A Perspective on Planking: The Evolution of a Revolution

A friend of mine (@AgentOrange354) tweeted Wednesday morning, ”I don’t get #planking either I’m not very cool or it’s stupid…I’m thinking a bit of both?”. At first I shared his sentiments. Why are the Pounceys, Leon Orr, Lynden Trail, Tyler Murphy, Marcus Gilbert, Cheyenne Coyle (and many others) all planking their lives away? ”I don’t get it. It’s people laying on top of objects or lying on the floor” I said.

I decided to do some research. I typed ”Planking” into Google, and there was the Wikipedia explanation. According to Wikipedia: ”The lying down game (also known as planking,or face downs) is an activity, popular in various parts of the world, consisting of lying face down in an unusual or incongruous location. The hands must touch the sides of the body, and having a photograph of the participant taken and posted on the internet as an integral part of the game. Players compete to find the most unusual and original location in
which to play. The location should also be as public as possible, and as many
people as possible should be involved.”

Planking began in England over a decade ago as the ”Lying Down Game”. Over time it has spread globally, and has been referred to as ”face downs” in the US and the term ”planking” became popular in Australia and New Zealand a few years back.  It has also been referred to as ”Parkour for those who can’t be arsed.” Parkour, there’s another one. Why are people jumping on top of a dumpster instead of just walking around it? I for one, definitely can’t be arsed. So, I kept researching.

On Facebook, I found a whole community of Plankers on a page called ”Planking” – they’re community organizers! There were pictures people posted from all over showing their planks. Some are down stairs, on benches, on the floor (which as we all know is old school “lying down game” or as I like to call it “RetroPlank” ) and one person was even in a tree! Now, unfortunately for Swiss Family Robinson, their arms are definitely NOT at their sides, so they really should be disqualified and the picture removed. Completely giving
planking a bad reputation. Now just anybody will think they can do it, and obviously as my dear friend pointed out, you have to be a very cool person to do this. I’m kind of wishing I didn’t ”like” their page now that I know what kind of irresponsible community organizers they are. Lucky for all of us, the Planking Association of America exists. They completely caught the sneaky weasel and pointed out the misunderstanding of what planking is. The person replied that It was a ”Chachi plank” but until PlankAA acknowledges this manuever, I do not think it should count. These guys really seem to respect the rules and regulations, so I am definitely glad I “liked” them.  Somebody really needs to be policing the FauxPlankers out there.

Also on Facebook, I found a professional sports team called ”Extreme Planking”. Extreme planking is very similar to planking, but much more extreme. In fact, the pictures the current and former Gator football players and athletes were tweeting would definitely fall into this category. Exciting, isn’t it?!

I decided that I would attempt planking to really gauge the difficulty of the activity. I will warn you, if you attempt planking please start out with a RetroPlank. I started right out of the gate attempting to plank on my couch and it didn’t end well. To my dismay, I am most certainly not talented, well-balanced, or cool enough for planking. Some more free advice: if you do “like” any of the afformentioned pages on Facebook, please only post if you are committed to the revolution. Some people chose to post negativity, and let’s just say Plankers are hard core. If you have a Tumblr, there are sites dedicated to it, but I don’t have a Tumblr, so I didn’t bother really looking. I couldn’t be arsed into signing up for it either. You’re on your own, Tumblr-ers.

I did, however, try a different approach after my fall failed attempt. I took my son’s Mickey Mouse stuffed animal and calmly and carefully placed him into a RetroPlank. It was a
success!  Since I can’t plank , I will plank vicariously through the Mickey Mouse. I have even given this style of planking a new term, ”Stuffing”.

I will be tweeting some pics I take of Mickey Stuffing. We’re going on vacation in a few days, and I’m really hoping to snap a few of Mickey at the beach, at the pool and so forth, all Stuffing of course. Wednesday we will be at the Magic Kingdom – where I really hope some quality Stuffing can take place. That’s my goal anyway.

I have decided to include some pics I got off of the Twitter interwebs for you to have a better understanding and appreciation for planking. I’ve also included the first ever picture of Mickey Stuffing. Your welcome, Gator Nation.

This pic was tweeted to Bourbonmeyer. It is clearly a great example of family planking fun.

This was tweeted by one of the Pounceys. Since I can't see the tats, I don't know which one. This is extreme planking with some buddies. On top of a fridge. I'm not sure how they all got up there, and that just adds to the magic.

This is Marcus Gilbert planking. The form is not exact, but I'm guessing that's the best you're going to get from a 300+Lb Offensive Lineman. Kudos, big guy!

Here we have Tyler Murphy. Amazing how the box holds his weight, isn't it?

The lovely Cheyenne Coyle tweeted this pic of another Gator beauty, Ensley Gammel. I was so enamored with the plank, I credited it incorrectly originally. Thanks to Bryan Holt for being on top of it.

This is another of a group plank. As you can see it differs in several ways from the first plank pic. This one involves team fun in a pyramid plank. Brilliant on so many levels.

This will be the first of a couple plank pics by Lynden Trail. In my opinion, he has the most innovative planks. I gather he has been planking for a while now, as his planks are always extreme in nature. Here, he is at the grocery enjoying a quick plank on his cart.

Lynden Trail on a golf cart! Extreme for so many reasons, mainly for the degree of danger this plank involved. It also should be noted that he took care to include some school pride in his plank. I'm sure Mr. Foley and Mr. Machen are really appreciative of that.

Lynden planking on a garbage can. If I could plank, I would never be able to pull this off. Mainly because I'm afraid I'd get cooties, but Lynden really put himself out there for the art.

I almost do not have words for DT Leon Orr's plank. Form is quite good, considering his size. From what I gather on Twitter, this is quite the popular plank with the fans. Although Lynden takes the cake (or garbage can, or shopping cart, or golf cart, etc) as far as Gator Plankers, this pic is one of my favorites.

This is the first ever Stuffing that Mickey attempted. I really think this could get huge, you guys. The lighting is not perfect, but I did not want to chance a Mickey Stuffing mishap before our big vacation. I will be more mindful of lighting and angles in the future.

Update 7/1/11: We have received an overwhelming response so far, and many of you are requesting some more planking pics. So here are more Lynden Trail Planks from his timeline.

Gator football players must really love their refrigerators. Soon we will be able to have a whole album full of these. It's too bad they're as fond of doing dishes.

This is a textbook plank. It is in public and again, Lynden's form is impeccable. I really hope he's read this post so he can "like" all those planking pages I found on facebook.

Here Lynden is planking on a form of construction machinery. I don't know the difference between a back-hoe and a front-hoe. Maybe this is a Bobcat?

Simply amazing. I can't figure out how he got up there. Maybe Parkour?

It's too bad we can't see all of his legs in the pic. Regardless, it's still pretty incredible. He's on the verge of becoming a Planking Phenomenomenom. He must carry a ladder around all day. Yeah, that must be it.

Breaking Lynden Walmart plank! I bet he's buying a ladder. Wait, why is his Walmart so empty? I never have that kind of luck.

Finally, our version, The BourbonPlank. Happy 4th of July, Gator Nation. Go Gators and Go America!

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11 Responses to A Perspective on Planking: The Evolution of a Revolution

  1. Lissy says:

    This is ridiculous! But entertaining nonetheless…looking forward to mickey’s planking adventures!

  2. Pingback: Planking – The Latest Internet Craze « Gatorsean's World

  3. Rainman says:

    Cone-ing > Planking

  4. William Bryant says:

    Why is Lynden’s plank on top of the door not receiving more props? Underrated in my opinion.

  5. Art Vandalay says:

    I think the pic from the Pounceys on top of the fridge is both Pounceys + Ahmad Black.

  6. Ann4UF says:

    I have to say I found the whole thing a little silly (I still looked at all the pics on Twitter), but this post is amusing enough that I will definitely give more credit to Stuffing than I did Planking.

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