Stop and Smell the Flowers of Platteklip Gorge
Why hike Table Mountain?
Here is a list of the personal reasons that made me wary of climbing Table Mountain:
- No cartilage in my right knee and a dwindling supply in my left = pain; bone spurs; knee catches
- An old, torn miniscus that was never repaired = pain; knee catches
- I’m obese. I don’t say this to be derogatory. I say it to be factual. Even with my six-day-a-week workout routine and altered eating habits, I have chosen an an intentionally slow route to change my life, one small step at a time, and that means that while I’ve already lost 40 pounds (~20kg) since I began a couple years ago, I am still 50pounds (~25kg) away from a healthy, muscular weight. My BMI has decreased in the past two years…to 39, which is still obese. Imagine deciding to climb a mountain and then throwing 8 red bricks (8 BRICKS!) into a backpack and carry those up with you. That would be a little less than the 50 extra pounds I’m still carrying.
- My blood pressure and cholesterol are high, and I have a genetic mutation called Factor V Leiden which increases my risk of DVT. I’m not on medicine for any of it, opting to try to reduce my risks through eating and exercise. But putting myself through a rigorous (for me) climb I haven’t properly prepared for is a strain on a body without these added risks.
Because I can.
Because the mountain is there.
Because the view from the top is all the more beautiful because I earned it.
Because (insert Miley) it’s the climb.
We hired a guide, which I’ll tell you more about in upcoming posts, and she was patient and encouraged me to focus on the experience, the enjoyment, the views, and not worry about the faster people passing me.
So, I focused on flowers. And thankfully, cameraman Kurt did as well. I took every opportunity to stop and examine, comment, or question about them.
The flowers shown in today’s post were along the route we climbed, and I hope if you get the chance to climb Table Mountain, whatever route you take, you do it slowly, deliberately, and stop to take in as many moments as you can.
P.S. Can any of my readers who are flower buffs identify the beauties in today’s post? We have some of the same in the states but I bet you can’t guess them all!