Fitness Exercises for Ministers' Wives

This article appeared in Arizona Women, March 1986. Used with permission.

Laura Sisk

The firm-hand routine—You perform this exercise using several small children who are determined to embarrass you in public. By firmly gripping their hands, you attempt to correct their socially unacceptable be­havior without resorting to pub­lic violence. You must never vacillate while firm handling or you will fall on your face.

Skin thickener—The skin thickener is executed by rubbing shoulders with the gossips and critics in the congregation. When you have done this exercise regu­larly, you will notice a new, pro­tective layer of skin forming over the epidermis. This will cause any friction to be less painful.

Foot press (otherwise re­ferred to as "putting your foot down")—Perform this difficult move only while properly posi­tioned. The exercise requires both strength and grace. You must press firmly without stepping on anyone else's toes.

One-leg stands—This work­out is really helpful when you need a leg to stand on. It is often done right after a botched foot press. Balance on one foot and with both hands slowly ease the other foot from your oral cavity.

Lip stiffener—For the upper lip that twitches uncontrollably with emotion, this exercise is a must. Pressing lips firmly to­gether, pull them inward and continue to press until the crisis passes. The lip stiffener is usually performed during board meet­ings or funerals.

Mouth workouts—With teeth clinched, make a n-n-n sound while gradually forming the lips into a perfect 0. Do this clearly and distinctly. Use this exercise when responding to the nominating committee list of five jobs for you.

Stationary tongue—The sta­tionary tongue is executed by clamping the jaws tightly to­gether and keeping the tongue firmly in place between the pal­ates. This is an advanced exer­cise that few do well.

Neck thrust—Sticking you neck out can be a hazardous ac­tivity. Remember to thrust only when necessary or expedient. Some performers have lost their heads. If you are careful you may only lose face.

Double-knee bend—A guar­anteed exercise for complete well being. Must be performed several times a day. Lower the body to a kneeling position. Fold hands. Remain in this stance as long as needed. If you find yourself suf­fering from performing exercises one through eight, the double-knee bend will never fail to keep you in good form.