SB business owner Adrienne Smith helps break Guiness world record for all female rowing crew
On June 21, Adrienne Smith and her crewmates Sophia Denison-Johnston, Libby Costello and Brooke Downes set out from San Francisco Bay to break the Guinness world record for an all women’s rowing crew. The crew made the finish line of the Waikiki Yacht Club, in Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of Maui, on July 25, breaking the previous record by a full day and 12 minutes.
In September of 2021, Ms. Smith decided that she was going to join the rowing team. The team had three people and they were looking for a fourth. Ms Smith found out about the opportunity through her husband, who was hired by the team to be the strength and conditioning coach.
“I got to know the team virtually in October and we met for the first time as a team in November,” Ms. Smith told the News-Press. “At the time, my daughter was 4 and I had not taken on anything that was new and exciting to me in over 4 years. I often reminisced about when I first started doing triathlons in 2007 and how I woke up everyday excited about getting after my goals or when I first opened my yoga studio, Power of Your Om, in Santa Barbara in 2011 and was stoked about creating new workshops and programs. I knew that I was capable of feeling excited about life again but I was lost in the day to day of serving my family first and forgot that my vitality mattered too.”
Ms. Smith told the News-Press that she started training in October of 2021, but had never rowed or trained for rowing prior to this.
“To be honest, I have now given back the rowing machines that were loaned to me and I have zero desire to ever row again unless it’s part of a group workout or if my teammates from this adventure invite me to do a workout with them at the gym. It bonded us for life and I would get on a rowing machine to hang out with them any day,” Ms. Smith told the News-Press in an email.
“The team before us was the Ocean Sheroes, who broke the previous world record by two weeks. Three of the team members weren’t rowers, but they had an incredible amount of experience in the open ocean. Our team did not. We broke their record by a full day. These ladies are stewards of positivity and possibility and supported us in our preparation before we left. We talked about their professionalism, candor and character everyday of our training,” said Ms. Smith.
The News-Press asked Ms. Smith how it felt to have achieved this accomplishment: “Surreal. It felt surreal while we were doing it, the moment we landed and it still does a month later. I cannot believe that I was in the middle of the ocean for over a month, that I got over some of my fears of the ocean, and that I managed to put on cold, wet clothes for days on end. I like my comfortable bed, love hot showers and having clean hair.”
Ms. Smith spoke about how it felt to be reunited with her husband. “It felt comforting, exciting and proud. I like to relate things to other times (if you haven’t already noticed). It felt like the beginning of our relationship again. I can close my eyes and remember what it felt like when we started dating and when I landed, I was brought back to those days. All the complexity and responsibility of daily life washed away and we were simply happy to be together.”
Ms. Smith also owns her own yoga studio Power of Your Om, in Santa Barbara. The News-Press asked Ms. Smith about her new goals for her studio after having completed this accomplishment: “The team aspect of this ocean crossing has helped shift my perspective on my business. I’ve been doing a lot in a silo, on my own and I don’t want to do that anymore. I am focusing on doing more of what I love with people that I love to be with – so collaborations, connection and just fun!
“Nobody needs to cross an ocean to live their best life. I didn’t need to either. My life, and my team’s life depended on me being prepared for this expedition so I committed to every part of it. This metaphor for life is not lost on me as you can tell. The detailed, deliberate and intentional preparation and our continual communication made this so successful and easy as a result,” said Ms. Smith.