Determination makes up for lack of fitness when hiking Table Mountain – 13 August 2014

Determination makes up for a lot of things in life, and it does so for lack of fitness when it comes to Table Mountain hiking. If you’re unfit, you need to realize that hiking up Table Mountain is going to require more time, effort and mental stamina, or determination. If you are bent on hiking up and you are prepared to get tired and take strain, then you shouldn’t allow a lack of fitness to put you off. Resign yourself to the fact that the way up won’t be as pleasant, but the sense of achievement on reaching the top will make it all worthwhile. Table Mountain hikes that require scrambling are usually less strenuous than mere slope-slogging, but only if you are okay with heights and you have at least an average sense of adventure. I’ve seen many an unfit hiker wheeze and wobble up steep slope only to breeze and bounce up scrambles, proclaiming that they love mountains after having cursed all manner of uphill lower down. I’ve also seen hikers of average fitness not prepared to break a sweat and get tired take more mental strain than hikers of poor fitness up for the challenge and with their eyes on the prize (the summit). I recall hiking with a Greek man in his mid fifties with a substantial paunch who took a lot of strain on the ascent. Just over midway up the mountain, another man of similar age and appearance, also sporting a paunch, came powering past us. The Greek, seeing himself in the man, came alive and set forth with a spring in his step, determined to beat his look-alike to the summit. And he did, after tripling his pace.

Although hiking Table Mountain is not only for athletes and veteran hikers, you need a certain level of fitness in order to enjoy it. And if you fall short of that level, you need to be determined as well as mentally prepared for a challenge, deferring much of the enjoyment of Table Mountain hiking to when you reach the summit.

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