In early 1998 I started developing some serious circulation problems with my legs. They started feeling delicate to the touch and icey cold all the time. As the year progressed into spring and warmer weather, things didn’t seem to improve. In fact they seemed to get worse.

Things got so bad that I was convinced that if they continued the way they were going, in a few short years I would be in a wheelchair. So I decided to to get the best herbal medicine there was to fight the problem and make the most of my legs while I potentially still had them and go for walks.

It was whilst walking from Newlands Corner near Guildford to St Martha’s Church one day in May 1998 that I made an unfortunate error. I took the wrong footpath and a 4 mile walk turned into a 5 mile one. I remember reading about handheld GPS units one Xmas when I was looking for Xmas presents for my parents, and thought to myself “if I had had one of those, I would never have got lost.”

When I’d looked at units originally, I had looked at Geocaching. I remember thinking it was something my parents might like to take up. But for whatever reason, most likely cost, a GPS unit had not ended up their xmas present that year. However, researching units once again, I thought that Geocaching might be a great incentive to go for a walk.

So I ordered an Etrex Venture HCX and eagerly awaited its arrival. I had to go to Tilehurst that night so decided to try and find GCZPGC. I DNFed it but luckily had another cache programmed in along my route. And so it was on 20th May 2008 that GC17T2Q became my first Geocaching find. I remember the elation of actually finding it and thinking to myself “I could enjoy this”.

It wasn’t long before I met up with other cachers, both through online forums and through events, and before I knew it Geocaching was a very large part of my life and a huge lifestyle change.

I am a numbers person, although I don’t take it too seriously. I cache because I want to, not because I have to, and this ensures I don’t get bored. My greatest achievement, almost a year after first starting, was doing the UK Mega in one day – 33 miles walked, 134 caches visited.

I’m known for being a slow walker (so much so, others in the group have normally found the cache by the time I get there – I always say I leave the easy ones for them) and I do enjoy a bit of banter.

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