Our Mission

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 doitforaustin@gmail.com and we’ll share it with everyone!

Have a great Austin Adventure Day,

Sage, Brittany, Cole, & Shannon

The Family

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Backpacking through Italy!

"Your life consists of countless chapters. So what if this was a bad one? That doesn’t mean the book is going to be bad, you just have to keep reading.”

Austin’s accident was one of the first ‘bad’ chapters in my life that still stings to reread. Thankfully, a little bit of Austin’s spontaneous, charming memory is pumped through my veins with every adventure I've been on throughout my trip abroad! While I have written numerous chapters since his passing, there are a few notable ones that his memory has really made a huge impact on.

The most recent adventure we’ve gone on together was a week and a half backpacking trip through Italy! Our adventure started after about two weeks of being in Vienna; I was sitting on the subway (wearing my favorite Austin tank) with two of my friends when we passed the train station ticket office. Instantly, I had a huge urge to get out of Vienna and see some more of Europe before my schedule would be restricted by classes. The next thing I knew I was back in my dorm room packing my bags with a one way ticket to Venice, Italy in hand!

Here are just a couple of the pictures from our trip! Enjoy Austin Lovers!

(P.S. I apologize for my handmade sign)

During a tour of the Colosseum (Rome, Italy). 

Outside of the Basilica di San Pietro after visiting The Vatican & Sistine Chapel (Rome, Italy).

Austin helping me hold up the Leading Tower of Pisa! (Pisa, Italy)

Before our Gondola ride in Venice, Italy (Sorry, my first sign wasn't legible)! 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Out of the city, into the hills


Alright readers: something that I've struggled with and discussed with other Austin-lovers is finding an adventure Austin-worthy to blog about. After a much needed dinner and discussion with Tom and Julie, they helped me realize that the blog doesn't need to be my most epic shenanigans (because those probably shouldn't be shared here), but anything that I would have shared with Austin or makes me think of him. Which, I'm sure most of you agree, would be a lot of things...
Which brings me to this entry. March 12th came around and Julia texted me asking if I wanted to do an Austin inspired hang out. The answer to that question is always yes. And what more cliche of an Austin adventure is there than a sunset hike? I realize that this is probably overdone, but as stated, Julia and I decided that it's not the spectacle of the event, but the fact that we're brought together by him and his spirit.
Our final destination is Blue Hills Reservation. We meet on the T and train on down to Ashmont. Next step, catch a bus to the reservation. This is where Austin throws his first curve ball (think the choppy waves of the paddle out, but less dangerous)...Julia wants to save 6 minutes by taking Bus 12 instead of 240 since it takes the same route. We hop on and as we near the reservation we realize no one has gotten off. Strange. But we are kinda in the middle of nowhere, so we ignorantly press the 'Stop Request' button. 5 minutes later, we've now passed the reservation and no one has beaten an eyelash. Then Julia spots a little crumpled up sign on the front of the bus that reads something along the lines of "THIS BUS DOES NOT STOP UNTIL (someplace much further than we wanted t go) Take 240 for all intermediate stops"....Sooooo, standing and packed like sardines, we laugh it off and have a conversation with a 3 year old African American girl about her best friends and how we can't have her juice. After continuing half an hour out of the way and catching the 240 back after it's passed us and looped around, we finally arrive back at the reservation. Good thing we left early...
If there is one thing I loved about Austin (yes, just one....sarcasm), it was our mutual love for spontaneity. With half a map of the reservation and no plan, we decide to just wing it, walk into the wilderness, and let our Pocahontas-like instincts take over. The trails were cool. We would mark our crossroads with makeshift stick arrows so we knew where we came from as we climbed along. We had two requirements: climb high, and see water. Both of which were accomplished. At what was arguably the highest point, Julia spotted the Boston skyline in the distance. Super cool. Like being in two places at once. We continued on to a reservoir and then circled back, stopping to sit on a rock and chat as the sun set. I think Austin liked hikes because it's a mix of two awesome things: Natural life and a potentially awkward extended amount of time with someone in which you are inevitably about to have a "life chat". If you haven't had a life chat (particularly with Julia in my case), you must. It is the most effective way to get to know someone and usually revolves around both deep and probing questions and shallow, gossipy hook ups. What could be better?
The sun sets and we decide it's time to go. Austin curve ball number 2: we get about a quarter mile from where we stopped on the rocks and the trail opens up into this huge meadow-type deal with a perfect view of the city. whoops. This reminds me of the time Austin and I pulled an all-nighter at Jeff's house to watch the sunrise from the roof, just for the horizon to be covered by trees, houses and clouds. So close. Thanks for rubbing it in...
To top off a wonderful evening, we get to the bus stop and, because obviously we didn't plan anything, we find out that the next bus doesn't come for another hour...curve ball number 3. Did I mention we were in the middle of nowhere? So, we walk along the bus line in pitch blackness towards home, debating hitch hiking, using mother nature's toilet (Julia must have the biggest bladder because at this point Ive had to pop a squat twice. TMI?), and sharing beloved Austin stories. 7 hours later, we finally make it home. Full day. Which is always a great day.

So yeah, Mariah summed it all up quite well! Great day with a great person. More summer shenanigans to come! All I have to add is what I wrote in my journal at the end of that day: "Quality adventure today with Mariah! We set out looking to have an 'Austin adventure' and upon arriving home, I wondered if we met our goal. Then I realized that an Austin adventure is anything that entails enjoying the company of someone you care about and being fully present doing whatever you're doing. So today definitely counts. I want to be who is capable of making any day an adventure, certainly something that can be said of Austin."

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Great Wheel

For those of you who don't know me, I am Brittany and Allison's mom. Prior to moving to Bellingham, Washington in 2010, we lived in Huntington Beach, California for over 20 years. One of the great joys of living there was watching our girls grow up with such wonderful friends. During high school Austin was a frequent presence in our home. My memories of him are ones filled with joy and laughter. I always knew when Austin had been there because he took great delight in unscrewing the bedknobs off of Brittany's bed and hiding them in imaginative places all over our house. It often took us days to locate them. If Brittany's bed had the bedknobs missing I knew Austin had been there! Like everyone who knew him, he is always in my thoughts and my heart. I am happy that the last time I saw him was when he came with Brittany to our home in Bellingham. He was a joyous presence here as he always was in HB.

Austin was very much in my thoughts last week as my husband and I traveled to the east coast. Along with having a wonderful visit with Allison and Jeremy in New York City, we also traveled to Boston. As we walked in the city I could feel Austin there. His spirit was with us as we traveled in this city that he loved. We came back to Bellingham the day before Mother's Day and of course the first anniversary of the loss of Austin.

Brittany and I drove down to Seattle on Mother's Day. We had a great day of shopping, eating delicious chowder and buying bunches of flowers at Pike Place Market. Last June a 175 foot ferris wheel called "The Great Wheel" was built at pier 57 at the Seattle waterfront. The wheel extends 40 feet out over the water and on a clear day you can see the city skyline including the Space Needle, the Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier and beautiful Puget Sound. I have been trying to get Brittany to go with me since it was built. I am definitely not the most adventurous person in the world, but I thought this was something that I could actually do! Well, we did it on May 12 and the view was amazing. I marveled at how blessed I was to have been able to stand on both coasts in the span of a week. To look at Boston harbor and think of Austin there. Then to look down from The Great Wheel at Puget Sound and remember this day one year ago. As we were leaving Brittany said to me, "a little better than our shopping trip last year, huh?", recalling our vain attempt to mark Mother's Day on that horrible weekend one year ago.

She was absolutely right. While our hearts still ache, this is exactly where Austin would want us to be, high atop Puget Sound taking in the view and "doing it for the story". It was "a little better than last year". And I pray for all of you who loved Austin, that you can find joy in each day and that gradually it will get "a little better".

-- Genie Koenker

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Weekend in the Whites

This past weekend I went up into the White Mountains in New Hampshire with the BU Outing Club. We made it to the summit of two mountains, Mt. Pierce (4,310 ft) and Mt. Jackson (4,052 ft) on our 7 mile loop with a total of 2600ft vertical gained. Every hike (or tramp, as they are called in NZ) I've ever been on there's this amazing feeling that hits you when you first come up above treeline (or maybe its just the strong winds up there). Up there you can leave anything you want to behind, below among the trees. It's a peaceful escape up above the world, weather permitting. I got really into hiking/tramping while over in New Zealand with Austin and I brought my passion for everything outdoors and spending quality time with quality people on adventures back to Boston. I've met so many amazing people on my past hiking and camping trips, and I'm always excited to meet more. I've learned its all about the people we surround ourselves with, and I, as I am sure many of you do, keep Austin close to me always, especially on adventures.

Love Always,

Monday, April 1, 2013

109m high, 60 m of free fall, reaching 150Kph with a 200 M arc

So I am incredibly scared of heights. I used to avoid them when possible, however, I have wanted to overcome my phobia for ages now. Fortunately, the perfect opportunity presented itself to me in Queenstown, NZ when I was offered a Canyon Swing. At 109m high, 60 m of free fall, reaching 150Kph with a 200 M arc I thought what a better way to conquer my fears. So on 3/20/2013 at 3:15pm I got on the bus with a few friends and rode up to the canyon that I sould be throwing myself off of. I would love to say I was brave enough to do it solo but I wasn't, so my friend Rob helped me out by going tandem with me. We decided to go backwards which has a 4 underwear raitng and is described as very scary on the (poop your pants) rating scale. The ment responsible for our harnesses joked around with us saying that things looked alright, asking if there was more duct tape but there wasn't and "oh well, it's good enough", saying he was still a little drunk from lunch...It all seems funny now but I wasn't laughing then. They had us inch over to place our heels over the edge and at this point my whole body was shaking and I was nauseated. They lean you back for a photo and tell you stay nice and stiff and just lean back. Then they bring you back to standing at which time you count down from 3 and jump. I knew that Rob was going to jump and when they counted down I had to just shut my eyes and go with the flow. My eyes remained closed for the three seconds of free fall but then I opened them up to the amazing view. I was still very shaky and was just kind of laughing at the fact I just jumped off of a cliff. I am glad I did it but will probably not be doing it again. I kept thinking about Austin's bungy jump video to find the courage to do this and it definitely helped. I am still a little scared of heights but now I have a new perspective and I am better for the jump and for knowing Austin.

-Rebecca Crastnopol (Austin's Water polo coach at BU)

Our Catalina Adventure

Back in June, Tom and I were driving home from Northern California when we passed a sign that said you can go to Catalina free on your birthday. Well it was June 17th which is my bday so a bit late for that but Tom's was coming up on the 23rd. I said, "You know they have parasailing in

Catalina and I told Austin I would do it someday". Tom said, "Let's go" and that is how it started. Next thing you know we decide that we should all go and so Matt drove down for the weekend and off we went........

We had the earliest boat out because that was all that was left when we decided to do this but that was ok, it just meant we had lots of time to play. Tom got his "Birthday boy" sticker which he wore proudly.

It was still a bit to dark and cold for water sports so we decided to go mini-golfing (bday boy was free). If you have ever gone mini-golfing with any member of our family you will know that we are a bit competitive. Well get all of us playing and what can I say - it made for an interesting morning. We all had our Austin shirts on so we know he was joining in as well. There was an older couple behind us so we offered to let them pass us since we had 5 but they said they were really enjoying watching us play. We are quite something.............

After that we were starving from our strenuous game so we found a good breakfast spot and chowed down. Next we headed over to the cove and decided to
go snorkeling for a bit. It was a little cold but most of us went for it anyway and had a good time. The bday boy watched our stuff and took pictures which meant he did not feel like getting wet and cold. I mean that is all part of the adventure right?

NOW it was time for the thing we all came for................. PARASAILING!!! It had sounded like such a good idea until it was really time to go. I kept thinking about the conversation with Austin where he told me to try skydiving and I said, "No way, maybe I could handle parasailing but never sky diving". He said, "Then do it mom, really just go and do it". So here we were all 5 of us getting ready to "just go and do it". First up was Nicole and Travis 
and it was fun watching them up high and getting dipped in the water. They were yelling and cheering so were we, it really looked so cool. Here are some of their pictures. 

 But when it came time for Tom, Matthew and I am was really starting to second guess the whole 
thing. You get strapped up, sit down and next thing you know the boat pulls away and up you go. IT WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!! We were laughing and screaming and loving every minute of it. We got brought down and dipped in the water and up again. It was over way to fast. I would do it again sometime but Austin would say there are so many other things to do.
After the highlight of our day Nicole took some time to relax and lay out, Matt & Travis went out kayaking and Tom and I headed off on a 2 person bike (never again). Biking was fun but I think we each need our own bikes in the future. We finished the day at a great local Italian place and the food was delicious. We enjoyed each others company over a great meal and then just wandered back over to the boat. We had the last boat of the night for the same reason as the early one but it worked out great for us. The day was great and it was because we decided that we needed to be more adventurous, be more spontaneous, be more like Austin and really learn to 
 enjoy life. 

As Tom and I sat in the row behind the kids talking about our day we looked at their 3 heads and 4 seats and knew that one very important person was missing from all this and felt his loss so strong in that moment. Things are hard and sometimes scary but for Austin we will continue to "Do it for the story".   

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A visit to HB

Over winter break I decided to make my first (and definitely not last!) visit to Huntington Beach, CA! I had met the Brashears before but other than them, I had never met the people I was flying across the country to hang out with for a week.

This story begins with the longest it has ever taken me to get through airport security. Maybe next time I’ll listen to the suggestion to be there 2 hours prior to departure time. Oops. But it was all good because I was in my seat with minutes to spare before take-off.

When I landed in LAX, Brittany and Sage picked me up from the airport and of course we had to go eat. They took me to TK for a burger, crossing the first place off of the to-do list of places I had to eat at. After spending the afternoon at the Brashears Sage, Brittany and Cole took me to Ruby’s on the pier for dinner. Other places on the list were Taqueria, In-N-Out, and Harbor House. Yum! And of course I had to take a “first time at In-N-Out pic” when we finally ate there.

While on the topic of eating, Julie cooked us some great dinners and of course we devoured her famous bread and jam! And yes, I did do things other than eat while in Huntington.

We had a game night at the Brashears, where everyone was defeated by Tom at Fruit Ninja. We also played Scattergories, Catch Phrase, and the game where you put a famous person’s name on your forehead and you have to figure out who you are. There was lots of good natured arguing because it’s a particularly competitive group of people.

I spent the nights in Sage’s top bunk, sometimes sleeping but mostly talking about anything and everything. So many life-chats.

One of the days Mariah joined me for a dip in the ocean even though it was 52 degrees. I could pass up a swim in the Pacific Ocean! We had a lovely photo shoot with Brittany’s underwater camera. That night we returned to the beach for the sunset, which was beautiful and Catalina
was exceptionally clear that evening.

Going to Knott’s Berry Farm with Nicole, Sage, Mariah and Chelsea is another highlight of the trip. I definitely to freaked out about Xcelerator and Supreme Scream to everyone else’s amusement. Then I pulled myself together for the rest of the rides. Ghost Rider, the classic wooden roller coaster, was the best and last ride of the day! That was such a fun day of rides and plenty of time for story telling while waiting in line.

And, I spent the last day of my trip at Disney! A magical way to end an amazing trip. Found out just a couple days before that Anne, who was in NZ with me, and Andy, a kiwi visiting from NZ, were also planning to spend the day in Disney. It was really great to see them too and crazy that our plans worked out to meet up.
I felt so at home with a group of people I had just met. I love you all! I cannot thank you enough for how welcoming you were! Such an amazingly loving group of people!

Hey Austin, thanks for helping me meet such amazing folks and make a bunch of new friends!

Love Always,


Just wanted to say that this Do It for the Story IS THE GREATEST IDEA EVER. My name is Mia, I am Tori Pinheiro's little sis and had much great fun with Austin. You might like to hear that this Do It for the Story inspired a friend of mine to start a similar concept for another adventurer at UVM that passed last year. I'm sure Austin would love to know that he's still inspiring people all over in big BIG ways. I included my adventure too:

There it was, the grand finale of summer. Packing my parents van with a mixed knot of emotions tangling in my stomach, shutting the door and waving my see-you-later’s to the ocean, I was off on my most grand adventure to date: leading a group of UVM freshies forty some-odd miles kayaking down Lake Champlain for orientation!
We went through training week, getting paddling lesson from kayakers who had circumnavigated Japan, learning how to cross a white water river by foot and spending quality time camping with the fifty other leaders who were going to take out all sorts of trips! I was ecstatic when the freshman we had been preparing for began to arrive for the excursion. Me and my co-leader Liza named our group the “Alluring Vibrant Islanders”, and had ten fresh man to bring on this grand kayaking escapade down Champlain, to arrive in style to UVM, by kayak. Our kayaking guide was ben, he is a super experienced guide and actually has a peg leg. We were dropped off on the Northside of the lake, with all our food/gear/clothes/tents packed into our kayaks. Packing was tight and we were only supposed to pack two non-cotton shirts, but I successfully smuggled in my TEAM AUSTIN tank and wore it often. 
We paddled about 45 miles over the whole week and stayed at a different island pretty much every night! We snuck in a sunrise paddle to one of the islands and on the last night we had to do a paddle from New York to Vermont under the stars due to implement weather conditions predicted for the next day. It was epic! (and a bit scary) Friends were born, miles were paddled and stories were told, you can bet I told Austin’s. Who is Austin, my friend asked me. Austin was an adventurer, and he is coming with me. Austin lead orientation for Boston University and I can only begin to imagine how STOKED the freshman at BU must have been after having all that spunk show em’ the ropes. I think he gave me a bit of his spicy spunk to share with my own adventuring freshies, so thanks austi-pasti, we had a rockin’ good time (:

Happy adventuring, Mia
Peace Love and Adventures