Fitness Flipped Podcast Week 8: The Importance of Endurance and Perseverance

Fitness Flipped Podcast Week 8: The Importance of Endurance and Perseverance

Whether it’s in a Peloton class or your daily life, both skills are essential for accomplishing goals.

By Amy Gurvitz Updated April 26, 2022


This week’s episodes of Fitness Flipped are all about endurance and perseverance, whether related to completing a marathon, achieving a lofty goal on your vision board or accomplishing a work-related task that at times seemed impossible.

Peloton instructor and podcast host Tunde Oyeneyin first sits down with Dr. Carla Meijen, who researches the psychological aspects of endurance and the challenges it presents for athletes. Next, Tunde goes deep with fellow Peloton instructor and VP of fitness programming Robin Arzón, who shares a story about a harrowing event that changed her life and reveals how she has transformed her relationship with discomfort and pain (a necessity if you’ve completed 27 marathons like she has!). Finally, Tunde checks in with Peloton Member Jess Morales Rocketto, a social justice organizer and progressive political strategist, who reveals her strategies to tackling big challenges—on and off the Peloton Bike.

“I think that when you take a step back and listen to the message of today's episodes,” Tunde says, “it's really about this idea of taking little, bite-sized steps, moving just a little bit further. Whether we're looking at this from the lens of fitness or through the lens of life, building endurance and perseverance is a key to pursuing our goals.”

Overcoming Roadblocks

Is it naturally easier for some people to endure and persevere through discomfort or pain to achieve their goals? Or are these skills anyone can learn? When it comes to endurance performance activities like ultramarathons, the jury is still out, according to Dr. Meijen. What has been proven, however, are mindfulness and breathing techniques that help manage and move your attention away from pain.

Some athletes use imagery as a distraction and picture themselves on a relaxing beach. Others focus on deep belly breaths. Dr. Meijen even knows some ultra endurance runners who talk to their pain while they’re running. “They saw the pain as a companion who they would speak to,” she says, “to manage some of those darker moments in the race.”

Finding Light After Dark

Robin Arzón knows a thing or two about overcoming dark moments, both in long-distance running events and in life. With Tunde, she discusses a traumatic situation where she was taken hostage at gunpoint while in college—an experience that changed her outlook on life and taught her the power of endurance and perseverance.

“Trauma survivors know that it's not just the inflection point of the trauma, it's waking up every day thereafter and deciding, who am I going to be now that that's part of my story?” Robin shares. “And how do I take ownership of that story in a way that empowers my next step? The refrain that I think changed my life was, ‘This is not the end of my story.’”

Taking It Step by Step

As with Robin, perseverance, endurance and positive thinking play an important role in Peloton Member Jess’ life. In her work as a social justice organizer, she brings community members together to help them tackle important issues. “We believe that one person can make a difference,” she says, “but you can't create the kind of change that we need to solve really big problems in our society like racism, people not being paid what they deserve or immigration reform without lots of people coming together.”

To chip away at long-term goals like these, Jess takes the one-step-at-a-time approach, because when her goals feel too big, it can seem like there’s no path forward. She reveals that this is the same mindset she uses to achieve her current fitness goal—to have the endurance to complete 45-minute Peloton rides.

“Right now, I'm trying to get through the 20-minute ride,” Jess admits. “Getting through the 20-minute ride is the path towards the 45-minute ride. I don't know how long it’s going to be. I'm not really sure when I'll be ready for that, but I'll know it when I see it.”

Catch up on Fitness Flipped:

That’s just a taste of what you can expect from Fitness Flipped this week. Listen to the full episodes on the Peloton App or anywhere you listen to podcasts!