Table Mountain in all its spring glory patiently waited for us to arrive for our 7am reservation, but it proved too early. Luckily for us, the weather was moderate and a later start suited us just fine. The immediate ascent on the trail made us grimace in regret as we confessed about the compromised fitness over winter. The mountain has a very visceral way of reminding you of the vices which you harbour and how important it is to check yourself on them. Whether it is smoking, a bad diet, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, heavy drinking the night before or even negative thoughts, you can be sure that the mountain is not a “Yes Man” and will call you out on the areas of your life where you are falling short. The beauty of hiking together is that you are not alone, everyone has their individual struggles yet we can all empathise with each other and encourage each other to keep moving forward and become better.
The experience of hiking the same trail is never the same because time passes and this is a great measure of how far you have come. It forces your mind to evaluate the progress made and perhaps how much you want to improve in the future. For Bantu Hikers, Table Mountain reminds us to be persistent and consistent. The number of people we have led on this trail has fluctuated greatly from 3 to over 40 people (when the hike took place on the bus) due to bad weather. For the past 4 years we have presented ourselves for the reservation, no matter the weather.
On this particular hike it was highlighted how important it is as a platform to “show up” and hike anyway regardless of the turnout. Songo had this reflection:
“Yesterday, I summitted this big beautiful mountain in less than 2.5hours thanks to mental fitness. It was not easy at all but with each step I thought about the last 4 years and the personal challenges I faced whilst building a business from a “fit” idea. The journey is windy, hilly, long, tiresome, clunky but yet so beautiful. I took regular breaks when I needed but executed in the end. The best part I was never alone. I had my hiking team cheering me on as we were all in it together… Every step of the way”
Yomi also shared that hiking in a group helped her to reach the summit, if she was alone she may have decided to turn back midway.
Hiking in a small group pushed us to keep in tune with each other, push each other when we needed to set a good pace, support each other when the going became unbearable and celebrate each other for the small wins. We made it to the top still smiling and laughing. Rewarded ourselves with small treats and took a moment to walk barefoot…
The Table Mountain Cable way is celebrating their 90 year anniversary. Such a milestone can only be achieved with persistence and consistency! We hope that Bantu Hikers continues to occupy spaces for 90 more years and beyond.
Note: Table Mountain is running a 90 years anniversary special. R90 return cable car ticket for all South Africans during the month of October. This is the perfect time to occupy spaces!