“I don’t believe in limits”The online running guru Robin Arzón changed her life by embracing fitness—and she’s now inspiring others to do the same.
Self-proclaimed “ambassador of sweat,” Robin Arzón quit a promising career in law to pursue her love of fitness. The passion dates back to her days of legal training, after a night out in a New York bar turned into a nightmare when Arzón and others were held hostage by a crazed gunman, before a brave few were able to overpower him. She found solace in running—a mental release that, over the next 10 years, became a way of life. Today, Arzón is one of the world’s most respected fitness coaches and ultramarathon runners. Here, she tells The Red Bulletin how putting on a pair of running shoes changed her life.
THE RED BULLETIN: You went through a terrible ordeal—how did running help you deal with that?
ROBIN ARZÓN: After being held hostage? Running was definitely positive, but it was only in retrospect that I put two and two together. At first I just felt compelled to run, but then I realized it allowed me to let my thoughts go. It was an escape, cathartic both physically and mentally. I was able to run my feelings out and work through emotions I didn’t even know were there. It became like a moving therapy for me.
What made you fall in love with running and fitness?
I think one of the most powerful things we can do is to push and pull our own body weight and own our space in the world. I don’t really see a better way to do that than through fitness.
What has been your biggest achievement since changing your career?
I’m sitting now at probably the most successful point in my life since law. I just signed a book deal, I have a TV show coming out … I feel like my biggest accomplishment is creating this life. I wasn’t happy and I decided to pursue something else—I didn’t know what that something else was and so I decided to define that for myself.
You’ve embraced social media as a motivator …
I think the idea that we’re a global community of athletes training virtually together is really powerful. Using these things for inspiration is fantastic, but you need to be able to use that as a touchstone to actually act. It’s easy to scroll through Instagram and feel inspired, but then what are you going to do with that?
What do you think is the biggest thing holding people back from pursuing an active lifestyle?
I think people are driven more by what they think they can’t do than what they think they can do. I’ve seen people with all kinds of physical limitations conquer amazing feats, so I encourage people to excuse their excuses. Honestly, I just don’t believe in limits.