Work and Marriage and Exercise

This article originally appeared in the January 2012 issue of MemphiSport. 

For working parents, simply finding the time to breathe can be a daunting task. Between family activities and long hours on the job, little is left for alone time. Add running, biking, swimming, and weight training to the mix, and you’ve got a recipe one local business couple tackles regularly.

“You have to make time. Whether that time is early in the morning or right after work, you just have to keep doing it,” said Teresa Glass Owens of her ability to balance fitness with work and family. As president of Glass Seating & Mobility, Teresa manages a team of therapists and technicians who specialize in custom wheelchairs and rehab equipment that help otherwise immobile patients lead active lifestyles.

At times, Teresa even fits exercise into her schedule by working and working out simultaneously.

“A team member may come to me to pick my brain about a concern she’s having, and we’ll take it in stride, literally.” Teresa said. Instead of a typical meeting, she’ll go for a run with an employee to relieve work stress and troubleshoot problems of the day.

What began as a way to lose baby weight became a way of life for Teresa, following in the footsteps of her husband and business partner Forrest Owens, who oversees day-to-day operations as vice president of the company and races competitively after hours.

Forrest, a former skateboarder, took to running following a severe ankle injury in order to stay in shape and gain strength, a sort of self-rehabilitation.

“I’m naturally competitive so when my doctor told me I wouldn’t be able to run, I gradually started testing my limits,” said Forrest. Running quickly led to training for triathlons such as Ironman in Hawaii and mountain bike races like Leadville in Colorado, where he faced the country’s most elite endurance athletes. It also spawned his involvement in the local triathlon team Los Locos, a group known for its commitment to the community, hosting clinics, assisting with local sporting events and ensuring public trails remain unobstructed by commercial development.

Running with groups like Los Locos also provides an opportunity for networking in the local business community, a benefit both Teresa and Forrest have used to gain insight from health care providers and professionals.

From running in races like the St. Jude Half Marathon in December to running their business year round, the two share a bond that supersedes the common strains of personal and professional relationships thanks to their passion for fitness.

“It’s a constant shuffle of schedules, but staying healthy is what keeps us happy and helps us manage a company together,” said Teresa. “We’ve learned over time that in business and in life, you must know when to compromise for the sake of the whole, and we find that exercise clears our heads and enables us to do that.”

“And by incorporating fitness into our daily lives, we’re setting an example for our children and team members to follow,” she said.

By Beth Okeon


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