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Daily Inspiration: Meet Sonja Nelson-Stough

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sonja Nelson-Stough.

Hi Sonja, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
What is unique about my story is that my husband and I started SuperSlow Zone after being retired for ten years; and I am 80 years old. When Larry came home one day and said, “I think I will start my own exercise studio in my medical building”, my response was: “Are you crazy? People get OUT of business when they are close to 80, not start a brand new one!” We had been doing this slow cadence exercise protocol for 13 years at another studio and were passionate about what an impact it had on our lives.

We started SSZ not because we needed a job or needed a business but because of our passion. We knew we would do it as long as we could get out of bed and go. And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could have our own studio and help other people!!

For both of us, it has reversed the aging process. How do I know that? Because I am stronger and healthier at age 80 than I was when I was in my 60s. I can lift things I couldn’t lift before, run, have more energy, am absent from disease or other issues such as hypertension, etc. have improved my bone density and am told I look younger than my age. When Larry and I went to Greece to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, I could climb those long flights of stairs in the street with no muscle burn and no need to stop and rest. I was never able to do that in my 60s, even my 50s. It is such a good feeling to see yourself get stronger and healthier as you age, instead of weaker and sicker. If you don’t spend time and dollars taking care of your health, you will have to find the time and money to take care of your illnesses.

At SuperSlow Zone, we have clients from Age ten to age 89. Some are exercising because they want to look strong and change their body composition, some because they want to improve their sport, and some because they have disease, injuries, or are post-operative rehab.

Every one-on-one session is custom designed for the client and coached by one of our IACET certified health coaches.

The private studio is climate controlled, sanitized, quiet; and the experience is a full-body workout in 20 minutes on brand new medical-grade Nautilaus equipment twice a week.

The Super slow protocol takes momentum out of the equation and loads only the muscle, taking all the stress off the joints and connective tissues. The muscle tires in 2 to 3 minutes to the point it stimulates muscle growth; then the muscles become stronger during the 72 hours following the exercise session.

So for the person who does not like a gym atmosphere, doesn’t like to work out in a room full of people, doesn’t like to spend an hour or two working out 4 or 5 days a week, doesn’t like showering and changing after a workout, there is no need to put yourself through that if you can get faster safer results in two 30-minute sessions a week in a pleasant environment with a personal certified coach at a cost equivalent to or less than personal trainers charge.

Larry and I are so grateful that we took the leap at our age to open the only SuperSlow Zone in the state of Missouri. The reward is seeing people making changes in their lives every day!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
After we agreed to start, Larry got sick and we put the project on hold for six months with the thought that we would not go ahead with the plan. He recovered, and we still wanted to open our studio. Then six months after opening, just as we were beginning to see real growth, we were shut down because of the COVID pandemic. I got COVID and had to avoid going to the studio to help. Some clients dropped out and never came back. But we opened again and have been steadily growing. We now are so busy we are going to start training another Health coach.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I was a school teacher out of college. At age 40, I got my Certified Financial Planner designation and brokers license. At age 49, I took those skills to a trust company subsidiary of a large bank where I brought in large multimillion-dollar accounts to be professionally managed. I retired at age 67 and opened SuperSlow Zone at age 78.

I keep myself healthy and strong so I can continue to do the things I love to do in my 80s. – motorcycle trips with my husband, competitive ballroom dance, golf, play my musical instruments, piano, hammered dulcimer, and flute, and work at the exercise studio. I never miss my own workouts twice a week.

What makes you happy?
What makes me happy is that I am strong enough to do all the things I love to do and that I am helping others recover from injuries, depression, surgeries, etc. I love it when a client tells me, “Super Slow Zone gave me back my life.” That makes me most happy.


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Image Credits

Larry S Photography

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