I’ve been thinking about time lately. I got time on my mind (I was really hoping for that to rhyme, oh well). I have a fascination with time, the fact that you can’t go backwards or forwards in time, you can’t repeat time and no matter what you can’t speed it up or slow it down; it goes at the same constant pace.
How often do we look at the clock in wods? I’ll answer that for you, a lot, actually probably more than you’re willing to admit. I look at the clock during warm up, I even try and turn my head around and look at the clock while I’m in agony holding couch stretch. I think in Crossfit you’re always fighting with the clock, racing against the clock or pushing yourself with the clock. 60 seconds left and you’re telling yourself to go to that the scary place, go to the next level, get those last reps and beat the person in front of you. Whatever it is, you use time as a motivation tool. Especially in those dyer seconds when time is all you have to get you out of the pain you’re in. Doesn’t it always feel like the time is never on your side? Those seconds count down faster on your rest and slower when you’re heart’s beating out your neck. Sometimes I can’t even start a wod without Curtis saying, “you’ve got 10 seconds” and the frantic-ness (is that a word?) I exude until I’m calmed by the “beep, beep, beep” and then the wod begins, then we go. I can remember going through the first round of exercises in a wod and looking at the clock and thinking, oh my god I still have 19 minutes and thirty seconds left. Thinking to myself, “I’m fucked, see ya later life, it’s been a nice 25 years!” Time in Crossfit has to be used strategically or you’re fucked… there’s just no other way to put it. You will never win against the clock, learn how to control it and just like those seconds, keep going.
Time and Crossfit, to me, go hand in hand; if you burn out in the first 3 minutes you might as well call’r a day. But if you strategize your time and pace yourself throughout the wod and dig in during the final stretch you might surprise yourself. I had to laugh last week during a wod with an obscene amount of pull-ups and kettlebell swings. Theresa Nielsen said about half way into the third round, “this just got real” and I thought girl you couldn’t be more right. Is this real life?!?! During the last 3 minutes of that workout I swear I was on auto-pilot, I probably wouldn’t have even known my own name at that point… would have given ya the ol’ fake bar name (Olivia – don’t act like you don’t have one).
Time though, time is constant, time is unforgiving, it’s uncontrollable and we often feel like we don’t have enough of it. How often do we hear that phrase, “it was bad timing”, does that just mean it was the wrong time? We weren’t in the right place at the right time; we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do you ever think you had to be in the exact place at the exact time to hear about or make the decision to come to CFAA? I honestly believe I was. A catalyst of events had to occur for me to walk into CFAA’s doors and if they hadn’t I may not even be sitting here writing this blog. This is why time fascinates me so much. If the timing of your life didn’t match up with the timing of someone else’s do you think your life would look the way it does in this current moment? Or maybe it would be different, which is why I believe we are in control of our lives 50 per cent of the time. The other half is controlled by proper timing; fate. I love the stories of how people had to be in the right place in the right time in order to meet each other. It could have been at the gym with their personal trainer or in Vegas of all places. Maybe the stars aligned maybe its fate; who knows but it got you here and given you good maybe bad but it’s given you, at the end of the day, a story; an experience. My journey in Crossfit at CFAA is at the very least a story one to tell all who will listen and it’s my experience. Sometimes that’s all we have, an experience to make the time more enjoyable. Make your time enjoyable and savour how you are enhancing your life. It is your life after all; it is your time, make everything you do worth your time.
One thing I do like about time is looking forward to something. The thought of knowing good things await you and excitement hangs whole-hearted in the air warm my weary heart. Anticipation of what’s to come and the memories made; life lives in but a memory. The ones you’ve lost, the ones you love, even the ones you dislike all live in your memory. Perhaps comforting, perhaps also agonizing.
When you reflect back on your life it lives in memories in your mind. Isn’t strange when someone has the same memories as you, you and someone you may dislike now will always share something together; time. No matter how much you’ve moved on from someone, how much you hate or love someone memories and time will always stand as the common denominator. You share memories with a person that will live on forever in your mind. The idea of sharing memories is a beautiful thing. It puts a time stamp on where and what you were doing in your life and symbolizes meaning, no matter how small or how big meaning is meaning.
Maybe we are afraid time is running out all together. The fact that if we don’t do something now when will we do it? When will we muster up the courage to take the risks we dream of, jump off the high dive or go searching for something greater? Maybe tomorrow or the next day, until those days turn in weeks and weeks into years and now you’re stuck. Justin Poonwah put it so perfectly. Someone asked him if giving up his life to go traveling and having to restart when he returned be a nightmare. Justin graciously replied, not leaving would have been the nightmare. To be honest at the moment I was floored by his response. We are trained throughout the course of our lives to chase the clock. Get a job or an education, find a mate or someone to spend your days with, make as much money as possible, buy a house, the list goes on and on. What we are “supposed” to do at a certain age or by a certain time, before time runs out, astound me; no wonder it’s a nightmare. So here’s to you Justin, I admire you, I think you’re so courageous and brave, relish in life’s remarkable gifts and the sweetness of your adventures. I hope you find a place where time has no meaning.
“Worrying about the future is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life will always be things that never crossed your worried mind.” Tim Lake, About Time.