Do you ever have an experience that you want to write a post about, and you know somewhere in it there’s a point, but you’re not exactly sure what it is?
Well that’s this post, so bear with me while I go on a bit of a ramble in hopes of finding my point!
A couple of weekends ago Jason and I went for a long run on our local bike path. We’re fortunate to have a few great paths near us to run on and we take advantage of them (and the beautiful scenery!) often.
I wasn’t having a particularly good run this day (in fact it was downright brutal), my legs were heavy and tired and each step was a struggle, I was cranky from the start.
As we ran down the path my mood only got worse as I looked around and saw all the trash everywhere! Seriously, it was like the snow started to melt and instead of spring flowers out popped a layer of trash! Not only was it gross (I mean who litters?!?), but it just made me MAD.
The entire run my thoughts alternated between frustration over my sluggish legs and being furious over the trash covered path.
I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after we got home and there was a part of me that dreaded my next run there because of how upset and sad it made me to see it like that.
Then I had another thought…instead of letting it make me mad, why not just pick it up?
So, armed with rubber gloves at our next run club, I ran 5 miles (2.5 out and back) and picked up 2 full bags of trash.
Now I DO know what the point of this post is NOT.
It is NOT: look at this lovely good deed I did, aren’t I wonderful!
Because if I’m being honest, I was picking up the trash mostly for myself, I seriously did not want to have to look at it on my next run! (See, not a good deed, totally selfish! Anyone remember the Friends episode about there not being such a thing as a selfless good deed?!)
Several of my fellow run-clubbers asked why I was doing it and pointed out that surely once all the snow melted the town would send someone to clean up!
And I agreed, I’m sure they would send someone to pick it up. Eventually.
But in the meantime, why not me?
Why don’t I throw on some gloves and be the crazy person picking up trash on a run?
For all I know, not a single other person who uses that path (and it is a very busy path!) noticed that it was a little cleaner, but I don’t really care. I didn’t do it for anyone else, I did it because running should be a relaxing escape and getting myself all worked up over litter was certainly not very relaxing.
So forgive my rambling, but I think my point is that often we see things that need to be done and think “someone else will do it” – and they may.
But I wanted to share this story, like I said, not for a pat on the back, but because maybe just by sharing this story someone else will be on a run, see some trash (or a stray cart in the parking lot at the grocery store…) and wonder when someone is going to pick it up and then stop and think, “why not me?”.