Have you seen the movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray? In the movie Murray plays an arrogant TV weatherman who is assigned to cover the annual Groundhog Day ceremony on February 2nd where Punxsutawney Phil decides if we will have six more of winter (always) or if Spring is around the corner (never). The movie gets interesting when Murrays character finds himself stuck in a time loop and is forced to repeat the same day over and over. Murrays character uses the reoccurring events of the day at first to indulge his own hedonistic pleasures. (My favorite scene is when he is watching Jeopardy with other patrons at a hotel and gets every answer correct, some before the questions are even asked, much to the amazement of the guests.) However, as the movie progresses Murrays character begins to reexamine his life and priorities and uses the day to transform himself from narcissistic reporter to perpetual do-gooder.
It’s a cute film and Murray is spectacular if you like Murray but the lesson lies in how we are all spending our time during our days. Are we making the most of our time? Being productive and not just busy? Are we working on projects we are passionate about that give us energy and enhance our sense of self or are we bogging ourselves down with nonessential tasks that crush our spirit and do nothing to enhance our lives or the lives around us? Are we going through the motions every day just because that’s all we know or are we learning to improve and get better and become stronger with each passing moment?
I think the lesson from the movie can be applied to many aspects of life such as work, family, spirituality, but for the purpose of this blog I am going to focus on the fitness aspect because, well, that’s what I do. The key to avoiding Groundhog Day with regard to physical fitness is to always be learning and challenging yourself to get stronger and learn the best ways to use your body. I don’t believe in reinventing the wheel when it comes to fitness. I do believe you should have an open mind and always be learning, but success comes from mastering the basics and continuing to make progress.
To me I see people every day in the Groundhog Day mindset. Go to any big box gym or health club and you will see 100’s of people like this. Many people walk into my studio for the first time going through the same motions with little or no results. They complain about the same habits that keep them stuck in places that cause them pain and anxiety, they go through the same motions to lose weight put it back on, work harder to take it off again and then put it back on. They complain about the physical pain they experience from the same repetitive movements day after day and how they have no energy to spend time with their families.
Many of these people come to me in pain. Physical pain from injuries or muscle imbalance but also emotional pain and frustration from being stuck and not knowing how to get out of this time loop of no results. The key to avoiding getting stuck isn’t doing something new every couple months. That’s essentially the same thing as Groundhog Day, you are just replacing the time loop with another time loop. The key to getting better and avoiding getting stuck is to always be learning. Learning how to get stronger and how to move better and without pain is the key to getting unstuck and avoiding Groundhog Day altogether. After a few sessions in our training program and with the help of our community I start to see a change. These people who doubted themselves and had little hope are working hard and accomplishing things they never thought they could do. More importantly they are seeing obstacles as challenges they are capable of overcoming, not the barriers to success they once were.