FitabilityTX wants to help more people find their ability
Plus, Johnson appointed to council, more from council meeting and a look at what's happening soon in Burleson
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Johnson appointed to council
Ronnie Johnson was appointed to fill the vacant seat on city council by a 4-2 vote at a special city council meeting Thursday at City Hall.
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Council members voting for Johnson included Victoria Johnson, Place 1, Phil Anderson, Place 2, Larry Scott, Place 4, and Adam Russell, Place 6 while Mayor Chris Fletcher and Mayor Pro-Tem Dan McClendon voted against.
Johnson lost the mayoral election to Fletcher in May. Johnson served on city council for 11 years prior to losing the election.
City council moved to appoint someone to fill the vacant Place 3 seat, rather than hold a special election, at its meeting Monday at City Hall.
The vote to move to appoint someone to fill the seat was unanimous. A special election would’ve costed the city $38,000 to $45,000, according to city secretary Amanda Campos.
The vacated seat legally had to be filled within 120 days of May 23, the date former council member Jimmy Stanford’s letter of resignation was received.
Craftmasters plans to open 5,000-student trade-school in Burleson
Alex Phillips, Burleson economic development director, and Chad Turnball, Craftmasters managing director, reported to city council the details of the trade-school campus and headquarters Craftmasters wants to build in Burleson Monday at the city council meeting at City Hall.
The $150 million campus and headquarters would provide at least 400 jobs paying $57,000 per year on average, add $114 million taxable value to Burleson, add $335,000 annually to the city’s general fund and benefit Burleson $72 million over 20 years.
Craftmasters’ plans to complete construction on the campus and headquarters and enroll at least 5,000 students by 2026.
“I can’t think of a better gateway facility for the Chisolm Sumit development or a better use of our Hooper Business Park that I would welcome more than I would welcome this,” Mayor Pro-Tem Dan McClendon said. “This is a great change. It’s a turning point for the city in a very, very good direction.”
Burleson is a finalist for this project along with Orlando, Florida, where Craftmasters operates, and Phoenix, Arizona.
Parks and rec plans to open Shannon Creek Park in 2026
Jen Basham, Burleson director of parks and recreation, reported to city council the details of the Shannon Creek Park project Monday at the city council meeting at City Hall.
The reported design and plan for the $3.13 million park include a pond, “play lawn,” paved trail, nature trail, “nature play,” parking and dog park.
Construction of the park would begin in 2024 and conclude by 2026.
Sponsor: O’Brien Party Rentals
Contact O’Brien Party Rentals to get $50 off (O’Brien Party Rentals is a business owned by Rachel and Samantha O’Brien, not by Cody O’Brien).
The Burleson Senior Citizens Center will host its annual June Craft Fair Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Burleson Senior Citizens Center.
The Burleson Public Library will hold a “FOL Bag of Books Bonanza” from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the library.
The Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce will host its monthly “Network@Night” event at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at ClearWater Express Wash in Burleson.
The Burleson Writers Group will be meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Burleson Public Library. I’ll be there.
The Burleson Area Chamber of Commerce will host an Emergency Preparedness and Recovery Workshop for Businesses Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Russell Farm Art Center. The event will feature speakers discussing best practices for emergency communication and is designed to equip businesses with knowledge and tools to prepare for emergencies.
Sponsor: Cambridge Caregivers
Contact Cambridge Caregivers for warm, compassionate care for seniors and others.
FitabilityTX wants to help more people find their ability
FitabilityTX is a nonprofit fitness company that works solely with disabled people. FitabilityTX’s clients include people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, those that are wheelchair-bound and aging or injured people.
“Any kind of limitation, we can do,” said Jessica Reams, president and founder of FitabilityTX.
Reams founded FitabilityTX in 2019 after teaching adaptive physical education for 10 years. She left the career she fell in love with because she was tired of the bureaucracy involved in teaching, and it wasn’t the perfect fit she was looking for, she said.
Reams discovered the perfect fit she was looking for when she found someone online personal training disabled people.
Reams originally started FitabilityTX out of the Burleson Recreation Center (BRiCk) where she was a personal trainer. She left the BRiCk in 2020 when she had to expand to her own space and opened a 1,000-square-foot gym with one piece of exercise equipment, a cardio machine and some dumbbells.
Since opening, FitabilityTX has grown massively, Reams said. FitabilityTX had to move to a 2,500-square-foot facility in February because it became difficult to have multiple people training in the space simultaneously.
Navigating the changes FitabilityTX has gone through has been scary, Reams said.
“It’s a leap of faith,” Reams said. “You become very comfortable in what you are doing, and it’s safe, and it’s easy.”
What motivates Reams through that fear is her commitment to herself and her clients.
“If I quit, what am I gonna do,” Reams said. “And then, if I quit, what are they going to do?”
Reams has become attached to her clients over the years, she said. She gets invited to birthdays and out to dinner with them and keeps up with them on Facebook. “Every single one of my clients has a part of my life,” she said.
Reams’s clients are fun, and working with them makes her smile, she said.
“There’s nothing more fun than walking into a room and having everybody go, ‘Jessica!’’ Reams said. “And you’re like ‘Yes, all I had to do was walk in the door.’”
Reams gravitates toward disabled people because her mother was a special education teacher and she and Reams’s father were each disabled at different points in Reams’s life.
Reams’s mother was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when Reams was a child, and her father was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when she was in college.
When Reams’s mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, doctors recommended she exercise. Reams’s family became very physically active from then on, Reams said.
That shift to becoming very physically active may have been what ultimately led Reams to becoming a personal trainer.
Reams originally went to Baylor University for engineering, but while she was good at math and science, she wasn’t good at engineering math and science, she said. When Reams decided she didn’t want to be an engineer, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do instead. Her father, having watched her grow up being so active, suggested she get a kinesiology degree.
Reams’s kinesiology degree, along with other necessary certifications, opened opportunities to be a personal trainer. Reams got her first personal training job when she was 19 years old and has been doing it in varying capacities since.
Kendra Holms, another trainer at FitabilityTX, also has experience with disability in her family. Her grandmother was a polio survivor.
Watching her grandmother struggle with movement and mobility made Holms want to work in fitness with elderly and disabled people, Holms said.
Holms joined FitabilityTX after meeting Reams at the grocery store about a year after Reams founded Fitability. FitabilityTX was more up her alley than a regular gym, Holms said.
Reams believes her and her fellow trainers’ experience is why people should trust them and choose FitabilityTX.
Ultimately, Reams wants to train more people and get enough clients to open a gym with equipment that disabled people can use.
“I want to be the gym that has equipment that everybody can use and not just ambulatory people,” Reams said.
Holms believes FitabilityTX provides a place for challenged people to train with knowledgeable trainers, which is rare, Holms said.
“They need a place to exercise,” Holms said of people with limitations. “They need a place to get out and be healthy. And most gyms are unfortunately not set up for that.”
For those looking for trainers experienced in working with disabled, elderly and injured people, Reams wants you to know FitabilityTX is here. “If you have a need, we can help you,” she said.
*Editor’s note: a previous version of this newsletter was published under the title, “FitabilityTX wants to help more disabled people find their ability.” The title was changed to “FitabilityTX wants to help more people find their ability” to be more inclusive.