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Trendsetters at Work, Soul Cycle

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Tap it back!

If you don't know what that means, you haven't tried the celeb-loved, workout craze known as SoulCycle. The cardio-intensive, group cycling class hasn't just become a successful brand but a legitimate lifestyle. You can thank trendsetters like Gabby Etog Cohen for that. Here, SoulCycle's SVP of PR and brand strategy shares exactly how this gig changed her life.

What was your first job?
I was a chair girl at the beach. I carried chairs and did beach security.

How did you get into the fitness industry?
I was recruited to SoulCycle via LinkedIn but have always been active. I played sports my entire life and starting going to the gym in college.

Trendsetters at Work, Soul Cycle

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

What is a typical day like for you?
Every day is different, but I wake and take my dog and my son for a walk and to get coffee (grande iced cold brew from Starbucks in a venti cup with extra ice and a splash of coconut milk). Then I head home, get the kids ready for school and try and read the paper and then skim my email and check Instagram. Then I head out and meet an editor or colleague for an early AM SoulCycle around 8. I am in and out of meetings all day plus some time joking around with my colleagues. Then I have dinner with my husband and get back online from 8-11 p.m. I will watch one show (I am obsessed with Shameless) and go to bed.

Tell us about your office décor.
We moved into this office in May 2014 so this still feels pretty new. I am a collector—a bit of a pack rat. And I love Barbie dolls and I just received four from the new collection. I want my office to feel fun and joyful.

What's the best part about your job?
The people. Soul people are truly the best people.

What's the most daring career risk you've ever taken?
Taking the SoulCycle job. I loved my job in hotel PR and marketing and was not looking to make a move. So happy I took the risk!

Trendsetters at Work, Soul Cycle

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Who are some of your career heroes?
My mom—she worked two jobs (she is a psychotherapist and worked at a hospital during the day and had a private practice at night) and worked incredibly hard. She was not the one to pick me up from school or join all my class trips but I knew how hard she was working and that she was helping people and that made me really proud.

What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Don't think about where you are going—think about where you are.

Why is fitness worth splurging on?
We are all so time strapped, and it is really important to invest in not just your physical but your mental health. Fitness, especially immersive fitness like SoulCycle, allows you to completely disconnect for 45 minutes and recharge. The physical benefits are just the byproduct—I exercise, first, for the mental benefits.

What do you think SoulCycle does really well?
It is fun! SoulCycle changed people's relationship with exercise with a workout that doesn't feel like work. It is something you actually look forward to, which makes it easy to commit to.

What is your advice for those intimidated to try a SoulCycle class?
We ride in the dark so you can take it at your own pace—no one can see you! Our front desk staff is incredibly helpful and will make you feel comfortable the moment you walk in. They make the experience for new riders seamless. All you need to do is get to the studio. We take care of the rest! We call it a cardio party.

Trendsetters at Work, Soul Cycle

Jennifer Cooper, E! Entertainment

Finish the sentences below:
Today for lunch I had… Skinny Pop.

The first website I log onto every day is… Instagram and I read The New York Times (the physical paper). I read all my newsletters: Well & Good, WWD, Business of Fashion, Fashionista, Refinery29, Racked, the list goes on and on....

My usual Starbucks order is… a grande iced cold brew in a venti cup with extra ice and a splash of coconut milk.

If I wasn't doing this job, I would… be on SNL. It was my dream.

My favorite place to visit is… Atlantic Beach, where I am from.

List five things that are on your desk right now… seltzer, about 30 magazines, my SoulCycle Core Value Pins, NARS Jaipur Candle, cereal, a lot of it.

The book I'm reading right now is… I am reading Bright Lights, Big City for my book club, and my work BFF Amy Peck gave me Thanks for the Feedback, which I am reading as well.