We had the good fortune of connecting with McKenna Rieger and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi McKenna, what makes you happy? Why?
Spending time in nature makes me the most happy. Whether it’s a stroll through the dog park with my two dogs or skiing at 11,000 ft., I’m noticeably in a better mood afterwards. Researchers have found that spending time outside lowers blood pressure, reduces the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline, reduces feelings of anxiety and depression, and can even help improve focus. Prior to living in a mountain town, I didn’t find myself outdoors much and never embraced the simplicity of it. Now, being outdoors is my favorite thing to do and I make sure to get fresh air every day.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve worked in marketing for the last 4 years, mostly on organic social media and public relations, but recently moved to paid social advertising for Traeger Grills in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s not easy finding work after college or switching paths, but I’ve learned it is so important to be open to learning and advice from others, always be kind, and to absorb as much as you can.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to do in Salt Lake, that it’s hard to pick just a few things! For my friends or family, I would show them some of the things I like to do in the area, which is mostly outdoor activities. I’ll pick the winter for this itinerary; I would start Friday with a fun day of exploring Historic Park City. We’d walk around the shops, eat brunch at the Eating Establishment, get coffee at the Pink Elephant and dinner at 501 on Main. On Saturday, we’d ski Deer Valley Resort, grab lunch at the Silver Lake Lodge (their chili is to die for), and finish the night by driving to Midway, Utah for the Cafe Galleria Alpenglobes for dinner. Finally, on Sunday, we’d drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon for breakfast at Silver Fork Lodge, ski Brighton Resort, have lunch at Molly Green’s on mountain, and wrap up the night at Eight Settlers Distillery for dinner and incredible cocktails.
There’s so much to do and see, it’s tough to narrow it down!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would never be where I am today if it weren’t for my husband, Nick. He introduced me to the outdoor community years ago when we first met and I am forever grateful. I spend all of my free time in nature and have been dedicating my social media platforms to it. As for inspiration and encouragement online, some of the many “social media friends” that I’ve made have helped tremendously – those include Sammy Olsen, Milan Norling, Haley Hosea, Megan Lynch, and so many more! I’ve learned so much from these amazing women, both in the activities themselves or in growing my online community.