The community is probably the singular most important aspect of CrossFit. Without the community, most of the appeal of CrossFit would fade, and it would be relegated to only those that excel. The community allows for everyone to participate, to improve and to overcome whatever physical, mental or even spiritual hurdles they might be facing.
The clock, however, is so much more formidable, intimidating and challenging. The clock (or the timer) is the most unbiased, unsympathetic, and unrelenting judge of performance, character, and ability that exists in the gym.
After 3, 2, 1... GO! The clock does not care if you don't feel like working out. When that buzzer sounds, it doesn't care if you finished under the time cap or need five more minutes.
After 3, 2, 1... GO! The clock does not care about your strategy, if you have your gear or if your favorite workout jam from Rob Bailey is playing or not. The clock will not alter its purpose or waiver from its objective.
After 3, 2, 1... GO! It is all about execution, willpower, and ability. The clock provides no rewards nor does it offer any criticism. It just does its job. Providing a consistent standard for everyone who dares to be measured by it.
The clock is not new. Its been around for centuries measuring efficiency and performance and shaping the modern era. In the gym, however, its potency is lost when the when your aim is geared towards the mirror and not performance.
The clock has replaced the mirror as the mark of progress and dared you to measure your fitness with performance. It has defined victory with reps and rounds constrained within a consistent measure. One more rep. One more round. One minute faster. Improvement against an unwavering standard that is how we win. It is our means to our end.
3, 2, 1...GO!