Changing Winter Sports!
with Lexi DuPont
06 Dec, 2022 · Skiing
Lexi DuPont, professional big mountain skier, bush pilot, and entrepreneur talks about an exciting new event, the Sister Summit & she shares how she cultivates her love for nature and confidence as a love for life, and for the people around you.
Guest: Lexi DuPont
“Changing the Game in Winter Sports with the Sister Summit”
[00:00:00] Stef Strack: Today we are so excited to have Lexi DuPont on the Voice and Sport Podcast. Lexi is an incredible athlete who focuses on skiing and mountaineering, but also does surfing, mountain biking, environmental advocacy, and now is the founder of an exciting new event called Sister Summit. The summit brings women snowboarders and skiers together to build a community, create more visibility for winter sports, and help educate the participants about mindfulness and nutrition very aligned with the voice and sport community and platform.
In this episode, Lexi dives into her relationship with nature.
[00:00:35] Lexi duPont: It's the greatest teacher we can have. It's honest. It's loyal and it can be challenging
[00:00:43] Stef Strack: She also shares her experience when she saw a mental coach and how she became Unstoppable on the mountain,
[00:00:50] Lexi duPont: when we drop in and we're going like, we are unstoppable. I am unstoppable. I am super fierce and I am going to charge down this mountain
[00:00:59] Stef Strack: and she shares the exciting Sister Summit event that took place last week.
[00:01:03] Lexi duPont: this is gonna actually really shake up the winter sports industry in the best way possible.
[00:01:08] Stef Strack: Before we get started, if you love this podcast, please leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and check out our community.
It's free to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you and I hope you enjoy this episode. Lexi, welcome to the Voice and Sport Podcast. well, thanks for having me Stef.
You have such an incredible background and experience. I'm so excited. We're gonna talk a little bit about how you grew up in skiing, but also about your new adventure into entrepreneurship today. So let's go way back though to your childhood. Your family has a history of doing some really incredible things.
Your mom was a pro skier. We have that in common. My dad was a pro skier and she was one of the first women though to do a backflip on skis. Your grandfather was the first person to land a plane in New Guinea. Your uncle invented the glider. So you know, there's some family history of some pretty amazing things.
How did this inform you as you know, somebody who grew up as a skier?
[00:02:11] Lexi duPont: Yeah, I mean, thank you for that introduction. And I wonder if our parents actually knew each other back in the, back in the day of. Free ride racing and moguls and things. But I guess, you know, growing up I always just had these photos of my mom on the wall and she she was a World Cup mogul skier and so there's just these pictures of her laying out these big back flips over Lake Tahoe and she was on the cover of magazines.
And so I knew at an early age that, you know, skiing could be a career path for me. Just by having that visual reference of my mom on the wall growing up. But it started before that my grandfather was my mom's dad was my ski coach, and he also coached all of my, my later down the road coaches how to ski.
So it started at the age of two on the Dollar Hill. It's a hill in Sun Valley. The, the bigger mountains in the background. But it was kind of where I like stepped into my first association and relationship with freedom. You know, my parents would just drop me off or they give me $10 and they'd be like, have a good day.
And it was like, the lifts were my for a long time. And I just would go eat french fries, drink hot chocolate and ski with my friends. I just loved it. And then further than that, My family, if everyone was skiing, my sisters, my parents, my grandparents. So if you weren't going to ski or staying home alone.
And that was like not really an option. So , they suited and booted us up and dropped us up at the hill. And that's what we did for the day. And that really evolved into ski racing. I mean, growing up in Sun Valley, Idaho, skiing is such a big part of the culture. We have an incredible ski school.
That starts from youth and goes all the way up into the college level with incredible coaches and incredible mentorship. So I just lived on the ski hill. I'd go to school until about 12 o'clock, and our school was even on the same program. So we'd get outta school early and we'd go up to the hill and, and race gates and it was, you know, slalom, gs, super G downhill, all the racing, which I'm sure you're, you're used to Stef you know what I'm talking about.
[00:04:15] Stef Strack: I love it. I wonder if we like raced each other. I mean, at some point I'm like, I remember being in Sun Valley for a lot of races growing
[00:04:23] Lexi duPont: Really? Yeah. Which probably did then
[00:04:26] Stef Strack: Yeah. That's
[00:04:26] Lexi duPont: imd. Yeah. Intermountain Division. And then moved into like the FIS races, which were a little bit more national and global. . But I just loved it. I loved having the support, the community, the, the, my coaches and my teachers, everyone was on the same page to like really maximize our potential and make us the best that we could be.
And it was really inspiring.
[00:04:49] Stef Strack: That's amazing. I mean, that experience growing up in an environment like that it can really mold who you are. And right now we're living it. Like I have two little kids who are living in Gerwin, Alaska right now, right at the base of a ski mountain. And to see them get out in the fresh air after school and just crush it on the mountain, like it does a lot for your soul, but it also does a lot for your perspective on life. So taking a step back, like what do you think skiing and being out there outdoors has done for you as a person?
[00:05:17] Lexi duPont: Oh my gosh. I mean, it is, it's a, it's who, it's why I am the way I am, honestly. It's, there's no greater teacher than nature. And I think right now, especially with the way that like we're hooked to our cell phones and our computers, it's like, We're craving that, that connection back to earth more than we ever have before.
And I just feel so lucky that I created that as a habit was like a daily, I had to, I was craving it every day it was just a part of me. And without it, it was like, I would like tweak out, be like, oh God, what's happening? I'm not outside. So having to get outside, being in the fresh air, like drinking the fresh water fully immersed in the trees in the forest and the rivers in the mountains.
It's the greatest teacher we can have. It's honest. It's loyal and it can be challenging and you just, you figure it out. And then also being in that space with your best friends, you know, being able to share it with others was a really important part with my friends and my family. So I feel very fortunate.
[00:06:19] Stef Strack: So you did ski racing in college for a while, and then you got introduced to Free Ride World tour skiing. So you talked about how free skiing had this element of fun in it that you didn't necessarily feel from ski racing. So how is ski racing different from free skiing? And if a girl is out there listening today, what would you say about, you know, discovering one or the other?
[00:06:40] Lexi duPont: Yeah, so I mean, ski racing gave me such an incredible foundation. You know, skiing was like walking after that many years of practice. And with that like discipline and structure of the ski team. And then when I broke out into the free ride, It was like, okay, I didn't have to follow this one path down the mountains between the gates.
I was able to pick my own line down the mountain and express myself how I wanted to and express my creativity. And it was almost, you know, we, we say this a lot within the free ride community. It's like you have this blank canvas is the mountain and where you put your track down is like your own personal brushstroke of the painting that you want to create.
And that just really spoke to me and it, I've figured it out pretty quickly actually. It was like I was going to University of Colorado and one of my old ski racing friends from when we were younger, McKenna Peterson, was like, Lex, you gotta come try these free ride contests are so fun. And the first contest was at Telluride Mountain Resort.
And I remember I showed up and you know, I had never been judged before. Ski racing was all about time, and this was a judged event. So I asked my mom, who was like the mogul master of judged sports, and she goes, you gotta wear something bright. So she gave me her old mogul pants. They're like neon pink with flames down the sides and like the circles over the knees.
She's like, and you gotta go up to the judges and introduce yourself so they know who you are. So here I am. I like, I go up, they're like, look at me up and down. They're like, what is she wearing? but they were like very respectful for me being like, Hey, like I'm Lexi. Like it's my first contest. Check me out.
You know? And then I skewed down and they were calling me little miss hot pants for like, over the microphone for all of the crowd. And that, that nickname definitely stuck for the rest of my career. And I ended up standing on the podium, that first contest. And I was like, wow, this is sweet.
This is definitely what I wanna do. You know, you get like the big check and you're holding it above your head and, and everyone's cheering. And I was like, this is just so fun. I got to put my personal touch from top to bottom and express myself the way I wanted to and it was well received. So what's next?
Like, where do I sign up for the next contest? ? Yeah.
[00:08:46] Stef Strack: amazing. So what did you do? Go back and did you quit racing at that moment?
[00:08:51] Lexi duPont: Yeah, racing was done. Like I, I feel like when, you know, you feel this like deep intuition where like your mind, your body and your soul and your gut are all aligned. It's like one of the highest vibration of pure creativity and expression. Like there's no other option than to pursue it. That was an obvious yes.
[00:09:11] Stef Strack: I love that. Well, let's talk a little bit more about your relationship to nature and just like how important that is for you, because I think having that when you're young, Really can set the foundation for then how you live your life. So now, like what is your relationship to nature now? I mean, you're older, you're, you know, you're starting a business, you have a lot going on, more than you did when you just were free skiing, you know, when you're in college.
So what is that relationship now and how is that important to you that you think other young girls should think?
[00:09:42] Lexi duPont: Oh, I mean, nature is an everyday requirement for me. I've always said, you know, I wanna live in, in nature and visit the city. I, I love visiting the city. Like, don't get me wrong, but if you could catch me in New York City, I'm like making a conscious effort to go to the parks and like at least have 20 minutes of like breath work and grounding down I'm lying in the grass.
Who knows what's in the grass there, but I might have craving nature. And I've, I feel like I've really just set up my life to be in nature every single day, no matter if it's a simple walk, you know? It just, it's a recharge. It's a soul recharge and my advice to any young girl is get outside every single day, even if it's like this snowiest mo, like it's freezing and it's blowing sideways.
Like go out there and build a snowman or throw a snowball for your dog or like whatever it is, just get outside and connect with it. Cuz that is where we are our truest selves. That's where we connect to like, this is gonna sound super heady, but. That energy that is creation is only found in nature.
And that's, that's what I have to tap into all the time. So that's my advice. Get outside every day. And I think now I've like positioned, you know, my career to inspire people to get into nature. I realized for a long time I took it for advantage of it a bit, you know, it was like, oh, this is just normal.
And then you start to travel and you meet other people and they're like, oh, nature is not necessarily normal for everyone to experience. And so just making that like a big part of my goals of communicating to others is to get outside.
[00:11:12] Stef Strack: I love that. Well, there's so many benefits to being and being in nature. Let's talk a little bit about, for, for you, just, I know that you've worked with a mental performance coach before. How has that helped shape who you are as an athlete and as a person?
[00:11:27] Lexi duPont: Yeah, for sure. I was introduced to the most amazing mental coach and she really changed my life last year especially. We've actually been working together for a year, but. So I had gone from this free ride contest scene right when I was in college and then pivoted probably, I think it was like four or five years later into filming.
And so filming is a very different expression. You're going out into remote places. It's just you and a couple other people, like maybe a group of four or five. And it's a very intimate relation with like, The experience, the nature and your small crew. And so I'd been doing that for a long time and I got this call from the Free Ride World tour last year asking if I wanted to have the Wild card on the Free Ride world tour.
And so, and I was like, oh, I thought competitions were out. Like there was no longer in my future. And that call came and I was like, man, I, I just, I would hate to regret saying no, let's give it a. So I was traveling all over Europe last year on the tour, and before stepping into that competition mindset, I reached out to the sports psychologist who works with a lot of my friends and a lot of the people that I admire look up to, and she changed everything for me. A big part of it was, you know, at the very start spending some time and writing down in a journal like what do you want, what do you need, and what do you desire and what are two words that you want to embody throughout the contest season, and so the two words that I picked was abundance and confidence.
You know, I wanted to be able to stand on top of those mountains and like get out of my body a little bit, feel the sun on my face, like all the beautiful people that are around me that I get to experience with all the people that have supported me to get to that moment. Just overwhelming feeling of abundance, appreciating nature.
And then the confidence is like, okay, when we drop in and we're going like, we are unstoppable. I am unstoppable. I am super fierce and I am going to charge down this mountain. And it's interesting because those two words have now been like continue to be my mantra through life. Now that I'm stepping into this, like entrepreneurship, business owners role, abundance and confidence is still my everyday.
And so there's, you know, there's a lot of different things that we can work on. The other one is like somatic release. It's like when we have feelings in our guts of like angst or a fear you have to be able to move it through. You can't just sit there with those feelings. And so you do these really ridiculous exercises where I actually have a pool noodle in my room and I will just beat the crap out of a pillow with this pool noodle.
To like release these feelings of angst and fear. And you only do like five minutes and you feel so good after. So there's a lot of different tools that you can use that really just make you the best you can be. I honestly believe that.
[00:14:18] Stef Strack: I think it's so important to see a mental performance coach or a sports psychologist, or even just a psychologist. Doesn't have to be anything to do with sport. When you take a moment to kind of look inner and like really reflect on like your why and what you're doing here on this earth and why you're doing sports.
It can make a huge impact about how you show up every day. So you talked about confidence and confidence is such an important part of being an athlete and in another interview you talked about the women that you love being so confident that they have love beaming out of them, and it's a love for their life and for the world around them.
It's such a beautiful formulation of confidence. So can you talk a little bit about this with us?
[00:14:59] Lexi duPont: Yeah, I mean, when you have it within yourself, people see it, you know, you don't even have to say it. You have to have that practice for yourself in order to share it with others. And when you have like fully cultivated that practice, like I said, it's like everyone around you feels it and sees it and they're attracted to it and they wanna be closer, they wanna.
Surround themselves with your energy. And, but it's not like, okay, you just get to this point where you're like, I'm confident, abundant, you know, I don't need to work on it anymore. So, you know, you have to practice every day and it's a constant evolution and growth of work. And so like for me, it's my, my daily breath work practice.
It's sitting down for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning and breathing into that confidence and abundance and the gratitude that we have just for being on this planet to be able to have a fresh breath of air and to drink clean water and have food, like we start with the basics of what you're grateful for.
Then everything is uphill. Then you realize you're looking around and you're just like have this radiating smile on your face for just being in that moment, in that day, and then everyone around you sees that and it just perpetuates itself. People then witness you and your happiness and your true truest joy.
And it makes them wanna be happier and joyful and like it turns into this awesome circle of like feeding each other. And yeah. And then surrounding yourself with, with others that are on that same path. You know, I think as women boundaries are really important and sometimes we can get trapped into wanting everyone to like us or to be the best at everything.
And realizing that, you know what? It's all right to not have everyone like you. And having those boundaries, you're not like running yourself dry to be the best on the planet all the time. Like that's not human
[00:16:49] Stef Strack: Well, and it takes a lot of energy out of you if you're out there trying to please everybody, or have everybody like you. I mean, I think that you get to a certain point in your life and you realize that's not what matters. But when you're younger, it does feel like it is what matters. It's hard to get past that and you don't get past that until a little bit later age.
And so we want younger women to have that knowledge now it's easier to say that now that we're older, but like when we were younger, it was a much harder right
[00:17:15] Lexi duPont: Oh, absolutely. I cared like so much about what everyone thought of me, you know, like it consumed me. And, and it was like, now looking back, I'm like, man, that was such a waste of time. If I could only have told myself to just like, let it fall off water off the ducks back, you know, like stand tall in your truth and it would've saved so much time but, you know, we're human. We always, we have to learn the hard way sometimes
[00:17:39] Stef Strack: Well, we're all like a work in progress, right? Like we never stop working on those things. And, and that's why it's so great to have a mental coach or, you know, go see a sports psychologist to start working on those tools where you can really look inner. And so you mentioned, you know, that, that you have a name for your inner chat or that specific voice that embodies your self doubt.
[00:17:59] Lexi duPont: La la Yeah, I mean, I named her. We all have it and, well, I recently heard this quote. It was like, if if I actually talked to my friends, the way I talk to myself, I wouldn't have any friends. You know, and you're looking in the mirror and you're like, Gosh, today you're just looking like immediately your eyes go straight to your stomach.
We all do it, and you're like, man, your stomach's looking a little poochy today. And all your hair's just like you need to go and get it dye. Look at the colors bad, and like your eyes are red. You look tired. Have you ever said that to one of your friends, like. They wouldn't be your friend probably. They'd probably just walk right out the door and be like, wow, that woman is so rude.
So I named her and her name's Lala and Lala. She talks to me sometimes, I mean, every day. I think Lala comes in every day, and my practice is to see her. I mean, I've, I've journaled, I, I've described her perfectly in my journal. And so that when she comes into my head and she's talking to me I know exactly.
Oh, that's Lala. Here she is. She's back again. And, and a lot of times Lala's coming into my head because she's scared. And so I have to like hold her like, Hey, Lala, come here. Let me just give you a big hug, like everything's gonna be okay. Watch this. Let me just show you what I can do. And she sometimes just needs a hug.
A, a way that I describe it as well is like if you're in a lunchroom, right? And the bully walks into the lunchroom and they are just like, they immediately come up and they're like, Ew, your lunch looks so gross. If you just like scoot your booty over for a minute and you go, Hey, do you wanna sit down with us?
Like, why don't you sit down and eat your lunch with us? You immediately take away their power. They're no longer bullying you. They're like, they're either gonna sit down next to you or they're gonna walk away. And, and that's where I, I, I do with Lala with my like evil voice that comes into my head and is so mean to me.
Sometimes I just wanna give her a big hug and ask her to sit down and have a seat and like, Hey, check this out. I got you. Everything's gonna be right.
[00:20:01] Stef Strack: I love it. Where did you get Lala? Where did that come?
[00:20:04] Lexi duPont: La la I think it was kind of like, you know, and I just thought someone when my head was going, LA la la la And then,
[00:20:12] Stef Strack: that tone. With that tone
[00:20:14] Lexi duPont: and then I also was like envisioning some like, like Malibu Barbie from Los Angeles that was like super rude to like everyone around her.
Like my coffee's too cold and like sending her food back all the time and just kind of being a brat. So it's like LA but then it's also that la la la in my head,
[00:20:36] Stef Strack: Got it. I love
[00:20:37] Lexi duPont: no one gets Los Angeles. My, my partner's actually from Los Angeles are like in the area, so I have a lot of friends from there. But you guys know the type, when I just described it.
[00:20:47] Stef Strack: Totally. I love it. I always love to hear the back stories on stuff like that because you know, one of the things you learn when you start to really get into visualization is that you, you have those thoughts, you see it exactly like you said, and then you figure out a way to release it, right? And you can do that through a lot of different techniques.
You can imagine that thought as a cloud and. Cloud disappears. You can, you can do a lot of things and everybody visualizes differently. So I also like Lala because it also seems like it can kind of like dissipate if you, you know, like it could go away,
[00:21:16] Lexi duPont: La la. Bye.
[00:21:19] Stef Strack: See ya. Speaking of going places, your aunt was also the first woman to fly across the Amazon, and then you happen to be in these sports where you're doing a lot of flying yourself, going really fast and you know, flying down mountains. And this has also started to integrate into some of the advocacy work that you do around the environment.
So you work with Protect Our Winters, you're very outspoken about the impacts of climate change and protecting the environment. What is the importance of this work for you and has your family and sort of like the adventurous, you know, history of your family had an impact on that space?
[00:21:58] Lexi duPont: Oh, absolutely. I mean, they're both very connected, the family and the environment. Yeah, I mean for a long time it was uncomfortable for me to talk about my family and now I've really harnessed it as like a power cause I'm kind of flipping the switch. And you know, like my last name's DuPont, my family created some pretty toxic chemicals that did a lot of damage to the environment and.
I think, you know, we, you, we might hear from people where they're like, oh, this, we do this because we've always done, and this is what my family's always done. This is our livelihood. So we're gonna continue to do that. And I think we have an opportunity at any moment to change the story. And for me it's like, Okay, yes, I come from this crazy chemical background, but at the same time, I, I'm, I'm actually talking to you from a passive house that I built in Rebels Stoke.
This house is almost completely autonomous. It's all like water and solar. And. You know, that was a choice that I was able to make, to leave as little impact on the environment while building my home. And then working with Protect our winners. And that's kind of where the store of the Amazon comes in, because my Aunt Alice was the first woman to fly the Amazon in the twenties.
And she was sponsored by PanAm and Life Magazine covered it, and she was delivering an eyeball down the, the Amazon to a biologist and she actually has documents of some of the first footage, video footage and photos of the Amazon from the air in the 1920s. And, and so I mean, that happening, I was like, okay.
Like that is an incredible story. I'm a film ma. We make films with skiing. We're constantly telling stories and I I was in the middle of getting my pilot's license when I heard the story about Alice. My dad gifted me her journal right when I was getting my pilot's license. I was like, well, I gotta make this film.
I gotta redo her flight down the Amazon. So that's actually something I'm working on right now is to redo her flight down the Amazon and tell the story, but this time, you know, we're working to do it in an electric plane. They're, they're making this electric beaver in Vancouver right now. There's some details that I'm like, not of, of liberty to discuss of, of the adventure, but it's all based on this juxtaposition of the environment of Alice's documentation versus what we're seeing now.
Along with, you know, the story I just started with of like the switch of living. With environmental integrity in contrast to what my ancestors were doing before like, don't get me wrong, when I talk to my great aunts about this, they're like, well, you know, DuPont created such amazing things as well.
We wouldn't be where we are today in the medical world and space's exploration without some of their materials and like, yeah, sure, that's a round of applause for that. And. , they also, you know, discontinued some of the chemicals when they realized they were super toxic, which today, in the modern world, we don't see that very often.
But at the same time it's like it's, the name comes with a heavy weight. And I live with nature every single day. It is my livelihood. I mean, even if I wasn't a professional skier, like that is where I derive my life force from, and I wanna do everything possible to protect her. So that's what I'm gonna do.
[00:25:10] Stef Strack: Well, I think it's I think it's really interesting because regardless of like what your family name is and where you came from, everybody has some sort of tie to their family tied to what is sort of expected of them because of their family history or where they grew up. For what their family before them did.
And a lot of us feel the pressure from our family or our parents to do a certain sport or a certain business or that. So did you ever feel that pressure growing up and, and how would you advise other young girls who might feel like the path that their parents are asking them to take is not at all what they're interested in doing?
[00:25:46] Lexi duPont: Mm. Yeah, it's a very interesting question. I was actually touch chatting with my friend last night about this exact, exact subject. I never got like the feeling that my parents wanted me to work in that. Area of the world. They were always very much based on like what brings me happiness and pursuing that.
Also my mom being a pro skewer, she was very proud that I was becoming a skier. My other sisters did not they chose completely my younger sister's a mindfulness or an I doula. And my older sister's a mindfulness teacher, so they went, you know, very much in their own direction. So there wasn't really pressure there, but I find, you know, Yeah, my mom was a prosecutor and she's always trying to tell me like, this is how you should do it.
And a quote that I always remind myself is like, stop shutting all over yourself. you should do this, you should do that. You're like, stop shooting all over me. And having those boundaries again of, Hey, this is actually what brings me happy. This is my path. And yeah, that your parents might feel challenged by that for sure. And you know, They, they definitely wanted me to go to the East Coast college experience.
I gave it a shot. I went to school on the East Coast for a year, and then I was like, I missed the mountains transferred to University of Colorado. But, you know there's guidance that our parents offer that I think is very important. But at the end of the day, like once you're able to discover your why, what turns you onto your truest core, and maybe that has you drift away from the plan, quote unquote, that, that they had for you.
That's okay. You know, we have to, we get to a point in our lives where we have like a separation from our parents. They're no longer that like king and queen like vision that we have when we're younger that like our parents can do no wrong. As you get a little bit older, it's hard. It's like, it's a hard growing process.
I'm now in my thirties and I'm trying to discover how to like separate from my parents. So when you're even younger, you know, you're like in your late teens, early twenties. It can be really challenging to do at that point.
[00:27:48] Stef Strack: Yeah. What, what advice do you have for young girls that might like, you know, maybe they're just not finding the words, to have a conversation with their parents about what it is they really wanna do.
[00:27:58] Lexi duPont: Do you start the conversation? I mean, I heard once that I had a friend that actually had to give a PowerPoint presentation to her dad about like what her life was going to look like and how she was gonna get there because he really wanted her to go to law school and she was like, no, I wanna be an artist.
And so she put together this presentation cuz that was the language that he spoke, you know, that's what really resonated with him. And it worked. But I think at the end of the day, our parents wanna see us happy, every single parent on this planet wants to see you healthy and happy. And if your dreams and aspirations and goals take you on that path, and maybe it's different from the, the idea they had for you, that's okay.
And I think if you sit down and you speak from the heart, understanding their language too, maybe it's writing them a letter, maybe it's, you know, having a one-on-one conversation. I, I, I know for certain, like texting them that you're gonna go down a different path or like, that's not gonna work.
[00:28:54] Stef Strack: S
[00:28:54] Lexi duPont: And, and they'll see it.
They'll see it come from your heart. If you speak from your heart, like it's obvious, it will be obvious to them. And then they'll support you. They will,
[00:29:04] Stef Strack: I love it. I love that. Well, you know, we have a lot of athletes here at vis both vis athletes, vis mentors, creators that are part of protect our winters like you are. We have Colleen Quigley Zoia Bullock. We have amazing women that are part of it. What do you feel like are athletes the role of the athlete when it comes to environmental advocacy and what would you, you know, inspire other listeners today to really get involved with when it comes to protecting our environment?
[00:29:34] Lexi duPont: Yeah, I mean, I think especially winter sports athletes have a really unique perspective on climate change. We just we're seeing it like real time. I remember my biology teacher in high school was telling me that this was gonna happen, you know, in my, my children's lifetime. And here we are. You know, 10, 15 years later and we're seeing it.
So I think telling those stories for protect our winners. You know, I, I went up to Svalbard Norway when I was younger on this ski expedition where as far north as you can ski as close to the North Pole as possible. And at the end of our trip, like the snow was melting and we could barely get out of there on snowmobiles.
And you're seeing weather patterns changing the ski resorts. Some aren't opening, some are closing early, opening later. They're all making manmade snow, just crazy like temperature fluctuations. But we're seeing it real time cuz we're in nature every day. And so I think sharing those stories with people, showing them the photos like from year to year.
Can be really inspiring and, and it has a dramatic impact for sure. And I think, you know, it can be a really overwhelming subject, get trapped, trapped in this sometimes of like, how, how can one person make a difference? And, and that can feel really heavy sometimes. But that's where with protector winners, we go to Washington DC and we're having conversations with lawmakers about different regulations that should be put in place.
We're telling our story to everyone we talk to if they express interest and. Yeah, I think you just gotta keep doing that. And then you're, you, if you can change your small community, I mean, here's an example here in Revels Stoke, we just had one of our friends put signs all over town saying to stop using plastic straws, and then all of a sudden they're outlawed in the town of Revels Stoke, you know, a month later.
So there is changes that you can make within your community and then that spans out into the larger community, beyond it, and then, then around the world.
[00:31:29] Stef Strack: I love that. Yeah, cuz it can, it can certainly feel overwhelming when you get into advocacy. We, we have created the VIS advocate program at the foundation, and once young girls learn their rights, we're focusing on Title ix. So it's about, you know, discrimination at public institutions. So once they know their rights, it's amazing to see then like that, you can just take one or two things, one or two steps, write a letter, , evaluate your school. You know, there's, there's simple Ask a question right there is advocating because you're getting people informed and involved. So, I love that you're, you're part of that organization, but I also think what you're doing, Filmmaking and storytelling is like a huge way to advocate for the things you're passionate about.
So I wanna pivot a little bit to like your future now, cuz you're kind of, you know, you're moving out of like the stepping away from that competition and transitioning into filmmaking, being an entrepreneur, doing some really incredible things. But I'm sure at the, at the heart of it is still a lot of your, your why and like getting after what matters for you.
So talk to me a little bit. The process of filmmaking, why is that important for like the skiing community and what do you wanna do? What, what stories do you feel like are untold that really need to get out there?
[00:32:44] Lexi duPont: Yeah, great question, Steph. I mean, I've, I've been making ski films for 14 years, believe it or not. It's been a, it's been a long journey. I learned so much with each film I make. And the stories, they, they deepen, they change. A lot of it has been based around climate. For sure. And now I feel like it's kind of pivoting into this like female empowerment role.
Cause for years, you know, we just accepted the fact that we'd be one girl with all the guys, you know, this, this tokenism that was happening. And it wasn't until. A few years ago I was in Alaska with my friend Michelle Parker and Tatum Ode, and it was the first time all three of us had ridden big mountain lines with a female crew, and we all came back from that experience just with a whole nother appreciation for what we, we were able to push ourselves so much more because we no longer had the excuse of like, okay, he's a guy, he can do it.
If we watch one of the others like ski this super erratic line, it was like, oh, alright, well we. Stand up to rise to the occasion and do it just as badass as she just did. And and so from there that kind of like grew into this future, this project that I've been working on right now. I, I guess from filming then going onto the Free Ride World tour and realizing again, like, okay, there's, we can maybe pivot this a little bit, we could adjust this.
I was also a digger at Formation, which is an all woman's bike event down at Rampage in Utah. And it, it was so cool. So I was down there with like pick ax and shovel building these big jump lines outta dirt for these mountain bike girls and watching them progress within a week because they had the support of other females pushing them.
It was so incredible to witness. So me and my three other business partners have now come up with this crazy plan. It's called the Sister Summit. It's the first all woman ski and snowboard contest. We have 10 skiers, 10 snowboarders, and then we have a. Eight woman media crew.
So all the people behind the lens are female. And then we have all female guide team, all the cat drivers. It's in a remote lodge here in Canada. All the cat drivers are women. We have a female chef and then we we're adding this other little kind of. Funky spin on things is this special guest series.
So in the evening after we're done writing, we're talking on different topics. You know, being a pro skier IT athlete in generally general is not just about physical ability. You know, it's about creating your own brand. It's about mindset, it's about health, it's about entrepreneurship. And so each night, you know, we're gonna be covering topics from climate change to anti-racism and diversity to snow safety and avalanche.
Entrepreneurship and some of the names that we have coming in, you know, we're kind of cross-pollinating between different sports to learn from, you know, the women that came before us. We have Gabby Reese, who's professional Olympic volleyball player.
[00:35:42] Stef Strack: She's also been on the Voice and Sport podcast,
[00:35:45] Lexi duPont: Yes. Oh, great.
[00:35:47] Stef Strack: She's
[00:35:47] Lexi duPont: And we've got Gabby's coming.
We have Julianne Huff, who's a dancer singer. She just finished her first Broadway show. She's just a killer entrepreneur. Yeah. And we have meditation and breath work and yoga. It's, it's gonna be incredible. We're so fired up on it. I spent, like I was saying before, like I wish I had given myself or given ourselves a year to do this, but we decided to give ourselves five.
And it's been a, it's been a grind of a summer, but like the finish line is with insight. And so that's kind of like, it's kind, it's accumulation of all of my life experiences to this point. What has worked, what hasn't, what do I crave? What am I thirsty for, and what do we want to offer to that next generation?
And speaking to that, we, we did a rookie. So we had all these young girls submit Instagram reels of themselves skiing and snowboarding and shooting media, and we had a vote and we picked one skier, one snowboarder, and one filmer photographer. And we're sponsoring them to come to the event so they can learn from, you know, the, the older gals or the more established athletes.
But yeah, we'll let you know how it ends up, how it goes. But this is year one. It's been so cool even to see like women from other sports reaching out saying that they would love something similar. And it's, it's just to strengthen our community. And I think this is gonna actually really shake up the winter sports industry in the best way possible.
[00:37:09] Stef Strack: I love that. I think it's so amazing, and it sounds like you have some incredible women coming and talking about some really, really important topics. And so what do you hope at the end of the day? You will see a bigger, more systemic change across you know, the world of skiing. Like what are, what are those issues that you're hoping to really like unravel, unpack, and, and get after?
[00:37:33] Lexi duPont: Yeah, I think you know, each female knowing their value and what they offer to the, to the industry, to the world, to their friends and family. Being able to communicate their value, I think is a really important asset for all women, and like standing with integrity behind it and not feeling like you're gonna be pushed around into different directions.
That's a really big one. I also like, I'm hoping all of these women leaving the sister summit leave with like 20 new friends that they want to go into the mountains with all the time. And that their eyes are open to the fact that there's a lot of women in this space that are absolutely crushing it.
And when we collaborate together, we're our strongest selves. You know, everything is easier and better when you have a team to support you and who you support. We can't do it on our own.
[00:38:22] Stef Strack: Absolutely. I love that. It's so important, especially I feel like in skiing because as a young ski racer myself, I was like, I felt really alone. As a young woman racer, it's why I dropped out. All my coaches were men. I even had like a super amazing dad who was an Olympic ski racer, and I just still felt alone.
So I think building a community, like what you're doing with this event and what we're doing at Vis like that, that's the goal, right? Is to create these spaces where women can connect and help each other, lift each other up, right? Not tear each other down. . And it's hard sometimes in, in those industries where there's just not enough women.
So I think what you're doing is incredible. I'm like really excited to see also the content that comes out of it, because. I love, like our vis creator program at Voice and Sport is all women content creators. Um, we have a new class come in every six months and they're incredible. We need way more women in filmmaking and in the sports journalism industry.
90% of sports journalists are men. So we're working really hard with our creator program to, educate and get these women more experience so that they feel confident to go take these jobs and get in the industry. So I'm excited to see the content that comes out
[00:39:41] Lexi duPont: Oh, absolutely. And to see like, oh, I'm so excited for the collaboration that will happen between the media team as well. It's funny when you talk to like the male filmers and photographers, they're like, good luck finding that many girls that are willing to like carry a heavy backpack in snow drifts.
And they start looking and you're like, actually there's a lot of them and they're all super talented.
[00:40:02] Stef Strack: Yeah, you just have to have the desire and will to go look for them. And I think that's part of, you know, part of even building voice and sport. When I was creating the vis expert pool, right, of experts of sport, psychology and nutrition I had to go search for these women. It was really easy to find the famous, like sports psychologists that were men.
They were all over the place, . But finding the women, I always had to dig, you know, and it shouldn't be like that. That, you know, that's why we named the company Vis, is to bring more visibility to more women and that includes the industry of sports psychology and nutrition. So those, you know, all of those things so many industries just need to kind of continue to uplift women.
So I'm excited to see where you go next with all the things you have going on and it sounds like the summit's gonna be amazing, so,
[00:40:51] Lexi duPont: Yeah, we're so excited about it and I think it's gone even bigger than we even imagined. You know, like as things grow and evolve and it's, we're just all very proud of it and it hasn't even happened yet, so we'll let you know. We'll report back
[00:41:04] Stef Strack: Amazing. Well, as you think about, you know, these young girls that are gonna be coming up behind you, what is, at the end of the day, reflecting back on your experience, what is one single piece of advice that you would tell a younger girl in sport today?
[00:41:20] Lexi duPont: Mm. I love this question. One single piece of advice. I think it's yeah. Like having fun is the most important part. And that comes along with like not taking ourselves too seriously. You know, there's a difference between like drive and taking it way too seriously where you lose the fun. I also would say like, Starting that relationship with your gut instinct at a young age is going to help you big time.
It's really easy for us to get trapped in our, our hearts and our head. They're really loud voices, but when we can really tune in to our guts and our wombs, that's where the answer, she's always right. She's always gonna be right. And it's taken me a long time to be able to hear her, and I would just give every woman the advice to start listening sooner.
[00:42:13] Stef Strack: And let's not forget, we're not talking about Lala here, so don't listen to Lala
[00:42:17] Lexi duPont: a good voice. The good voice Lala, she's like, she's on the shoulder somewhere. She's like the evil shoulder fairy
[00:42:25] Stef Strack: I love it. Okay. And what's one thing that you wanna see change for the future of women's sports?
[00:42:30] Lexi duPont: How, one thing, I just wanna see more women in the sports and I'd love to see them get paid the same as the guys like Equal Pay for Women in Sport should have happened a long time ago, and we're gonna continue working on it for everyone. But that's, that's just baseline.
[00:42:46] Stef Strack: is it equal in ski?
How far off do you feel like it is? You know, there's a few, there's a few pockets within the sports industry where we are seeing equality. Right. It's starting, there's some tennis, tennis championships and final matches. It's happening in the World surf League. They decided to pay right, the same, the prize money the same.
So what, where would you say it's for, for skiing? Where is it in this
[00:43:11] Lexi duPont: Yeah, skiing, we have prize money is the same, which is exciting. That was a big step for Ride World tour. But for like sponsorships, it's probably half or less than the guys. And. We'd love to see that change. You know, , the men shouldn't be, you know, the girls are just getting some product and the guys are getting cash and they're able to support and have a livelihood off of it.
And the women have multiple jobs. I mean, there are some men, I mean, not all of the men are fully able to live off of their salaries. It's definitely a small few within the winter sports industry. But I just think the women still have a long way to.
[00:43:51] Stef Strack: I'm still waiting for the brand, the, in the sports industry that's gonna come and be fully transparent across the sponsorship dollars, how much they're paying the men versus the women. I think it would be incredible if a brand, you know, took a position to actually share that, because at the end of the day, it's hard to know, right?
I, I talked to so many athletes, I'm like, well, do you talk to the men? Like, do you ask 'em, ask 'em how much are they getting? Like start the conversation so that you at least know where the baseline.
[00:44:17] Lexi duPont: Absolutely, and that's another conversation I was having last night as well, is like, don't be scared to ask. You discover what your value is and what you, you quantify what you're offering to a brand or a sponsorship what your value is, and then you ask for it. A lot of times I think women ask for less, or they're like, they cut it down a little bit, but negotiation is like, shoot high and they come back down.
But if you only value yourself at a lower, you know, lower price point, then how is the company ever going to like, tell you that you deserve more? That that just doesn't happen.
[00:44:51] Stef Strack: That's right. Learned that lesson. I learned that lesson at, at, you know, being in corporate America for so long. So I think it's so important to ask and it's absolutely been pleasure today to get to know you, Lexi, and we're so excited to see what you're gonna do in the next couple years. So you have a ton of support here from voice and sport anytime you need it.
[00:45:11] Lexi duPont: Oh, thank you so much Steph, and thanks everyone for listening. It was a pleasure to join you this afternoon. Thank you.
[00:45:16] Stef Strack: this week's episode was produced and edited by lead producer and vis creator Zosia Bulhak, a tracking cross country athlete from the University of Houston. Lexi is such an incredible advocate for nature and teaches us the importance of prioritizing our mental health by being outside and in nature.
Lexi's journey with her mental performance coach highlights how beneficial it can be to learn to let go. She also shares such a beautiful way of looking at confidence as a love for life for yourself and for the people around you that radiates out. I am so excited to see the growth of Sister Summit and to see the community of winter sport women athletes growing. We are so grateful to have Lexi on the podcast. So if you like this conversation with Lexi, please leave us a rating and review on Apple and Spotify.
Just scroll down to the bottom of the Voice and Sport podcast page on Apple and Spotify app, and click leave a review. Also, please click on the share button in this episode and send it to another athlete that you think might enjoy our conversation. You can follow Lexi on Instagram at Lexi DuPont. If you're logged into the voice and fort platform.
Head to the feed and check out. About the women who are blazing new trails at the 2022 World Cup.
Take a look at the sessions page and search for your favorite athlete, and sign up for one of the free or paid mentoring sessions with our 200 plus vis mentors and 80 vis experts. And if you're interested in other amazing winter sport athletes, tune into episode number 76 where I talk to Haley Swall about reframing what motivates you.
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