Back in the days when I took marathons more or less seriously (if not for late nights and beer, my 2:24 PR might have been faster), I followed the doings of Bill Rodgers, one of the last great U.S. born marathoners and a multiple Boston winner.
One time he described how some days he loathed the idea of yet another training run, enough so that he said he felt like punching mail boxes along his route.
If runners say they’ve never experienced such feelings on occasion, they’re lying through their teeth. I had that very feeling today.
I didn’t wanna walk. I didn’t wanna pick up trash. I didn’t want to see people, let alone talk to them. You could say, correctly, that I was in a pissy mood. I yanked a Target bag out of the cupboard and wadded it up in my hand, not fully intending, or committed, to use it.
For the first time in nearly four years, I bypassed some things that normally would get tossed in the bag; a stray water bottle, a McDonald’s bag, other bits of plastic. If it wasn’t in my immediate path, that is, within arm’s reach, it would lay where it was.
About half way into my snit, I semi-relented and began to pick up more and more junk. My mood was still sour, and it occurred to me that akin to Bill Rodgers, I had a case of litter fatigue. I was tired of it, tired of an unceasing supply of trash to be picked up.
A feeling of guilt came over me at the thought of items left behind. I’d abandoned my core principle: leave no trash behind. But therein is part of the problem. Whatever is left behind or seen on the curb side as I drive by will still be there tomorrow to be reclaimed. It always is. One can only hope my mood is a little lighter. My path couldn’t stand it two days in a row.