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Litter fatigue …

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.

This isn't today's haul. It's from an excursion last week when my modo was far better. There would be no pictures today as I recovered from my snit.

This isn’t today’s haul. It’s from an excursion last week when my mood was far better. There would be no pictures today as I recovered from my sour attitude.

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.

About Dave Bradley (260 Articles)
I'm the one behind two totally unrelated blogs; one on 15 years of writing a weekly letter to my kids (plus other recipients), the other on my localized environmental responsibility. I'm a writer by trade and both endeavors are accepted practice for me. As for the letters, my adult children Ellen and Reid may have seen letters as corny at one point, but it's accepted practice for them, too, to find something in their mailbox other than bills and junk mail. Email and texting don't do a lot for me for a lot of different reasons. Snail mail has its place in the communicative world so as long as they keep selling stamps, I'm buying. As for 'Pick Up Your Path' and the environment, I advocate what citizens can do themselves to take a direct hand in their neighborhood environment. But Pick Up Your Path is also a general environmental blog. It may be largely about litter and trash, but both of those are just one element of the total environmental picture.

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