Friday, January 22, 2010

Saddlin' Up for a Cause

We've barely cracked the New Year, but admit it, some of those New Year's resolutions are already starting to look old. Especially those of the fitness variety: it easily gets boring bee-lining toward the treadmill or stationary bike each trip to the gym. Break the monotony and keep that fitness goal on target by giving that workout a greater purpose than simply toning up or losing holiday pounds. Equinox has just the answer, the Cycle for Survival, an indoor team cycling fundraiser that benefits the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

This popular fundraiser celebrates its fourth year in New York City, but will be held for the first time outside the Big Apple when it comes to Chicago on February 6. Equinox's Chicago Loop location at 200 West Monroe will host the cycling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

According to a press release about the event, Cycle for Survival started in 2007 by Equinox member Jennifer Goodman Linn. She had been diagnosed with MFH sarcoma three years earlier and had received treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Center, the world's oldest and largest private institution dedicated to cancer education, treatment and research. Throughout it all, Linn never stopped exercising and credits Equinox for helping her battle cancer. She's battled the disease four times in five years, and used cycling to push herself and draw strength every day. She says, "I believe that it saved my life."

With Linn's husband hailing from Chicago, she knew she wanted to expand Cycle for Survival to the Windy City one day. It only took four years before her dream came through. "Cycle for Survival could not continue to expand and grow without their [Equinox's] support, and I am extremely grateful," Linn says. "In the past three years, we have had over 2,000 participants raise more than two million dollars for cancer research through Cycle for Survival, so it is so thrilling to be able to expand our reach and open this great event to Chicagoans."

To participate, the Cycle for Survival is open to 100 teams, each with up to eight members allotted to one bike. The event's four hours will be divided into four 50-minute riding sessions per team, and the team decides how to divide the time among teammates. It is requested that each team raise a minimum of $500 for Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Participants can collect donations through team fundraising campaigns online.

Don't worry about getting bored when you're not on the bike. In addition to cheering on your teammates, wander the health club for other activities. The entire Loop location will be devoted to the event with yoga classes, stretching and massage therapy, kids' activities, and food and refreshments.

Need more details? Check it out and sign up at And if you can't make the Chicago event, plan to participate in New York City on January 31. Photo grabbed from Posted by Kate

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