Twenty Someone: Rachel Stephens


Hometown: Columbus, GA

College: University of Georgia

Age: 26

Occupation: Manager of New Studio Openings at SoulCycle

1. Describe your job in three words: Complicated, collaborative, fun.

2. Living in New York City I feel like this is a crime to ask, but for those who don’t know, what is SoulCycle? Great question! There was an article about the company in Vanity Fair a few years back and I’m pretty sure my parents hand that article to anyone inquiring about my life. SoulCycle is technically a 45 minute indoor cycling full body workout. It’s a workout, but it’s also a community of people. It’s really an amazing concept and actually quite difficult to explain. An indoor cycling studio is really the simple answer.

3. I read an article about a girl who told her broker she wanted to live by SoulCycle. I have friends who say they can’t live without it. Rachel, what are y’all doing in there? Explain the addiction the best you can. It’s fascinating – the addiction. Of course, like with most things, there is a wide spectrum of people that ride with us. Not everyone is so fanatical, but there’s definitely something about the energy in our classes that keeps people wanting more. It’s special and somewhat inexplicable.
4. Did you always think you would end up working in the fitness industry? I can’t say that the possibility ever crossed my mind. My undergrad degree is in Nutrition Science and I was Pred-Med in college. Even though I grew up very active and health focused, I never considered that those interests would become a career. When I started working at Soul it was still a pretty small operation. I’ve been very fortunate to learn and grow with the company.
5. I read an interesting survey about 2015 approaching. For self improvement, people in the South said to go to a house of worship. People out West said go to the gym. People in the Northeast said to go a bookstore. What do you say? Go to a soup kitchen. Or any place where you can volunteer your time and help better the lives of others. That’s essentially your line of work so I might recommend something else for you, but for those that don’t already give back I would say it’s one of the best ways to improve yourself. There are endless opportunities and so many worthy causes out there and the things you can learn from sharing in someone else’s experience are invaluable. The regional differences are really interesting. You have to love the South–they send you to church for everything! 
6. Describe home in Columbus, Georgia. Then describe it in New York City. Where do I even start on that one? What a contrast. Growing up in Columbus was wonderful and my parents actually still live in the house they brought me home from the hospital to. It’s funny though, because after living there for 18 years and even with so many great memories, I really feel like a guest when I’m “home.” It’s a lovely place with a great yard and a big park in the neighborhood. My parents have renovated the actual house considerably so that feels very different.
I’ve lived in the West Village for all four years that I’ve been in New York. More so than my actual apartment I consider the neighborhood my “home.” There are so many things I love about my neighborhood and I’m constantly adding to the list. It’s a joke among my friends that it takes a lot to get me to leave the area, but when you live and work in such close proximity it’s easy to stay put.
7. If you had a few extra hours in the day, what would you do?  Cook. I really want to cook more and get really good at it, but it’s just too much. What would you make? Probably Italian food. I often think about making homemade lasagna and then I just don’t. Or maybe some kind of delicious taco sitation.
8. What are you reading? I’m actually re-reading my dad’s book, Don’s Brother: A Hike of Hope on the Appalachian TrailI can’t believe my dad beat me to publishing a book. Well, actually I can. What is it about and why are you re-reading it? He hiked through the Appalachian Trail (Georgia to Maine) last year as a tribute to his younger brother, my Uncle Don, who passed away from ALS. It’s the story of that journey and how he used the time to heal, but he also includes stories about my Uncle and different things they did together. I love that at 63 years old my dad was able to not only complete this amazing feat, but also that he embraced such a unique adventure. He’s a pretty great guy!
9. What is your personal slogan? Personal slogan? I’m not sure I have one. I’ve thought of myself as perpetually restless for a while now. I’m not really sure that that’s the best thing to be and I’m not sure it qualifies as a personal slogan, but I do find myself to be what seems like perpetually restless most days so I try to embrace it. I guess always looking ahead to what’s next can be advantageous in some situations. Definitely not all though. Perpetually restless. I like that. I thought that was a byproduct of NYC. It may be. I think it comes with the Seamless deliveries.
10. In ten years you will be… I’ve actually been thinking about this one a lot lately. It’s so hard to say. Very little of the life I predicted for myself at 16 has come to be, so my current track record doesn’t exactly scream accuracy. I’d like to think the fundamental elements I’ve wanted in my life have stayed consistent so I’ll say that in 10 years I’ll be a good, loyal friend and I’ll be helping others and hopefully contributing to a better world for all. I hope to still be close with many of the people in my life now. As for specifics, I’m very open to what the universe has in store. I could see myself still living in New York, but could also see a return to some part of the South. And what if they send you to the church when you get back? There’s nothing wrong with a little church’ing!

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