On Discover the Difference, we hear a lot of amazing stories, but this week we meet Tez Steinberg who holds the distinction of being the first person to row from California to Hawaii. The journey took 71 days and 2,700 miles of sleep deprivation, strenuous exercise, wildlife encounters and sheer perseverance. Sparked by a bout of depression and compounded by his father’s death, Tez set out to conquer the unattained and turn it into a passion for rowing across the ocean to raise money for great causes. When he’s not at sea, Tez is a public speaker motivating others to find their inner athlete. Enjoy our journey into the deep with Tez. 


1:20 – Tez introduces his high school experience in Italy through a 2-year program focused on fostering a global community that emphasizes shared values over differences. #UnitedWorldCollege Instagram: United World College

6:10 – Tez recounts his athletic background, how he turned to his first triathlon during a bout of depression, and how this marked the beginning of his passion for the sport. He delves into his decision to embark on a remarkable journey: rowing from California to Hawaii. Ocean Film Festival: @oceanfilmfestival

10:46 – Tez opens up about the challenges he faced in revealing his solo ocean-rowing ambition to others. He discusses the commitment, meticulous planning, and sheer determination that fueled the realization of his 2016 expedition, officially launched in July 2020.

14:41 – Tez describes his resourceful approach to funding his expedition while contributing to the United World College initiative, giving rise to the nonprofit campaign named United World Colleges.

16:10 – Tez shares his experiences navigating the ocean at night and the strategies he employs for safe sleep during his journeys.

20:41 – The conversation shifts towards the mindset necessary for such endeavors, emphasizing the gradual development of skills over time. The hosts also touch on the thresher shark. Thresher Shark

26:00 – Tez reflects on the poignant moments he witnessed during his time at sea, expressing his heartbreak over the ocean’s profound pollution. He sheds light on his ongoing conservation efforts.

29:40 – Tez envisions his future, focusing on continuing his motivational speaking despite setbacks such as depression, a heart attack, and the challenges of his ocean rows. His goal remains impacting lives and contributing to a better world.

32:09 – Tez narrates the unexpected heart attack he experienced and his remarkable physical recovery journey, sharing the steps he’s taking toward restoration.

40:05 – Tez engages in a series of Rapid Fire Questions, offering quick and concise insights.

43:36 – Tez imparts the advice he would give to his younger self, drawn from his life’s experiences.

45:11 – Tez reveals the “secret sauce” that empowers him to achieve his extraordinary feats.

On September 18th tune in to hear where his next expedition will be. Find out through