Elaine Doll-Dunn, Psy.D.

I have the car I wanted. Didn’t settle for what was on the lot, didn’t bow to common sense and the feasibility of a convertible in a South Dakota winter, didn’t let age dictate taste. I have a new “Cool Vanilla” PT Cruiser convertible with a taupe top and and a turbo. Whoooeeee! Her name is “Milli Vanilli” for no good reason except her color and that it just seemed to fit. She is probably the most unhandy and inconvenient car I’ve ever owned, and undeniably the most fun. From the first day I had her, drove her to school, and had three of our respectable teachers climb in, demand the top down and shouted through a cruise of downtown. The quiet counselor (no, not me) even stood up in the back and waved!

Milli does that to people. I don’t know if it’s the taupe top or the turbo or the top-down potential, but fun just happens with Milli. We were on our way (Milli and me) to a speaking gig (me speaking, not Milli) in Cheyenne, WY, when I looked down somewhere between Lusk and Wheatland, and saw the numbers 100 on the dash!!!! I never drive over the speed limit; I would rather spend any extra cash on clothes than a speeding ticket, so who knows what happened. Milli took the bit in her teeth? Whatever…I slowed down, but too late. In the rearview mirror I caught the unmistakable twinkle of flashing lights so we gently eased on over to the side of the road. A nice young officer approached the driver side, leaned a long way over (highway patrolmen are really tall in Wyoming, and Milli is really short), “Going a little over the speed limit, weren’t you ma’am?”

“No officer, I was NOT going a little bit over the speed limit, I was going a LOT over the speed limit! I am appalled that you didn’t stop me before! Young man, I was going 100 miles an hour, I don’t drive that fast! What were you thinking?”
Recoiling, he stammered, “Uh, where are you headed?”
“Well,” I said, “I am on my way to Cheyenne to speak at a PE conference.”
“So…your license plate, FT HPNZ, it means…ummmm, fit happens?”
“Yup,” I said, “I’m all about fitness and safety.”
“Well Ma’am,” he said politely, “You just slow down a little and make it safely to Cheyenne, I’m sure you have an important message to impart to those people.”
“Thank you Sir,” I replied in appropriately chastened voice, graciously accepted his warning ticket, then drove verrry carefully down the road toward Cheyenne. (Do you suppose he wondered what Gramma was smokin’?)

So there you have it. For 52 columns in this fine paper I have preached the benefits of health and fitness. We’ve covered why to, how to, when to, where to, and what to….then I model a fool stunt like exceeding the speed limit. BY A BUNCH! Today’s fitness lesson is this: even if you do all the right things to stay healthy, hearty and hale; won’t mean a thing if you take out a deer doing 100 mph on the open road. (Milli, not the deer). Being fit also involves using common sense. Buckle up, back off, drive sane… even in a cute car.

Me and Milli.

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