Colorado G.I.R.L.: Sonja Steward

Tell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in a farming community in Northeastern Colorado. My childhood which included Girl Scouts taught me to set goals and work hard to achieve them! One great lesson from growing up on a farm is that you do the work that needs to be done, until it’s complete! I would rise with the sun and irrigate the fields before school and I’d look forward to driving the trucks and tractors after school. I’ve carried these aspects into my life as an adult! As a young adult, I dreamed of being a business owner and helping other people achieve their goals. I’m very blessed to get to do that on a daily basis as the Owner of 5280Fit!

When in your life/career have you been a G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader)?
Oh my, I’ve always been a go-getter, especially when someone tells me something cannot be done! I like to prove otherwise 😉 I don’t listen to negativity, I have a very positive mindset and will always go and get what needs to be gotten to make a positive impact in this world!  I see myself as an innovator because I’ve created many workout programs for adults and kids. My most humble creation is when God led me to design my Gateway to Fitness program for women who are very out of shape and need guidance to start taking care of their health!  I don’t think you can be a business owner with out taking many risks. For me, walking away from a 12 year financial services career to open a fitness studio because my passion was to help other mothers with what helped me as an out-of-shape, stressed mom was a HUGE risk! I’m happy to say that I lead a team of over 20 fitness instructors and staff that work WITH me (most of whom are moms)!   I also lead our 5280Fit community members on their road to being and staying healthy!

What does it mean to “take the lead?”
I give full credit to Jesus! He’s been my number one leader! He’s a great teacher, and therefore, I lead by example: be kind, be humble, and just love on people! I do like to joke that my clients have a love/hate relationship with me! They hate me when I’m pushing them to do their best in fitness classes, but boy do they love me when they fit into a pair of smaller jeans or learn to do a push up for the first time! Leaders help others achieve their goals and if I’ve done that on a daily basis with my amazing team, I see that as SUCCESS!!

Why is it important for girls and women to “take the lead?”
As a girl, I was fortunate to be the leader of a handful of our sports and dance teams. Being the leader taught me to be organized, have a plan and strive to achieve goals. As women, let’s face it… we know how to get stuff done! Life is complicated in today’s society and as women we have to balance being a role model for our families, communities and businesses! It’s tough, and I would say that as a woman leading, you have to let other’s lead as well and work together as a team to be effective! Teamwork is the key at any age!

What has helped you achieve success?
Being surrounded by others who believe in why I’m leading and knowing that it’s not about me, but it’s about them!

Were you a Girl Scout? If so, tell us about your experience and what is the most important thing Girl Scouts taught you?
I was a very proud Girl Scout. In fact, I’m pretty sure I still have my sash tucked away in the attic with all my badges. Girl Scouts taught me some great life skills! I loved the camping and outdoor activities the most. My favorite memory was hiking the Continental Divide and sleeping in the wilderness for several nights.  The most important thing that the Girl Scouts taught me was that working hard and achieving goals leads to rewards of accomplishment and feeling good about yourself (not to mention the cool badges your get)!!

We want to tell your G.I.R.L. story! We’re inspired by the women we meet around us every day and want to share their stories to inspire girls across Colorado to reach their full potential like these amazing women. Share your go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader story and a photo and help us spread the word that every girl can unleash her inner G.I.R.L. (go-getter, innovator, risk-taker, leader) and draw a direct line from their experiences as a Girl Scout to their future success as adult women.

Girl Scouts of Colorado