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I grew up poor in crappy situations... various crappy situations. What kept me sane was reading and music. I had so many different literary tastes growing up, be it fiction like Stephen King or Piers Anthony or non-fiction like reading Hunter S. Thompson essays or reading the Beats. I was a huge fan of the Beat movement.
There are times, like after a long day of work, when the thought of an easy drive-through is enticing. But then I remember how crappy I felt when I ate fast food in the past, and it inspires me to head to the grocery store or my local farmer's market and whip up an easy but healthier option.
There are those who seem to feel they have no choice about being jerks in the present because they had a crappy childhood. Well, that's the definition of childhood; nobody gets out alive. You either get stronger from what you experience, or you turn it into a crutch, an excuse, a dodge.
In rowing, you're always striving for that perfect stroke, that repetition, each one being as good as the last. Same thing with cooking. You can't say, 'Oh, I don't feel well, so I'm going to put out a crappy plate.'
Sure, I like ice cream, but when you keep a healthy lifestyle, it's: Do you prefer sweets and crappy food, or do you prefer to have a nice body? It depends on what you want more.