How Tunde Oyeneyin Overcame Self-Doubt and Body Struggles to Become a Peloton Phenomenon

The cycling instructor gets vulnerable about her journey from the beauty world to the bike, and how stepping into her own power helped her reach her dreams.


I've always been drawn to leading and teaching. It's a passion that brought me to the beauty world for 16 years, where I'd frequently fly across the country as a professional makeup artist booking new clients and training artists.

During one of those gigs in New York City in 2015, I opted to try an indoor cycling class on my downtime. Although I'd taken a class before, it was never at a specialized boutique studio.

Of course, I wasn't immediately hooked upon walking in. Between my class fee, shoe rental, and water bottle purchase, I wasn't entirely sure if the session would be worth my money.

But the second the instructor walked in, something at that moment and something within me shifted. Everyone began to cheer as she started an energetic pep talk to hype us up. And as the lights dimmed, the music began to pound, and we started pedaling, I was in a state of euphoria.

In that small, dark room alongside my fellow riders and instructor, I had escaped to another world where there were no worries or stresses — just pure excitement and fun. And by the time the class ended and I made my way back to my hotel room, I was floating. (

At that moment, I knew that indoor cycling was going to be a permanent part of my life — and that one day, I'd be teaching it, too.

Fighting Back Against Self-Doubt

Despite that amazing, transformative moment in my first boutique indoor cycling class, it took months to muster up the courage to audition as an instructor.

When I was a young girl, I struggled with my weight, which had a profound impact on my self-confidence. I was an introverted extrovert: On the inside, I desperately wanted to be me. But at the same time, I was afraid to be seen. I was worried that if people saw me, they would see how big I was. (

Tunde oyeneyin

On the inside, I desperately wanted to be me. But at the same time, I was afraid to be seen.

— Tunde oyeneyin

It took until adulthood (paired with plenty of hard work) to finally get to a healthy place physically and mentally. Of course, it took even longer for me to develop the confidence, power, and understanding of self that I needed to step out of my shell and become who I am today.

Despite that dramatic change in outlook, there were times when that self-doubt would creep up to the surface. I remember thinking that there was no way I was fit enough, inspiring enough, or skilled enough to teach an indoor cycling class. Who was going to listen to me?

Then, in 2016, an instructor at a local fitness studio in Los Angeles (where I was living at the time)decided to take a chance on me. She told me she knew I had something amazing to offer, and she opted to hire me for my first indoor cycling instruction gig.

How I First Found Peloton

Around the time that I was teaching at the Los Angeles studio, I couldn't stop hearing about Peloton and how amazing it was. So, when another cross-country makeup gig landed me in New York City, I chose to take a live, in-person class with Robin Arzón, the platform's vice president and lead instructor.

As I took the class, I couldn't help but notice how unapologetically herself Robin was. She was fearless. And despite the fact that I was in a class full of people, it felt as if she was speaking directly to me and only me.

She demanded that we riders give our absolute best, and somehow, even though this was my first time meeting her, I was determined to not disappoint her. (

When I left the class, I knew there was something special about Peloton. Later on, in 2018, when I was doing makeup at the BET Awards, I met Ally Love, another Peloton instructor and the CEO and founder of Love Squad. We vibed right off the bat. And after taking her class, I realized that each and every instructor at Peloton had something truly special to offer. (

That said, becoming a Peloton instructor myself wasn't on my radar just yet. Those feelings of self-doubt began to creep back whenever I'd consider it. It felt way too far-fetched, I told myself. I wasn't worthy of it.

A Chance Encounter Creates a Major Opportunity

A few months after taking Ally's class, Cody Rigsby, Peloton's cycling director, reached out to me on Instagram. He said he'd love to talk with me about auditioning for Peloton. (!!!)

At first, I thought it was a joke. It wasn't until I saw the blue check next to his name that I realized, OMG, this is really happening. After sending Cody my audition tapes, I was invited to audition in New York.

In that audition, I gave it my all. Those insecurities that had held me back all those years seemed to vanish once I clipped into the bike and poured my soul into that moment.

Not only did I feel extremely confident about my performance, but I also received countless positive remarks from the people I met that day.

For the next two months as I awaited a response about my audition, my heart jumped out of my chest each time I got an email notification. Finally, one day, Cody's name popped up on my screen. I took a deep breath, opened the email, and saw the words "with heavy regret" flash across the screen. I couldn't read the rest. I knew I didn't get the job. I was devastated.

Despite that hurt, however, a part of me knew that my story wasn't over yet. I was determined to make my dreams come true.

Stepping Into My Strength and Power

Roughly a year later, Cody asked me to audition again. And although I had to start the audition process all over again, it moved much more quickly than before.

After rocking the in-person audition, I was scheduled for a whopping 12 interviews with top instructors and company leaders over the course of several days. One of those interviews was with John Foley, the CEO and co-founder of Peloton.

Needless to say, I was *completely* freaking out in the moments leading up to meeting him. What would we talk about? How could I relate to him? As I sat in his office waiting, my heart was thumping out of my chest.

But after just 30 seconds of speaking with John, I was completely at ease. An hour later, I stepped out of his office and knew in my gut that I had the job.

Finding Purpose Through My Peloton Family

About three months after I accepted the position, I taught my first Peloton Live class in September 2019. I remember clipping in and looking out into the room of riders there supporting me, which included John and other Peloton family members. As I taught the class, I wasn't nervous or overly excited at all. I knew that this was the exact spot I was meant to be. I felt as though I was home.

tunde oyeneyin

I knew that this was the exact spot I was meant to be. I felt as though I was home.

— tunde oyeneyin

Being a Peloton instructor has made me realize my purpose on this planet is to inspire and motivate people to achieve their wildest dreams. That purpose drives me each day I clip in on the bike. It also drove me to create the Speak Up movement, a platform dedicated to encouraging those dealing with adversity to be heard via conversations on my IG Live.

As I continue to grow at Peloton, I strive to bring my absolute best self to the bike each day, work to motivate people, and help transform lives. I say this while I'm teaching quite a lot, but it's true: I can't believe that this is my job. I feel like the luckiest person on the planet to be able to show up and do something I love every single day.

As I learned from my experience, when you shed the doubt, step into your power, and own that power, you will prevail. It may not be easy. It may force you out of your comfort zone. But in the end, it is always, always worth it.

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