On the back porch of her ‘Shangri La in the middle of nowhere,’ Lynn Barrie reminisces about her bucket list accomplishments. Married to Richie for 34 years, and mother of two and two stepchildren, Barrie exudes pure grace and can be often found mentoring, and opening her home, to young people.
When I lived in Westport, Conn., I rowed competitively for eight years — and competed in three world championships. My kids were little, so I would get up and row at 4:30 a.m. and then get the kids off to school. Rowing is the most highly committed sport.
It was very important to me to not let rowing affect my relationship or my family. There was a fine balance. The thing I loved the most about it was the kind of woman it attracted — there were no wussies allowed — they were strong, committed and loyal. We experienced the agony and ecstasy together.
I’ve done every exercise thing possible. My current thing now is Pilates Body on the Reformer machines. I was looking for something at this point in my life that I can continue doing.
My mother started my love for fashion. She always put herself together in a very fashionable way; she was a huge influence on me. I didn’t realize how wonderful my family background was until I left home and began working in London. The power of the parent is amazing.
My modeling career began in England with commercials. My biggest jobs were Manikin cigars in Europe and Winston Cigarettes in America, which put me on the map. Ironic that I’m so into health and my biggest jobs were for smoking companies. However, I was always saving my money to travel.
For the past seven years, we have spent August and September in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. It’s a 15th-century Spanish colonial town. It has the sophisticated flare that we love but with the laid back Mexican culture. It’s our home away from home.
My love of Africa was ignited because I was partly brought up there — my father was an engineer with a British company. I have been there numerous times since, but the highlight came six years ago when I summited Mount Kilimanjaro. It was on my bucket list — I went with my sister and a girlfriend. We trained for six months — we were regulars on the Ringling bridge with hiking boots and backpacks filled with 30-pound weights. I’m very proud that I summited, it was the most amazing experience.
Another exciting time was when my sister and I went trekking with wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda. We hiked to 12,000 feet and when we got there, it was like a religious experience.
Rwanda is the most beautiful country — it was my undiscovered part of Africa. A year-and-half later, I took my family (Richie, Blake and Zara) back, because I wanted to share it with them. They said that trip changed their lives.
My daughter, Zara, and sister, Marie, and I have created Byrd On A Wire. It’s a little company we’re putting together featuring vintage clothing. It’s going to have an edge — we’re having good fun with that.
Horses have always been a big part of my life. I used work on the weekends and save my money to rent a horse for a couple hours. When I met Richie, he got me into competition. I was the only English girl on the circuit — sometimes I had language problems with the cowboys.
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- This is such a perfect reflection of Lynn Barrie!!
- Excellent profile of a compelling and very interesting woman - well done!
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Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
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