Wellness Guest Blog: Melissa Javan on Hiking

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Hey Loves!

Hope you had a great week so far.

I’ve started exercising again last month and it’s not been easy, especially with the winters in the Karoo, which can be a bit harsh. However, I cannot wait for the spring weather to completely kick in. I miss my hiking adventures.

Speaking of, my blogger friend and mentor, Melissa Javan, recently had her first hiking experience. Judging from the pictures on Instagram, it was quite a lot of fun. I asked her to write a piece about her exercise journey and the hiking adventure, and here it is:

My deadline to start exercising was a friend of mine’s hike. The hike took place on Saturday 19 August 2017 on fitness blogger, Samantha Dube‘s birthday. I started my exercise journey on Women’s Day 9 August 2017.


I started exercising for ten minutes a day. Sometimes I skip one or two days (to exercise). On the days I do exercise, I feel great doing it!


The thing is, I don’t know what I’m doing and my body isn’t used to this either. It’s been years since I exercised. Even when I was a learner in school, I’d rather sit with a book in class during interval than run around with my friends.


In high school though, I did some running for about two years – long distance. I always came last – once, second last because one girl hurt herself during the race.



So I started watching YouTube videos on exercises you can do at home. On Thursday 17 August 2017, my upper legs and knees were in pain. The night before I had done 15 minutes exercise instead of the usual 10 to 12 minutes exercise. I also did a lot of leg exercises, because it was easy and fun to do.



The mistake I made was that even though it looks easy, too much of a thing is not good. I couldn’t go to work, because of the pain. While resting, I asked my fitness blogger friend for advice and I realised I should have done more research before I started exercising.


I read an interview with a sportswoman and saw in her routine she exercises different parts of her body on different days of the week. For example, if she did a lot of her upper body exercises today, tomorrow, she’ll do her lower body.


I’m still reading more on what type of exercises I should do. I’ve also started following some people on Instagram that does at home exercises.



My husband, our 19-months-old daughter and I went on the hike with Samantha and her two sisters. We did the hike at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort, Johannesburg.

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#Selfie time

I was happy when my colleague told me beforehand that there’s a waterfall at the Gardens. It’s really beautiful.


Another friend would have joined us with her four-year-old daughter. The day before we went, my friend and I discussed the hike and I realised that the hike might not be child-friendly.


Husband and I have an Outdoor Baby backpack/ carrier for Princess (who weighs about 10 kilo’s), so we would have it easy.

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Some of the steps were high
Photo by Melissa Javan


It’s a good thing my friend didn’t join us with her daughter because some of the steps on the hiking trail were really steep. A real challenge for a short person like me. I climbed a step using my hands as well (like I was crawling).


Luckily Husband (he’s tall) came along to carry Princess all the way.

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Photo by Melissa Javan

Needless to say, we enjoyed the hike. It was a scenic, safe route and there were friendly people along the way. I’m definitely doing this again!


As for the exercise, we’re taking it one day at a time.


About Melissa

Melissa Javan is a writer who lives and works in Johannesburg. She writes about entrepreneurship, her journey as a journalist, and sometimes about motherhood. She recently started exercising, because she wants to be fit enough to piggy back her child and young cousins.

Follow Melissa on Twitter or Instagram or on her blog: www.melissajavan.co.za

Feature photo by Samantha Dube

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