Rachel Platten: On How To Break Through


takeaways from this episode:

  • The incredible determination that it took for Rachel to get from living room concerts to Hillary Clinton's campaign stage.
  • The ups and downs and years of revisions that it took for her to wind up at a hit song.
  • Even after achieving fame, the value and sense of home she finds in living room concerts and connecting intimately with fans.

Last weekend, I ran a Spartan obstacle race at the home of the Dallas Cowboys.

There were eight-foot walls and 20-foot ropes to climb, weighted bags to hoist, as well as barbed wire to crawl under, and a lot of steps -- a LOT of steps.

Cal at Stadium

The most poignant moment for me came while watching a bulky guy climb a rope. He strained with all his might to get up, and I couldn’t tell if he’d be able to make it.

You have to ring a bell at the top to complete the obstacle, and finally he got close enough to wave at it with one hand while clinging to the rope with the other . . . but he narrowly missed.

None of us below him could tell if he had anything left in the tank to reach the bell. As he hung on the rope about 18 feet above ground, it was as if time had stopped . . . and I found myself screaming like a crazed fan at an NFL game.

I can’t tell you why I was so filled with happiness when he summoned the reserves to boost himself up one more length and ring that bell.

Maybe it was because I sensed that something deep was going on.

And I was right. After the race, I ran into him, and he told me he was going to be laid off from his job in a couple of days. The rope had become to him a symbol of how he was going to deal with the situation.

Rachel Platten and Cal Fussman.jpg

It’s moments like these that always remind me of Fight Song.

You’ve probably heard Rachel Platten’s hit. It climbed the charts all over the world, and millions and millions of people have thrown their fists in the air while listening to it.

This week’s episode of Big Questions is all about the 15-year-struggle it took Rachel to break through with that song. It’s an incredible story of her own journey up her own rope. Our conversation was taped at the Life Is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas last year, but the message is eternal.

If anyone you know feels like they’re at the end of their rope, pass along the song and this podcast to them.

It just may help them get to where they need to go.



Kevin HekmatComment