A piece of trivia you may not know about my husband (AKA Showit CEO Todd Watson) is that he is something of a thrill seeker. His version of that has less to do with the adrenaline rush and more to do with the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge. He has run two marathons, one after training hard and one on a whim. He has run multiple half-marathons, a sprint triathlon, Ragnars, Tough Mudders and Spartans. Several years ago he did a rim-to-rim at the Grand Canyon — a distance of 23 miles and over 10,000 feet total elevation change from the north rim to the south, all in one day, with near-freezing temperatures to start and blasting sun and heat by midday. It’s grueling, and the next day he could barely move. We lived in a two-story house at the time and we laughed as he stood at the top of the stairs for several minutes that morning, this big strong Grand Canyon-hiking man, debating whether he would actually be able to make it down fourteen steps. I was certain that was one item checked off his bucket list, never to be visited again.
Silly me. A couple years later, he was presented with the opportunity to do a rim-to-rim-to-rim. You read that right. TWO days, 46 miles, over 20,000 feet total elevation change, the same freezing-to-blazing temperatures, with a short night’s sleep the only rest he’d get. I reminded him that when he was standing at the top of our stairs the morning after the rim-to-rim wondering if he could accomplish the twelve foot altitude change to our bottom floor, he was NOT thinking how much he wished he was hiking back into the canyon again. “I just want to see if I can do it, though,” he told me. There was the option to tap out after the first day, and some of the people going with him were planning to do one day only. He assured me that if he felt too crummy he would join them.
At the end of the first day, he DID feel too crummy, and in a weary voice over the phone he told me he was planning not to go back in the next day. Knowing Todd to never be one to give up on a challenge, I didn’t feel all that surprised when I woke up to a cheerful text the next morning stating that he’d had a change of heart, that he was headed back in, and that he was excited for the challenge ahead. It was a rough, rough day, but he did it and he’s glad he did it and because it didn’t kill him, I’m glad he did it too!
My small contributions to his success were texts of encouragement and prayers for his safety and endurance. He had also asked me to make a playlist for him to listen to, and while I don’t share his love of endurance challenges (I’ve had four babies, three of them naturally, so for now I’ve had endurance challenges aplenty!), I DO love music of all sorts, and I love finding the right music to fit the situation, so making a rim-to-rim-to-rim playlist was super fun for me. I filled the list with songs I find energizing and motivating, as well as songs he loves (mostly 90’s pop-rock, another piece of trivia you may not know about him!). It’s funny what stands out to us about the music we’re listening to depending on the situation. One of his favorites during that hike was Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls) by Foster the People. It’s a song he may not have paid any attention to otherwise, but the repetitive “don’t stop” of the chorus, combined with a beat that was just the right tempo, really kept him going.
That’s the thing about music — sometimes the title inspires us, sometimes the lyrics do, often it’s a beat that’s just right, and usually it’s a combination of all those things. Music is powerful and evocative, not just for relaxation or exercise but for working as well. Studies show that music is a great way to boost productivity by improving output and decreasing the time required to complete certain tasks. That sounds fancy and technical, but the point is, listening to music can make your work better! This is especially true for creatives, and if you’re using Showit 5 we know that’s you.
Around here, Showit 5 is our jam. It’s what we eat, sleep and breathe, and it’s been an exciting process getting it to launch. Part of that process has been making sure our workplace is an atmosphere that’s conducive to creativity, and one way we’ve done that is by listening to music. If Showit 5 is your jam too, then here are some musical jams to get you motivated and keep those creative juices flowing while you design!
Some of these songs are the ones Todd listened to while he crossed the canyon. Some of them are ones our support pros listen to while they answer your questions. Some of them are classical pieces universally acknowledged for their ability to boost brain power. And many are my favorites, the eclectic mix that resonates with me as I move through the various tasks of my day. On one list you’ll find fast and loud songs to keep you alert, and slow and pretty songs to make you think beautiful thoughts. One list is all classical. When listened to start-to-finish, both lists will take you through a couple hours of whatever work you find yourself doing. We hope you find some things you enjoy while you listen!
So grab your coffee or tea or lemon water, do some neck and shoulder stretches, turn on the music, and create something awesome! And please share what music YOU find especially motivating!
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