This reality hit me in about minute 5 of Open workout 13.2. I was stepping onto the box and thinking about how painful it was to keep going when I realized that, no matter what happened, the clock would keep running. It didn’t matter if I hated the workout, it didn’t matter if my lungs exploded, it didn’t matter if I went fast or slow, it didn’t matter if my heart suddenly popped out of my chest and fell bloody and beating on the floor, the clock would keep running. Because the clock doesn’t fucking care. It doesn’t care if I hurt, it doesn’t care about my age, and it doesn’t care if I worked too hard or slept too little. The clock just keeps ticking. In that workout, there was a finite marker and it was coming my way, no matter what I did or did not do.
The clock is a relentless master. It forces our reaction, and our decisions. In CrossFit, we don’t stop the clock and let you catch your breath, or get a drink, or figure out a plan for what you’re going to do next. The clock keeps running and you have to deal with whatever comes your way, right away. Just like in life. There is no place to hide while the clock is running.
That day, my 10 minutes finally ended — just like my life will one day — and I was totally accountable for what I accomplished, or failed to accomplish, with the time I had been given. Because it turns out that it’s not the clock that matters after all — what’s important is what you do with that time on the clock.