London ETC is one of my favourite feature on this blog. It’s the chance for me to talk to some amazing women (and men!) about their love of London and fitness and food – you can read past editions here. This weeks’ edition is slightly later than normal but all for a very good reason. Earlier this morning Psycle hosted a blogger ride – have a look at my Instagram and my Instagram story here for all the fun – and today’s London ETC is with none other than instructor and CEO of Psycle herself, Rhian Stephensen!
As CEO of Psycle, motivating people to exercise and creating a wellness brand is obviously very important to you. Can you tell me a little more where your passion for this came from?
I was a competitive swimmer for 13 years and absolutely loved it. Apart from the obvious thrill and competition and achievement, sport and health taught me so much. It was incredible for my confidence, strength, personal belief, discipline, stress release, community and camaraderie. It helped me get through so many challenging times in my life so I’m passionate about enabling others to find the same kind of strength and support through being healthy and fit.
Apart from Psycle, what is your favourite space to train in and why? This can be an outdoor or indoor space – or both!
If I’m not at PSYCLE I love training outdoors. I live in primrose hill and am also close to Hampstead Heath so I usually just take my TRX to the park and workout there. I also love running.
What is a typical training session for you like?
I do a mixture of PSYCLE, TRX, barre and yoga so it always varies. When I don’t have a lot of time I’ll do a shorter HIIT session with the TRX. On weekends I like to do something longer – it’s so nice to train without having to rush to or from work.
Do you have a particular area of London or a route which always gets you out of the door whether to run or walk?
Hampstead Heath is my favourite.
In a world that’s becoming more and more health conscious, what does the word ‘healthy’ mean to you?
That’s such a great question. For me, being healthy is a mixture of things. Feeling physically strong and fit is incredibly important – I would never want my fitness to hold me back from anything and I want to feel confident and sexy in my own skin. Second is nutrition – making sure the food I eat is giving me energy, making me feel nourished. Third is my emotional state – it’s so easy to get out of balance because of stress or lack of sleep. Slowly it starts to affect everything – decision making, happiness, energy, relationships, how you show up at work. I think it’s important for everyone to define what health actually means to them and check in with that often. There’s no point in being 5 pounds lighter if you’re miserable, grumpy and frail.
Which one restaurant or café (or any food place) would you recommend to someone visiting London for the first time and why?
I think the Ivy Cafe is a great restaurant that really feels like London for first timers. Barrafina is great for a little hustle & bustle.
My best friend was recently here and I took her to Bob Bob Ricard, which was a great experience – the food, the decor, the champagne button…. Great fun!
Can you tell me a little about what motivates you to train that little bit harder and sweat that little bit more?
When I truly push myself is when I can shut off from everything else that’s going on. I love the feeling of being totally present and in tune with my body and mind. All the stress drops away – it’s impossible to focus on your to do list or a fight when you’re going 100%. I also get a lot of confidence from pushing myself. When you push yourself and to achieve things in fitness, it extends to other parts of your life. You end up backing yourself more because each time you accomplish something it’s like a little victory.
As hectic as London is, I think it is one of the best places to take a breath and relax. Do you have a hidden gem, a secret hidey-hole, or a space which you absolutely love where you can relax and recover?
I love the parks, but I probably need one that’s more winter specific!
With London ETC I want the ETC part to go beyond this city. Is there anywhere else (and this can be anywhere in the world) where you love to be? What is it about this place that makes you smile when you think of it?
It’s so hard to choose just one.
I absolutely love Canada. It’s stunning, friendly and feels like a safe haven for me.
I also love Provence. When I’m there it feels like time stands still and every moment is about enjoyment.
Rhian, I loved having you as part of my LondonETC series and thanks so much for answering my questions! Next week’s LondonETC is going to be hitting Rosh ETC on Monday and it’ll be starring the one and only Tashi Skervin!
Image is courtesy of Rhian Stepenson