“It doesn’t matter how long it takes, as long as you make it to the top.”
This quote, given to me by one of the local South African taxi cab driver, kept running through my head with every excruciating step I took up that mountain. My legs were shaking. My feet in severe pain. I felt like every muscle in my body had given out. Although, out of shape with no previous hiking experience, I made the crazy decision to hike up Table Top Mountain, one of Africa’s 7 wonders. “What did I get myself into?” is the question I asked myself every few steps. There were moments when I contemplated going back down, but the further I climbed, going back down no longer became an option. I got the frequent “good job,” and “you’re almost there,” from fellow hikers passing me by. To be honest, these words of affirmation kept me going.
“Each step I took relieved me of self-doubt. Each step up that mountain filled me with self confidence that wasn’t quite there before.”
A 2-hour hike up turned into 5 hours for me, but regardless of how long it took, I was determined to finish. When I say I’m going to do something, I do it. This just happened to be one of those things I decided to do 24 hours prior. Unprepared is an understatement, but spare of the moment journeys make for great stories.
The feeling I felt when I finally reached the top outweighed any pain I felt during my hike. I felt I had reached the top of the world. Within the same breath, a bit of devastation kicked in. A huge rain cloud covered the entire top of the mountain. The weather changed rapidly. It became extremely windy and cold. Weather was quite strange in Cape Town. I learned the hard way that Cape Town often experienced all 4 seasons in one day. Being wet from the rain cloud didn’t help a bit with my joyfulness for making it to the top. Now what? I’ve gone through 5 hours of torture just to make it to the top of the mountain and not be able to take pictures and record my victory due to bad weather. I began to be angry with myself. If only I had climbed the mountain faster without taking so many breaks. If only I had been in better shape. I had to pause and take a deep breath. I realized the devil was trying to turn a moment of celebration into a moment of disparity. I quickly shook those downplaying thoughts out of my head and smiled to myself. The joy I felt in my heart was worth the struggle it took me to make it all the way up that mountain. I made it. I made it to the top and all I could do was thank God for every little bit of energy he gave me. I’ve accomplished a goal and overcame an obstacle that was in my odds.
I learned something from Table top mountain. I now had a new found trust in myself to successfully accomplish anything I set my mind on. So many times we limit ourselves to doing certain things in life simply by our thoughts and words.
“The power of thoughts and words can be so debilitating and you’d be surprise how easily we trick ourselves out of dreams and goals.”
I was praised by many people for climbing that mountain. When people asked me did I hike up the mountain and I gave them my answer, I could see a sense of admiration in their eyes. I must admit, the bragging rights I now have is pretty cool, but more importantly, I challenge you to go outside of your comfort zone and do something you never would have imagined. One more item checked off my bucket list before I turn 30!
Live happy and inspired!