Wendy Tucker is the Market Leader of Omega Sports in Winston-Salem. Before joining the team, Wendy had a very successful restaurant called Newtown Bistro that she ran for 21 years.
Listen to the full interview on The Omega Sports Women’s Only Podcast.
The Road to Omega Sports
Wendy was a frequent Omega Sports shopper. She’d been visiting it since the early 80s as she was active in sports throughout high school. During the time Newtown Bistro was shutting down, she struck up a conversation with Glenn, who was currently managing the Omega Sports in her area. He asked if she part-time job.
Wendy was on her way to the beach and said, “No, I don’t think I need a part-time job, I want to take a little break.” It wasn’t long into her beach trip that she thought, perhaps a part-time job would be perfect. She started with just a few hours a week and quickly became a shift supervisor. And not long after an assistant manager. Now, Wendy is a Market Leader and she loves it.
When Wendy was running the restaurant, so many of the employees were there for 21 years. It was difficult to say goodbye. Working at Omega has allowed her to see them as many come into the store.
Running a restaurant, she learned that if you treat your employees good, they’re going to stay and they’re going to be loyal, and she just carried that to Omega.
A lifetime of learning
Wendy studied Spanish in college and has continued throughout her adult life. Through a program at her daughter’s school, they hosted an exchange student from Argentina. She used that opportunity to practice her Spanish. The exchange students were gracious and really patient in helping her improve her Spanish. This has helped with Spanish-speaking customers who need help when they visit Omega.
She is also a big reader. She loves reading about other cultures, mental illness, and anything that keeps her learning. She’s currently reading “The Four Winds,” set during the Dust Bowl era in Texas, during the Great Depression.
Why is it so important to stay active?
Mental wellbeing is the number one reason to stay active. There are a lot of stressors in life, and staying active is so helpful. Wendy also suffers from severe migraines and she noticed that on days she doesn’t work out, she is more likely to get a migraine.
Things like running solo allow Wendy to think and unwind. He allows her to be by herself. When you’re at work in retail, you’re always talking to somebody, always helping somebody, so it’s important to take time alone. Wendy doesn’t have to talk to anyone, doesn’t have to keep up with a running partner, and listens to podcasts while running, it’s her time.
Must-have gear at Omega Sports
In the shoe department, the Brooks Ghost just works for Wendy. They fit her foot and aid her running. This was something she had to test out to find out what works for her. Prior to working at a sports store, she did not realize the importance of a properly fitted running shoe.
View this post on Instagram
For a sports bra, she prefers the Brooks Fiona. The adjustable velcro strap makes it so easy to wear. As an alternative, she loves the Brooks Juno. And for low-impact activities, she loves Handful.
She’s also a big Nuun fan to help with energy, particularly the lemon-lime flavor.
Wendy’s greatest influence
Wendy met Nga, her best friend, and greatest influence 20 years ago at the gym they both attended. Nga would even set up her equipment and say “hello sister!” with a big smile on her face.
Nga went through several bouts of cancer, starting with breast cancer. She was able to fight that off and went into remission. Unfortunately, it came back in her lungs and lymph nodes. She successfully fought and went into remission only for it to return. But this time in her brain. Unfortunately, Nga could not fight off the brain cancer. After having surgery she passed away.
Wendy remembers taking her to chemotherapy for years. It allowed her to keep her own problems in perspective.
Nga had led such a rich life. Her family sold everything they had and put her on a ship from Vietnam with her niece.
She was 18 years old and her niece was 8. They had almost made it to Hong Kong when pirates took over the ship, put a gun to her head, and made all the refugees jump off into the ocean to swim to safety. Some folks didn’t make it, Nga ensured she and her niece did. She watched many children and elderly people die, so she always told Wendy that cancer was no big deal for her.
Nga was in Hong Kong for about a year until Our Lady of Mercy found out about her, sponsored her and brought her to the US.
She didn’t speak one word of English, and only had $20 in her pocket. Despite these hardships, she went on to college, opened up her own business, and sent money back to Vietnam to help support her family.
Her dying wish was for Wendy to write a story about her life. She has brought over many family members and they have built families in America. Many don’t know the struggles that she went through to make sure that they live a better life. With the help of Nga’s travel companion and niece, Wendy is working on writing her story.