My Dirtbag Soul – by Erin Hill

I’m well aware that I might not be the first person that comes to mind when you hear the term “Dirtbag Runner”.  I’m a practicing…


I’m well aware that I might not be the first person that comes to mind when you hear the term “Dirtbag Runner”.  I’m a practicing attorney, with three kids, living in suburbia….NOT exactly the Dirtbag Dream, right?  Damn straight!  My response to that is that the heart of this wild woman is the same as every dirtbagger out there…..loving the mountains, the trails, and escaping every chance I get to play in the dirt.


Before discovering trail running, I always felt a little empty.  Like there was a piece of me missing.  As a child, I was the little girl who spent time playing in the dirt.  I was the one out catching lizards, and tadpoles, and running around outside late into the night.  My family spent time camping, backpacking and hiking and I always appreciated being out in nature.  Somewhere along the way, however, I forgot about that little girl.  I forgot about the peace I would feel being out in the woods and I, instead, spent all of my time working and focusing on my education.  My life got smaller over those years and I lost myself in a way that I never want to do again.  I think that by ignoring my heart and putting that little girl away, I was slowly dying inside.  The past couple of years have reconnected me with my heart and my Dirtbag Soul.  I’ve rediscovered my love of a more simple, more true, life.  I’ve realized that my happiness is just a few miles away in my mountain home and there is nothing selfish, or irresponsible about grabbing that life with both hands and running with it.


For those of us who have the Soul of a Dirtbag, but are still living our 9 to 5 lives, it is especially important to maintain balance and a continuous connection to the things that nourish our souls.  As a woman, and a mother of three little girls, I feel that getting connected with my Dirtbag Soul is like breathing; necessary to maintain life.  Taking that time to reconnect with that “wild child” within has helped me to be happier, to be a better mother, and to be an example to three little girls who are looking to me to teach them what it means to be a woman.



So, as often as I possibly can, I kiss my babies cheeks and I head out to the place where I can be me in a way that I’m not able to anywhere else.  I may not currently be able to fully live the Dirtbag Dream, but my Dirtbag Soul yearns for the more simple life and is incessantly drawn to the beauty of my Utah trails.  The moment I start to climb my mountains, my heart begins to beat with the effort of my work and with the love of the climb; with the pure freedom that comes from running, and with joy from the beauty that springs up all around me. I get fed by my almost daily trips into the wild in a way that I can’t in any other setting. I laugh louder, I love bigger, and I play harder when I’m out on my trails. I’m more “Me”…..I’m my best me…..I’m the true “Dirtbag” me….




  1. Ha, that’s awesome! I’ve never really done much trail running… But sounds like I just may have to:)

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