Every year, I have this thing that comes around that makes me a year older. It’s called a birthday. We all have one but some of us refuse to acknowledge it because we don’t like to think of ourselves as getting older. Well, like it or not…it happens…every year we all reach the, one more year, mark and what we do with it is our own choice. I happen to LOVE my birthday. I really don’t mind getting a year older or telling people my age either…48!

The reason I don’t mind telling my age is because I don’t FEEL my age. Let me clarify that, in my mind, I feel like I’m in my twenties…. my body on the other hand….well…. listen to this story.

A few months ago, while on vacation, I was checking out my Facebook page when I noticed a picture of a girl lying flat out on a table, face down, stiff as a board or a “plank”. I wondered why anyone would take a picture of themselves, doing nothing, but lying flat. Then I noticed the caption under the picture that said, “me planking on a table”



So, I did what any red blooded American would do, I Googled it! Come to find out, this planking phenomenon has been around on for years…almost 10…I guess I’m a little behind the times. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s just simple fun! Basically, you make yourself really stiff, like a plank, on anything that will hold you. A table, a chair, a car will work just fine, or you can get really creative (this is where the fun is) and plank on something a little more daring, like the counter at
McDonald’s or the peak of a roof!.

Since I don’t FEEL 48 in my mind, I immediately wanted to give it a try. Later that evening, my high school bestie and I, along with my kids, went to the theatre to watch Cars II. As I walked into the theater, it hit me! A great planking idea! I handed my phone to Lynne and told her to take my picture. I crawled up on the wooden banister (not very gracefully either I might add) and assumed the planking position. My kids had no idea what was going on. Caleb, my rule follower, said, “mom! What are you doing? You’re gonna get us in trouble?” Cassady, however, was mortified, totally embarrassed that I was acting so weird! (which made me want to do it all the more) “Gosh mom!”, she said, “get down, you’re embarrassing me! Lynne and I laughed so hard until we were in tears. I immediately posted my version, mild as it was, on Facebook (to embarrass my children even more) and waited for a response.

The response? It was huge! The picture received 22 “likes” and 24 comments…cheering me on, telling me how cool I was and asking for more. That’s all I needed. The challenge was on!

The next day, the kids and I went to Souvenir City in Gulf Shores. The back side, of this Gulf Shores landmark, is made to look like a great big pirates ship, complete with large cannons lining the length of the ship. As we came around the back side of the building to park I saw the rows of cannons and had another great planking idea (or so I thought).

After I pulled in and parked the car, I said, “I want to go and plank on one of those cannons, will y’all take my picture?” Cassady was too embarrassed to get out of the car and join in on the fun, so it was just Caleb and I.

When I walked up to the cannons, I noticed that there were three rows, at three different heights (which means three levels of difficulty). One row was at ground level, the next was a little higher and then another one was even higher. If I plank on the bottom row, I thought, that will be too easy. I needed to make it a little more challenging, so I began to climb my way up to the second row. About the time I put my foot on the bottom cannon, I noticed a group of young couples with little children in tow, walking up to take pictures in front of the pirate ship….the one with the 48 year old woman trying to plank on the cannons! As a crowd began to gathered, I could feel my face getting hot, and I started to rethink my planking strategy, but little Caleb was waiting, with camera in hand, ready to take my picture. I continued to climb, realizing quickly that this was much higher than it looked from ground level, and the cannons were farther apart than I thought! I quickly pushed myself up on the higher cannon with one foot when I realized I was just hanging there, with no way to push myself up farther. In other words….I was stuck! I didn’t know if i could climb any higher and I wasn’t sure how to get down without breaking my neck or looking like a fool.

I was getting hotter by the minute, the crowd was rapidly growing, all the while, Caleb was yelling up at me, trying to tell me how to get up on the cannon. By now, I was sweating profusely and beginning to panic. Dear Lord, I look like a fool, I thought. So much for being cool. I managed to go from cool, to fool in 2.6 seconds! I must abort mission, I thought, but how? I couldn’t climb down the way I came up because I couldn’t touch the lower cannon with my foot. My only option was to slide off backwards and jump to the ground trying not to bust my mouth on the cannon that I was hanging on. I’m sure the crowd below was texting their friends and taking pictures of the old lady stuck on the cannon at Souvenir City, to post on their own Facebook page! When I slid off and hit the ground I felt something happen to my ribs. I wasn’t sure what happened, I just knew I hurt!

As I began to walk away, I walked tall and proud, just like I had scored a perfect ten on the parallel bars! I knew I had left my pride up there on that cannon but I sure wasn’t gonna show it. I calmly walked over to the ground level cannon and planked like a seasoned pro! I owned that cannon!!

This is Caleb doing it the right way. Show off!

The next day, it was all too clear that I had either broken a rib or tore something important! It hurt to breath, cough, sneeze or move. I had to sleep flat on my back for days because it hurt so bad to lie on my side. All I could think of was how stupid I was to think I could act twenty when I’m clearly NOT! I mean, how lame is it, when people ask how you broke your rib, and you have to answer, “planking!”

Anyway, at least I tried, and my planking days are not over! Neither is my fun! I will not grow old gracefully and I will hang on to youth as long as possible and embarrass my kids every chance I get!