Here at Freesoul Projects we were surfing in Malibu, California when we met Todd Gailey surfing with his kids and having a family beach day. We were so intrigued by his kid’s fearlessness in the ocean with his daughter London being only age 9 and his son Triston age 6. Most of us spend a lifetime trying to overcome our fears and we had to find out what Todd has instilled in his kids from such a young age to allow them to be so fearless.
Todd Gailey grew up in Morro Bay where adventures were waiting outside his door. Rock climbing was only 10 minutes away from his home and the ocean just down the street. His parents would take him and his older brother on road trips and camping trips to natural parks and beaches. When Todd was 19 he knew he wanted to be a fire fighter. It was a job that would allow Todd to learn the importance of safety and helping others as well as giving him time off from work to go on outdoor adventures.
“I’ve been in the water my whole life boogie boarding and kayaking, but it wasn’t till I became a firefighter at age 20 when I learned how to surf. I would spend my days off surfing and it started to become a way of life for me.” – Todd Gailey
Todd worked his way from an EMT to Paramedic to Volunteer Fireman, and is now a Fire Captain at the Morro Bay Fire Station. Once Todd started having kids he wanted to show them the importance of safety and to learn about the natural environments. When his kids were 6 months old, he started getting them into swimming lessons and by age 3, he started taking them into the ocean and pushing them into their first wave.
“I wanted to expose London and Triston to the outdoor knowledge and have a passion for it. If they can understand their environment they can be confident, not overconfident, but confident in who they are and know that they are capable of achieving challenges.”
Not only has Todd exposed his kids to the ocean environment, but also to the world of rock climbing. While most people have never summited Half Dome in Yosemite, London has summited 3 times by the age of 4 1/2 years old and Triston summited for the first time at 9 months old.
“One thing rock climbing teaches you, which I wanted my kids to learn, is you have to trust whoever is belaying you as you climb. The world often teaches us it can be hard to trust other people, but I want them to know you can trust other people with your life and we are better with others in our life. Rock climbing shows us that.”
Not only does Todd want to show his kids outdoor sports, but he also wants his kids to be well rounded in team sports so both London and Triston are on soccer teams as well.
“Surfing and skateboarding are often individual sports and about yourself, but with team sports like soccer you really have to give and make an effort as a group to achieve a goal.”
The outdoors and being active is a direct correlation to the relationships we make with others and ourselves. People search to understand these values their whole life and it’s amazing how Todd is giving his kids the key to living at such an early age.
“These kids are just shredding, but I don’t know what tomorrow is going to be like, so I just want to enjoy this day and each day with my kids because it all starts with love. Faith and love is what I hope to pass on to my kids.”
Find out more about Todd:
All photos provided by Todd Gailey
Article written by Loren Silva and Kristen Dunn | Co-Found & Founder of Freesoul Projects