Laura Radocaj Sunday Strong
Laura Radocaj, founder of Sunday Strong. (Credit: Courtesy of Sunday Strong)

Laura Radocaj saw her sister, who has special needs, struggle with her weight her entire life. And, she understood this wasn’t a unique phenomenon – often, people with intellectual disabilities struggle to access exercise classes designed for them. In January 2017, Radocaj started a weekly, free CrossFit class at her local gym in Vero Beach, Florida, that was specifically geared toward athletes with special needs. Radocaj says the improvements she saw in participants’ health were “staggering.” Those who previously couldn’t get off the ground by themselves, for example, were now quickly achieving squats and leaps. A year later, Radocaj formalized her efforts by launching her business, Sunday Strong, through which she offers a suite of free weekly exercise classes for special-needs athletes. Today, Radocaj is proud to partner with other local fitness providers to diversify her offerings – and to help her sister’s community in a tangible way. 

Here’s our lightly edited Q&A, from The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project.

How is your business different from others in your industry?

There is nobody doing what we are doing. 

Tell us about your biggest success so far. 

Watching a woman – one who was not able to get off the ground by herself – commit herself to our program. She can now get up on her own. That is a life-saving skill!

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?

When I first started Sunday Strong, I had two school-aged kids. Since then, I have had two more children. It’s been challenging to devote time to growing this organization while also working full-time and raising my kids. Right now, Sunday Strong is my passion project. 

Have you experienced any significant personal situations that affected your business decisions? 

Balancing work, family and this non-profit has been challenging – but so rewarding!

What is your biggest tip for other startup entrepreneurs? 

Delegate. You can’t be successful alone. You need a team to support you, your vision, and your mission.

How do you find inspiration on your darkest days?

I reread emails, letters and posts from athletes and parents about how Sunday Strong has made a positive impact in their lives.

What is your go-to song to get motivated on tough days?

“Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.

Who is your most important role model?

My mom. I watched her commit herself to volunteer work at a young age, and it definitely inspired me to want to help others. ◼

Instagram: @SundayStrong
Facebook: @SundayStrong

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