Not feeling quite as hopeful today, but I'm trying to keep in mind some small recent successes. Last week I went to the beach like a normal person would on a nice day. I had to stand most of the time, but it was still fun. I was also able to put in a few more hours at work last week and I've been able to get back into some slightly heavier lifting at the gym (one of the activities I enjoyed before the pain). I know it shouldn't matter which exercises I do because I don't actually have a structural problem, but I've been using machines that don't directly involve my lower back. Pain is about the same, but that's actually a great thing. In the past, my subconscious mind would amp up the pain in an effort to make me think I was physically overdoing it. As far as doubts go, my worry is that what if I can't get out of this cycle? So much of my stress is caused by worry, anger and fear about the condition itself. What if I'm the one person that gets through the whole program and doesn't have any success?