In the functional fitness world of CrossFit, the clock is as much of a component of fitness as the barbell. What was your time? Did you PR? Did you beat so and so?
But what if you don’t turn the clock on? Did fitness actually happen? Must we measure and quantify every single moment of our training? Ah yes, a question for the ages.
It’s just exercise. Not every workout needs to be measured, recorded or timed. You can take the clock out of the equation and still get a great workout. It still happened. You still got fitter.
The reason people get burned out from CrossFit is because they get burned out from the metcons. It’s emotionally draining to always have the gas pedal pressed to the floor, to think about the workout all day long, strategizing down to the second of how you’ll do each movement, and tracking your gym’s leaderboard to see who you need to beat. If you have anxiety over a daily workout, there’s something wrong there. You’re taking it way too seriously. Get out of your head and into the gym. Move around. Pick up the weight. Put down the weight. It’s that simple.
Remove all of the noise (the clock, the whiteboard, another person’s performance) and what are you left with? Good old fashioned fitness.
Do the workout. Have fun. Talk to your friends. Go home. Every day doesn’t have to be a colossal throwdown ending with you on the floor rethinking the choices you’ve made in life. You can’t sustain repeated efforts like that day in and day out.
You don’t have to always have the added pressure of the clock. Removing the time as a factor is a mental deload – which is just as valuable for long-term success as a physical deload.
Don’t let the clock control every part of your training. Some days you just need to go at your own pace. You have the ability to stop time. Do it.