If you didn’t know what or who Skip & Scoot was before Chicago moved into a strict stay at home order back in March, chances are if you have kids, you do now!  Luci Grause, founder and owner, was quick to provide families with crazy-fun optical courses, fort building and multiple other challenges geared towards keeping kids moving (and giving parents a little break in daily programming through the pandemic).  Luci holds a Masters in Physical Education and taught PE in a K-12 setting before starting Skip and Scoot.  Her work as a teacher of little humans shows in every interaction- even in videos she has a giant, genuine smile on her face throughout and her love for what she does comes through even virtually (She’s also just a cool women in general)!  Get to know the owner of Skip and Scoot beyond the instruction!

 

 
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?  I am an island native, born and raised in Nantucket, MA, an island off of Cape Cod. My family and I have also lived in 3 cities in the last four years- NYC, DC, and Chicago! We’ll stay in Chicago for a while now and we’re so happy to be part of this wonderful city!
 
What inspired Skip & Scoot and at what point did you decide to take the leap and start your business?  I taught Health and Physical Education, as well as served as head coach for a high school field hockey team, in DC and Virginia public schools for years before having my two children. When my family and I first moved to Chicago, I took care of my kids full time and stepped away from teaching briefly. As my babies got bigger, I began thinking about working again and what I wanted it to look like. It’s always been a dream of mine to start a business with the mission of keeping kids fit and healthy and helping them fall in love with exercise for a lifetime. Skip & Scoot is a labor of love and something I believe in with my whole heart, as exercise has been a key part of my own happiness. It helps me keep my upbeat manner, manages stress levels, and has provided me personal growth over the years well beyond physical benefits. There are so many educational components of physical activity, including social-emotional, physical, and cognitive learning. I am motivated everyday to share my love of exercise, wellness, and health with our Chicago children!  
How are you feeling with this “new normal”? In what ways has your business had to pivot during the closures? I think I’ve felt every emotion possible while getting used to our “new normal”. At first, I had a really hard time with all the changes, temporarily pausing my Skip & Scoot classes, home schooling my two kids, socially separating from friends, and being indoors a lot more than usual. Not to mention, the fear of the new and complicated virus! But, I am very inspired by how my Chicago small business community adapted to the changes in innovative ways, and many of my friends did it so quickly! It helped me to get past my frustrations with the presented diffiulties, and begin adapting, as well. Since March, Skip & Scoot has offered free 30-45min on-demand virtual workouts for kids, two live virtual sessions for 8-weeks on Zoom, private online kid’s physical activity classes, and an IG/email blog of at home exercise ideas for kids/adults! I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish, and I’m happy to say we’ll be doing more as well! Starting in August, we are offering safe, outdoor private, semi-private, and small group public lessons! To be able to get active outdoors, in a socially-distanced way with our community is going to be a very healing and exciting step for our business! We can’t wait! 

What are you reading and listening to this summer?My summer reading so far has consisted of American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, and on deck I have It is Wood, It is Stone by Gabriella Burnham. My favorite music all year round is reggae because it’s such happy music, so that’s my go to summer listening, also. My favorites are Peter Tosh, Collie Buddz, Matisyahu, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, and of course all of the Marley family. 

When you find a way to sneak in some “me time”, what’s the number one thing you like to do? Is it too cliché for me to say exercise is top on my priority list?! It’s true, though. Getting active is always my first go to when I have free time, because it helps me feel good while tackling my responsibilities as a mother, wife, business owner, friend, and overall human! When I feel strong inside and outside, I can be the best version of myself, and this in turn benefits everyone around me, esp my family. I am a believer that no one should need to feel guilty taking time for themselves- it’s so important! After exercise, I’d say I love a good massage, getting my nails done, cuddling my babies, or just reading and taking a bath at night. And, a nice meal with good wine is fun, too! All of these things help me relax and reset. Taking care of ourselves as adults is such a great way to show our kids that they should take care of themselves as well.  

Parents have had to get creative with how we’re spending time as a family through the pandemic.  What are a few favorite activities or outings you’ve experienced together? We took long, daily family walks, and this is what saved all of us during the most strict days/weeks/months of quarantine. We had two main loops that we did, probably about 2-3 miles each, and I can’t tell you how much it changed all of our moods for the better when we got fresh air out of our home. Also, we found a wonderful little neighborhood band that played jazz on their front porch for donations, and this was a huge highlight for our family! People, including us, were so hungry for human connection and peaceful entertainment. We would gather with neighbors on the sidewalk and listen to the soothing music by Danny Bauer (@lildbowwow) and Safety Squad- it was so uplifting!  

 

 

How are you feeling about back to school?  Any tips you found helpful for remote learning? (I’m gonna skip this one because I want to try to be positive and I’m not feeling very positive about virtual back to school.)

Best parenting advice you have received and best you like to give?The best parenting advice I’ve ever been given is also what I say when I’m asked to give any advice to new parents. It’s simply to trust your own instincts. Each individual parent knows their own child(ren) better than anyone else, so I encourage listening to our own intution as much as possible. It’s a strong, unspoken bond that no one else will be able to do better than YOU! 

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