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How Geocaching Helped Me To Actually Get A Life

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Some years ago, I fell in love with a certain Major Project. I made that Project my own, it became my life, period, for 8 years.


I won't get into what that Major Project was, but suffice to say, it was arts-related and pretty amazing to be part of. I became quite the VIP in that particular field.


THAT was my life. There was no other point to my existence than that Major Project. It was my excuse for my existence, that's how I felt at the time. Nothing else was worth doing. Especially when the bigshots in that field looked to ME for validation and wisdom at the time... man, it coulda been a drug, in a way. Didn't have THAT before.


I did not expect to ever burn out on my wonderful Major Project. Ever. I was THE Great Cool Person. Didn't need anything else. Then I burned out, which I never expected, and lost my Major Project and the Great Respect I got from my fave VIPs therein.


I fell into a major depression for a few years. THAT is not exactly a life.


I needed a life, some sort of rebuilding. That healing eventually did start to happen. There were several factors in making that so.


Geocaching is the major factor. it opened my eyes to beauty in my own city that I never knew existed. My first (albiet short-lived) cache got rave reviews, which made me feel better. Seems my old creativity had never really left me, it just went underground. That was news that I needed to know.


I learned to appreciate other people's efforts more, which I guess had been a sort of a blind spot, and appreciated how each cache and cacher widened my horizons bit by bit, each in their own way. I have discovered incredible parks, incredible restaurants, a few new friends and lots of adventures and potential adventures that before I had no faith that my life could have.


I decided that my new hobby was reason enough to go visit a friend in Los Angeles. I just HAD to brag how my new hobby could show HIM his own city in a way he didn't know. What I didn't expect was that in the process an old friendship would then morph into a new one... he's now like a new adopted brother of a friend. That friendship in itself is doing a lot to heal my soul now. Lots of conversation and shared wisdom. It would not have happened otherwise. (I may yet convince him to get a GPS.) :lol:


Geocaching has also helped my by helping me to discover a talent in photography I never knew I had. Professional photographers praise my "good eye". (Whoa, I have one? REALLY??) Ya gotta find good locations to get good pictures! I just may yet cave into all the urging I am getting from so many people to get my work into a gallery. Maybe turn out a line of calendars or postcards. Eventually. :lol: (See my Le Parc cache for a few good snaps.


Oh yeah... I am actually getting some exercise now instead of crawling into a depressed corner someplace. THAT is a bit of an improvement. :lol:


So, yeah, I AM getting a life again. I am grateful for it. :lol:


I have to admit to sometimes wistfully missing being Queen of Some Great Thing. But on the other hand, I don't have to have the pressure of having a Major Project laying heavy on my shoulders in order to have fun. THERE's a concept for my old me!


Conclusion? We need us a bumper sticker! :)

"NEED A LIFE? Get Into Geocaching!"


Hope this is cool...

Edited by Sparrowhawk
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You must be Reborn.


I was reborn as a Geocacher too,

It has given me a better life since then.


I am Disabled and was near the End of what I could do.

A friend of mine introduced me to Geocaching and my LIFE

has been fulfilled,I have a GOAL,little as it may be,but a Goal.


And if not for Geocaching I fear to speculate.

Thank you to all Geocachers and Creator of Geocaching whom must have had a very good connection to the


GREAT CREATOR of all things.

I have gone way beyond my own expectations and am truly thankful and working towards future plans that Geocachers will only find through dilligent searches right now but is a major part of History in the Making.


I just wish all could see it from my LIGHT.

I hope that you will and




Happy .................................................................................Geotrails

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My disjointed thoughts:

  • Geocachers are often prone to criticism and ribbing from friends and others
  • People sit at home and watch tv for hours on end, being fed information that is 99% useless, yet are not criticised (by the majority)
  • It is likely that without Geocaching, we wouldn't get outside as much, and would conform more to the 'norm'
  • Take TV out ot the equation, you can go geocaching, and still get lots of other stuff done (in my case rebuild my house, and hold down a consulting job...).


PS. I'm not rabid anti-TV, but I do think it's the drug of the nation. We have a big TV at home - mostly for baseball and NFL (go sox) - just moderate it, like everything.

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i have a cyclical and sometimes debilitating illness that kills 10% of the people who have it. between the ages of 27 and 40, it kills closer to 40% of us.


i'm 39 this year, and since i took up geocaching, i am stronger and more resilient than i have ever been. i have lost weight, i won a state championship in mountain biking, i am faster and leaner and i sleep better at night.


sparrowhawk, i would love to know what your arts project was. i used to think i was going to be a famous musician, but that path would have killed me. now i put my creative energy into geocaching.

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I find this to be a very interesting thread, thank you Sparrowhawk for posting it. I am at a crossroads in my life, and I am greatful to have geocaching. Long walks in the woods can really get you thinking about what you enjoy in your life, and what you don't enjoy in your life.


I would like to change career fields,and caching gets my mind off it so i don't go nuts trying to figure out what the heck i'm going to do. Its also helped me realize that what i used to think was important, is really not all that important at all. Its also helped me realize all the things i used to do for fun, that i'm not participating in anymore. Not sure why I stopped those fun things, but it sure is great to start them up again. Those long hikes, and fantastic views have helped me give my life a whole new meaning.

Edited by Ce'Nedra
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Wow, those are some great stories!

My own, however, is much more mundane. :lol:

I found that being an overweight, lazy bum was no longer to my liking (No, really!) so I started looking into hobbies that would require me to exert some kind of effort. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, so hiking, biking and the like were definitely attractive. But not quite attractive enough. I wanted to do something that would allow me to spend time with my wife and daughter, but my little one is but 4-1/2 years old, so anything where she would have to struggle to keep up, or worse still, be carried was not much of an option.

I don't remember how I stumbled upon Geocaching, but I remember being hooked almost from the time that I found the GC.com website. (And then I found the forums, but that's another story... :lol: )

It was like a dream come true! Now Cathy, Josie and I had something that we could all do together! The bulk of the fun takes place outdoors, mostly in natural areas, so I could also start teaching "little J" about nature, weather, animals, animal tracks, running away from animals, (Just kidding!) conservation, CITO and the need to keep green areas GREEN.

As a result, we may not have found a whole lot of caches-yet-, but what we DID find was something far more important. That we enjoy being together in the outdoors, walking, talking, holding hands and discovering (or explaining) the wonders of nature. And looking for hidden treasures to boot!


The end result? Well, I guess I'm not all that much of a bum any more... :lol:


Anyway, I enjoyed reading the other stories and thought I would share ours as well.


Happy trails to all!

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I have to agree with Team Flashncache.


My kids are 5 and 8, and while we don't watch a lot of TV, they enjoy sendentary pursuits, such as reading, lego, board games, puzzles, etc. When my husband and I heard about Geocaching from a co-worker, we thought it would be a good form of family exercise, and boy were we right. We have walked 4 or 5 km in a day, as a family (BIG improvement there, unheard of before Geocaching!), without so much as an "I'm tired" from the 5 year old.


We haven't got many finds yet, but then again we just started, and all of us are chomping at the bit to go again.


In all, a great way to get outside, get some exercise, and still be together.



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I posted this in the MI news report thread. This is an excerpt from my letter to the station. It details how geocaching gave me my life back.


After my husband and I got married and had our first child we fell out of touch

with many of our friends.  Two jobs and a new baby puts a damper on socializing. 

Most of our friends were still single or, if married, still childless.  Every

now and then we'd get an invite to dinner or a party but eventually those

stopped coming.  We were busy with our new role as parents and barely noticed

that we never did anything outside of family gatherings any more.  Every now and

then we'd comment on how we should try to reconnect but we didn't have anything

in common with most of our old friends any more.  When our second child was born

in December of 2001 I was resigned to this lifestyle, or lack thereof.


In January of 2002 my husband saw a report on geocaching on our local news

station.  He was so excited by the report that he jumped online and starting

checking things out.  By the end of the day he was researching GPS units and was

out on his first cache hunt by that weekend.  With two kids in tow, one still an

infant, I went on my first cache hunt on a cold, rainy winter day.  I loved it!! 


Later that month we attended our first event cache, an chance for local cachers

to get together and socialize.  The thing I remember most from that event is

walking back to our car and thinking "What a great group of people!"  There

wasn't anyone at that event I wouldn't feel comfortable inviting to my home. 

Many of the people at that event I now consider close friends.  We are now

getting out and socializing more than ever.  Our calander is always full weeks

in advance and more importantly, I still haven't met anyone I wouldn't want to

invite over to my house.


Before Geocaching my life revolved around work and home.  Now I am part of a

global community, I embark on great adventures and finally have the life I

always wanted.

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Ahhh, geocaching! It does so many different things for so many people. I possibly spend less time outdoors with friends and family since I discovered geocaching.


I've always been outdoors, and I grew up in the <hard to believe> pre PC era. </hard to believe> When I started geocaching I could barely send an email. Now the wonderful world of computers is unfolding before my eyes. :o:D

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Ok...here's my story. When I started geocaching my life was a wreck. I was recently separated, financially struggling, waiting to be laid off from a job of 13 years. I read about geocaching in a local paper one Friday and by Sunday my kids and I were off to find our first cache. I was something I could do with my kids on the weekends that they stayed with me. We were able to talk and goof off. It exposed them to different things & places.


Geocaching also helped me through my difficult time. It gave me peace of mind when things got bad. Those long walks in the woods on a crisp fall day provided me time to get my head together. It was a stress reliever and the best medicine the doctor could have ordered. I started getting in better shape because of all the walking. With the stress away, I gained much needed weight. I felt healthy for the first time in years.


I attended my first event a few months later and realized that these are a bunch of great people. Some of those I now consider friends after spending days and even a week at a time with them on trips just tio geocache. I would not trade those times in for anything.


I have since reconciled with my wife. She decided to join me for a few caches while we talked about things. It helpedWe have gone out for a day as a family and had a great time. It's a hobby that she approves of and doesn't mind if I go whenever I want.


So, you can see what it has done for me. Better health, better family atmosphere and better state of mind. I don't need to get a life. It helped me get mine back.

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Firstly, thank you all for sharing your stories. It is helpful to know that others have had a similar experiance.


Nearly three years ago I had a nervous breakdown. I was suicidal and had major depression. One other person on the project actually attempted suicide. It was in the middle of last year (2003), after making very slow progress, that my psychologist told me that I needed a hobby. On the list she gave me was orienterring. In researching orienterring, I came across geocaching. I borrowed a GPS from a friend and went and found three caches that day.


I now have more regular exersise and for the first time in my life, have a hobby, an activity that I do just for me. Sure the family comes along sometimes, but I do it for me. I've come to realise that everyone needs some space of their own, mine is on the path to a cache. I still battle with depression but I am improving more quickly now (fewer downs, for less time).


To borrow a line, "I have a life now".



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Cool thread. These are some great real life stories. It has even hit home when reading my buddy GeoGeek’s story.


I stumbled onto this site a little over a year ago and it seemed like a great activity for me. I love the outdoors and outdoor activities such as fishing and hunting. This activity is just like hunting, but your weapon is a GPSr and your game is an ammo box full of McToys.


Not too long after starting this craze we call geocaching, I got laid off. This was the first time in 22 years I was without a job. This took a while to adjust to. I believe geocaching helped me through this difficult time in my life. Getting out and putting some miles on the leather helped relieve stress and provided a lot of time to think about things.


On the other hand, if I spent more time looking for a job and not out geocaching, I may have gotten back to work sooner then I did. Geocaching provided me a stress relieving therapy when times were tough.

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It's amazing to hear how much caching has helped people! I do it because it's fun, and it appeals to my "kid" nature of always wanting to hunt for buried treasure! It's great to find a relatively cheap hobby, that can be done spur of the moment. It has definitely shown me the amazing side of this brand new city that I've only lived in since September. I moved here for college, and really didn't want to leave my old town. I have come to love the beauty of where I live now much more than I thought I ever could, and now I don't miss my old hometown at all! My parents wish I would come home more often though. Geocaching rocks! :o

Edited by SBPhishy
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Met GeoFool for the first time at a cache. He was signing in as my dog and I wandered toward the cache.


I had the opportunity to cache more than a few times with Mr. Fool and found out we shared alot of the same trials at that time of our lives. Caching together allowed me to realize that I wasn't the only one going thru bad times.


A community? Yes!

Edited by Geogeek65
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i posted this back in january in another thread and it still goes today.


geocaching saved my sanity. after my oldest brother died i became somewhat depressed. i have lupus so my health isn't that great either. just as i was getting it together, an elderly relative came to visit after being gone 13 years. the "1 month" visit ended up lasting 11 months. i felt like i had lost a year of my life. after this person left, one of my 2 remaining brothers introduced me to geocaching. it got my "joy of life" going again. i really don't know what i would have done without it. thanks everyone for making the forums so fun. when i don't feel good enough to go caching, the forums make me laugh. it is also something i can do with the 2 brothers i have left. time is short. don't sweat the small stuff.

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Some friends of mine came for a visit right after Christmas. I saw their GPS and started playing with it and I thought it looked pretty cool for road trips. Then they told me about geocaching. I went to the gc.com web site and decided this was something I wanted to do. I bought my first GPS the very next day.


Most of you know that my husband is in the Air Force. On January 4 of this year, he left for a one year remote tour in Korea. Remote means you can't bring any family along. I won't see my husband again until January 2005 (except for a brief 2 week period when I visit Korea in May).


We don't have any kids so I was left home alone...just the two cats to keep me company. The first week he was gone, I was a wreck. It's just so hard to be so far away from someone you love for such a long period of time. All I did was sit around the house, sleep a lot and I became more and more depressed.


Right before my hubby left, I told a friend of mine about caching. After my hubby left for Korea, she saw how depressed I was. Then she mentioned the fact that we both have Thursdays off. She asked me to take her caching because it sounded like fun. We went caching the next Thursday and we had a blast. When we were wandering around parks and walking around in circles in the woods, I kind of forgot that I was so lonely. My friend and I had fun together. We were laughing, getting exercise and getting rid of the 'work week stress'.


Our Thursday trips have become tradition. And from these weekly trips, Team Yatta was born. :o Team Yatta now has six members. 5 of us go caching together each week. Our 6th member is my hubby, he is an honorary member until he gets home. :D


So yes, I do have a great life, great husband and great friends!

Edited by Imajika
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I have discovered excellent hiking and walking trails in my city.

I have gotten away from the TV for a few extra hours a week

I have increase my activity level

I have met some great people (ON and Off Line)

I have learned to use GPS technology and improved my mapping skills

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People sit at home and watch tv for hours on end, being fed information that is 99% useless, yet are not criticised (by the majority)


Until you have read "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television", you do not really realize what an insidious force it is. Jerry Mander does an excellent job of arguing that not only should you not watch TV, but that TV shouldn't even exist.


I had heard about GeoCaching but didn't really understand it. Then I read about it in the paper and it 'clicked'. I've been out doing it ever since. The most important thing to me is the physical activity. My part of California has lots of hilly country. At first, it was a real struggle to haul my carcass up some of even the smaller hills. More and more I have found myself going up them with fewer rests at a stronger smoother pace.


I saw someone tonight who told me she has been runnig 2 miles a day. "I just do it and get it over with" she said. What's great about caching is that I like doing it, so I'm pretty sure I'll be hauling my blubber up those hills long after she's given up pounding around a track.

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I saw someone tonight who told me she has been runnig 2 miles a day. "I just do it and get it over with" she said. What's great about caching is that I like doing it, so I'm pretty sure I'll be hauling my blubber up those hills long after she's given up pounding around a track.

The thing about jogging is that its easier to fit into a busy schedule, but its not physiologic. We are mammals that evolved to be migratory omnivores. Our bodies (if in proper condition) can walk for hours without stopping, can cover dozens of miles a day using 1-2% of our maximum oxygen carrying capacity, and we can eat darn near anything and metabolize it. We filled a planet with our species, moving 2 feet at a time, over and over.


Hiking, like geocaching gets us back to a physiologic exercise. (this is why we can all do it, whether we are jocks or not, whether we are 10 or 80). It gets us into parks that are underused and into parts of parks that don't have roads, so most people just drive by them. Its a great land use technique, because it makes use of parts of parks that don't have water, or can't support a road or picnic area, thus those parts that are suitable for these things get used, and we get the rest, rather than it going to waste unused.


We need to keep spinning this as a fun, healthy hobby that we all can do, that lets us see our world from a slightly different perspective.

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I don't have any neat stories about my life before geocaching and how bad it was, because it wasn't all that bad. I did have some weird things going on in my life and initially got into geocaching as a way to "get away from it all" for short periods of time. After starting geocaching, I found that it tickled me in more spots than most other hobbies/sports/pastimes had ever done and it has stuck with me (and Joani). That is one other nice thing for me is that my Wife likes it as much as I do.


I think this is a much better "get a life" thread than the other thread. In this one, the ending line is "get a GPS *and* get a life!".


One of the other things that geocaching gives to me is a sense of community. I think that was something that has been missing in my life...



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Amen to Sparrowhawk! Thank you for sharing this with us. As I read this I am going through a very difficult time of my life and I realize that I need to get back outside and get back to caching. I especially want to spend some quality time with my wife and I think that caching might fill the need for that - at least it won't hurt. I hope that I can still turn my life around while geocaching.


Thanks to all of you for your postings.

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The talk about giving up television reminds me of how active and happy I was back when I was a law student and too poor to afford TV. I had one channel that didn't come in very well on the attenna and I would ocassionally watch a VHS movie. The rest of the time, I was painting or reading or running around outside. oh and I guess there was that occasional burst of studying.


Caching and my other hobbies still keep me active, but I definitely also spend time now watching silly mindless things on TV. I have been considering lately the idea of getting rid of the dish and going back to free one channel TV. I don't think I could give up my anime DVD's though. Regardless, that would likely get me reading and painting again more, which would be good for me.

Edited by carleenp
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Having read this thread I feel quite humble.

Sitting here I imagined all geocachers to be young and healthy.

How wrong could I be?

The friendship, amusement and advice on this forum makes it all worthwhile, and I take my hat off to all those who are suffering in one way or another but can still see the funny side of life. Continue caching and enjoy.


I know!.

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Geocaching isn't my life, but happily it's a part of my life.


Geocaching has done the following for me:


-Motivates me to get outside and enjoy nature

-Gets me to see new and interesting places

-Involves me in a diverse community of people I would otherwise never have met

-Helped me to lose weight by getting me off the couch and away from my PC (well, at least until I post my logs and look up more caches to find)


Okay . . . here it comes . . . the moment you've all been waiting for . . .


-Introduced me to THE single most wonderfullest, sweetest, incrediblest, kindest, adorablest man ever!! :o


So, there it is . ..


Happy caching and stuff! :D

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I liked hiking and skiing, and maps and routefinding, long before geocaching, and I used my yellow eTrex for these ends before, too. And I couldn't figure out how to use a TV set or a VCR before anyway.

But with geocaching, I got a welcome excuse to head into wilderness alone, or in the company of my little dog. And more locations emerged on my radar screen, often meaning that I spend more time driving than before geocaching, and also more time researching locations on the 'Net than before. Sounds more like loosing a life, huh?

There was one major social discovery though. The geocachers. My life has never crossed the private paths of these categories of people before. Law enforcement and service veterans, local government employees and equipment salespeople, ATV and gun enthusiasts ... the Americans, to use a shorthand. So different from myself and my coworkers and my pals. And great people at that. For me it was truly like embarking on an anthropology expedition, like discovering a fascinating and hitherto unknown tribe far out there.

An interesting contradiction, don't you find? Geocaching is so much a solo activity, and yet the most unexpected discoveries you make are people.

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For me it was truly like embarking on an anthropology expedition, like discovering a fascinating and hitherto unknown tribe far out there.

An interesting contradiction, don't you find? Geocaching is so much a solo activity, and yet the most unexpected discoveries you make are people.


I agree. I have met some very interesting, yet very different from me, people through caching. I have also discovered things about friends of mine, some for the better and some for the worse. A few I found really like getting outside and being active and have enjoyed caching with me. For example, some of the best times my friend Jodi and I have had together were camping and caching when she comes to visit. Others have gone caching with me quite a bit, but unfortunately I also learned that they sometimes get tired of hearing me babble about caching, don't particularly like hiking, and one easily gets stressed and testy when it comes to obstacles getting to and finding the cache (which is pretty common). That of course makes me stressed, testy, and a little sad. But back to the good side, I also found that my parents love it, so we have something new to do together!


So, I guess you don't just meet and learn about new people, you learn some things about yourself and existing relationships as well. I suppose the same things could also happen through taking up other sports/hobbies.


edited, because I wanted to edit.

Edited by carleenp
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i LOVE tv! i am a complete documentary junkie.(is that really geeky?) sometimes i'm just too worn out from riding bikes and hunting boxes and i need to sit slack-jawed in front of my really big TV.


i am only allowed to watch TV during certain hours, though. i have learned that TV watching after 7 or 8 pm means no sleep. so if i'm caching or riding or at the gym, no TV.


and as for running, i hate it too, but i'm able to hunt more caches and ride my bike harder if my training plan includes running. there's nothing like it to increase your CV capability. so while i run, i think of how it's increasing my capacity for speed on a bike and on foot.


i accidentally took up triathlons last year, and my goal this year is not just to finish (last year's goal), but not to completely suck. and THAT, my friends, means i have to do a little running.

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Thank you all for taking the time to write. :lol:


Caching was a trick I played upon my wife. It worked, too. She likes rides. I don't. She likes walking. I do too. Even better, I like walking with her. I navigate. We walk. She usually finds when we find. Can she ever crow. And strut? We probably could not geocache out of a paper bag but I guarantee that we would have fun trying. Does this qualify as having a life? Don't know. Don't care.



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i accidentally took up triathlons last year


How do you "accidentally" take up triathlons!?!?! :lol:

Start running, and forget to stop?


I can top that. I accidentally got married. It took five years to fix that. To remain on the topic of this thread, finding geocaching has been a great way to forget about the stresses of being a divorced single parent, to reconnect with the things I loved to do before encountering bumps in my life, and to have an outdoors activity that I can share with my daughter. It was a pretty boring existence until life changed in June 2002, and much more fun since then.

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Like many others I had a life before geocaching. I have a wonderful husband for nearly 24 years. aka. Ironman114. I have a 20 year old daughter and a 16 year old son. Plus our 2 Brittany Spainels, Rusty and Spunky.

When my mom went into hospital for nearly a month off and on. Ironman114 would go with me and then we do some caches in the area. I must admit it was a good way of forgetting some of the stress I was having. In fact, I think Ironman114 enjoyed just seeing me laugh when we found the caches.

I would like to do some more caches with Ironman114 but I'll be starting back to work next week and I know he will be going back to work too. We'll have to fit into our lives like everything else.

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Well, caching has introduced me to several great people. I have a few close friends that I would not have met if I had never discovered caching. In addition, in the short year or so since I have been caching, I have gone from complete computer illiteracy to assembling my own PC. I had to use computers to access cache pages, and my interest in them continues to grow. If it weren't for caching, I'd still be completely computer illiterate. Hydrocaches were enough reason for me to go out and buy a kayak. I plan to use it more this coming summer. Who knows what future benefits caching will hold? <_<

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Ok Ok long story short.. 2.5 yrs ago I weight 415 lbs.. yep HUGE.. circus freak fat.. I took steps to change my life and have done so w/ the help of many people. I got rid of the users and losers in my life and needed something to help keep me active. And Im not at about 225 still big but a VAST improvement <_< My son and I did alot of going to the park, walking some trails in my area as part of my normal exercise. This made things alot more enjoyable for both of us. There is a goal for him to consentrate on and I have the passion for new places that suit this "sport" well.


We've never been a TV watching family, always prefering the outdoors or things that let us have quality time. This is our time, and I cherish it.

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