One of my (many) pet peeves is when people talk about giving 110% effort or putting any effort in excess of 100% into something. It's a pet peeve simply because it's not possible.
Let's say you're a sales person, and you have an annual quota. It's possible to get 110% or 150% or even 200% of your quota. Because your quota is a fixed amount with, theoretically at least, no upper limit.
But let's say that you're the most spectacular sales person in the world and so good that everyone buys only from you, so your sales are equal to 100% of the company's revenue. It would be impossible for you to have more than 100% of company revenue, because each additional dollar in sales (the numerator in this equation) increases total company revenue (the denominator) by one dollar. Effort is the same way--no matter how hard you work, you can't put in an effort greater than 100% of what you are capable of. A 100% effort is, by definition, everything you have to give.
So it is in life, with family, work, bike racing, skiing, even blogging. I have 24 hours in each day, and no matter how hard I work, I can't use more than 100% of that time. You may have noticed last week that I didn't post. I think that's the first time that's happened that I wasn't on vacation in the three years or so that I've been at this. Life got in the way.
I didn't blog about White Rim three weeks ago or Gooseberry two weeks ago or state criterium championships one week ago. Part of that is because I've blogged about all those things in the past, and I couldn't think of an innovative spin to put on White Rim being hard or Gooseberry being fun or state crits being disappointing (disappointing for me--Junkie Boy won the 10 and under race, and even though that wasn't an official race category, we're still claiming the win). I imagine I could have thought of something interesting to say about each, but I just never found the time to think about what that thing was, let alone to write it down.
This lack of time seems to be a microcosm of my life this year. Since starting my new job in February, I've had to put at least 20% more effort into work than before. Since upgrading to Cat. 2, the races have been at least 20% harder, which means I need more time and focus in training. Unfortunately, all I had was about 10% to give either way and to give more than that to either one would require a compromise of the other. I love bike racing, but it's not my life.
Which is not to say I'm giving up or making excuses. My performance has sucked, I know why it's sucked, and I own my suckiness. All I'm saying is that my hat is off to the guys in the Pro/1/2 field, Sleevie in particular, who's got two wins on the trot against some pretty vicious competition. I, on the other hand, will be lining up with the Masters field at Sugarhouse on Saturday and will put 100% of what I'm capable of into trying to at least finish a race for the first time this month.