The “afternoon” gym.
A gym at 6:30 in the morning is a place in motion. Every action seems purposeful with little time wasted in the niceties of even a “good morning.” The early AM hours in a boxing gym are no different. People work out as seeming little islands encased in their mirror work, in how they jump rope, hit the heavy bag or run on the machines. Even the interactions between boxer and trainer are encapsulated by a purposeful economy. One just does the rounds and gets out.
Working out in the afternoon is something else entirely. There is a languid spirit that pervades. Even the sunlight agrees, flooding in through windows and not as pinholed beams of light. Afternoon is also the time when with little else to do trainers group together to play checkers or dominos or sit sprawled out reading the paper over coffee and take-out.
To train in that atmosphere is to take things slow. There’s no pep in walking from place to place. And while one can work-out hard even harder than in a “morning” gym, an “afternoon” gym seems to demand that you tarry; take the extra round to figure out a problem or to push through the threshold of your next goal. I like to think that an “afternoon” gym is saying this is your place now – and because it is “your” place, there is no place else you need to go.