Reaching New Heights

by Nyesha Lashay

When I first got to Cape Town, I tried (and failed) to climb South Africa’s famous Table Mountain. I knew nothing about hiking, and the thought of climbing to the top of a mountain (without a harness) actually terrified me. I wanted to give it a try though. I wanted to be a fun and adventurous Black girl abroad.

However, after about 30 minutes into the hike I was done. I was afraid, and I didn’t trust myself to keep up with the girls I was with. I was uncomfortable, and I (along with a friend I was with) decided to stop right there, eat the snacks I had packed, and ordered an uber home. I wasn’t ready.

With just one week left in Cape Town, I decided to finally attempt to hike again. I woke up at 3 am with a group of good friends, and we embarked on a sunrise hike at 4 am. We were all tired as hell, but I was confident that it was going to be a worthwhile experience.

It most definitely was.



I’ll admit, it was HARD. As the reservoir of sweat collected in my bra I wondered if/how I was going to make it to the top. I joked about stopping the whole way up, but I didn’t want to let myself down. Besides, I had already committed by waking up at 3 am.

The closer we got to the top, the harder the hike got. I’ll just say that there were ladders, chains, and lots of rock climbing involved. I’ll leave it at that. When we finally reached the top about an hour and a half later I couldn’t believe what I had just done. I kept looking around like, “how the hell did I get up here!?” I was thrilled and terrified at the same time.

We made it just in time to catch our breath a little and take a couple of pictures before the sun started peeking from behind a mountain across from us.



The views were absolutely beautiful.


When I reached the top of the mountain a wave of gratitude quickly rushed over me.

I felt grateful to be surrounded by such beauty — to witness the dawn of a new day with good people and good energy. grateful to have found the strength to push through even when I began to doubt my own abilities.

As I admired the views and celebrated my accomplishment, I made a list of these affirmations in my head:

I attract good people in my life.

I do not give up when things get hard.

I do not give up when I am afraid.

I am grateful for new beginnings.

I always push through.

Positive energy is everything.

I am proud of myself.


I personally thought that getting down from the mountain was harder (and scarier) than going up, but I made it down (alive), and for that I am thankful.

cheers to new life experiences, conquering fears, staying true to goals, and reaching new heights.




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