That PA thing

So, Alice and I have started Project Awesome in Liverpool.

It took a few months to commit, but we have minus 47 regrets in making that commitment. We’ve had so much fun with the four or five peeps who have come along to date (i.e. two early mornings down). There’s no expectation on our part on how it should be – we’d have plenty of fun bouncing around the Dockside, just the two of us! But already we’re feeling the spirit created by the Chief of all Awesomeness in London, inspiring us as we mess around in our new city of lyrics and Lambananas.

If you’re anywhere near the Museum of Liverpool on a Friday morning, at 6:30am, please come along. ALL abilities and all weathers are welcome.

Oh, and I wrote a blog post for Project Awesome HQ, as a dedication to the magic it’s brought to my life.

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Image may contain: 13 people, including Alfie Budjanovcanin, Dave Finch, Mayra Vega and Ségolène Surrel, people smiling, people standing

All smiles at the end of LondonCardiff24, 2018.

This was penned on laptop on 12th June 2018.

A few weekends ago, I spent approximately 25 hours and 48 minutes awake, in a minibus, with 12 sweaty betties, running from London to Cardiff. And for a lot of those 25 hours and 48 minutes, I was smiling. I certainly wasn’t sleeping! There aren’t many people that I could spend that amount of time with, getting increasingly smelly and tired, without cracking. Even fewer that I would choose to be in that smelly mess with.

This 24 hour ‘race’ is one example of the many adventures I’ve had over the last three years with a pride of Project Awesomers. There have been New Year’s Day sea-swims, marafuns along beautiful coastlines, hula-hooping ‘workshops’, muddy forest camp-outs, circum-cycling islands, midnight mass skinny dips in a November sea….to name but a few of the wonderful weekends and stolen hours (at times of the day I didn’t realise existed before) I’ve had with the peoples of PA. As well as a lot of coffees. And cake (thanks, Suzi).

It’s quite hard to remember what my life was like pre-Project Awesome. It was certainly richer in the number of hours spent in bed, but immeasurably poorer in the number of random elements it contained.

But aside from the ‘organised’ (to varying degrees!) trips, the primary reason why I am grateful to be part of PA is the incredible community of people it attracts. All ages (age being the most irrelevant characteristic of membership to this pack); all abilities; all the fun. Everyone I have met through PA has inspired me in some way; to be more positive, more confident, believe in my potential more, and be more aware of the potential for fun in everything! It has also made me more vigilant of the challenges others might be experiencing, and how a smile and some random starter question about the gorgeous weather (at 6:30am on a drizzly Primrose Hill) might go a long way towards making someone feel included. The alternative way of fast-tracking inclusion is the humble hug. However, I remember being a little shell-shocked after my first session in the Scoop, when a smiley man came over to me, wearing red ‘shorts’ and a buxom ginger beard (that covered more of his body than his shorts), and gave me a smacker and a hug. I had no idea who he was. But I admired his friendliness towards a shy stranger. I now feel honoured to call the maker of the magic, Danny Boy Bent, a friend. Why ever did I even decide to get up at ridiculous o’clock that fateful morning? A common question asked to newbies! It all started one summer’s morning, on a hill, a short train ride from the centre of London. I’d spent the night camping out under a tarpauline with a dozen people I’d never met before. I got chatting to one chap as we headed back to the big city after a beautiful dawn.

“Ah, you like running! Where do you run in London?” I asked in my slightly nervous, relatively-new Londoner way.

“I run with PA,” replied a less nervous, longer-standing Londoner. “Project Awesome!?”, he offered when I looked entirely blank.

“What’s Project Awesome?”

And the rest is a brilliant history. Thanks, Mirko.

Since earlier this year, I’ve sadly been living a bit too far away to make it to the Scoop on a Wednesday, or Primrose Hill on a Friday, even if I get up a little bit earlier. But I am in discussions with another recently-relocated PA chum (the unstoppable Alice of the Many Marathons) about starting up Project Awesome Liverpool. TBCo-erced.

To end, I shall take an excerpt from my Facebook review: “I’m not quite sure what the exact mix of magic is, but Danny Bent, has managed to create the perfect one in Project Awesome.” True story.

Long may the fun (and hugs) continue.

Update on 30th July 2018….

Project Awesome Liverpool is GO! Friday morning, 6:30am, outside the Museum of Liverpool. We’ve had two sessions so far, dancing around the dockside with the Beatles and a bunch of brilliant new individuals. BOOM!

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