When I was in graduate school, I wrote my thesis on health stories in city magazines. I won’t bore y’all with all the details, like my coding scheme or the method I chose to establish reliability (although that’s a story to tell over drinks). However, one of my biggest takeaways was that city magazines, especially D, and its readers love fitness articles.
It makes sense. Dallas has a huge fitness culture with hundreds of gyms. Pilates. HIIT. Yoga. Name a workout, and there’s a studio with a class for you. Every month, I get emails about a new gym opening. It’s a big deal.
But it’s a deal that’s always intimidated me, because, well, I am disabled. I was born with a condition called arthrogryposis. It means I’ve had very tight joints and very weak muscles my whole life. I’ve used a wheelchair, worn leg braces, done more than a decade of physical therapy, and had several surgeries at Scottish Rite Hospital. Accordingly, I’ve never been a star athlete. And the realm of workout studios and super buff instructors shouting platitudes about how to get fit was never a place I felt I belonged.
So when I began write about health and wellness here at D Magazine, I thought long and hard about how I was going to cover this scene. Then I approached my boss with an ambitious, perhaps crazy, plan. What if I took all these fitness classes and reviewed them on their accessibility? I got the green light, and my series, Shape Up, launched in early August. Check out my first review of Stretch Lab to get the full breakdown on how my reviews are structured, but here’s the tl;dr version: Every week I’ll attend a workout class, like at Bar Method and Black Swan Yoga, and report back on the difficulty, the aesthetics, the cost, and accessibility. Really, I’m trying to answer one fundamental question. Can someone who’s not able-bodied take this class, feel safe, and thrive? Have a gym I should check out? Send me an email here.
Besides sweating my butt off each week, August was a busy month on the lifestyle side of D. We explored adult friendships and the Dallas Museum of Art’s fabulous “Cartier and Islamic Art” exhibit. We talked to local businesses devasted by the August 22 flooding and to TikTok star Carla Rockmore. Over on our Home and Garden section, we discovered one of the most eclectic homes in Dallas. We learned about how we can save monarch butterflies in our backyards. And we got excited about the third-annual Dallas Kips Bay Decorator Show House.
Coming up this month, we’ve got more Shape Up reviews, a peek into several new NorthPark shops, a guide to Thrift Studio, and a whole lot more. Have a story idea? Email me at [email protected].