When a friend invited me on a kids free hike to Table Mountain in Castle Provincial Park, I was excited to get away with the girls but nervous about climbing a mountain. I had anxiety all morning and almost called and cancelled at the last minute, turns out, my fears weren’t that off. I DIED!
The first half of our group took off right away and those of us who knew our limits stayed toward the back. Our group organizer Kate was so sweet because she could have gone with the first group but she stayed back to make sure we all made it. And being honest, without her support I might have called it. We’ll get to that in a little bit.
Hiking Table Mountain is short (5km to the summit, a little less to the point we stopped at) but it is STEEP!
You start off in the tree line and you get beautiful creek views as you go.
From the beginning I was struggling. Besides gasping for air, my legs were absolutely dead and I wondered the whole way if I was going to make it.
Then the tree line opened up and we followed the trail right beside the creek which was nice. For every break I took I was able to get my hair and neck wet as it was a warm day and the sun was shining.
I was on the struggle bus on this hike, both physically and mentally. Postpartum is a really hard stage of life, your focus is consumed with the baby and your body needs to rebuild.
My inner critic got the best of me. I was very embarrassed that I kept stopping and making the other girls wait. I tried to get them to fitch me and go ahead but they wouldn’t do it. They kept me going with positive encouragement, especially Kate.
And while I agreed with what they were saying, that it isn’t easy to rebuild, that you have to give yourself grace, I wasn’t able to fully let go of the fact that this was the hardest hike I’ve ever done.
Honestly, if I was with just a friend or even had my own car- I likely would have turned around and gone home.
THE VIEW IS WORTH IT
That said, when I finally made it to the top and looked out over the expansive views of prairie and mountain, I can say the view is worth it. But I was so gassed!
We sat and had lunch and found the first half of our group.
I was impressed at the range of other people that were up there, including a guy in jeans packing an infant on his back!
On the way back down, I understood how steep that trail really was. It took almost more effort to go down safely than it took to get up. This made me feel a lot better about how much I struggled though, because for an out of shape new mom, that was an undertaking!
We finished off the hike by swinging by Castle Falls with the intent to jump off the rocks into the water. But the water was high and the current was swift. We all decided it wouldn’t be smart to take that jump and risk it.
As we sat by the falls I enjoyed sticking my feet in the freezing water.
REDEMPTION IS NEEDED
Overall, it was a great day and I truly love hanging out with other women. We had such a blast chatting and there was so much laughter that day.
I do want to hike this one again next year when I’m back in shape and test my strength physically and mentally once more. I’ll be back Table Mountain!