I am in a dark, muggy basement, half-heartedly taking turns throwing punches at another girl in her 20s under the watchful eye of a shirtless male model. Both of us are sweating profusely.
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” I say.
“Me neither,” she says, then goes for my left tit with startling accuracy.
We have been paired up to learn how to block punches. It’s 7:30pm and I’m at Overthrow, a boxing gym off the Bowery in Manhattan, trying not to knock into other sweaty people, focusing primarily on the promise of free beer at the end of the workout.
In a city -- a country even -- with an ever-expanding galaxy of boutique-branded luxury fitness options, Overthrow defines itself by what it doesn’t have, like luxe, gorgeous showers with free Kiehl’s body lotion, or fancy, expensive equipment, or a smoking ban. Its image is anti-image, which as we all know winds up being even more strenuously pro-image. If you get caught Instagramming at Overthrow, there is a foreboding sense that you will get whacked in the knees with a foam bat and ordered to do 20 burpees, which of course makes you want to Instagram it more, which is obviously their intention in the first place.