My mission has always been to help girls reach their potential and tap into their inner ‘champion’! to tap into their inner ‘champion’! With all the issues facing our young girls today, it’s important for them to have role models that ‘show and prove’, that no matter the circumstance in life, YOU CAN RISE ABOVE YOUR TROUBLES! It is my wish to be that type of role model for girls all over the world! My daily pics, posts, and vids on Instagram and Twitter G empower girls to stand in their light and shine bright. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being ‘different’, bold, badass, and standing out from the crowd. Non-conformity and self-pride should be celebrated. A positive self-image, self-respect, strong self-esteem, a good work ethic, and being unapologetically confident are the keys to success.
I had the pleasure to interview Author Lucie B Lindner. Lucie’s career journey- from Physician to Jump Rope Professional, to Jump Rope Coach to Entrepreneur to Author/ Motivational Coach to Elementary School teacher in Sweden- has inspired girls and women all over the world.
Thank you so much for doing this with us Lucie! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Wow! Where do I start! Never in a million years did I think I’d end up being an Elementary School Teacher and Motivational Coach…much less in Sweden! I started a career in Medicine. I thought that was my ticket to happiness and success. I had no idea that my life was about to veer into the realm of the unexpected. Long story short, a little under 2 years into my medical residency, I had an epiphany! Well, it was more like a slow painful knawing in my spirit; the kind that kept me up most nights. I realized I was living my life for everyone, except me! I was so needy of approval that I sacrificed myself in order to please my family, friends and those I considered to be ‘Mentors’. Every day, I’d put on the happy-go-lucky mask, yet, my soul was withering away in unhappiness. I was too embarrassed to come clean about my feelings…until one day, I had had enough! Enough of the masquerading! Enough of the pretending! I realized that I had to grab the bull by its big balls and say what was really on my heart! One afternoon, I walked into my Attending’s office and told him that I needed to call it quits. I explained to him that I was not happy.
Of course, the questions came: Am I depressed? Did something happen to trigger this? Am I ill? Personal problems? On and on….and then the judgment, and criticism followed. I was told that I was making a huge mistake. ‘All the years of studying, sacrifice, and not to mention, the exuberant loans to pay back…all down the drain and for what?’, he said. ‘Because you are not happy? That’s not an excuse!’ I sat there, completely dumbfounded. I didn’t expect that kind of response. I thought he’d be understanding and sympathetic. But no. I felt like a fool, a failure! I was so ashamed. He asked me if I had a plan B and that things would surely get worse for me if I were to leave Medicine. This really scared me. My mind was racing, pacing and second-guessing like crazy! What he said made sense, but I just didn’t want to continue on. A career in Medicine wasn’t for me, no matter how well he said I was doing. I just had to leave! His disapproval hit me hard. He called me a ‘Quitter’, which hurt me to the bone, but nevertheless, I followed my heart, and walked away without regrets because, for the first time in my life, I was doing *ME*!
I’ve always loved to exercise, especially at the gym. Having spent my childhood and youth in the grips of obesity, sadness, and trauma, exercise was always my great escape, and ultimately what brought me to better health. One afternoon, back in 1999 ( I was 32 at the time), I was working out at my favorite gym, Bally Total Fitness, Rockville Centre. The Fitness manager approached me to ask if I was an exercise instructor. I said no. She asked if I was able to teach the workout I was doing in a class setting. Wow! I couldn’t believe that I was being observed while working out, but humbled that she’d asked me to teach. She encouraged me to take a chance and go for it. So I did! My first Jump Rope/Double Step Class was a hit and quickly became one of the top group fitness classes at BTF, NYSC, and Equinox on Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan. My mission was to perfect my craft and to ultimately create jump rope fitness programs for children and adults.
In 2003, I hustled to get into as many Jump rope school events, community workshops, and PTA/Library programs in NYC.
If I felt a school or an organization needed a fun fitness program for kids, I’d set up an appointment and passionately pitch my program — -which was accepted 9 out of 10 times!
In 2005, at the age of 38, I entered my first Jump Rope National Competition, The USA Jump Rope National Championship which was held in Orlando Florida. This was an extremely scary feat, as I had never competed in my life, nor had any jump rope experience (as do 99% of those who compete on a National level). Most people assume that I was one of the girls on ‘da block’ Double Dutching back in da day) They couldn’t be further from the truth! I taught myself how to jump rope at the age of 34. What possessed me to try my hand at competing on a National level with no prior experience was beyond me! So there I stood, amongst the fastest, fittest and fiercest women jumpers in the United States. There was no turning back for me! I got through the 1-min and 3-min Single Rope Speed, 1-min Double Unders, and Freestyle events. Soon after, the award ceremony began. My goal was to participate and compete at a National competition that year and nothing else. I was content with myself and happy that I succeeded. I knew there was NO WAY that I’d ‘place’, much less, win a competition on this level on my first try.
Well, long story short…I ended up taking the Gold in all 3 categories in the Women’s 30–49yr age division. Needless to say, I was shocked as sin! I was speechless, motionless and in a daze when I heard my name announced. It took a nudge from a little boy sitting next to me, to get me to run up to the podium to receive my medals!
Winning the championship and coming home with 3 beautiful shiny Gold medals, plus 1 Silver was a serious confidence booster. To represent New York City was beyond an honor, but let me go deeper. While the last gold medal was being placed around my neck, my mind went back to my childhood years; those awful times of taunting, teasing and bullying because of my obesity. All those years being called ‘The Big Black Thunder-Thighed Rolly Polly’ (Yes, that’s what I was called). All those years of feeling ‘less- than’ because of my weight and size, but here I was, standing in front of thousands of people, a champion of Jump Rope, healthy and fit! The hard work really paid off! So the win was for all the *Big Girls* around the world! I returned home with a burning desire to take Jump rope to the next level!
In 2007, I opened the first Jump Rope Gym for Kids in Woodmere Long Island called *Lucie B’s Jump N Fun’, which was a unique, one-of-a-kind, Jump Rope Gym for kids ages 5 through 17. We offered single rope and double dutch Speed classes for all fitness levels. As enrollment increased, so did the demand for advanced classes and more competitive programs. This was the perfect opportunity to start the first Single Rope Speed Team in New York, called ‘Lucie B’s Rock-It-Ropers’. What made this even more interesting? It was the first time Orthodox Jewish Kids were represented in the USA Jump Rope Organization and competitions. The Rock-It-Ropers went on to win numerous Regional and National Championships in Single Rope Speed and Power from 2008–2012.
In 2010 I opened another Jump Rope Gym in Baldwin, which was a more diverse community. It was important to have my programs reflect all ages, ethnicities, cultures, and to push for more integration in Jump Rope Competitions.
In 2012, I met the love of my life, Staffan Lindner. In 2014, he put a ring on it, and I moved to Stockholm Sweden. I continued my jump rope programs in various schools in Stockholm — -from the richest areas to the inner-cities. I loved it because I got the opportunity to teach, train, coach and work with children of all ages while learning Swedish by osmosis!
In Nov 2017, I was offered a position to work as an Elementary school teacher at HusbyGårds Skolan located in Husby. At first, I was like, me? a Teacher? An English teacher? No way! But, yes! They were looking for a Native speaker who was able to educate, motivate and inspire the students. At the interview, I made it clear that I would be the ‘Unconventional One’ but would get the job done! It’s been nearly 2 years and honestly? It’s been a dream. I absolutely LOVE IT! I must give a major shout out to my Boss, Principal Magnus Duvnäs! Thank you for going beyond ‘Lagom’ and taking a chance on me. Thank you for seeing my potential and allowing me to do what I do best…and that is to motivate kids to aim higher! Sometimes, I feel guilty for having such a fun job. My work at HusbyGardsSkolan is an integral part of my life here in Stockholm!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began this career?
The most interesting story…hmm…..I would say understanding the ‘Swedish’ perspective and perception of ‘Inner Cities’, aka, The Ghetto. Honestly, I was shocked to find out that there were ghettos and segregated areas here in Sweden. When I first visited Husby, I thought it was like any other lower-middle class area in New York City. The perception of these areas and the people who reside there are so skewed from reality. Yes, there are neighborhoods with more problematic issues, such as gangs, violence, theft, etc, but honestly? The media portrays these areas in more of a negative light which fuels the ‘Them vs Us’ mentality here. It’s really sad and unfortunate. The students would jokingly refer to their neighborhoods as the ‘Hood’ and I’d just burst out in laughter because honestly? They have NO clue what a REAL Hood looks like. Being a native New Yorker, I’ve seen it all and feel it very necessary to drop the knowledge on these kids. The reality is that they have it good here: from housing to education, to medical care, to social welfare. Sweden is very giving to foreigners and immigrants, and that’s the truth! My goal as an educator is to give the students a different perspective on life as it relates to Sweden and the United States. More importantly, it’s my goal to help them seize the opportunities for growth, integration, and advancement in life.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting?
When I first started working at HusbyGårds Skolan, I did the usual ‘Lucie B’ thing, and that is to give lots of hugs and smiles. This is what I naturally do without ever giving it a second thought. Little did I know, that my ‘overexuberance’ was kinda making folks quite uncomfortable. I couldn’t understand what I was doing wrong. After being called out by the kids as being ‘a little weird’ and politely described by my colleagues as being ‘too much’, I slowly started to ‘chill’. There is a Swedish rule called ‘Lagom’, which means, not too little and definitely not too much!
Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Park the ‘Hugs and Kisses’ in the Freezer till warranted! Hahaha!
Ok super. Let’s now jump to the core focus of our interview. Can you describe to our readers how you are using your platform to make a significant social impact?
My social media platform allows me to share my message of positivity with young people all over the world, particularly girls of color. My mission has always been to help girls reach their potential and tap into their inner ‘champion’! to tap into their inner ‘champion’! With all the issues facing our young girls today, it’s important for them to have role models that ‘show and prove’, that no matter the circumstance in life, YOU CAN RISE ABOVE YOUR TROUBLES! It is my wish to be that type of role model for girls all over the world! My daily pics, posts, and vids on Instagram and Twitter G empower girls to stand in their light and shine bright. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being ‘different’, bold, badass, and standing out from the crowd. Non-conformity and self-pride should be celebrated. A positive self-image, self-respect, strong self-esteem, a good work ethic, and being unapologetically confident are the keys to success.
Wow! Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted by this cause?
Everyone has an important story to share. On May 2016, I shared mine; I published my book, titled Big Bottom Blues. It is my story of sexual abuse and how it impacted my life. In July 2017, I received a message from an 8-year-old girl from the Bronx. She said she found my book and felt like writing to me because my story was her story and needed help. I quickly jumped on Skype to speak with her. She revealed that her uncle had been raping and beating her for 2 years! Her mom was a drug addict, in and out of jail and her dad was M.I.A since birth. She said she stopped going to school and was roaming the streets for food and shelter, but her uncle would always end up finding and hurting her at night. He terrorized her into secrecy and couldn’t tell a soul. The night she called me, she was going to commit suicide. She said she found my video online where I spoke openly about how I was raped and beaten and felt like she needed to tell me what was happening to her. Long story short, I got in contact with the authorities in NYC, who quickly got her out of that situation and into a safe place.
3 months later, I received a letter from her. She thanked me for my openness, and honesty about the abuse in my home. She wrote, ‘…. had it not been for your book, Lucie, I would have been dead today’. She is currently doing well in school and plans on being a Social worker in the future. Her goal is to help children like herself. So I give thanks to my social media platform for having helped me make a tremendous impact in this little girl’s life.
Was there a tipping point the made you decide to focus on this particular area?
That little girl from the Bronx really touched my heart. I knew then, that my story can bring hope and healing to many survivors of sexual abuse. Being a voice for the ‘voiceless’ is very important and my social media platform is my megaphone!
Can you share a story about that?
Speaking up about sexual abuse wasn’t easy because of the shame, judgment, and criticism that came with it. Many people asked why I opened up about something so awful in my past. Being brutally honest about my experience has helped me to heal and to give other survivors the courage to speak their truth.
Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?
#1-Now that I call Sweden ‘home’, I want to do my best to make a positive impact however I can. One of my wishes is to see REAL diversity in Stockholm and to eliminate’ segregated’ areas. There is a real ‘Them vs Us’ mentality that is quite pervasive in Sweden. I Would love to be involved with community work and engage progressive politicians to make more social change for the integration of foreigners.
#2- I’d love to see the implementation of Self-empowerment classes and programs in the Elementary schools. There’s a real fear of expressing too much self-confidence, which is often mistaken for arrogance and conceit by Swedish people. As a result, speaking of one’s talents and/or achievements is often ‘muted’. This is so evident amongst the students. The level of self-esteem and self-belief is, unfortunately, very low. Teaching kids the importance of believing in themselves early on in life sets the foundation for a more competitive spirit, increased ambition and academic success.
#3- I’d love to see International Exchange programs added to the HusbyGårdsSkolan curriculum. Many of the kids in the inner cities have a very limited view of the world, particularly of the educational system. It would be great for them to experience 2 weeks in a public school in the United States, and return to give a presentation on their experience abroad. I do believe it would enrich and broaden their horizons.
What specific strategies have you been using to promote and advance this cause?
One of the strategies I use to promote awareness about the importance of getting a good education, and recognizing one’s opportunities is to allow, open and honest discussion and dialogue on my social media platforms. I encourage young people to express themselves freely without fear of being judged. Their opinions matter.
Can you recommend any good tips for people who want to follow your lead and use their social platform for social good?
Number 1: Be absolutely Authentic! Be Real! Don’t Give Lip Service to a cause you don’t really believe in! Keep it Real and you will be successful!
Number 2: Do your best to answer all DMs (or as much as you can PERSONALLY). Give your followers a taste of your genuineness and let them know that they matter and that you care! It’s important!! You never know whose life you re about to change!
Number 3: Scroll over and/or delete all hateful, negative comments! Don’t waste time on energy and positivity ‘zappers’! Trolls will be Trolls! Stay in the *Good Zone* with like-minded people! And please, do not get caught up in online Drama. Keep your peace and move on!
Number 4: Remember to support, and encourage Others! Good Karma is a good thing!
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.
1- Don’t stay focused on the negative things said online. It will only eat you up! This was actually the hardest thing for me to handle when I first started gaining followers online. I took every negative comment personally and ended up losing sleep over it. You can’t please everybody! Move on and Do your thang!
2. If you make yourself ‘Public’ be in for the good and bad The internet makes it very easy for trolls to rear their ugly heads. If you can’t take the heat, then stay out of the kitchen! FACTS! Be careful what you post, cause it can never truly be deleted.
3. Sometimes, you will piss people off with your brutal honesty…it’s inevitable. So Be Ready for it!
Yes, this is me! I didn’t realize that people lived online as they do and get highly pissed off when they are met with opposing views on issues. Get over it and move on!
4. People are often NOT what they portray themselves to be…so be careful!! Fake Profiles! Boy, did I learn the hard way! When I first began on the web, I took people at Face(internet) value. The personae they gave is what I believed them to be until I found out differently. I remember having great conversations with a female who said she was a teacher; she had a great profile, etc…but after a month of conversing, she began to ask weird questions like ‘Are you into your students’, ‘which types of students do I like, ‘…umm…Straight up Weird! Red Bells rang in my head! I quickly reported ‘her’. Come to find out, it was actually a ‘He’ and a pedophile! OMG! That was so scary!
5. NEVER ACCEPT FRIEND REQUESTS BLINDLY! Ladies, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about! They start out with *Hi’…you think it’s innocent, accept their request and BOOM! It begins. The constant messaging of *I LOVE YOU*, The hearts, texts, the intrusive video calls then the nasty penis pics, on and on…and YES, this has happened to me a few times and since then, NO Blind friend requests whatsoever!
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Honestly? I would love to inspire school Jump rope competitions in all of Stockholm. I’d love to be given a grant to create jump rope wellness/fitness training programs for kids ages 5 to 16, focusing only on Single Rope Speed, Endurance, and Power. I’d love to see these programs implemented in the schools and summer camps, particularly in ‘disadvantaged’ areas. The goal is to have as many kids try their hand at official Jump Rope competitions both in Europe and the United States! I see it so vividly in my head! I would love to have every school in Stockholm participate in fun Jump rope events and competitions! #ComeOnStockholmLetsDoThis #LucieBsJumpRopeFitnessinStockholm
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“If You Can Look Up, You Can Get Up!” So no matter how you fall, try to land on your back! (Les Brown) Cause as long as there is life in you, find that fighting spirit to get back on your feet! Like so many of the readers out there, I’ve had my share of hard times. From a very traumatic childhood, dealing with sexual abuse and obesity to being diagnosed with MS and everything in between. I’ve had some tough years, however, every time I hit bottom, I always found a way to rebound to my feet! There were times I thought I was truly ‘Done’ with it all, but nope, I had to dig deep and pull myself back up! So I tell you this, if you fall, no matter how low, believe that you CAN get through it! You Can! You got to believe in yourself!
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
Gosh! This is such a hard question because honestly, there are 4 women who hold 4 keys to my heart! Why? Because they each represent the 4 stages of my life: My childhood, my youth, my womanhood, ‘my maturity’: Jada Pickett Smith, Serena Williams, Tyra Banks, and Michelle Obama!
Each of these women holds equal weight and importance in my life because of their stories of struggles, challenges, and obstacles; despite it all, they triumphed to success!! These beautiful Black women are beyond admirable! They are my role models, even at age 52! They represent Class, Sass, Boldness, Pizzaz, Intelligence, Integrity, Strength, Beauty, and Badassness! If I could just roll all 4 of them up in one gorgeous blanket, and have them walk into my classroom, OMG, I would just pass out! I’d just die!! For real!!! It’s that serious! They’re my Sheroes! I love them so much!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
It would be so great to connect with the readers! They can find me here: