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Today, Kate has Tommy and Polly Hilleke in the studio. Tommy and Polly are married and live in Colorado with their four boys. Tommy and Polly might just be the most perfect couple on the planet. They are deliriously in love, successful in their careers, and they have a passion for extreme outdoor adventure that makes Bear Grylls' passion for the outdoors seem like a mild interest. Now, it's one thing to be a successful and high achieving couple who love life, it's another thing entirely getting your kids to follow suit. Well, that's exactly what this couple has done. What's their parenting secret? Well, that's what Kate wanted to know, too, and by golly, she got them to spill the beans!

Who Are The Hillekes?

Tommy and Polly Hilleke are all-around badasses. On the water, Polly is an advanced kayaker and Tommy races professionally- once even earning the title of National Geographic Adventure of the Year. On the mountain, they crush backcountry and big air skiing like it ain't no thing. On top of their own remarkable achievements, they are raising four sons. And each son is already an accomplished athlete in their own right. 

Why You Should Listen to this Hilleke Podcast Episode Right Now…

From setting a world record in the Grand Canyon to doing backflips in the backyard, this episode tells all about how to raise dauntless kids.



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Here's a peek at what you'll hear:


  • Tommy reveals his biggest life accomplishment to date.

  • Why it was hard for anyone to get hold of Tommy in the 90s. (Tommy was a little preoccupied in the 90s with a certain activity, and lemme tell ya, he didn't just dabble with this activity, he went all in! Hear the full scoop at 3:10)

  • When Tommy Met Polly... - 3:45

  • Tommy nonchalantly talks through all his kayaking tournament wins. This humble champion won a certain extreme kayaking tournament 6 times! - 4:45

  • How Tommy and his mate would complete wild river runs in one day that would take other pro kayakers 4 days. - 5:00

  • Attention parents: Looking for a good boy's name? Listen up at 6:50 when Tommy rattles off his four sons' names. Super cool names indeed.

  • What's it like kayaking through the Grand Canyon with four young kids? Listen up at 10:00 and Tommy and Polly will tell ya.

  • Ever broken a record? (Imagine breaking a world record! Well, that's exactly what Tommy and Polly's youngest son did recently. Hear about this 10-years old's amazing feat at 11:00)

  • Hard-won and battle-tested parenting advice. Want to avoid having a bunch of entitled brats? Then follow this brilliant advice Tommy gives at 17:00. (Q. Is this easier said than done? A. Does a fat dog fart?)

  • The case for "free-range parenting." - 18:00

  • Polly's "bus" story will have all the helicopter parents in a tizzy.  - 20:30

  • What the Hillekes do as a family that's about as rare as rocking horse crap. (This is perhaps why every member of the family is kicking butt! - 32:00)

  • The "beer bottle on the mountain" story. - 39:00

  • Why "grit" is almost a religion in the Hilleke household. - 39:30

  • Tommy and Polly share one thing each that makes them proud as punch. - 44:00

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