Facing Fear by Christine

Pre-Mountain Climb

Last summer, I traveled to South Africa on a three week mission trip. At the end of the trip, we had the opportunity to explore Cape Town. As a group, we knew we had three days to soak up all Cape Town had to offer. We learned about a popular landmark called Table Top Mountain. After we researched what we could do on Table Top Mountain, we found out that we could take a cable car to the top of the mountain where there were shops, snacks, and a restaurant. I was nervous from the start to even go to the top of the mountain due to my fear of heights. Once I heard about the cable car I was a little relieved because I knew I would not have to hike up the mountain and deal with my fear of heights.

Morning of the Climb

As a group, we were dropped off at the bottom of the mountain. It was a beautiful sunny day outside with no cloud in sight. Locals mentioned to us to go to the top of the mountain on a non-cloudy day to get the best view of Cape Town. We were blessed with such a beautiful day. Once we arrive, we found out that the cable cars were out of commission due to yearly maintenance. That meant one thing, we had to climb up to the top of the mountain to see the breathtaking views that everyone talked about. As a group, we decided to climb. I had one water bottle and was wearing non-hiking shoes. I knew it was going to be a challenge for me due to my fear of heights. There was nothing to hold on to as we were walking up the mountain. Just you and the ground. My shoes slipped on some of the rocks and my heart stopped.  An hour into the hike I finish my water and realize how scared I actually was. I did not look down because I knew it would freak me out and the fear would make me want to go back down. Let me tell you, it got harder and harder to breathe as you walk up. Two hours into the hike I wanted to quit and go back down. I saw how far up we were and I was scared. I told myself I couldn’t do this anymore. With encouragement from my boyfriend, he told me, “You have to step up to the plate and swing the bat.” I decided to continue up and not look down. I finally made it up the mountain after three long hours of climbing. It felt so good to be on flat land.

After the Climb

This hike was a challenge mentally and physically. Three hours to get up the mountain and two hours to get down. My stamina was challenged along the way and I’m glad I was able to push through the negative thoughts of wanting to quit.  I was not prepared at all for this adventure, but I am glad I was able to make it to the top and face my fear of heights. I learned I can’t go through life letting negative thoughts stop me from challenging myself. Today, when I start to doubt myself I say, “You have to step up to the plate and swing the bat”.

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