In February 2012, I logged onto Twitter after my morning 6amCLUB run and saw the following tweet from Joe. I'd never heard of the Shorty Awards and thought nothing of it.
I nominate @takeachallenge for a Shorty Award in #socialfitness because he deserves it! Motivates so many people! http://t.co/EmFziGWa
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Within days, there were more tweets, hundreds of them from charities, friends and individuals who inspired me daily and even the odd celebrity got involved, all with a special message of support. I obviously had to check out what the awards were all about.
I nominate @TakeaChallenge for a Shorty Award in #socialfitness because he lives to inspire and help others improve our http://t.co/kHRCYT1y
The Veterans Charity
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Wow! This thing was serious, it was like the Oscars for social media with some of the biggest names in film, tv and people of serious influence. The nominations kept coming and obviously I got onboard to encourage more to vote, it was exciting, but I didn't believe for a second we would win and by we, I mean the Take a Challenge community, I've always felt we're all in this together. Although I may have got carried away at one point, Susie made me laugh with this one, you must follow her she is awesome!
Please retweet to shut him up! "I nominate @TakeaChallenge for a Shorty Award in #SocialFitness because he is relentless in encouragement!"
— Susie Chan (@SusieChan) <a data-preserve-html-node="true" href="https://twitter.com/SusieChan/status/169882574209032193">February 15, 2012
The #SocialFitness Shorty Award, honours outstanding individuals who use their influence on social media to help and inspire others to make healthy choices in their lives.
Take a Challenge went from hundreds down the list to the top six within a few weeks. I was shocked. I'd lost everything, my business and relationship was in tatters and I was broke, but this beautiful thing, not the award but the community support inspired me to keep moving forward and this is one of the many reasons why Social Media has been so important to me.
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The competition was serious, @takeachallenge was up against stiff competition including: @JohnBasedow @blogilates and @ToneItUp all well established individuals with millions of followers and @fitocracy, was a whole organisation with support from Redbull, I was running from home on my second hand Dell Windows XP computer and still do to this day, I live on a very tight budget.
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The sponsor of the award wanted us all there, but the ceremony was in Times Square in New York. I live in London and there was no way I could afford the trip and I openly told the the Shot just weeks before the ceremoney, the sponsor paid for my flights and came up with some funding for flights and accomodation
Following the award ceremony in New Yorks Times Square, Take a Challenge has continued to flourish and Chris's story and the inspirational messages behind Take a Challenge have featured in online and print magazines including Men’s Health and Men’s Running UK.
A year later Chris brings the 6amCLUB to New Yorks Central Park on a cold February morning to promote Take a Challenge and help inspire to stay active, lots of cool friends showed up too, including Charity Miles, Fitocracy and lots of inspiring individuals who inspre millions of people each day.