What drives people to spend 12 days trekking across the hills, sleeping in harsh conditions and
living off limited rations in unpredictable weather conditions?
Bragging Rights - As a team of average age exceeding 50, ego is not the major driver. "Got the T-
Shirt" is no longer a key concern.
What's Next - As with all activity, it gets easier if you keep doing the same thing and every now
and then you must raise the bar. The traverse is perceived as one of the most challenging hikes in
South Africa. After a number of completions of the other major hikes what is the next challenge or
Self Affirmation - For some, the ability to test one's endurance and fitness for the sole purpose of
saying "I'm still doing OK" was a driver. (From Wikipaedia ...The theory of self-affirmation is a
psychological theory that was first proposed by Claude Steele (1988) with the premise that people
are motivated to maintain the integrity of the self. Its ultimate goal is to protect an image of its self-
integrity, moral and adequacy.)
Escape - To leave the day to day hurly burly of traffic, politics, crime and commercial pressures is
also a key driver. Not touching a wallet or hearing the dramatised news, and concerning oneself
only with basic daily considerations of where to get water and where to camp is a prime motivation.
Habit - We live out roles we define for ourselves. Sometimes our preferred identity is best portrayed
by our outward behaviour. Our chosen lifestyles become a habit that we practice.
A mixture of all of the above may apply. When asking each group member in our team why they
were doing the traverse, there was little clear indication or reason of substance. Perhaps we still
don't know exactly why we do what we do.