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Meet Duane Fraser of ESA in East Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Duane Fraser.

Duane, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My journey began around 2004 when I became diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Around this time, I had just began to take an interest in fitness and decided to take it up a notch when I realized my life depended on it. During the process, I fell in love with the bodies ability to push itself beyond its limits and decided to make it a career. I reached out to a mutual friend of mine and asked to serve as an apprentice to gain experience while I studied for my certification. After getting my certification I worked for several gyms while developing my own training style at home and at the park. Shortly after, I deciding to strike out on my own all while raising a family and working a full-time job to support them. I eventually quit my 9 to 5 once I built my clientele up and began pounding the pavement doing everything necessary to stay the path which leads me up to this point.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely has not been easy but I wouldn’t have it any other way because you learn so much from failure and you develop strength based on your misfortunes. As cliche as it sounds, its really the truth, but there have been so many roadblocks and it seems like once you get around those you encounter new ones. One in particular is less than a month after quitting my 9 to 5 I suddenly lost a majority of my clientele within a week and thats when I began to wonder if I made the right decision. I didn’t know how I was going to provide even getting to the point where I couldn’t even afford my insulin, very trying times.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about ESA – what should we know?
My company is ESA which stands for Eastside Athletics and we are a fitness community-based in the East Downtown area of Houston. The name comes from the location and our style of training which is similar to that of an athlete which focuses on developing brute strength through calisthenics, resistance training, balance, coordination and endurance. I just took the two things I’m passionate about, strength and style and just combined them in a unique training space. The fact that I’ve stayed true to myself and my vision even during the midst of uncertainty makes me proud of how far I’ve come. Through creativity and a lack of resources I developed my own unique style of training by default without compromising my vision. What sets us apart is the way we train and our style of training, a lot of our workout material is customized and we focus on training the entire body during each session while strengthening the core throughout. The uniqueness of our training along with space makes for not just a cool experience but one that also improves function and performance while still generating results.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Along the way I’ve encountered support from those close to me such as family and close friends to strangers in elevators who seem to offer some brief words of encouragement out of nowhere right when I needed to hear it. A lot of the credit goes to my mentor who I still communicate with to this day along with my immediate family and clients I’ve met along the way who have become close associates and friends have attributed to what has gotten me to this point. When times were tough they were a shoulder to lean on and when things were up they were the first ones to congratulate me and show support. There are really too many to name and most would prefer to remain nameless but their contribution whether direct or indirect is appreciated.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 6626 Supply Row
    Houston, TX 77011
  • Website:
  • Phone: 832-971-3931
  • Instagram: @esahtx

Image Credit:
A Will Jr

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