How Peloton’s Jess King Draws From Her Latina Culture to Push Forward

I wouldn’t say I was insecure, but I did realize I needed to develop. I wasn’t intimidated by the audience, being on stage by myself, or riding the bike. I knew I could ride the bike.

I think riding a bike is just the medium, and the real skill set that is required to do what we do has more roots in performance musicality—meaning, can you entertain? Can you hold a conversation? Can you motivate people? And that was my skill set, being a performer, entertaining, creating an experience within the music, and guiding people through it. What makes this such a fun and unique experience at Peloton is that we’re doing it and creating it together in real time.

I realized that my whole life, I had been giving advice to people, whether they were friends or partners. I realized that my intentions were good, but I wasn’t having the impact that I wanted to. I wasn’t communicating it in a way that was powerful and purposeful. So I thought if I’m going to be on this platform and talk to millions of people, I better have something interesting to say, and I better say it in a way that has meaning.

How has your Latin culture influenced your work as an instructor and your experience with the company?

Being Latina is inherently part of who I am, and at Peloton, we are encouraged to show up at work authentically and wholly, and I take that very seriously. I grew up with an immigrant mother from Chile, and she really taught me work ethic, discipline, and drive, as well as to pursue excellence. That’s a huge part of who I am, who I was before Peloton, and who I will always be.

I’m grateful to the culture at Peloton for vocalizing that and celebrating us all for our unique talents, strengths, and even weaknesses. Once I realized that I didn’t have to fight for it any longer, that there was nothing to prove, that it was just a matter of growing and learning and celebrating every piece of the process, my life radically changed and my experience at work changed as well.

With Hispanic Heritage Month, I’m excited to get to celebrate that piece of who I am with our community that calls themselves #PeloLatinas. I can’t share too much about our programming yet, but it’s going to be “una fiesta.” I’m excited to bring some fun pieces of content to the Tread and to the bike and be able to honor that resilience and part of my culture this way.

What’s been the most impactful part about working at Peloton for you?

I think the most profound piece of it that I could have never anticipated was the community aspect of it; I am driven and inspired by our members and the ability to connect with them. I love the fact that we get to hear stories about who they are, what they’re going through in their lives, and how we have been able to create a space and an opportunity where they feel loved, seen, celebrated, and safe.

I think the ability to be able to connect with every identity, every race, every creed, and to come together in this experience of movement—whether it be on the Tread or bike, or dancing, or doing Pilates—is so powerful and special. I don’t take that lightly.

What’s your perception of the state of diversity among instructors at Peloton, and in the fitness industry in general?

I’m always for more representation for diversity across every industry. I can only speak to Peloton and the experience that I’ve had, but we have grown and added so many incredible new faces to our team. I think, of course, there’s more room to grow, but celebrating diversity is absolutely a core value at Peloton and I have seen us, over the years, really step in and embrace all identities and walks of life. I’m also excited to continue to be a part of that as both a Latinx person and the only [openly] LGBTQ+ female member on the team. I believe everyone’s voice should be elevated, seen, and heard and that there’s a place for all of us at the top.

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