When I was posed the question "what have I done since starting the program that makes me feel proud?" I immediately thought of 3 things. Then I started to question whether they really had given me the proud moment, or if they had just been activities that I could easily interpret as such for the purposes of writing. So I stopped thinking about it. An hour later I realised that I had done something that had no impact whatsoever on anyone but me, and it made me very proud indeed. Today, my SEP day 19 started with stories about walking. I feel great elation that in the last year - using the techniques of pacing that the hospital psychologists and physio's taught me - I have increased my distance from a few yards to 4 miles. For anyone who doesn't know about this, here is a link: http://www.thephysiotherapysite.co.uk/physiotherapy/back-pain/pacing It brings me immense joy to be out and about in the countryside with my camera, walking my way to health. Last week I'd worked out a walk of about 3 miles. It was at my current limit of ability. It was the longer of two circular walks that both started off in the same place but diverged after a short distance. At that point - 3 tracks ahead! - there was a chap and his son doing some work in their garden and we struck up a conversation. He pointed me down the hill as the way to continue, and off I went. At the bottom of this steep hill I looked at the map, and realised he'd sent me off on the short route. I didn't want to re-climb a big hill to the place I'd gone wrong. But if I cut through the woods a short way, I could pick up the longer path. So I did. And I got a bit lost. 1/2 hour later I found the path - hooray, but then, a short bit further on, I realised I was walking back along the path I'd first travelled, so I about turned and walked on. The track was sludgy and slippery following torrential rain. At a second place I tried again to cross to the longer path. After 10 minutes I came to a 3 way junction at the edge of woods and fields. I had to pull out all of my map reading skills to realise where i was, and where I should go. I decided to go straight ahead. But then stopped, told myself to really be SURE it was right. And then there followed a moment of clarity about what the landscape was telling me, and how that was interpreted on the map. It took me a minute or two, but once I was clear I walked on - along the right footpath! I was elated. Proud. What a sense of achievement! I had put my fears of getting lost for a second time behind me, and I can now feel much more sure about doing something risky! I walked the rest of the way, over fields, roads and lanes - climbing back up to the start point with elation. As I climbed I watched the sun setting over the horizon. I learned so much - that I can be self-reliant, that I can map-read well enough to get myself out of any pickle I find myself in when out, that if you stick with things they may work out, that I don't have to give up when I make mistakes, and that I can be out for 3 hours, and walk further than the limits I have been setting myself. Best of all, I am ready for the next walking challenge.