Beloved Peloton instructor Tunde Oyeneyin is launching a debut book titled Speak, and on May 3—the day the book comes out—she’ll be hosting the first stop on her book tour at Tysons Galleria.
The book, she says, is a “memoir and manifesto. It’s a memoir about life and then it’s a guide to this level of trust that I’ve built within myself.”
Oyeneyin, whose parents immigrated from Nigeria “to live the American dream,” grew up in Houston, Texas, and she’s known since third grade, she says, that she wanted to write a book. “I didn’t have any of the stories to tell, or I didn’t know the story I was going to tell, but I knew that I would.” In her early 20s she moved to LA to pursue her dream of being a makeup artist. “It was my dream job until one day I woke up and finally had the guts to admit to myself that I hated it.” It was challenging to admit, she says, because she felt like she’d been so lucky to being doing it. But then she found fitness.
“After my very first cycling class I knew that I’d be cycling for the rest of my life. I not only knew I’d be cycling for my entire life, I’d be teaching it, and I knew that I’d be teaching it on the world’s biggest platform, at the time not even knowing what Peloton was,” she says. Though now she reaches millions of people on the bike, she says there was a lot of doubt along the way. “So much doubt—rejection, missed opportunities, all of that happened—but ultimately I trusted what I believed to be true, this immense intuition that this is where my life was redirecting me to.”
In her three years with Peloton she’s amassed a huge, loyal following. There are Facebook and Instagram fan pages, and thousands of members of among various “Tunde Arm Challenge” online accountability groups. Plus, she’s got more than half-a-million followers on Instagram where “SPEAK,” the idea preceding the book, began as a series of Instagram Lives about stories of resilience with such guests as Venus Williams, Common, and Mel Robbins.
“SPEAK is an acronym,” Oyeneyin says. “Surrender, Power, Empathy, Authenticity, and Knowledge. When I surrender, it results in growth. Power is the thing that I feel when I feel connected to my purpose. Empathy is not just empathy with others but having empathy with self. You can’t love someone until you learn to love yourself. You can’t forgive someone until you learn how to forgive yourself. So it’s this self-empathy so I could better empathize with other people. Authenticity is the intersection of truth and trust, when you trust yourself enough to show up, as you truly are. And then knowledge is the lessons and the experiences that come. As I break down the book, I tell stories that in essence speak to how these words have shown up in my life. My hope is that this book meets you wherever you are to move you through whatever it is that you’re going through. That you close the book and grab a pen and start to write out the next chapter in your life.”
On May 3 at Tysons Galleria, near Bowlero, Oyeneyin will chat with She-Suite founder Melissa Simkins, share stories from the book, and then answer questions from the audience. Seats for the event are already sold out, but the event remains open to the public, and additional guests are welcome to join for standing room. Seating begins at 6 p.m. Find more details at the EventBrite link.