___________________ is Life. (Fill-in-the-blank)


As you read this, I will be climbing a mountain on my backcountry skis in Grand Teton National Park. It has become one of my favorite places to ski. The grandeur of those mountains in the winter is something to behold. But don’t get me wrong: It’s not a relaxing vacation. The dangers of backcountry ski travel loom large on your consciousness and make for restless nights. There are endless reviews of the avalanche forecasts & maps, and heated discussions about the best aspects & locations to climb and ski. I’m almost always relieved when I’m heading back home unscathed.

I almost didn’t go on this guy’s trip (otherwise known in the ski industry as “Manuary”), because of the economic headwinds our company has been experiencing. Save the money, focus on the business — that’s been my mantra lately. Yet, as I was Nordic skiing just before the holidays, my inner monologue turned into a  back-and-forth dialogue around the pros and cons of taking the trip.. The adventure voice ultimately won out because skiing is my life. I’m not being glib, either. For me, gliding on snow aboard any type of ski is a feeling I simply can’t live without. But that’s not all…

Skiing opened doors for me, allowed me to see the world, and gave me the confidence and humility to do what I do now. It’s way more than the excitement and endorphins you feel while doing it. There’s a solo, monk-type introspection when Nordic skiing or in the zone climbing up mountains — as well as the woot-hollering camaraderie as you nail the line with your friends. There is a flow state that is tough to find elsewhere in your life. In short you get to live life at its fullest. 

Four skiers glide over a mountain scape.

My biggest fear for my kids when they were young was them not finding their passion in life. The thing that gives their life meaning. Finding that cornerstone in life for yourself is, quite simply, the point of life itself. (I’m happy to report that they did find their passion and can fill in the blank in the title above).

Finding that thing that recharges you, that renews your spirit, is not only essential, it IS your life. All the important responsible stuff like the job, kids, home, family, and friends all benefit from you carving out the time and budget to get after your passion. It’s what makes you you. Don’t put it off. Make the “fill-in-the-blank” thing in your life a priority and don’t look back. The rest of your life will thank you.

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Ciera is a born-and-raised Duluthian who recently graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh. When she isn’t designing the Salmela website or sending emails, she doubles as an actress! With over 15 years of acting experience, Ciera brings her creative artistry and understanding of people to her work at Salmela.

Madison is a marketing maven with a mastery of magnificent messaging. She brightens every room with her positive attitude and joins Salmela to explore the digital corners on every search. If you’re having a first conversation with one of us, Madison is probably the reason why!

Ryan is an Emmy-award winning news producer with a strong history in the performing arts. Funny and outgoing, he’ll meet you with a journalist’s curiosity and actor’s joie de vivre.

Meghan brings her previous advertising agency experience to Salmela. She is a natural-born conversationalist and delights in every interaction with candidates and clients alike. Meghan can find something in common or a shared interest with just about anyone. (No really, it’s AMAZING.) She is also a foodie, loves cooking, and is always looking for the next opportunity to try an adventurous recipe.

Kate joins Salmela after a decade of non-profit arts leadership, where she shared her passion for building community, education, inclusiveness, and arts access. Her superpower is helping professionals identify their strengths and set them on a course for greater success. After work, she can be found reading Shakespeare, doing yoga, or prepping the next generation of theatre stars for college.

Cory spends his day advising senior leaders on talent acquisition strategy. He is happiest on his bike, skis, or helping his daughters rehearse lines. He began his career as a National Team Coach for the U.S. Ski Biathlon Team, followed by experience in pharma sales. In 2005, he founded Salmela. Today, Salmela places leaders across the healthcare industry. Salmela is the go-to vendor across marcomm disciplines in healthcare and beyond.

Chief Financial Officer, Olympian, and Health Coach, what can’t she do? When Kara is not managing the Salmela Financials, she spends her days educating and supporting people as a health coach. If that wasn’t cool enough, she also competed as an American biathlete at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics.

Megan focuses on individual career wellness and team development for the healthcare advertising industry. As a natural networker, and with a career background in health/wellness and international corporate project management, Megan has the experience necessary to understand your needs. She enjoys being outside with her family, volunteering in the community, trail running and practicing yoga.

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