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31-Year-Old Fitness Trainer Dies Unexpectedly While Napping, Family Suspects Heart-Related Issues


Katie Novak, a passionate fitness trainer from St. Louis Park, died unexpectedly on January 18th.

Her family suspects her heart stopped while she was napping.

The 31-year-old mother-0f-one was the Lead Trainer at the Burn Boot Camp franchise in Maple Grove, Minnesota. 

Katie was known for her unwavering passion for helping others and knack for motivating her clients and everyone else around her.

The Star Tribune reported:

Her son, Nolan, and co-parent, Chris Kuker, had both recently tested positive for COVID-19, but Katie Novak had tested negative and was vaccinated.

“It was an absolute shock,” said her father, Barry Novak. Since Katie Novak’s death, her parents have heard from dozens and dozens of people — both from the gym and from the broader community — who were affected by her positive energy.

“We didn’t fully understand her impact until her death, but we’ve been given this bittersweet gift of understanding an aspect of our daughter that we only had a glimpse of,” Barry Novak said.

A few days after her death, Katie Novak’s co-workers, clients and family gathered at the gym to share memories. They talked about how she always greeted people with a cheery “Hey, hey!” and was an expert at encouraging people to push themselves and stay motivated.

The GoFundMe for Katie, which has currently raised over $53,000, can be found here.

It states:

Katie Novak was a beloved mother, daughter, sibling, family member, friend, trainer, co-worker and active contributor to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). She passed away unexpectedly from heart-related issues on January 18, 2022. This memorial fund is primarily to support future education needs for our seven-year-old son, Nolan. Its secondary purpose is to leave a donation in her name to AFSP. The fund is set up by Chris Kuker, Nolan’s father and Katie’s close friend with full input and permission from her parents and family.

KARE 11 provided this video report:


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