Houstonians help business owner rebuild after severe storm damage

It's a new year with a new goal for people walking into Helix at 3609 Emancipation Avenue Saturday morning.

The gathering at the Third Ward gym was sparked by a rough start to 2022 for one personal trainer.
More than 20 miles north, Infinity Fitness Solutions was left in shambles after an EF1 tornado swept through downtown Humble, pummeling the gym with winds between 86 and 110 miles per hour.

BACKGROUND: Tornado pushes through Humble, Montgomery, knocking down trees and power for several residents

The owner Kevin Johnson appeared to have gotten the worst of the damage left behind.

"Seeing it is just disbelief," he said while surveying the damage in an interview with FOX 26 the day after the disaster.

A week later, he is nearly speechless again but for a much more positive reason.  

The Houston fitness community pulled together a workout fundraiser on January 15th, also providing a place for his members to sweat for free.

"I’ve been home looking at TV wondering what I’m going to do for the last week or so," says Johnson. "To actually come out here and be able to lead a work out and get around some people is an amazing feeling."

The event was partly organized by Odom Consulting Group. Co-founder Robin Owens credits Johnson with kick-starting her weight loss journey eight years ago.

"As a representation of five to ten years of your life’s work, to see it gone in an instant is so hard to swallow. It’s so hard to even wrap your brain around," says Owens. "So when we saw that we immediately asked within hours, ‘what can we do to help?'"


Owens connected with Feast With Beasts Fitness to help with rebuilding by hosting the event.

"When I saw the pictures, I was like ‘oh man that’s pretty bad’. I could just imagine pulling up to the gym and seeing my gym like that," says co-founder Marvin Lemond.

"We are brothers at arms and come to support each other," adds co-founder Chris Caldwell.

RELATED: Some are calling it a miracle that six tornadoes touched down in the Houston area, no deaths

Johnson needs about $100,000 to pay his insurance deductible and buy new equipment. Space City Gym in Humble is also serving as a temporary home while he plans to reopen in May.

"I was touched that people care about what other people are going through and are willing to help and donate time and money and resources to help another person get back on their feet," says Johnson.

It's also not lost on him that a Houston wind advisory is blowing through his first workout since the storm, a reminder to not let bad weather stop him from moving ahead.

"Stay strong," he says. "You are going to have these windy days, sometimes worse than others, but we’ll still be all right."