I have my share of pet peeves, my wife would probably say that I have much more than my share, but that is beside the point I wish to make here. I have heard many different times from a variety of angles people talking about how they “always” give 110%.
There are only two things wrong with this claim: 1) it is not possible “always” give your maximum effort and, 2) is mathematically impossible to give more than 100%.
If one gives everything one can, uses every ounce of effort available, one might,for a very brief spurt, be able to give 100%. Perhaps if I run 50 yards, I might be able to run at 100% of my ability, however limited that might be, for the full 50 yards. But if I am running a marathon, I cannot run the entire 26.2 miles at 100% effort. I may very well give it my best effort and do everything I can to finish the race in the best possible time for me. But if I try to give it my maximum effort from the start, I will be sitting and panting before the first mile marker.
If I ran as fast and as hard as I can, I will be running at 100% of my ability. I simply cannot run at 101% of my ability or 102% or 110% percent of my ability. The person who says that they are giving 110% is telling you that they are doing 10% than it is possible for them to do. That, simply makes no sense.
Just once I would like to hear the person doing one of these interviews whether it is with an athlete, an entertainer, a politician, or a businessman follow-up that claim with the following question: “That is very interesting, would you please explain how you can consistently give more effort than you are, by definition, capable of doing?”
Math can’t explain everything and I’m afraid the statement “I gave 110%” is only about spiritual condition. I remember a great trainer has said, “You should do the exercise until you can’t do it at all and then do a little more.”
Two things about your post:
First, it seems that you’re assuming that the average athlete can think and speak at the same time (the other three don’t think, either; they connive).
Second, I’m not sure how to handle this problem of my own: My chief peeve is the pet peeves of others. Any suggestions?