Monday, September 3, 2018

Trash Talk turned Trash Walk - 1 year later

Behold! The most money I have made while picking up trash over the past year!

I suppose it's nothing to really brag about, but a year ago Hurricane Irma struck my area pretty hard. In my neighborhood flooding was severe, but since we are near lakes the water level receded fairly quickly. The amount of debris and trash left everywhere appalled me, and while I was walking my dogs, I started picking up trash when I picked up doggy doo.

Now you are all caught up!

Several months after my community service / dog walking began regularly, I heard about plogging - the Swedish trend of picking up trash while jogging.

Now, I HATE running. It is quite literally my second least favorite thing in the world.

But... I ain't gettin' any younger, and my smaller dog loves to run. The daily haul from my neighborhood - save for the week after Independence Day - has shrunk to 1-2 lbs of trash each day. That includes expanding the walk to every street in my little area.

So in July I started … running. Well, jogging/walking/crawling - whatever gets me home eventually. The two-mile circuit goes around several neighborhoods in a giant loop that is heavily trafficked and trashy as a result. 

The first month, Thor and I pulled about 5 lbs of trash 3 - 4 times each week (cuz there is not way I am running every single day). Now we get closer to 3 lbs each circuit, but my pace is faster and I've lost nearly 10 lbs as a bonus.

My incentives?
- Every time I stop for trash, I get a 10-second walking rest. I have never wanted to find trash so badly.
- Picking up trash makes me feel as though the run serves a purpose. For those who hate running, and see moving fast without being chased by a bear as a complete waste of energy, having a bag full of debris gives me motivation to go out and do it again.
- It is really great for my dog's health too. We don't have a yard, and this mutt loves to run. Sometimes he pulls me (the leash is attached around my waist, not my wrist) and sometimes I get him moving, but as a running partner it's a good fit.

I have received exactly three acknowledgements from strangers in the past year. Two people in the neighborhood have said "thank you" and just last week an elderly gentleman on my two-mile run beamed at me and said "Good for you! Way to go!" and I've decided to take it as a compliment.

But the biggest compliment came from my husband. He bought me a new pair of running shoes and a motivational magnet for the fridge. Thanks, babe!


Bill Thomas said...

What a great thing to do! Wish you were my neighbor and were helping us pick up around here, we live across from a school and there is always stuff to pick up. Also congratulations on leaving some pounds when you are picking up the rest!

Callie Sharkey said...

Thanks, Bill!
This is one of those things where I just decided to give the standard dog walking task a little more purpose. I appreciate you taking the time to post.