It's always hard to negate what people believe you to be. It's all about appearances. Anything that doesn't fit in the box of goodness and facades becomes labeled.
I sometimes wish people would just talk openly about how they feel. I know that everyone's neither deaf nor blind. Talking behind people's backs, making them look like they have the monopoly of "bad" attitudes, and basically refusing to see whatever ounce of goodness they may have suck.
I can now make a list of 10,000 and one ways to effectively kill my spirit. A friend asked me why I still stay. Essentially I think it's because I still believe. I believe in what I do and I know I still have the passion to burn. It's no different with rowing actually and I think the following captures the reason behind why I continue to hang on when all I want to do is let go:
"There has to be a PASSION. Not a mild interest but a passion.
When you complete the race you DON'T WANT TO LOOK BACK or even FEEL that you had more to give YOU WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU'RE ON EMPTY.
Have no regrets.
COME OFF THE WATER HAVING GIVEN FULL MEASURE." - (from All for One)