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Diana Novak's SoulCycle Fundraiser

Each year, Diana Novak rides for kidneys in a SoulCycle Fundraiser benefitting National Kidney Foundation of Illinois. Here's what she says:

I started riding with SoulCycle consistently in 2015, I had ridden in other states here and there before it came to Chicago, but when it opened in Old Town, it became not only a great workout place, but my sanctuary. It was a place that I could disappear into the darkness of the room, push myself as hard as I could, dance and sweat out (sometimes even cry a little out) all of the stresses of the day or travel, really anything. The stress reduction was big for me, but also the consistency of the style of workout. It was something that I completely enjoyed and felt powerful doing, but it was also a consistent workout that was not overwhelming my system.

From the beginning ride in 2015 to my more than 1250 rides today, I am proud to say that SoulCycle helps me everyday to stay out of the hospital. I have had set backs, absolutely, when I get a kidney infection I can't just do over-the-counter antibiotics, I need the IV kind and a 4-8 hour window for them to get into my system, followed by the pills at home. But the reality is I will take that any day over a week or a month in the hospital.

In a way to honor the way I have found to navigate my journey and to celebrate finding something that is truly helping me to stay healthy each year that I am not admitted to the hospital I make an effort to ride the number of rides equal to my age, in 23 days ending on my birthday.

Why 23 days? Well, my birthday is Dec. 23. This year I will be turning 38, so I will be riding 38 rides (rides at SoulCycle range 45 to 60min) in 23 days.

This year will be a bit different as I will be riding with my new community in New York for studio rides, but this year also presents an awesome opportunity for me to still ride with the community and family I started with in Chicago on the SoulCycle at home bike and with live virtual classes.

The goal truly is to raise money to help the NKFI to better achieve their goals, to aid in education, facilitate free screenings, expand the understanding of how to live with the many faces of kidney disease, and to help the families of those who may have fallen ill.

The challenge begins Dec 1 with a double, 2 rides that day, and as it's laid out now there's a quad day or two in there... yes that means 4 classes back to back to back to back. I'm ready to challenge myself, challenge my body, grow the awareness, and do it with my communities riding with me.

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