Strengthening Your Backbone


“Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” Clementine Paddleford (Artwork by Cindy DeLuz)

“Remember, your core also includes your back,” said Linda, our Pilates instructor, when I asked why I was unable to balance on the fitness ball while lying face up.

She often reminds us to focus on our core, but somehow I missed that she was talking about more than just our abdominal muscles. All the while, I blamed age for my weaknesses like slouching and sagging.

The truth is, I scrimped on exercises to strengthen and straighten my back, or skipped them all together because they were difficult.

Until now, I didn’t see the value in exerting the energy.

The same goes for emotional backbone. Sometimes, just like exercise, it’s hard to be strong. Sometimes I choose easy over challenging and distractions over discipline, however, things are a changin’.

I want backbone, courage, grit, gumption, resolve, whatever you want to call it. I want my life strengthened and straightened. 

To help, here is my list of backbone building exercises.

  • Make time daily for your passions the same as you do your commitments.
  • Exercise physically and mentally every day.
  • Choose fun, caring and creative relationships.
  • Encourage others and believe in yourself.
  • Ask for help and offer it.
  • Ask questions and hear the answers.
  • Let others take responsibility for their lives.
  • Trust and follow what you intuitively know you’re supposed to do.
  • Do something, anything besides fret, overanalyze, explain and make excuses.
  • Confront undesirable behavior when you’ll be resentful if you don’t.

What’s on your list of backbone builders?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – God, give me stamina to not give up, give in, or give way to bad habits, and to give improvements time to become lifelong practices.

On the side: The first backbone builder is from Jeff Goins’ recent email about finding time to do it all, however, there isn’t a link to the article. If one comes available, I will post it. In the meantime, if you’d like to read it (and it’s well worth the time), send me your email address and I’ll be happy to forward it.

Artwork used by permission from Cindy DeLuz @ An Artsy Chick Dares to Dream.


8 responses »

  1. First, I love the quote from Clementine Paddleford, who, I discovered, was an American food writer.
    Second: Your column was so encouraging — so practical. Can’t think of a thing to add t your list. Going to share this post!

    • Beth, I think you and I share the same love of quotes. You have so many good ones on your blog. I’ve collected thousands over the years, then I end up Googling ones when I write my posts.

      Hope this post helps someone else as much as it helped me to write it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. An excellent article as usual, and quite inspirational again. How do you always do that? You certainly have a gift. I wish for a better backbone exercise in physical, social, business and spiritual categories.But as a friend of mine once quoted an old saying ” If wishes and dreams were buttons and bows, we would all have a Merry Christmas” Yes, we must put leg work into the core to strengthen those backbones. Oh how that hit home. Thank you.

    • I love the quote, Joel. It made me laugh. Yes, if dreams were easier to come by, I’d have no reason to write over and over about getting to work and getting courage and getting motivated and getting focused, etc … At least by writing about it, I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and that’s helping get me on track. Thank you for always sharing interesting insights into what you gather from the posts.

  3. Facebook comments:

    Linda Saelg Calvanico and Joel Carter like this.

    Patty Kyrlach said Great practical advice for strengthening the core of our being.
    9 hours ago · Unlike · 2

    Linda Saelg Calvanico said Love it ! Good stuff on that list – add to it be proud of yourself cos you already do a lot of these things 🙂
    9 hours ago via mobile · Unlike · 2

    Joel Carter said Yeah Linda, a cheering section for great writer Kim and we all need that too, often it strengthens our resolve.
    9 hours ago · Unlike · 1

    Kim Henson said Thanks so much, Patty, Linda, and Joel. You’re all such an encouragement! Let me know when you need cheering on. I didn’t make the team in high school so I’m more determined than ever to be one now. : )
    a few seconds ago · Like

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