Joe Biden got into a little hot water for saying that enemies who test a President Barack Obama are "going to find out this guy's got a spine of steel" As a fitness professional, I find it interesting that we use this particular metaphor to equate a strong back with the resolve and the strength of a person character.
Is a strong and pain free back that important? And should our next President have a strong back? I say yes because anyone who has suffered from any type of back pain knows that it has what Dr King called "the fierce urgency of now." Back pain especially the chronic kind makes life including that of being President almost impossible. It can be so incapacitating that many hardworking folks have lost their jobs because of it.
The body's backbone is what hoists the head (the size and weight of a bowling ball) and all the body's major organs. It's comprised of thirty three individual vertebrae that are piled up on-top of each other and threaded in between by the spinal cord. The spine is the foundation for everything we do and is supported by all of the muscles of the back. It has a unique design - one that is rigid yet flexible enough that makes it possible for us to jump, run, twist and turn.
If you agree that the next leader of the free world should have a strong and functional back, you will find the picture below comforting. It was taken by gifted TIME Photographer Callie Shell who has travels frequently with the Democratic hopeful. She has taken some amazing intimate photos of his journey as he bids for the Presidency. You can find more of her excellent Barack Obama photographs here
The pull-up is considered by most the definitive back exercise. At a campaign rally at The University of Montana during the primaries, a couple of staffers had just passed the pull-up station and could only manage two pull-ups. Not to be outdone, Obama did three effortlessly, stopped adjusted his suit and walked out to make a speech.
Health and Happiness
Published On: October 30, 2008