Robin Arzón Is On A Mission To Raise Resilient Kids With Her New Book, ‘Strong Baby’

Robin Arzón is strong as a mother. Peloton’s Vice President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor chats about baby number two and her new children’s book.

Robin Arzon and daughter Athena

James Farrell

Robin Arzón is strong as a mother. If you’ve ever taken one of her Peloton classes, you know she serves a strong dose of superhero energy to her #wolfpack. I’m a proud member and often soak up her positive self-talk while “fixing my crown” in the process. We are all royal hustlers in Arzón’s eyes, but her power transcends far beyond catchphrases and celebrating cycling milestones. The Cuban and Puerto Rican powerhouse is on a mission to lead us on a path of finding our strength in movement and building internal resilience that will motivate and inspire generations to come–starting with our babies. 

I recently chatted with the New York Times bestselling author and Peloton’s vice president of fitness programming and head instructor about expecting baby number two, what motherhood has taught her so far, and what she hopes families learn from her new children’s book, Strong Baby

Congrats on baby number two, please tell us how you are feeling this time around?

I feel great. I feel so grateful too. Like, it's very smooth. And I'm in my routine. So I'm just grateful to be active and have energy. 

How are you preparing Athena to become a big sister?

Oh, my God. Well, she makes it easy on us because she's just this amazing little human. We show her the sonogram pictures. We show her videos of the doctor's visits, and she kisses my belly. I think obviously when my body starts to change visibly even more, she'll start to get it. And we got a few children's books that are about a little sibling to come. So hopefully we'll set her up for success. And you know, it'll be a transition for all of us. But as long as we anchor it in love, I think we'll be okay.

You had your daughter during the pandemic. Are there any differences that you're enjoying this time around that you didn't get to previously? 

The isolation for all of us was real. So just being able to see my community, my people, in person is really nice. And we were in lockdown for part of my pregnancy with Athena. So it's amazing just to be able to get out of the house and kind of have those real-world connections and distractions to just keep feeling that momentum also; being able to be in my normal training routine is important. I was adapting a lot of my workouts previously because most of them were almost always inside. But now I can kind of get my long run outside and it feels more familiar.

Photo of Arzón with her daughter

James Farrell

What have you learned about yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically throughout your parenthood journey?

I think motherhood is such an amazing combination of grit and grace. There's a lot of surrender to parenthood. And I'm tapping into patience I didn't know I had.

But you know, ultimately, I trust myself, I trust myself to determine what I need to find out and learn, what I don't know yet, and my husband similarly—we're very aligned in our approach to parenting and creating a home. So I think I'm really, really proud of the energy that we've created. When somebody walks into our house, many of our friends and family have commented that it feels like a very high vibration kind of cocoon. And that's certainly a value system that we're trying to maintain.

What advice would you tell new or expecting parents?

I wouldn't tell them any unsolicited advice [Laughs]. It's like, say less, you know? Not everybody needs every single old wives tale. We have an abundance of information. I've got my trusted circle. But otherwise, I'm always down to support, especially another mother, but we don't need to be inundated with unsolicited advice. So I would say, more of your circle of trusted critics, and then trust that you've got this.

How have you built your tribe since becoming a mom? 

That just happened really organically, like, I keep my circle full. So I'm not really the kind of person that's going to mom groups or something like that. I am very, very independent. So you know, as my other friends happen to go through similar journeys, it's amazing if our chapters are kind of aligning, but I have friends who have teenage kids, and I have friends who don't even have partners, and don't plan on having kids. So I think it's really like meeting with respect and honoring where someone is in their journey and finding commonalities, even if the actual storyline doesn't line up. I think it's amazing to be able to expose Athena to like all different types of definitions of success, all different types of diverse friends. I don't necessarily seek out specifically mom friends or pregnant friends. If I need specific advice on something, there's always someone there.

Cover of Robin Arzón's book 'Strong Baby'

Little Brown and Company

What inspired your new book Strong Baby and what do you hope families and kids take from it?

I didn't discover movement until I was an adult. And when I was writing Strong Baby, I thought, I want to infuse this love of movement and appreciation for the strength that lives within our bodies. From the youngest age, kids and babies aren't natural, innate athletes. Like they know and trust that they're resilient. When they fall down, they get back up and they're learning how to crawl and they're learning how to walk. I really wanted to celebrate that. The message for all families is that movement is something that can bond us and we can really celebrate that falling down is a part of life, but so is getting back up. And I think that's the message of the book.

Have you read it to Athena? What does she love most about the book? 

The illustrations in this book. Of course, she loves pointing out her friends and family in the book. When I ask her, “Athena, what is strong?” she'll literally hold her hands up and like show me her little muscles. It’s amazing that she's starting to identify her oldest associations with these concepts. And that's all I want for her is to have a positive relationship with movement and her body and find her own way. She doesn't have to follow my way.

Robin Arzón showing a book to her daughter

Brian King

What are some challenges/trigger points in your parenting life so far and how did you overcome them? 

I think meeting Athena where she is instead of trying to fast forward a moment, or frustration—just knowing that everything is fleeting, like even the good parts are fleeting. So I try not to fast forward any moments. And that has been a challenge of being present. But I find that spilling into other areas of my life. So slowing down has probably been my biggest challenge. But it has also been my biggest reward.

What are some parenting lessons you've learned from maternal figures in your life?

I am who I am for sure, because of them. The resiliency piece for sure. And also owning your quirks. My mom has always been a walking exclamation point and I think that we have such an appreciation in our families for difference, and levity, and jokes. And I think that is something that I'm really grateful to hold on to, and now adopt in my own parenting style.

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