Jacksonville, Fla. Moms on the Run member Cory Schaefer has endured a few stressors in the last several years: a job relocation from Wisconsin to Florida, a craniectomy on her 3-month-old to correct a birth defect, her mom diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this past March, and a job loss in May. Because of Moms on the Run, she has not only endured those trials, but thrived — losing 70 pounds in the process.
Before Moms on the Run, Cory tried getting into running at least a dozen times. She even ran the Disney glass slipper challenge (back-to-back 10K and half marathon) in 2016 — and hated it. “I never, ever, ever, ever, ever wanted to run a half marathon again,” Cory admits.
So what would make her register for the Disney half this coming January? “Peer pressure, fear of missing out — and a persistent coach. [Coach] Amy does not let you quit,” laughs Cory.
After the birth of her two kids, she says she was overweight and in need of help, so when she saw an advertisement on Facebook for the launch of Moms on the Run in Jacksonville, FL, last September, she knew she had to join — and convinced her friend Nicole to join, as well.
Moms on the Run has made a big difference in Cory’s life — both physically and mentally. She has lost 70 pounds since September and is 10 pounds below her pre-pregnancy weight.
“I was pushing 240 pounds and knew I needed to lose all of this baby weight,” shares Cory. “I’ve never really been a runner. In fact, I’d say I’ve had a strong dislike for running. But getting back into running has helped me get through all those times of stress.”
In April 2017, Cory’s daughter was born with craniosynostosis, a birth defect where joints in the skull prematurely fuse together before the brain is fully developed. She underwent surgery at three months old, and wore a cranial helmet for 11 months. While it was a difficult time for the Schaefers, Cory’s Moms on the Run team rallied together. With Cory’s daughter as their team mascot, Jacksonville Moms on the Run completed the Wolfson Children’s Challenge 55K Relay — a race in January for the local children’s hospital.
In March, Cory’s mom, who lives in Wisconsin, was diagnosed with stage three pancreatic cancer. On top of that, this past May, Cory’s job as a mortgage underwriter, for which she relocated from Milwaukee to Jacksonville five years ago, was eliminated. It was “a blow to the ego, for sure.”
To save money and since summers are stifling hot in Florida, Cory was going to take the summer running season off. Once again, Amy Magdalein, Jacksonville owner and coach, was relentless and encouraged Cory to continue training.
“Sometimes when we’re down and feeling like our world is turning upside down on us,” explains Amy, who nominated Cory, “running can give us the strength we need to face our adversities. But it’s hard to do it alone. Moms on the Run is giving Cory the accountability she needs to keep moving forward with her physical and mental fitness. I’m so proud of her for making these positive choices during a time when she could have easily put her needs on a back burner.”
Cory has received some good news in the last few days. She recently accepted a job offer and was asked to be a volunteer coach for Moms on the Run.
“I’m constantly trying to get a few friends to join Moms on the Run,” Cory adds. “I tell them it doesn’t matter what you look like, we’ve got all different levels. Give it a shot. We’re all about being surrounded by other women, supporting your goals, having accountability. You’re more likely to go if you know others are counting on you. The friendships I’ve formed and fortified through Moms on the Run are priceless.”