Memphis Business Journal
September 2 – 8, 2011 | Memphis, TN
Memphis works out
Channel 5 reporter finds time for workout routine around hectic lifestyle
By Cole Epley
At first mention, “third shift” often conjures up images of monotonous assembly work, of factory workers swaying listlessly through the gates as the sun comes up.
WMC-TV Amy Speropoulos projects a starkly different aura, considering she’s usually headed for the gym when most people are still getting ready for the workday. But she’ll also be the first to admit to the difficulty of keeping up with physical fitness while fulfilling multiple roles.
“To say that things can be hectic is putting it mildly,” Speropoulos says. “In the past few years, it’s gotten more difficult to get into the gym because we have three girls and I work two part-time jobs, so my regimen now is just getting my exercise in where I can.”
Five days a week, Speropoulos silences her alarm clock at 2:50 a.m. and reports to the newsroom at Action News 5’s Union Avenue headquarters. By the time the morning newscast is wrapped up, the 39-year-old mother of three is just getting her day started. Following a typical 45-minute workout at Schilling Farms YMCA in Collierville, Speropoulos heads home to tend to her daughters — ages 5, 2 and four months — and prepares for her other duties as volunteer coordinator at Memphis Athletic Ministries. By 7 p.m., she’s in bed and readying for another day.
Whereas such a schedule would be likely to drive the average person up the wall, Speropoulos exudes confidence and grace for what she beholds as divine gifts.
“In TV, it’s very rare that they give part-time opportunities to people and I’m part-time,” she says. “They have offered me this and I’m still able to do the Lord’s work and I feel blessed to be able to do that and to still be a mommy.”
Speaking on the acumen of his friend and coworker, morning and noon anchor Andrew Douglas can’t find enough words to describe his colleague. “There’s no other way to put it — Amy Speropoulos is a blessing. She is someone who is always upbeat, positive and fun. She takes her job seriously but doesn’t take herself all that seriously,” he says. “She’s a breath of fresh air.”
Both of them parents and spouses, Douglas and Speropoulos combine for well more than 20 years’ experience in TV news and each can attest to the importance of physical fitness — especially for third shift workers like themselves.” When I first got on this shift, there was a study that I read that said people who work on the third shift gain weight. It was something like 20 percent of their body weight,” Douglas says. Among his aspirations was a desire not to become a statistic — one which has, so far, worked out well.
Speropoulos, in the meantime, finds it equally vital to maintain a healthful perspective as she gets older. She says her fitness routine rounds out her roles as a journalist, as a servant of God and, perhaps most importantly, as a mother.
“If mommy’s happy, then the whole house is happy,” she says.