#EarnTheView — Or Should You Just Share?

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A few years ago, I ended up in San Francisco with a couple of guys I’d met in the transition area at a triathlon in Las Vegas. (This is a fairly normal statement coming from me, it’s nothing weird.)

Anyway, these guys, if you can believe it, had a team of sled dogs that they had been using in Alaska, but were now keeping in San Francisco. Naturally, these dogs needed to be run quite a bit, so while I stayed with them, we ran them, a lot. We’d hook them up to tires and run them on hidden beaches. I rode with a high school mountain bike team on secret trails and debated coaching concepts. I woke up for the 4 AM swim practices that the guys were doing with a crotchety old coach at an old outdoor pool, swimming while watching the sun rise up over Mount Tam. We ate a lot of tacos.

Sounds amazing, right?

Now ask if I have any pictures.

The answer, unfortunately, is no, not really. The guys were a little on the kooky side, and both were firmly against taking pictures, especially when you have to stop your activity to take it. Frustrating, when the activities and the sights were some of the coolest I’d ever seen. Part of it was practical—they hated pausing to do anything other than enjoy the moment or do something practical like eating. But the main thing was that they were—unlike the vast majority of us—totally against sharing the views and the activities with people who hadn’t ‘earned them.’

As in, should a mountain view be seen by someone who hasn’t climbed to the top of the summit.

While I can appreciate that sentiment to some extent, I truly love sharing the view. I know I’m lucky with my job, and with my ability to ride or hike or run or swim to the summit. There are plenty of people who don’t get the chance to do what we do, or don’t think to go to the top, see the cool views, without some inspiration.

I was climbing this great/ridiculous hill in Southern California a few weeks ago, and at the top, I stopped to take a picture, since the view was perfect. And suddenly, my two old friends from San Francisco popped into my head.

Did I earn this view? Damn right I did. But I also earned the right to share it. So, I took a picture, I posted it, and as I was writing a caption, tagging it with #earntheview just felt right.

What views have you earned lately?

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