Giving back while you get fit

When a skiing accident sidelined Buckhead resident Elliott Smith, the lifelong athlete had to forgo his running regimen for six months. “Rowing became the best alternative because it provided a total workout without stressing my joints,” he says. “My wife, Lauren, gave it a try, and was immediately hooked, too.”

The problem: There were few rowing options in the city, so the busy couple—Lauren is a family-law attorney, and Elliott works for an investment bank—decided to open Total Row Fitness in Buckhead in December of 2016. “Ours is a neighborhood, family-run gym without the flashy lights and loud music,” says Lauren. “We want it to be welcoming, not intimidating.” As part of their commitment to the neighborhood, they instituted their Give Me Ten Big Ones initiative that provides 10 percent of Total Row Fitness’ net profits to community organizations such as The Shepherd Center, where Lauren is a member of the Junior Committee.

Buckhead residents and friends Lindsey Murphy and Kristi Golden joined Total Row at the same time and love both the interval and full rowing classes. “Lauren, Elliott and the entire staff are great motivators and treat all their clients like friends,” says Golden. Classes can be scheduled online, and the first class is free.

For more information, visit

BY: Mickey Goodman