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Watch Lucy Sackbauer Talk Pro Skiing and Nursing

The following is an athelte profile by Arc'teryx of the extreme backcountry skier

If the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, then Lucy is pure mitochondria. Beyond being an Arc’teryx athlete, Lucy is an Emergency Room nurse in Sun Valley, Idaho. She has struck a balance that seems impossible, one that tests her limits both physically and mentallly. Seeming to comfortably exist in a cyclical adrenaline rush; Lucy finds joy in the reset that both elements of her life provide her.

Lucy didn’t necessarily set out to be a pro-skier, and is a little too aware that she doesn’t fit the mold; the duality of her professional life is the product of her need to be outside. In early March 2020 Lucy was travelling in Canada and filming for her segment in Matchstick Productions’ Huck Yeah! – the momentum behind her ski career was undeniable. Then the world shut down. Lucy switched out her buff for an N-95 and headed for the frontlines of the fight against COVID. As cases soared and Sun Valley became a viral epicenter with the highest per capita infection rate in the nation, Lucy had to find her “proverbial ground” – a way to stay sane, and cope with the urgency, anxiety, and tragedy that confronted her daily.

She found it in the same place she always has – the mountains. The release she finds there allows her to better care for her patients, to practice empathy, and to gain perspective. Lucy’s story is a reminder that living a fulfilling life is impossible without caring for yourself, and that caring for yourself is equally impossible without prioritizing the care of and respect for others.

Lucy Sackbauer