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#1
Old 12-06-2012, 04:44 PM
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If you're going to lie, at least TRY to make it believable

Remember Tommy Flanagan, the pathological liar played by Jon Lovitz on Saturday Night Live many years ago? I've met his real-life counterpart.

Well, I haven't actually MET him; more like I'm aware of him. Let me explain.

My company offers membership in Virgin HealthMiles as a way to encourage employees to get fit. I joined up as soon as I could, because based on the name I thought I'd earn points every time I didn't have sex. Since I'm a middle-aged man, that would mean I could earn a LOT of points.

But it turned out that you earned points by doing things like walking and exercising, which was okay too. You got a free pedometer to wear that would log the number of steps you took each day, and all you had to do was plug it into your computer and the steps would be automatically tallied for you. Plus, the points you earn can be redeemed for cool things, like money. So it's a win-win all the way around.

And, as an added bonus, every once in a while there are Challenges, in which you compete with other people to see who can take the most steps or something. In these Challenges you can earn even MORE points if you win. Which is how I became aware of the liar.

My company recently teamed up with four others in our area to sponsor a Challenge. Whichever company took the most collective steps in a 20-day period would be declared the winner, and the top overall competitor would win fabulous prizes: bonus points, the right to go to all the other companies and moon them from their front steps, a cool hat with "I'm the best Virgin!" on it, and such.

So I'm all excited about this Challenge, and the day it starts, I walk a LOT around my office building. When I printed a multi-page document, I would walk from my desk to the printer several times, getting one page each time. I went to the bathroom even when I didn't have to pee. And when I got home that night, I hopped on the treadmill for about 90 minutes. All in all, I amassed something like 23,000 steps that first day. It takes roughly 2,000 steps to equal one mile, so I had walked more than 12 miles! I just knew I was going to be the bestest Virgin EVER.

Lo and behold, when I checked the Challenge website, there was some guy from a bank who had uploaded 60,000 steps that first day! He must've run a marathon, or something. Obviously being the best Virgin was going to be a lot harder than I thought; I was "Gutter Slut" compared to him.

No matter. I would outlast him. I would be the tortoise to his hare. He would tire eventually. I would wear him down, and then I would take his Virginity from him. So to speak.

The Challenge is now in its 18th day; it ends tomorrow. Needless to say, the guy didn't slow down. He's currently claiming more than 1.2 million steps to date, an average of 33.8 miles PER DAY. To quote the guys on ESPN: "C'mon, man!" I might buy the fact that you did this once or twice over a 20-day period, but EVERY SINGLE DAY? I'm not even sure it's humanly possible, especially if you're working a regular job.

The problem is, you can fool the pedometer. If you shake it in your hand, sometimes it will assume you're taking steps, and count them. I might or might not have done this in the past. Hypothetically.

Fortunately, I'm not the only person who is convinced of this guy's chicanery. There's a chat feature on the Virgin site (yes, I know how that sounds; keep your dirty comments to yourself), and several veiled and not-so-veiled comments from others show that nobody thinks he's legit. My favorite comment so far is "Somebody has attached their pedometer to the paint-mixing machine at Lowe's."

Bitter experience has taught me the pitfalls of dishonesty, so I've refrained from attaching my pedometer to my hyperactive dog in an attempt to beat this guy. At least I can comfort myself in the knowledge that others are aware of his cheating.

But alas - I will not be the best Virgin.
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Last edited by Sauron; 12-06-2012 at 04:45 PM.
#2
Old 12-06-2012, 04:50 PM
tdn tdn is offline
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Is this seriously the first time you've heard about someone lying about being a virgin?
#3
Old 12-06-2012, 05:01 PM
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That really sucks. I agree this guy is almost certainly cheating. I doubt you'll be able to do anything about it, but in theory - several of the more advanced pedometers break things down by hour (or finer gradations). If they wanted to - it wouldn't be hard to look into this and see - hmm that's odd - he seems to be getting the same amount every hour for x hours (which would likely happen if he attached it to a fan or something).

He has to be actively trying to cheat. Shaking it with your hand - well you still have to do exercise.

Hope they disqualify him. But you are doing the right thing by not cheating. 23k is a pretty good number to do while working. 60k is pretty much impossible.

Last edited by DataX; 12-06-2012 at 05:02 PM. Reason: Spelling
#4
Old 12-06-2012, 05:15 PM
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There's a phone app called Strava for cycling and running. It uses GPS to track your speed, and you can compare your pace with others over the same route. You'd think this is harder to game, since it records your GPS position continuously.

Unfortunately it's easy to forget to hit the stop button when you finish. You sometimes see segments where someone tops 100km/hr, because they've forgotten to turn it off for the drive home.
#5
Old 12-06-2012, 06:05 PM
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On the last day you should take you pedometer to Lowes and and put 1.3 million steps on it for the one day. Win!
#6
Old 12-06-2012, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdn View Post
Is this seriously the first time you've heard about someone lying about being a virgin?
You can DO that?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by L. G. Butts, Ph.D.
On the last day you should take you pedometer to Lowes and and put 1.3 million steps on it for the one day. Win!
I've seriously considered strapping it to the front tire of my car as I drive to and from work, but so far I've refrained.
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Last edited by Sauron; 12-06-2012 at 09:42 PM.
#7
Old 12-06-2012, 09:51 PM
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I just checked the site again - he's added another 50,000 steps since this afternoon. He's now just over 1.3 million steps since November 19, or roughly 36 miles per day.

I'm in awe. Clearly he's the Flash.
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Last edited by Sauron; 12-06-2012 at 09:51 PM.
#8
Old 12-06-2012, 10:40 PM
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And what really sucks is that it's so fantastic when companies try to promote wellness with these incentives, yet people cheat. My company currently pays a dollar a day when I exercise 30 minutes. Sometimes it's the little boost I need to get off my butt, you know? Apparently I can be bought.
#9
Old 12-07-2012, 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsomniaMama View Post
My company currently pays a dollar a day when I exercise 30 minutes. Sometimes it's the little boost I need to get off my butt, you know? Apparently I can be bought.
Oh, yeah -- I may act all consumed with righteous indignation about the cheating, but my main motivation in participating in stuff like this is the monetary gain. My company pays up to $600 each year if you reach certain levels of activity. I'm all about getting paid to get fit.

Well, fitTER, anyway.
#10
Old 12-07-2012, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
You can DO that?!



I've seriously considered strapping it to the front tire of my car as I drive to and from work, but so far I've refrained.
just hang it from the pendulum of a grandfather clock.
#11
Old 12-07-2012, 10:54 AM
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go to a building supply store, strap the pedometer on a can of paint and have them put it on the paint shaker.
#12
Old 12-07-2012, 10:59 AM
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Mention any number in a group of guys and there is always someone that will come up with a bigger number.

But in this case I think it's just greed.
#13
Old 12-07-2012, 12:33 PM
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Can it be attached to the wrist? I bet I know how he's doing it...
#14
Old 12-07-2012, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sateryn76 View Post
Can it be attached to the wrist? I bet I know how he's doing it...
Still - that'd be impressive, right there. I don't care who you are. That would indicate stamina on an almost unheard-of scale.
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#15
Old 12-07-2012, 12:55 PM
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Do you have a friend with a kid who has a hamster? Attach that sucker to a hamster wheel and you're in like Flynn.
#16
Old 12-07-2012, 01:57 PM
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I've noticed some of the cheaper pedometers will tally up "steps" if the car ride is bumpy. There are LOTS of ways to rack up miles.

Sorry about your situation, Sauron.
#17
Old 12-07-2012, 02:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
Oh, yeah -- I may act all consumed with righteous indignation about the cheating, but my main motivation in participating in stuff like this is the monetary gain. My company pays up to $600 each year if you reach certain levels of activity. I'm all about getting paid to get fit.

Well, fitTER, anyway.
Man! Your sugar tit is twice the size of mine!

(Bet you weren't expecting to read that sentence today.)
#18
Old 12-07-2012, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsomniaMama View Post
Man! Your sugar tit is twice the size of mine!

(Bet you weren't expecting to read that sentence today.)
Today?! I didn't expect to hear that sentence my entire life.

One more thing off my bucket list!
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#19
Old 12-07-2012, 03:16 PM
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If he's got the bouncy-leg thing going on, and the pedometer counts every bounce, then the numbers could conceivably be accurate. Lord knows, if they counted the amount of times I bounce my leg during the day it could easily reach that number.
#20
Old 12-07-2012, 03:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noelq View Post
If he's got the bouncy-leg thing going on, and the pedometer counts every bounce, then the numbers could conceivably be accurate. Lord knows, if they counted the amount of times I bounce my leg during the day it could easily reach that number.
True, but the Virgin HealthMiles folks ask that people not do that. I shake my foot almost constantly while I'm sitting at my desk, and I could attach the pedometer to my shoe and rack up beaucoup "steps" that way. Wouldn't be kosher, though.
#21
Old 12-07-2012, 03:32 PM
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Since the miles are automatically uploaded, I wouldn't call him a cheater yet. Maybe he left the pedometer on top of the washer or something.

Or maybe you're competing against a letter carrier or UPS delivery dude. I bet they log 36 miles per day during Christmas.
#22
Old 12-07-2012, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
Or maybe you're competing against a letter carrier or UPS delivery dude. I bet they log 36 miles per day during Christmas.
Nope, banker. Or at least, somebody who works at bank in town. The companies in the challenge are us, two banks, an information services company, and a hospital.

Maybe this guy hand-delivers the cash to all the ATMS in the area, or something.
#23
Old 12-08-2012, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
Maybe this guy hand-delivers the cash to all the ATMS in the area, or something.
Or maybe he works on the dock and delivers mail and packages all day. And he delivers them one at a time. And takes the stairs.
#24
Old 12-08-2012, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by control-z View Post
Mention any number in a group of guys and there is always someone that will come up with a bigger number.
We call this the "first liar always loses" syndrome.
#25
Old 12-10-2012, 11:43 AM
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In the interest of closure, I thought I'd give you the final tally ... he ended the challenge with 1,403,950 steps. Over 19 days, and assuming an average of 2,000 steps per mile, he claims he walked/jogged/ran an average of 37 miles per day. Which I don't think is possible unless you have superpowers.

I ended up with a paltry (but legitimate!) 293,800 steps, for an average of about 7.7 miles per day.
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Last edited by Sauron; 12-10-2012 at 11:44 AM.
#26
Old 12-10-2012, 11:50 AM
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Yeowch, what a long way to go for...what? A hat? Pfft.

There's a guy my hubby works with who just MUST WIN the Biggest Loser weight challenge their office does every spring. Sure, he does it honestly, but...wrapping yourself in saran wrap (Ok not saran wrap, but some mechanical device that acts like saran wrap; he wears it all day at work, and after work as well, I'm sure), not eating for a month, and sweating it out in saunas just to win 50 bucks...come on. The worst part is it demoralizes the office, and there are a LOT of people in that office who could stand to lose <more than> a few pounds, and the yearly challenge used to be everyone's kickstart. After the third year running of this guy just going SO FAR to win they just kinda gave up. The guy isn't overweight, either, and afterwards he goes right back to whatever weight he was at before. I can see challenging yourself for fun, but when you're doing something as part of a team, even a competitive one, I just don't see the advantage to making 'winning' the only important thing.

Last edited by Taomist; 12-10-2012 at 11:51 AM.
#27
Old 12-10-2012, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sauron View Post
I ended up with a paltry (but legitimate!) 293,800 steps, for an average of about 7.7 miles per day.
Good for you! That's a lot, and you should be proud. You get the coveted InsomniaMama stamp of approval.
#28
Old 12-10-2012, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsomniaMama View Post
Good for you! That's a lot, and you should be proud. You get the coveted InsomniaMama stamp of approval.
I will be honored to display it.
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Last edited by Sauron; 12-10-2012 at 12:28 PM.
#29
Old 12-10-2012, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunditLisa View Post
Or maybe you're competing against a letter carrier or UPS delivery dude. I bet they log 36 miles per day during Christmas.
Not likely. That's an average of 4.5 MPH over an eight-hour shift. Given that they have to stop from time to time to deliver letters, they would have to pretty much jog from mailbox to mailbox.

While carrying ~20 pounds of mail.

In a uniform that's not particularly optimized for athletic activity.

For eight hours.
#30
Old 12-10-2012, 04:34 PM
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My insurance company handed out pedometers for a fitness project. The things were so inacurant as to be laughable. Over my two mile walk I had a twenty percent swing in the number of steps it counted. I pitched it in the trash after the first week.
#31
Old 12-10-2012, 05:44 PM
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A friend of mine entered a local contest online. One of the factors they took into account when choosing the winner was how many views your 2-minute entry video got on the contest website. Of course 99% of the entrants got a few hundred to a few thousand views over the course of a few weeks. All except for one guy, who somehow miraculously convinced over a quarter-million people to watch his video in the first 24 hours. Fortunately TPTB recognized it for what it was and called him out on it.
#32
Old 01-19-2013, 05:44 PM
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One shameless bump for this; it seems appropriate what with the Manti Te'o situation at Notre Dame. Would that Manti had read this thread months ago. Of course, it didn't exist then, but you get what I mean.
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#33
Old 01-19-2013, 06:58 PM
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What do you bet, his BMI is in the 40s.
#34
Old 01-21-2013, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsomniaMama View Post
Man! Your sugar tit is twice the size of mine!

(Bet you weren't expecting to read that sentence today.)
Get back to Hollywood, Mel.
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