Cory Kessler knows how hard it can be to find time to exercise.
She’s a wife, a business owner, part-time flight scheduler and a mom to two young boys.
“As moms, we’re constantly taking care of everybody else,” Kessler said. “But if we would take that hour for ourselves, we’re able to function better and we’d be able to do better for everyone else. … It’s not selfish at all to want to move your body and preserve your health.”
Kessler, a 1997 Central Catholic graduate and Canal Fulton native, opened a training studio in January called COREFIT as a place for busy moms and friends to find their fit.
She keeps most of COREFIT’s group classes to 45 minutes (YogaShine is one hour long) so everyone can get in and out quickly. She and her trainers also design each cardio and strength class to be action-packed so no one goes home disappointed.
“You can do easy at home; you came here for a challenge,” she said.
The studio, located in the Marc’s Plaza at 1664 North Main Street in North Canton, boasts all new equipment, including kettlebells, medicine balls, rowers, barbells, pull up rigs, boxes, jump ropes and foam rollers. It doesn’t have mirrors, and you’ll never hear Kessler talk about weight loss.
“Your goal is your overall health,” she said. “I like to get them in here and shift their focus gradually, where they don’t even know it’s happening, and then the weight isn’t as much of a concern.”
Kessler herself teaches the COREFIT classes, which are a combination of cardio and strength moves, and CORELIFT, which focuses on lower body, upper body and core strengthening. She also trains a small group of girl athletes once a week.
Kessler’s journey into the fitness business began after she returned to Stark County in 2007.
Kessler, who earned her aviation degree from Ohio University in 2001, had been working in Columbus in aviation management with no plans to leave the industry. Then her first son, Ben, came along in 2007, and she and husband, Nate, also a pilot, decided they wanted to be closer to family.
As their family grew (Ryan was born in 2011) and she continued transitioning to more part-time work in aviation, Kessler turned to her other longtime passion: exercise. She began teaching the high-intensity group classes at the Lake Community YMCA in 2014. In 2016, she decided to begin renting her own studio space in Hartville.
“For the first month, it was seriously just my neighbor coming,” Kessler said with a laugh.
As word spread, she gained a loyal following, even as she moved from one studio to another. She soon realized that she needed her own space, one where she could hold evening classes. Kessler took the keys to her own training studio December 1 and held a grand opening a month later.
Kessler, who still teaches classes at the Lake YMCA occasionally, plans to expand COREFIT’s offerings to beyond exercise, including hosting information sessions on nutrition and self-defense lessons.
CORY KESSLER’S LOCAL FAVORITES:
Favorite volunteer opportunity:
“I was a Big Sister with Big Brothers/Sisters for 11 years! My ‘little’ Aniecea is just about to graduate from Army Reserves Training. I met her when she was 7, and it’s crazy to see her as an adult trying to buy me lunch when we go out now! I also love what Simply Give is doing in the local community to support women. It’s great when you can turn social events into a social cause and truly affect change.”
Favorite lunch spot:
BAM! Healthy Cuisine. “I haven’t had anything there that I didn’t like, and I love their ice! Anyone that knows me well knows I love chewing on ice. Sounds crazy, but they have the best ice machine there. I think sometimes I order takeout just so I can get a cup of ice and their lemon/cucumber water!”
Most unique or unusual product in Stark County:
“I have a couple of shirts from Bird’s Nest Boutique that I love. They have a lot of great locally made products.”
Favorite spot to workout:
“COREFIT, of course! But there are a lot of great options in Stark County, and when I get a chance, I love to drop in to other studios. I started my fitness journey at the YMCA and loved all the class options between the different locations.”
91 Wood Fired Oven in North Canton. “Love the food and that it’s family friendly and I can take my boys. Close second is Table Six—same reasons!”
Favorite date night:
“Dinner and a fun cocktail. I like day dates almost more than night. Spring or fall bike rides and lunch are a favorite. The trail by Gervasi is perfect, and if you don’t have a bike, you can pick one up at Veterans Community Park off Schneider.”
Favorite thing to do:
“I love my girls trips! I’ve traveled with some pretty fantastic ladies over the years, and we’ve had the most relaxed and fun times. I think it’s so healthy to take care of your social wellbeing and surround yourself with those that truly bring you joy. I love my family trips, too, but it’s a different dynamic when you have kids to plan for. I love to travel either way and always want something on the calendar to look forward to!”
Most memorable spot:
McKinley Monument. “When the weather warms up a little, I love getting out there and seeing all the different people climbing those steps. No matter how many times I’ve been, they humble me every time. The 9/11 memorial climb hosted by the Canton Local Fire Department was truly breathtaking, as well.”
Favorite place to shop:
The District Boutique. “Their inventory changes often, and they offer things you don’t see everywhere else.”
Favorite place to take the kids:
Taggart’s. “Love the pecan special and the nostalgia there.”
Favorite indoor activity:
“Working out! I love group classes because it’s a perfect balance of taking care of your physical, mental and social health.”
Favorite spot to grab a drink:
The Barrel Room and Gallery 8 Cocktail Lounge. “Both have great ambiance and are close to home because honestly I’m good to go by 10 p.m. (or 9:30 p.m.).”
“Tinseltown is pretty great with those luxury loungers. And now that you can pick your seats ahead of time, you can skip the previews!”