There’s a reason workout montages in movies are so inspiring, and it’s not just the perfectly-placed sweat: it’s a well-chosen “pump you up” song.
Everyone has a different tune that helps her push through those moments when it feels like she’s hit a wall. If you’re still searching for some playlist inspiration for your training and/or trek, Thomson staffers relied on the musical stylings of:
Survivor – “Eye of the Tiger” (Paul)
Admit it: just reading that title, you already have the song stuck in your head, right? On the climb up to Stella Point, cold, tired, and just about ready to give up and head back to camp, it snuck into Paul’s head, too. And stayed there. Though he admits it’s “very cheesy” to use the Rocky III theme as a motivator, Paul says he “credits [his] achievement at least in part to the song’s annoying catchiness.”
He was very sick of the song by the time he reached the top, but it did get him back on his feet, “just a man and his will to survive…”
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – “Up from Below” (Rachel)
Rachel didn’t have just one song that she used to motivate herself when training got tough, she had an entire album (that’s one way to avoid Paul’s problem)!
Rachel says the music was a fantastic boost to her spirits before the trip, “light, fun, and up-beat—a great reminder not to get too bogged down when things got hard.”
For Rachel, this was “happy music to keep me happy when the going gets tough,” something every Kili trekker will need at some point or another!
Eminem – “Till I Collapse” (Michael)
The opening lines of Michael’s favorite trekking song are pretty inspiring: “sometimes you just feel tired/Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up./But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength/And just pull that **** out of you and get that motivation to not give up/And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.”
It may sound like a motivational speech, but it’s actually straight out of Eminem’s rap hit, which had an added bonus: “the powerful beat and rhythm kept me pumped up and motivated on the hardest parts of my Kili trek,” Michael says.
Best of all, it “continues to motivate [him] on long runs!”
Queen – “We Are the Champions” (Amy)
Queen are the kings of the power ballad, and few songs—by Queen or anyone else—are as openly inspirational as “We Are the Champions.” That’s why Amy uses that song, or “really anything by Queen,” to keep her going up the mountain.
The best part? “We Are the Champions” is just begging for a group sing-along!
Lady Gaga – “Poker Face” (Katie)
Katie’s second trek up Kili was with MTV’s “Summit on the Summit” charity climb for the global clean water crisis, so it only makes sense that her inspiration came from a very MTV-ready song. During training, Katie “saved the song for the last five minutes of each workout,” then on Kili, she “replayed it in [her] head over and over again to make myself stop thinking and just walk.”
Katie said her summit bid—which was completed in 3 hours, instead of the usual 8, because of MTV’s involvement—was intense, but having an intense mental soundtrack helped her reach the top!