The other day I did what most people do in the UK (Birmingham aside as they’ve had some issues here recently) - I was taking the bins out ready for the next morning's collection. I put the bin out late, and woke up the next day after the bins had been emptied. I was in a bit of a rush - I had to get to work and thought I would take the bin back inside. Unlike a lot of people on the road where I live our bins are kept locked away at night and you have to lead them down a long corridor to take them out or put them back.
I loaded my car up with my things ready for work and decided to lead the bins back in, as I did I saw that there was a piece of paper on the floor just by the road. I thought, ‘hmmm, I wonder if that is from our bins, maybe I should grab it…’ But I didn’t - I just put the bins away and came back to my car a few minutes later. When I looked for the paper again it was gone, there was a slight outline of the paper on the ground thanks to the light drizzle of rain that had set in… Rain tends to happen in the UK.
I got into my car and started to drive down the road, thinking to myself, ‘I should have picked it up, someone else has probably picked it up and put it in the bin.’ I felt pretty bad and I was instantly flipped in “flash back” mode… I’m not sure if you ever have that mode, but I tend to flip into it a lot…
Growing up in Zimbabwe until I was 15 meant that I had a really cool childhood, great weather and an education that was fantastic. I attended schools whose educational model was based on older principles of boarding schools that people in the UK would be familiar with. Corporal punishment and stringent rules to abide by. Part of the structure was class ‘Monitors’, grade 7 ‘Prefects’ and break time ‘Litter Bugs’.
Monitors assisted Prefects in helping to lead each class to and from assemblies and helping out at break times, sporting events etc. Litter Bugs were nominated each week, if memory serves, the title was given to those who had failed to keep the school tidy, those who hadn’t used a bin for their litter and been caught. Litter Bugs would have to walk the school grounds at break time and pick up any litter that they could find.
I remember being a Litter Bug once and it was horrible, whilst all your friends were playing at break time, mostly cricket, you’d be walking around with a big red badge picking up litter. (Now you might be thinking, ‘if there was so much litter then why wasn’t everyone a litter bug,’ my answer is, not everyone was caught.)
The flashback is over, but I sat in my car, started the engine and drove off down the road thinking I should have just picked up the paper then and there instead of waiting and thinking about it. As I thought that I saw the same piece of paper floating in the air down the road behind my car as I drove off… I felt slightly better about the idea that it blew away, rather than someone else being a better person in society.
The first few minutes of my journey to work I thought to myself there is a lesson in this moment, the lesson is that I should have just grabbed the paper and thrown it away when I had the chance instead of hesitating.
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t look at litter on the floor and have earth shattering flashbacks every day, I just had a moment the other day where I thought that there was a good lesson to be learned.
How does that apply to a personal development and fitness blog post, well, I guess I could string it together in such a way that says - you’ve really got to take opportunity when it presents itself. If you feel inspired to do 300 push ups then don’t wait until tomorrow to do them, get them done straight away, (after a good warm up, hydration and a bit of rest between sets.)
If you know that you are keen to get into good shape and become fitter then there is no time like the time you are thinking about it, you’ve got to 'strike whilst the iron is hot' as they say…
So that is my pearl of wisdom for this week, don’t be a litter bug and contribute to Birmingham’s rubbish on the streets, and take the opportunity to do something good for yourself and for the world when the opportunity is there.
Now, stop reading this and go have an epically awesome week and if you see some paper on the floor, just pick it up.
Stay Strong and Keep Moving!
Brendan is the owner and head trainer at Raw Motion Fitness.