Peloton is an innovative company looking to solve the issue of balance between a healthy lifestyle and work life. Using its own technology and design, Peloton has created an incredible platform that’s not only convenient but effective as well! HOLR had the chance to interview Peloton’s Cycling Director Cody Rigsby about his life as a cycling instructor and how he came to be the success and motivator he is today.
What brought you into the world of fitness, and how did you get into working with Peloton?
I was a professional dancer for five years, which is what initially brought me to fitness. I was always into fitness. It’s such an integral part of being a dancer, so dance was really the catalyst for me taking fitness even more seriously. I was introduced to Peloton by a choreographer I knew who told me about the company and shared that they were looking for performers with a passion for fitness. I sent my headshot and resume, had a 30-minute interview and then I was hired. This opportunity was fate, and this job has shifted my whole existence.
You shared that you had always dreamt of living in New York City. How has moving there changed your personal and professional life?
Ever since I first visited NYC when I was 19 years old, I knew I needed to be there, and I have been captivated by the energy of NYC ever since. The summer after my first visit, I interned at Broadway Dance Center. That’s when I first explored my life as a gay man and learned from being in NYC to take risks, chances and trust life. Personally, I had this desire to come to New York City after growing up in the south and feeling like I couldn’t be my true, authentic self. New York has been a place for me to live my most authentic life as a gay man. Professionally, New York has so much opportunity and is a mecca of all things business, entertainment, fashion and rich cultural experiences, which is what brings people here and keeps them here. New York has so much opportunity, but you have to hustle hard for it, which is what I experienced through my dance career and then with Peloton, which was my divine intervention and fate. I learned that your resilience and strength is what allows you to take advantage of these opportunities.
You used to be a professional dancer; do you still perform at all today?
I don’t perform as a professional dancer anymore, but every time I’m on the bike it’s a performance. As Peloton Instructors, we are hosts and DJs, and it’s a dance performance. I use my dance background to help me program and teach my classes, and I use a lot of the skills that were developed as a dancer and from working in business and fashion to be successful at Peloton and as an Instructor.
What is one of the greatest things about working with Peloton as a Cycling Director?
One of the greatest things about working at Peloton is being able to show up, live and work as my most authentic self, and knowing that my authentic but vulnerable self inspires people to be their absolute best. I love knowing that my story is inspiring someone to change their story.
How do you keep your class participants motivated and engaged?
I do everything I’m asking our Members to do during a class. I’m also as honest, authentic and vulnerable as possible because if there’s no story behind what you’re asking Members to do, it doesn’t have meaning. Being my true self is what keeps me connected with Members, and I make sure to do this on the Bike, Peloton platform and on social media.
What is the dynamic like for working at Peloton? Are you close with your fellow instructors?
The dynamic of working at Peloton is something I really cherish. I feel so lucky to work with such amazing, cool and good people. As instructors, we all live our own lives, but we also share sincere moments [digitally since COVID] and talk about what’s happening in our lives. We are each other’s backbones. We offer support to one another since we all have the same experience of what it’s like to be on the Peloton platform. My fellow Peloton instructors are a really great family, and we all love each other. We’re there to show up for one another, and it’s been really cool to see all of these people in my life grow and be vulnerable.
Recently, I had [socially distanced] dinner outside with Tunde Oyeneyin, one of our cycling instructors, and it felt so healing and nourishing to connect and talk about the time we’re in and be there for each other. The secret sauce of Peloton and the instructors is how genuine we are — we don’t project strength by trying to act like we have it all figured out or are the best. Everyone shows failures, ups and downs, and stories because that’s who they are, and we want everyone to feel like Peloton is a place for them to tap into being their best selves.
What are 3 key things that help keep you motivated on a daily basis?
- My own personal workouts: I love going to the gym and working out with my trainer because it proves to me and allows me to recognize that I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
- My Peloton instructor family: Being shoulder-to-shoulder with titans of fitness and wellness and all-around amazing people inspires me to get uncomfortable at times, to do the work and to be a better person. The way our Black instructors have been showing up [to discuss the importance of inclusion, acceptance and equality] has pushed us all to confront ourselves and open ourselves up to more of our humanity, which has been really inspiring to see and be part of.
- The community of gay men that are part of my other chosen family: Their support and guidance make me feel inspired to be a little bit better every day.
What is it like to instruct a class digitally to people all over the world?
It’s really powerful to instruct classes to people all over the world because we’re providing this entry point into creating a relationship with our body that has such a profound effect on how we show up in the rest of the world with our friends, family and the workplace. In New York City, boutique fitness is everywhere. But, it’s really cool to see people around the world who might not necessarily have access to that kind of fitness experience use our platform and digital content to create a new relationship with themselves and their mental well-being, get curious, do the work and share their stories of resilience.
How can Peloton benefit one’s life for the better?
There are so many ways Peloton can positively impact one’s life. To start, the health benefits are immense – simply exercising a few times a week is going to have such a drastic effect on your physical health. During class, you create this relationship with yourself where you are forced to face your fear, anxiety, doubt and everything else you’re holding back. You are giving yourself a mental health boost when you process that and let it go because you are moving closer to your authentic and best self. During these Covid times, I have personally been feeling isolated at times, and I know we all feel this in some way. Having this Peloton community, even in a digital space, can make us really feel like people have our backs. It’s been incredible to see a community in a digital space that isn’t polarizing and negative so people can come together and drop all of the identities that keep us from connecting and tap into our humanity.
No matter your schedule or lifestyle, if fitness is one of your goals, Peloton is there to assist you. Working out on your time, you’ll have access to thousands of live and on-demand classes, so you can easily join classes that work and fit within your day to assure you still get that much-needed workout and release. There are no more excuses with Peloton – take charge of your life and make the change today!