Wednesday, May 18, 2011

To plank or not to plank?

Planking is described as "in which a person has their photo taken while they lie motionless on their stomach in various locations"(Herald Sun 16/5/11)and I could add "on various things". It's even got rules on how to plank, and it's become a craze in this last couple of weeks. Some claim that it was the death of Acton BEALE in attempting a risky plank that spiked the trend, which maybe true, but the week prior planking made the news. It may have been David Williams who brought it to light when planking to celebrate a try scored in an NRL game. But it's definitely peaked and the fruit rather than the source of the craze is the subject of this blog.

I first came across planking about 4 years ago on, and the pictures there had no such attempts of trying to see how risky one could get. They were just people planking in well known areas, such as Ayers Rock, Paris, Sydney Opera House etc. And then a friend posted a picture of a news worker planking the news panel desk. (Izzy that's you!) However, other's have felt the urge to get more creative, and more risky to make their plank better than the others. So now I've seen photo's of people planking on train tracks, high structures, under a car even? etc etc. Sure there are ways to be creative without having to get dangerous, but last weekends tragic event was a reminder that we can all take things a little bit too far. And today I hear another person is in a coma after planking a moving car.

But regardless of how it came about it begs to question, how did a craze which is undeniably unaggressive and harmless lead to the death of a plank practitioner and recently serious injuries to other individuals? Well apparently it comes with trying to perform the pose in high risk situations.

Why? I think the obvious answer is to compete with other's who have attempted similarly dangerous planks. Specifically to out do, and go further on somebody elses plank. Now we're pretty bombarded with cooking shows, talent shows, amazing race etc etc. But this is where we all really need to check ourselves, will we allow our competitive nature to get to such a degree as to hurting even KILLING ourselves in a state where you're practically in a stationery position?! There aren't even any judges or prizes involved, planking at present is purely egotistical, and

So if you're going to plank, plank safe and try to stick to the rules below.

1. Don't plank on high structures
2. Plank with responsible friends (you know what I mean?)
3. Be creative without having to jeopordise your safety.

It's funny, it's undoubtedly Australian, and unfortunately although it's nothing like bungee jumping, it has it's risks. So if you're going to plank, plank safe. Personally, I like the creative planks, safe places, effort in thinking of the environment and obviously not looking at the thrill of targeting a dangerous spot/situation. But truly, if you're really enthusiastic about this, go professional and find some sponsors. I think this guy in the photo below is a winner.