CacheCrazy.Com: The Mad Geocaching Pensioner - Why and How

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mad Geocaching Pensioner - Why and How



Many people ask me why and how did  I take up geocaching, "Come on,  your'e a pensioner you know, put your feet up and take up knitting" , well lets try and answer these questions, and what benefits it can give us all, whether young or old.

Early days, a 100 yards was an effort !!
My job as a Quality Manager in the Oil & Gas exploration industry took me to various places in Europe, America and Canada. Yes I know, your all thinking what a lovely life jetting around the world, well perhaps on the odd occasion when I did manage to get time to myself, but usually it just involved airports, hotels, factories and then even more airports, it certainly took it's toll on my health and I was more than pleased to retire from the rat-race in 2007.

Well this is when my problems started. Being home all the time I'm sure my fridge turned into a very clever machine because everytime I got within a few feet of it, the door would automatically opened and shout out "EAT ME", well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I began to balloon in size so much so that I was almost the same height lying down as stand up, I knew I had to do something after I tried swimming in the sea and someone tried to harpoon me. (wink). Joking apart my doctor warned me my heart was in danger and I had to do something urgently.

I desperately needed exercise and my Niece had spotted geocaching but still hadn't tried it yet. I did all the reading about it on the website and registered straight away thinking I would be able to use my car TomTom satnav.


GC1R4QE - Church Micro St. Georges, King's Stanley.  I rushed out for my first find which was at my local parish church, (should have read all the rules of the cache hides) as I spent an hour falling all over the overgrowth in the rear churchyard, hitting my legs on old gravestones and scratching myself with the brambles. My TomTom kept wanting me to go back to the roads, because that's what it was designed for and not geocaching away from roads.

My faith in this sport was knocked back as I returned home rethink this geocaching whilst sticking several plasters on my arms and legs. (Let me say straight away I didn't know the rules not allowing hides inside church grounds or ancient monuments).

GCVWD4 - Motorway Mayhem M5 Junction 13 - I few days later I decided to try a cache and dash on a roadside not far from home and up near a motorway. Fortunately I didn't need the GPS which was just as well as I still only had my car TomTom. After a little search I discovered a film canister, found under a stone, my first ever find and the euphoric feeling was fantastic, I was hooked straight away and haven't looked back ever since. (May 2009)

Slimmer, Fitter and The Prized Hat
Within days I had purchased my first hand-held GPS, an Etrex Venture HC, and I was on my way. I made sure I had learnt all the rules of finding and placing a cache and I returned to the church to find that first attempt, this time without all the pain and trouble.

As those who have read my "Perils of a Geocaching Pensioner" blogs I have had several mishaps and injuries, but these have all been caused by myself and being unfit, yes I admit it. As for the benefits, I have had a wonderful retirement finding fantastic places that I have never seen before. I have made many new friends in the Caching world and, the most important thing of all, my weight has dropped a total of 6 1/2 stone, that's 91 lbs or as I like to say 45 bags of sugar. As for that clever fridge, it can open it's door all it likes, I'm not there but in the countryside lapping in all this wonderful world and wildlife that my previous jobs kept me from. If you haven't tried it you don't know what your missing.

Oh - and that Lady-Magpie's hat, given to me by my Sister stays, it has become my trademark and when meeting other cachers they all recognise me without having to ask.


6 comments:

Fiona said...

You are a legend Heather...and round these parts nobody would know you without your hat, after all you are half the size you used to be ;) and I still take insult from the fact you stopped eating my cakes!!

One day I will get round to having a go at this wonderful sport....totally inspired by you and your infectious enthusiasm.

Keep on caching.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Keep on caching Heather, hat and all. I hope one day we get to do a few together!

BLOODHOUNDED said...

I just love this post! Heather, you are such a big part of CacheCrazy.Com. You bring laughter and joy to the site and a real life example of one of the joys of Geocaching, fitness! There is no doubt that if you get active in the sport and just watch what you eat, it can have a profound effect on your body and mind, in a good way!
You look marvelous darling, simply marvelous!
and I love the hat too!

BigAl said...

Heather, don't ever give up the hat. People will always recognize you because of the hat. I know when I wear mine they all recognize me too. I really loved this post. I laughed as I always do when I read your posts. Thanks for your contributions here at Cachecrazy.com. Also, it's pretty cool to come home to a fridge that is sulking because you don't visit anymore. We're too busy out finding caches. YEAH GEOCACHING!!

Thee Seekers said...

I think this article is awesome. Such an inspiration Heather is! I can relate, as I first starting caching for exercise and family time. I love Geocaching, love getting outdoors, I call it getting lost....lol. Well wishes to you and keep it up, as I know you will just as I will. Thee Seekers. :-)

Heather Cook (Lady-Magpie) said...

Well I am surprised, I'm back with one of my blogs, very pleased and hope others will enjoy it as well. Thank you Cache Crazy.

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