Never hit a man with your fist if someone else will hit him with his car.

Planking–It’s Not Just for Pirates Any More

Pirate’s Chest Planking at the Putt Putt

Blame it on Shawna Coronado. I’m going to, anyway.

When I first heard of planking, I thought it might be some sort of arid region form of waterboarding, or a type of pirates’ Russian roulette. But Shawna set me straight, and now I’m hooked. Yes. A planking junkie. I now look at the whole world as a planking opportunity. There are few things that I will say will change your life, and planking is not among them, but it’s a hoot, nonetheless.

I call Shawna Coronado the Green Queen. She is the author of Gardening Nude and has a great blog about gardening and living green called The Casual Gardener. Stop by, and she’ll teach you everything from edible front lawn gardens to building renaissance-style castles with discarded water bottles. More or less.

Shawna Coronado, image from flowergardengirl.wordpress.com — You’ll have to find the nude gardening pictures for yourself.

When I saw Shawna’s planking pictures up on her FB page, The Planking Files, I was mesmerized. What could this brilliant athletic feat be? Shawna took me by the hand and guided me to the wooden plank path of enlightenment.

I personally believe planking is a direct result of the economic downturn. It is the sort of fun, harmless, and quirky thing people do when they don’t have enough money for a movie. For those of you as ignorant as I was about this soon-to-be-Olympic-sport, planking is the act of pretending you are a wooden plank. Generally, you get a friend or family member to take your picture as you do this.

I was a bit shy about it at first so I practiced in my living room.

Ok. Time to go outside. Still feeling unsure of my technique so I started with a dirt road in the country.

Emboldened, I moved over near an oil well.

Planking by the oil well got me to thinking about our oil economy and things we might be able to do to change our ways, so to focus, I went to a nearby labyrinth.

All that contemplation made me hungry. I stopped off for some fresh Colorado Western Slope peaches at my favorite vegetable stand.

And on to the Leanin’ Tree Museum to enjoy some of the finest Western art in the world.

That was exhausting in a very pleasant way. Time for a plank beside the river.


Ahh. All refreshed and ready for a bit of excitement down at Pearl Street, Boulder’s outdoor mall.

As I planked through the day, some folks stared, and some folks laughed, but most just ignored me. For some reason, none of them jumped into my pictures.

Have you ever gone planking? Do you have any planking pictures you’d care to share?

My deepest gratitude to Shawna Coronado for inspiring a great day with my daughter and photographer.

All the best to all of you for exploring the Joy of Planking.

Piper Bayard—The Planking Pale Writer of the Apocalypse

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74 thoughts on “ Planking–It’s Not Just for Pirates Any More

  1. LOVE IT and am going to pull my favorite pic (the one with the pink elephant) for the Planking Files -http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150277782853250.346402.618628249.

    Keep on having fun and being silly. Why? Because life is meant to be lived and laughed – never boring!

    Shawna

    • Thanks, Shawna, I’m honored to be included with liquid nitrogen planking and bison planking. It’s so true that “life is meant to be lived and laughed.” You know, I think planking is the key to world peace. Every world leader should be required to formulate a planking portfolio before being inaugerated just to prove they don’t take themselves too damn seriously. Planking for world peace!

  2. on ,
    Texanne said:


    Love the photos!

    We’re lucky not to have been born during the flagpole-sitting days or goldfish-swallowing craze. I remember Volkswagen-stuffing, but never participated. Planking looks more . . . peaceful. Actually, it looks a lot like one of my favorite summertime avocations, the Inverted Polynesian Mat-lay. Regular Polynesian Mat-lay is supine rather than prone.

    It appears you don’t have ants in Boulder. Cool series of pics, Piper.

    • Lol. You notice I took my yoga mat with me. Perhaps I could use that same mat for learning Polynesian Mat-lay. Thanks for stopping by, Texanne. Hope you get in some good Mat-lay practice today.

  3. That looks so relaxing but I prefer the face up corpse pose. My nose is sort of long. 🙂

    Great pictures.

    • Lol. That could be an issue, but for what it’s worth, your nose doesn’t look particularly long. At least not in your tiny picture. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

    • Lol. It looks much better from face down in the dirt. I wonder how long it will take to evolve into nude planking. Hope the wrong people aren’t attracted to that sport. Thanks for stopping by, Jane.

  4. ROFL, Piper! So planking it just laying face-down? Doesn’t one’s nose hurt? I always wondered about that. 🙂 Have fun!

  5. This cracked me up! I’ve seen it, but I haven’t really understood the appeal. Something, however, about a still, supine person in the middle of an outdoor mall or a putt-putt green has given me pause. Maybe I’ll join the ranks…I mean, planks.

    • Yes! A convert! I think I’m hearing a calling here. If I can just help one person to peace and self-fulfillment through planking. . . . *deep sigh* . . . Thanks for stopping by, Julie. 🙂

  6. I admire your willingness to go all-out for this post. It’s so funny and so daring to just go for it like that, regardless of what people think. Must have been fun to do it.

    • It was fun. I have to say, one of the funnest parts was my daughter alternately exclaiming, “You’re so weird,” and “Thank you for not being boring.” Truth is, though, when you’ve spent a fair portion of life sashaying through public places in belly dancing attire, simply lying on the ground isn’t too much of a stretch. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

  7. This has to be a joke. How do you find out about these things? Nice photos – must have taken a lot of bravery. Thank you for giving me something to talk about at the dinner table tonight. I don’t have a personal story even remotely like this. Going to check out the gardening site too.

    • All it takes is a camera and the awareness that life is too short to not plank. 🙂 Come on over to the Dark Side, Mark. We have naps. Thanks for stopping by.

  8. Piper, the pic of you face down on the blue blanket in the labyrinth had me crying! Ditto at putt-putt. I have not planked yet, but want to. Now to find a photograph who won’t run away as I pick weird places.

    • Lol. As for photographers, it’s a great way to screen the men in your life. Well, I say that, but I pressed my daughter into service and promised her fresh peaches if she would cooperate. My hubby had agreed to come along and do it for ONE picture, and I was fairly sure he would have taken a picture that made my butt look five ax-handles wide just to discourage me from asking him again. Anyway, so glad I could give you a smile this morning. 🙂 Good to see you, Barbara.

  9. on ,
    malia said:


    Hahaha!! I LOVE this, and I laughed so much! I would dare to say this is not only a sport, but also a form of performance art!

    • I think so. Perhaps I’ll do a planking video next with my daughter playing the flute. I think an Irish jig would be appropriate. Thanks for commenting, Malia. 🙂

  10. PIPER! As always, you make me smile. 🙂 We used to do planks in college, but a different kind. I guess they’ve progressed since then….

    • As I recall, college planking is a couple’s activity and not suitable for internet photos. I’d have to ask Shawna, but that could be where this sport originated. Perhaps people without partners wanted to experience the joy, too, and voila. Modern-day planking was born. Thanks for stopping by.

    • That’s actually my yoga mat. It’s been sitting in the corner of my room for about four years now, and I thought it was high time it got some use. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  11. Okay. How do I clean latte off my laptop monitor? Did anybody come over and say anything while you were laying on the ground? It is a hysterical idea…maybe something Crazy Catie needs to try. LOL

    • You won’t be sorry, Catie. Like I told Mark. Come on over to the Dark Side. We have naps. As far as your monitor goes, I find spit works pretty well if i’m wearing a t-shirt to rub it off with. 🙂 I’ll look forward to your planking photos. Good to see you.

  12. Piper, you crack me up. Those poor, unimaginative people who refused to plank with you.

    We will have to get a group-plank photo at RMFW next month.

  13. This gave me a much-needed laugh for a dreary Monday morning. I’m trying to figure out which I prefer — planking, or its archenemy, owling. There’s something about owling that seems rather pensive and Thinker-esque, but planking is sort of amazing as well. I may have to attempt both to figure it out. 😀

    • Personally, I believe owling is for the young. Before the knees get touchy about these things. I’ll be looking forward to seeing pictures and hearing about your experiments with these artistic athletic forms. Thanks for stopping by.

  14. I have a friend in the AU who has been posting his planking photos for some time. On top of a bicycle, a row of grocery carts, or my favorite, a paper towel display.

    Pointing your toes is key apparently. Not pointing is considered bad form. Who knew? 🙂

    (love that you did this)

    • Thanks, Amber. I started out with bad form and had to practice. I learned to straighten my legs more, to get my shoes out of the way, and to turn my palms inward. You’d never guess it was such an art form just to look at it, but like all art forms, it takes lots of hard work and dedication to master. Sounds like your friend’s all over it. Please give him my regards. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • I’d love to claim credit for it, but truth is that the art of planking has been practiced by many down the ages. I believe it was started by Mary, Queen of Scots, who attempted to avoid beheading by pretending to be a wooden plank in her bed when they came for her. Unfortunately for her, after some intense searching, one of her jailors sat down on her bed, and she squeaked. Alas! Thanks for your comment, Marcia. 🙂

  15. Yes! Love it Piper. You are terrific. The one at the mall is hilarious with all those people around, but I was already laughing by then.

  16. on ,
    Dave said:


    Just be careful that you never practice this around people that are into the sport of “logging”. Practitioners are often found in the Pacific Northwest or heavily timbered areas of Tennessee.

  17. Hey Piper!!! I’ve been traveling since Friday, and sans Internet except via iPhone. So I got to my hotel room tonight and was able to use my computer. YEEEES. I’m going through some awesome blogs since Friday, and then I see your blog title. I honestly thought it was going to be a bit from Holmes about making Uncle Momo walk the plank. Then I’m like, “What the hell is she doing at the Putt-Putt on a treasure chest?” Then it dawned on me what you were doing. I am expecting a knock on my hotel door any minute. If there’s anyone on either side of my room, I’m sure they’ve called security by now. I was literally holding my stomach in pain by the time I got to the Leanin’ Tree Museum. But when I realized even the horse in the statue was gawking at you, I completely lost it and had to go to the bathroom to get some tissue to clear the tears from my eyes before I could continue. Thanks so much for the belly laugh Piper. Have a good one. You rock.

    • Rofl. You’ve repaid the belly laugh with the visuals of you reading the blog from your hotel room. I’m glad you caught the horse thing. I thought it was cute to look like I was spooking the horse. Leanin’ Tree was very sweet to let me publish the picture of their private collection bronze statue on my blog. (Thank you, Leanin’ Tree. You rock!) Thanks for stopping by, Kerry. Hope you have a safe and productive trip. 🙂

  18. Ok, officially the most hilarious post I’ve read in a LONG time! I’m laughing out loud! Planking. I have this sudden urge to go out on my front lawn and do it. I won’t though because it’s dark and I’m scared of bugs.
    You are fun-ny!!!!

    • Do it! I recommend a yoga mat where bugs, dirt or germs are a concern. 🙂 Nice to meet you, Sandra. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  19. Piper, this is hilarious! You have certainly embraced the plank! I love the signature blue mat – it can be your plank trademark. 🙂 My favorite is the golfing-in-progress shot at the end. Thanks for the great laugh today!

    • Lol. He actually did go ahead and putt with me there. For some reason, he wasn’t too concerned about the effects of hitting me upside the head with a golf ball. Glad I could give you a smile. Thanks for stopping by.

  20. Never heard of planking before. This was so quirky and fun. Thanks for sharing all of your blue mat planking photos.

  21. LOL. Oh Piper, I love you so much. My kids have driven me nuts today to the point where I just want to sit and cry… Then I read this post. I hae cried, but the tears were that of hysterical laughter. I, too, am now going to go out and ‘plank’.

    Thanks sweetie xxxx

    • Yea!!! A new convert. Can’t wait to see your pics, Donna. So glad I could brighten your day. I know how kids can keep you young and make you old all at the same time. Thanks for stopping by.

  22. Ohmygosh I didn’t think I could love you any more, but my heart just swelled. you crack me up!

    I’m showing this to my son when he gets home from school.

    Love, love, love it!

    • Awww. Thanks, Tameri. That means a lot to me. Maybe you and your son can join the planking revolution. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  23. Piper! I have been reading about planking forever. If only I had thought about planking in my classroom. Maybe I will.

    If I do, I’ll link up here.

    I must say if you plan to go full-throttle, you’ll have to lose the yoga mat. 😉 Love this 23456136 times! And that’s a lot.

    • Lol. Thanks Renee. I’ll tell you a bit of trivia about myself. I suck at doing laundry. If I lay down everywhere from the dirt road to the mud-smeared pavement at the fruit stand, I’d have to be ready to throw my clothes away. It will take a much bigger leap mentally to ditch the mat than it did to plank in the first place.

      I would have LOVED any teacher who introduced planking in my classroom. You are so cool. Please do link up! And thanks for stopping by.

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  25. on ,
    EllieAnn said:


    This is fantastic! I wish I could jump in the pictures and donut with you. Looks fun! =)

    • How does one donut? It certainly sounds like something I would enjoy. And we definitely need to get some planking pics when we’re in Dallas next year. Thanks for stopping by.

  26. lol! I thought planking was when you imitate a diving board–sort of like pushups but you don’t really have to go down. This type of planking is much more enjoyable (and probably less painful). 🙂

    • I’m familiar with the other kind of planking, too. This type is much easier on my rotators. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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