Lexi duPont’s Lesson of Grit and Grace in the Outdoors

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Lexi duPont, professional big mountain freeskier, stands at the edge of a massive Alaskan mountain. Below her are miles of steep, snow-covered cliffs. One minute she is at the edge and the next she takes off, freeskiing down the mountain at breathtaking speeds, navigating around difficult terrain and dramatic drops.

While initially your stomach might do a nervous back flip as you attempt to process such a seemingly terrifying feat, suddenly you become completely relaxed. Lexi’s strength and skill becomes apparent as she gracefully makes her way down the slopes. So much so, that watching her navigate the snow becomes similar to watching a dancer waltz across the stage. Fear is replaced by admiration and amazement.

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This admiration and amazement has left us wanting to know more about what it takes to be a high performance athlete like Lexi duPont. Her list of accomplishments is as impressive as her humble and graceful demeanor. As a Freeskiing World Tour contender and former Junior Olympics competitor, Lexi has been featured in several films and is currently a member of Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent Guide & Athlete Team. Despite the fame that comes with these many accomplishments, she is passionate about service and encouraging others to pursue their dreams.

Lexi’s dedication to the environment has lead her to live an off the grid lifestyle in her small home in the mountains of Sun Valley, where she does everything in her power to stand up for the environment. Nature is her playground and we love the way she cares for it. You might assume that being a big mountain freeskier would be enough athleticism for a lifetime, but Lexi spends her time off the slopes surfing, climbing, biking and flying.

Lexi duPont is a name worth knowing because she is a woman who sets goals and achieves them. She comes face to face with fear and uses it as motivation. She sets her sights on the highest mountain and then masters it.

And watching her makes us want to master a mountain of our own.

We got the chance to chat with Lexi a bit more about her passions, career, and what inspires her:

Darling Magazine: You are one of the most sought after athletes in your field. What initially drew you to big mountain freeskiing? Was it something you always wanted to do?

Lexi: Skiing has always been my passion and my world. It affords me such a great amount of self-expression, and my only limitation is my creativity, which is a beautiful position to be in.

DM: We know that extreme athleticism runs in your family. Can tell us more about the ways your family has influenced and supported your passion for skiing?

Lexi: A love of adventure is in my blood, and I am inspired by the accomplishments of my family. My mom was one of the first females to do a backflip on skis. I grew up looking at pictures of her in our house doing huge aerials. She was a trailblazer for women in action sports and I feel so lucky to have that kind of inspiration and drive in my life.

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I also come from a long line of aviators on my dad’s side. My grandfather was the first to land a plane in New Guinea. I have been raised to believe that anything is possible. It will take a lot of work, but you must dream big. As a kid I was introduced to a lot of different sports, which cultivated in me a love of the outdoors and confidence in my capabilities. Growing up my parents always supported everything we wanted to do, and there was no quitting: We didn’t have to be good, we just had to try it and see it through.

I have been raised to believe that anything is possible. It will take a lot of work, but you must dream big.

DM: What is your favorite part about being in an industry that spends so much time outdoors?

Lexi: Mother Nature is my church and being able to spend so much time in the natural environment is a dream for me. Because I love her so much I feel like I need to use my position in the industry to really speak for her and protect her.

DM: What are some of your favorite winter travel spots?

Lexi: I love my home, Sun Valley, ID and I spend a lot of time in Revelstoke, British Columbia. In Revelstoke I work with CAPOW, Canadian Powder Guides, where we take a group of young kids into the backcountry and teach them about avalanche safety and how to travel in the backcountry. It is my favorite part of the season seeing those kids expand their skills and share the beauty of the outdoors with them.

Alaska is where is all comes together for me, though. It’s where I get to challenge myself and where my “tribe” of fellow Big Mountain skiers meets every spring.

DM: What you do is very physically demanding. What is your approach to health and wellness?

Lexi: Health and wellness is my life. One of the most important and beautiful things about being an athlete is the need to stay in shape mentally and physically. I meditate for 20 minutes every day, I cut sugar, gluten and dairy from my diet, and I try to get outside and move my body every day. This routine has helped me cultivate a healthy mind and body.

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DM: You seem to balance the incredible grit needed for your industry with such a kindness and grace. What does this balance mean to you?

Lexi: I think grit was nurtured in me from a young age, so it comes naturally to me. Balancing it with kindness is extremely important in this industry. I am eternally grateful for every opportunity I am given, and I truly see other female skiers successes as my successes. We are such a small group, and we need to support each other at every step.

DM: Watching footage of your work had us on the edge of our seat! Have fear or nerves ever played a part in what you do? How you do you manage a healthy relationship with fear?

Lexi: I definitely have a high fear tolerance, which is practiced. Don’t get me wrong, I am definitely afraid when I get out on top of the mountains, but I try not to let it paralyze me and instead use it as a productive and motivating force until it becomes instinctual. Everyone experiences different types of fear, though, and one kind of fear I do experience is that which affects matters of the heart.

DM: Talk to us about being a woman in this industry. What was it like to break into a heavily male-dominated world?

Lexi: It was definitely intimidating at first. I had to become very in touch with my male self, and to speak their language. I struggled with the fear of showing weakness, until I began to accept that being feminine can be just as strong. When you are confident in your feminine self, it is a really beautiful power.

When you are confident in your feminine self, it is a really beautiful power.

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DM: What advice would you give to other women pursuing an athletic career?

Lexi: I would tell them to go for it! Go for it 100%. It will be a lot of work and you will have to make heaps of sacrifices but if you really love it, it won’t feel like work at all. I would tell them to ground down and get in touch with yourself. Then you will be in a powerful position to offer your resources and yourself to others.

I would also say be the girl of your dreams. She is inside of you just waiting for the opportunity to express herself. Be physically strong, eat healthy food, be creative, expand your mind, inspire those around you and challenge yourself. We desperately need more women in the action sports world so do [it], girls.

DM: Are there any major goals that you haven’t reached yet? What’s next for you?

Lexi: I always have goals and I will never stop exploring myself and the world around me. I think one of the most beautiful things about being a human is that we always have the ability to learn something new. In my opinion to stop growing and evolving is death.

I am currently working towards my pilot’s license and in the next 5-10 years I would like to redo my family’s first flights. I want to fly across America like my aunts did, then I want to fly the Amazon like my uncle did, and then I want land a plane in New Guinea like my grandfather did. I have this vision board in my room where I write my wild ideas. Even if its super crazy I put it up there. The power of manifestation is transformational. It really works!

To check out Lexi in real-time, watch the below:

Find more from Lexi on Instagram and Twitter.

Images c/o Eddie Bauer

Jessica is a student at Pepperdine University where she studies advertising and multimedia design. As a former ballerina, she seeks to bring the same artistry and passion that she once brought to the stage into every area of her life. She has a heart for ethical, brave brands who desire to make a difference, and hopes to use her skills and talents to join with them in changing the world. She has a large collection of black and white movies and one of her goals in life is to meet Dick Van Dyke so they can tap dance together.

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