On May 12, 2012 Austin Brashears finished what is one of the most epic stories of all time: his life story. He lived colorfully and beautifully during his 21 years and painted pictures all over the world of his kindness, generosity, and positive spirit. We have decided to begin the stage of moving forward to embark on a grand adventure to create new memories with Austin every day. It can be something as little as trying a new flavor of coffee or going underwater go-cart racing in his honor. We invite you to play with us, laugh with us, and take risks with us. We encourage you to put your Austin foot forward and begin to live with Austin and his energetic spirit as your guide.
He needs our help to finish his epic adventure.
We’ll be posting our adventures here for you to read and hopefully be inspired by, but we want to hear from you too! When you do something amazing and incredible or just a little something you know that Austin would LOVE or appreciate, throw on your Austin merch (v-neck, tank, or bracelet) and take a picture! Write up a post and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share it with everyone!
Have a great Austin Adventure Day,
Sage, Brittany, Cole, & Shannon
Monday, July 30, 2012
Amanda: My trip began at noon when I left Chico to drive to go to the bay, got to Travis’ house and headed for the airport. Upon arrival we discovered our flight was 2 hours delayed so our 8:45 pm landing was now schedule for 10:45 pm. Awesome. Well my brother was a trooper and still picked us up and we started on the 4 hours drive to Arizona. 3:30 am we got there and passed out.
Kristin, Nicole & Amanda: The fun began bright and early at 6:30 am on Friday morning. We all woke up, made sandwiches, had a sunscreen party and took off for the lake – except it wasn’t that simple. Less than a mile from the launch ramp Amanda shredded her first tire, and it only took everyone in the car behind her frantically waving our hands out the window, pulling to the other side of the road, and two turns later (because of course her brother’s horn was broken) for her to notice. The tire on the Sea Doo trailer not only popped but shredded (until now I always wondered how chunks of tire got on the side of the road, I now know). A set of tools, spare tire, jack, a rock and muscles later we replaced the tire and were back on our way.
Day one at the lake was awesome. Glassy and warm water, it was perfect for knee-boarding, wakeboarding and tubing. The rest of the day was your typical lake day, got home , ordered pizza and we all passed out by 8:30 pm.
Day two, we got a much more mild start to our day. Fueled up and headed for the lake free of any shredded tire detours. Even through the water was a little choppier we still filled our day with boarding and tubing. A lot of the day was spent on the back of or driving the Sea Doos…or occasionally in the water after being flipped off while doing a gnarly donut. Later in the day we all headed over to the jumping rock and spend some time there throwing and flipping our bodies of various heights of rocks. Everything was an adventure and we channeled Austin to get up after each face plant on the wakeboard or plummet off a rock. We packed up and headed back towards the launch ramp with the intention to jump off of “hole in the rock”….but obviously it couldn’t be that easy. As we stopped all the vehicles in the cove to jump the sight of lightening was announced and we felt the storm blowing in. We quickly started everything back up hoping to beat the storm, however that didn’t happen. (I think Austin is still a little upset he didn’t get to come to the lake house)
The last half of the ride back was full of stormy waves and choppy water that was slightly terrifying but extremely thrilling. Heading into the ramp we had one sea doo out of gas, another on reserve and in a panic to get all the car keys to shore we ended up with one entirely flipped upside down – and let me tell you those are NOT EASY to flip back over in the water. While the three ran up to grab the cars and wait in the pull out line everyone else was getting whipped around trying to get the sea doos in shallow water, oh and did we mention the sandstorm pelting us in the face…but we all had smiles despite the chaos. We successfully got all the vehicles out of the water just in time to discover that Amanda’s brother had locked his keys in his truck…while it was still running. An hour and AAA later we all were back at the house where we quickly soaped and dried all the toys under the beautiful desert sunset. We then showered and headed to Chili’s for dinner at the ripe time of 9:30 pm.
This morning we let everyone sleep in a bit, we all woke up crawling to the IB Profen bottles to relieve some of our sore muscles, cleaned the house and now we’re on our way home. Two full days on the lake was a blast but we’re al feeling it. Thanks for all the detours and bumps in the road Austin, it definitely made for a better story.
Nicole, Amanda, and Kristen
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
After only three days together Austin, Stephen, Sam, Anne, Katie,
Melissa and I sat in Albert Park on a gorgeous, sunny day and made a list of 50 things we wanted to do while we were in New Zealand. Sam recorded the list in his journal, and over the following months we often revisited the list to check our progress. Between the seven of us we accomplished most things on our list, with the exception of #6:Get a part as an extra in the Hobbit. During the last couple days before flying back to the states I tried to cross a few things off our list.
Lying in Albert Park that day, making our list, we couldn’t help but notice the fountain nearby that was just beckoning us to jump into it. We put off the urge to frolic in the fountain then and there and added it to our list, knowing that it would be something to do on some random day. But we never got around to it, not as a group anyway. To start my very last day in New Zealand I enlisted a friend as a photographer and headed off to Albert Park. So cold! So worth it! I was sad we didn’t all do it together but glad that I did it. Jumping in fountains is going to be a thing from now on. This is not a goodbye to New Zealand, for I will return and continue adventuring. And this is definitely not a goodbye to Austin. Austin was on my mind during those last few days in New Zealand, still is now, and will be for days to come.
That’s how I got to where I was Monday night. Since that devastating May evening, I stop and consider my choices now, and consider what I want my story to be. I had a choice because I was going to get a story out of this week either way. I could go back to work Tuesday morning and most likely continue to have a really horrible week. Then my story could have been about how much paperwork I had to shuffle, or how my boss didn’t appreciate me, or how I got my laundry done but was too exhausted to do anything else!
But then I wouldn’t have had a blog worthy story to tell. So Tuesday morning I called in “sick” and decided to have an Austin kind of week. I work with mental health professionals so a mental health day (or two) is never out of the question. Even though my choice was intended to change my attitude for the better, it took me most of the morning for that to happen. I got out of bed slowly and it was early afternoon before I got out of my jammies. Not an epic start, but my intent was to rest my weary self. I think Austin would have approved.
Tuesday afternoon I decided to have a wonderful lunch with a new found friend. What was supposed to be an hour lunch extended into a four hour gab fest! By the time lunch was over it was time for dinner. There are new opportunities on the horizon, and in another decision inspired by Austin’s legacy, my husband and I headed out the door for an exciting evening with friends.
Again not epic, but definitely better than sitting behind a desk all day.
Wednesday I was trying really hard to feel guilty about not going to work the day before, but I just couldn’t seem to get there. I saw that as a sign that I should probably rest my mental health just one more day. Besides I had already decided to go kayaking.
By 10:30 AM I was at Sherri’s house. Sherri had already kidnapped Julie so that she could rest her mental health from work also. And we all waited patiently for Janet to arrive so our little adventure could begin. Now let me just say that middle aged women do not just dive into an adventure, even spontaneity requires that we take some care. What has almost become ritualistic, we first spend a few minutes or more (usually more) discussing our hormones. Hormones have absolutely nothing to do with kayaking, or anything else for that matter, but when you are on the verge of menopause, hormones work their way into just about every conversation. Hormone talk provides a natural segue into a discussion of the latest aches and pains, which reminded Sherri that she has tennis elbow from not playing tennis. Her injury was sustained from pulling her suitcase through the airport on a recent adventure to Japan. Don’t laugh! I hurt my knee putting the cover over our EZ up. And crossing our legs can lead to some serious muscle cramps. Be very afraid young people, getting old is not for wimps!
As Sherri strapped her elbow up tight with a piece of fuchsia duct tape the rest of decided to pop some ibuprofen before heading out, just in case. At our ages you never know what you are going to pull or strain next, getting out of the car could lead to hip replacement surgery!
Eventually we got to Sunset Beach, parked the car in a few different locations (street sweeping day is the pits) made a quick payment to the nice kayak rental man, and off we went. Janet and I, verses Sherri and Julie. Well it wasn’t supposed to be that way, and not that I am competitive or anything, but Janet and I did win.
Kayaking ended with us all starving so we headed to a friend’s shop for a yummy acacia bowl of heaven. We parted ways after that. I headed to Burke Williams for a massage, and then ended this perfect day with my daughter and some of our friends on the beach roasting marshmallows and watching the sun set. Now I know this was a day Austin would have approved of.
Friday a staff retreat at the state beach was the perfect way to end the perfect week. No matter that Monday wasn’t a great day, in the end it turned out to be an Austin kind of week!
Mary, Sherri, Julie,& Janet
All this carpe-ing the diem has got me thinking about the incredible, adventurous life Austin lived, and I stumbled upon this quote which (though a bit long) is amazingly applicable to both Austin's point of view on life and the attitude that we're trying to adopt now: "The fulfilling life, the distinctive life, the relevant life, is an achievement, not something that will fall into your lap because you’re a nice person or mommy ordered it from the caterer. You’ll note the founding fathers took pains to secure your inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—quite an active verb, “pursuit”—which leaves, I should think, little time for lying around watching parrots rollerskate on Youtube. The first President Roosevelt, the old rough rider, advocated the strenuous life. Mr. Thoreau wanted to drive life into a corner, to live deep and suck out all the marrow. The poet Mary Oliver tells us to row, row into the swirl and roil. The point is the same: get busy, have at it. Don’t wait for inspiration or passion to find you. Get up, get out, explore, find it yourself, and grab hold with both hands." -David McCullough
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Till my next adventure,
A couple friends and I planned a short trip to Yosemite wanting to get out and explore one of the most beautiful places in California (in my opinion the world, but I'm a little biased). Round trip the hike is 7 miles, the longest hike any of us had ever done before.
The first mile and a half of the hike is called the Mist Trail, and for good reason. If the water level is really high, it's impossible to come out of the hike with dry clothes. Fortunately for us, water is low right now and we were able to climb without slipping or getting soaking wet.The Mist Trail may have been hard, but the views were definitely worth it.
Vernal Falls was beautiful, but in true Austin fashion, weren't ready to stop just yet. We continued on up the mountain to Nevada Falls, where more dramatic views and moments of awe were awaiting us.
I'm not gonna lie, there were many moments, more than I would like to admit, that I wish Austin had been there to carry me up that last part of the hike. After those moments I realized to myself that he was there carrying me, telling me to hurry and catch up since he would have been miles ahead of us at that point. I'm sure happy I listened because the top of Nevada Falls just gets more and more beautiful every time I see it.
Before we started our trek down, I took a second to sit and think about my life and I found myself looking up. The song You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham popped into my head. My favorite line in that song is "I look up to the sky and say, you're beautiful". It may not have been originally written for him, but to me that is now Austin's song.
Thank you for living a life that has encouraged me to take risks and enjoy every single second of it!
Till we meet again,
Sending positive energy and love to all,
Stephen and Jess