How Tez Steinberg’s Hardships Helped Him Row Alone Across the Pacific Ocean and Inspire Others Through His Motivational Talks

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Imagine this: you’re adrift in the middle of the great blue expanse, with nothing but your oars and the rhythmic splash of water for company. For weeks on end, you row across the Pacific, eyes fixed on the distant horizon, wondering if you’ve made a terrible mistake. But you press on, driven by an unshakable sense of purpose. And then, out of nowhere, a storm hits, throwing your tiny boat into chaos.

This was the reality for Tez Steinberg, a man who knows a thing or two about adventure. A keynote speaker and ocean conservationist, Steinberg achieved what none have before him: he rowed across the Pacific Ocean in a 23-foot boat with no prior rowing experience – a grueling self-propelled journey from California to Hawaii that he completed in a 23-foot boat in 71 days in 2020.

Ten years earlier, as he battled depression in college, Steinberg turned to endurance sports to find solace. He ran marathons, competed in triathlons, and even took on ultramarathons up to 145 miles nonstop. But it was the tragic death of his father by suicide in 2016 that really set him on a new course. Wrestling with his own mortality, Steinberg felt compelled to make a difference in the world. And so, he turned to the ocean. He decided to complete a solo ocean row, despite being neither sailor nor rower. 

Turning Pain Into Peak Performance

Steinberg’s journey, which he called the United World Challenge, wasn’t just about breaking records or achieving personal glory. It was about something deeper, something more meaningful. It was about turning pain into peak performance, using his unique blend of storytelling, adventure, and social impact to create what he calls “Endurance Art.” 

Through his first expedition, Steinberg raised $77,000 for charity, collected data for marine science, and sparked a global movement to fund the collection of 5,000 pounds of ocean plastic. Previously, Steinberg founded several non-profits, including one that brought emergency medical technician courses to Venezuela and Bolivia and led the World Economic Forum to name Steinberg one of the 50 best young minds in the world. 

However, the road to success was not without challenges. In July 2022, Tez suffered a sudden heart attack and was forced to stop all exercise. But rather than giving up, he used this setback as further motivation to move forward. For Steinberg, it’s all about staying focused on a purpose greater than himself. He believes that finding that purpose is what keeps him going, even when the going gets tough. It’s a lesson he shares with others through his “Tez Talks.” From conference stages and company board rooms, Steinberg inspires others to recognize and develop their own sense of purpose, helping to make a real difference in the world.

The Next Horizon

As he rows through life’s storms, sometimes battered but always unbroken, Steinberg knows that his journey is far from over. He’s already planning his next expedition that he’ll announce in August and begin in December 2023. After rowing across the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 2020, he is focusing his next expedition on raising funds and action for solutions for the global plastic crisis. 

To follow his journey or support his cause, check out his websites, and, and his Instagram accounts, @UnitedWorldChallenge and For Tez Steinberg, there’s always another adventure just over the horizon – and he invites us to come with him to accelerate our own growth in pursuit of peak performance.


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