Now, I did find a few exceptions. I asked my coworker Adam if he did planks, and he said (I’m paraphrasing here) “Witty and sarcastic non-answer,” which I took to mean he did not understand the question and did not really want to find out what I was talking about. But men definitely do plank too, as I confirmed when I asked my coworker Max if he planked, and he looked thoughtful for a moment and then said, “Sometimes.”

What did I do with this information? Well, I had no choice but to start planking. First I did it the wrong way in a made-up position, for which my coworkers rightly mocked me. Now I do it the normal way, for about 30 seconds at a time, after I go for a run. My colleagues are all smart and reasonable people, so I figured if they’re doing it, they’re probably onto something. I don’t know that I can point to any concrete changes as a result, except that it is now easier for me to do a plank than it was before. I suppose this is a good sign, although it feels a bit like improving at riding a unicycle over time. “Hurray, I’m better at doing the strange thing?”

But the real lesson of planking for me is that, all around us, people are doing funny and weird and pretty neat things that we know nothing about. It’s fashionable in the internet age to complain that no one has any secrets anymore—that thanks to social media, we can hardly stand to brush our teeth without broadcasting that news to 700 peers. But the tale of planking is proof that there is plenty of stuff we’re doing that we’re not talking about at all.

Think of it! Someone you know is probably shoplifting right now. Someone else is eating zoodles. Fighting with their family. Having sex. Listening to a self-help book on tape. Auditioning for a role in community theater, and they don’t want to tell anyone, because what if they don’t get a part? There is still so much that we don’t know about each other—mostly the really interesting stuff. It’s good to know we all have so much left to discuss.

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