Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Dirtbags

So you may be asking yourself what is a dirtbag. Actually probably not, because you probably know me. Regardless this was one of the only definitions of dirtbag that I could find online:

"n: Piss-poor, unemployed rock climber who lives off scrounged food and sleeps, obviously, in the dirt. The pinnacle of climbing commitment and idol of employed climbers."

I prefer to reduce the definition to two words:

"Homeless Athlete."

This is a superior definition for several reasons. One, you don't necessarily have to be a rock climber to be a dirtbag. (Kevin fun fact: Rock Climbing causes homelessness by the same percentage as heroin) In theory you could be a dirtbag for any sport, it's just that not very many people are willing to camp in the snow so they can play badminton more often. There are dirtbag highliners, kiteboarders, and a few remaining snow and surf bums. However most are rock climbers.

The other thing I prefer about my definition is that any rock climber can be piss-poor and scrounge food. You could still live in an apartment, go to college, smell good, be around women, etc. Only the truly dedicated will willingly become homeless just to climb rocks a little more often.

Quick Game!

What's a good way to tell a dirtbag from a regular homeless person. After all, both of them haven't shaved or showered in a week. Both of them are eating cold soup out of a can. Both of them reek of malt liquor. So how can you tell the difference? I'll give you a few easy steps that will help you along. First: look for the abs.

Mind you, I'm the only person who can climb full time, be super thin and still not have abs, so I shave mine in.
Not a lot of regular homeless people walking around with six packs, killer forearms and awesome back muscles. The other major difference: Happiness. Your average homeless person wishes he lives indoors and has a big screen TV. Your average dirtbag wishes he could climb half a grade harder. If he can commit to living off that 2$ 64oz jar of Grocery Outlet peanut butter for the next week, maybe he can get an extra week to send that project he's been working on! Homelessness makes the dirtbag happy and the homeless person a sad sack of shit.

Most people in who are not rock climbers don't really understand what we dirtbags are doing. My own family just thinks I'm up to "Some serious hippy shit." They are always trying to get me to go visit them. Unfortunately most of them live in humid, flat, rockless, urban wastelands. When I suggest that they come visit me in a modern paradise like Squamish, BC, they are dumbfounded by the idea. Even though it's actually easier for them to visit me than it is for me to hitchhike across the great plains just to go hang out in the somewhere where I'd have nothing to do. We dirtbags are not just tramping around for no reason. Nobody would be doing this without rock climbing. Except homeless people, and they'd much rather be watching T.V.