickly as I would pull up Instagram or refresh my email.” Robin reminds us to let our story inspire every new chapter that we add to it. “The inner monologue is the biggest thing I have used to propel myself in continuing to tell my story unapologetically,” she says. “Thankfully it has resonated with people, but having ownership of my own inner monologue has made my spine the straightest in being able to speak my voice.”