Groundhog Day

by Sean St. Onge

 Time on this pale blue dot is sadly not on our side. So making the most of it clearly is key.


With that being said, we should treat everyday like “Groundhog Day.”


No, not that ridiculous day filled with that all too catchy song, “Pennsylvania  Polka” 

The 1992 film “Groundhog Day” (for those living under a rock) starred the incomparable Bill Murray and Andie McDowell depicting the struggles of being a successful, yet personally flawed, meteorologist that is marooned in a sleepy Pennsylvania town to relive everyday of his life until ultimately he realizes everyday is repeated until he changes how he lives.

IF nothing else, this should prove to be everyone’s reason to live and work each day to its fullest. 

Over the years since originally seeing this film I have had a few different takes on the “message” of this story. Off the top, the story seems simple. Don’t be a prick to people and you can get what you really want. 

Then as I got older, I looked into my original feelings for this film and it hit me a bit deeper. I started to question and ponder “what if?” 

What If It Were Me?

How would I handle that situation?

How would I do things differently?

How LONG would it take me to finally get to my happy place?

These are all valid questions that, no doubt, anyone that watched this masterpiece of a film asked themselves. Hell, the last one specifically I find we all constantly ask of ourselves.

How do we get to achieve ALL?

In the realm of health and fitness here are a few ways to strive for that ultimate ALL and to make the most of your "Groundhog Days."

Start Today.

I feel I have mentioned the music group Gorilla Biscuits and the song “Start Today” before. Why? The message is awesome and still applies! Start today. You do not need an invitation to start moving better and MORE OFTEN. You do not need an act of congress to get moving. It is still a free country…for a while anyway :) 

Endorphins are a funny thing, they tend to show up pretty quickly after you have started moving your body. If you have a bad training session, guess what? There is always tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. Remember, we must treat this like Groundhog Day and KEEP trying. But getting started is paramount. In the film, Bill Murray’s character, Phil, literally does the same thing every morning for presumably a really long time before he realizes that there will NEVER be hot water first thing in the morning, and that a large portly and happy gentleman will greet him just seconds after he closes his door. It took a long time for Phil to change his routine to avoid this “start” to his day(s). The definition of insanity is “repeatedly doing an action and expecting different results.” If habit is key, and if you are stuck in a rut (or time loop), change how you start you days. Start off small. We are building our masterpiece of life one day at a time. In regard to your fitness and health, there is a starting point, and the end goal should be to consistently be moving forward and up. But above all, START. 

Tinker with Consistency.


Consistency is king. So why tinker with it? I should have titled this, “Consistency by any means necessary”. Yet giving ultimates and then expecting ultimate results is not realistic. Optimally, you would wish to make a consistent training schedule and habit. Yet life gets in the way and it isn’t always the same. Things have to be moved and we have to adjust on the fly. It is just the way things are. I am not a firm believer in the “everything happens for a reason” method. I am though of, “S&*$% happens, so adjust and act accordingly.” Habits are made out of consistency yes, with that pesky universe that lives and operates outside your personal bubble it will interject with your world and you must work around those things. By tinkering with those habits it will allow you to stay consistent. Think to the film and how Phil constantly had to make adjustments to the everyday minutia. 

Concerning you're training time it is paramount to “get it in” with frequency. 

Take notes because you will fail. A lot. 

There will be many times we will fail. Yet those who do not fail never truly succeed. How do you know what is right when you have never been wrong? We all try some wrong and we need to embrace it. So take notes. The only way to advance past our failures is to relearn the process and try our best to try again.

Work close with an external motivator.

Find someone that you are close to that can serve you without prejudice or favoritism. This does not have to be someone you agree with in all matters of life necessarily. Yet you want the same successes or same/similar achievements. By emulating and studying from a distance this can allow you to learn in your own time and in a fashion that best suites how you learn. In the film, Bill Murray’s character was really making himself become a better and more attractive and worldly person to gain the trust, respect, and adulation of Andie McDowell’s, Rita. She, in turn, became Murray’s external motivator. He wanted to pursue her so badly but kept striking out. Yet in the end, what made him so successful in peaking and maintaining her interest is what made him a better person overall. Without the external motivator in his world he didn’t have anything specific to shoot for. Phil wanted the admiration of Rita so badly he changed how he lived his life. How he treated people, how he enhanced his overall worth and how he adjusted to a routine to do as much as possible. When it comes down to it, there is not much time spent WITH the Rita character until the end of each night. He spent so much time working on himself and caring for others before connecting to Rita. The character did so much WORK to get to the culmination of the end of the perfect day just to have it repeated because it really was not truly perfect until he achieved what HE wanted out of his life. By the next morning he woke up to the surprise that he had become what it was he wanted at the cost of reliving everyday seemingly for an eternity. 

So if you find yourself in this eternal time loop where it seems everyday is the “same yet different,” take it upon yourselves to change that by Starting TODAY! Mess around with how you stay consistent with your goal. Challenge yourself to stay the course and if a curveball is thrown your way, stay in the box. Being fooled is all part of the process and so is failing, so take copious notes on how to stay on top of your game. Writing things down helps me; do what you feel you can to make your own cheat sheet. Stay close to that external motivator in your world. If someone is achieving what you want to do and be in your life than observe from a distance but above all, learn from what makes them successful to emulate in your own path. 

Hopefully you can watch this film again and have a much better perspective for yourselves. 

SOAP BOX repeated…:)