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Here’s a local fact some of our readers may not be aware of. Woodstock, the next town over, was a key location used in the comedic classic “Groundhog Day.” A quick trip to the town square will instantly remind you of Bill Murray’s repetitive misadventures in what Hollywood passed off as rural Pennsylvania. Visiting the same streets and gazebo as Murray’s bedraggled fictional weatherman is certainly surreal. To think I could have been in that movie. Believe it or not, the moviemakers came to my high school at the time of filming. They were looking for kids to be extras — mostly townspeople milling about in the background of Murray and Andie MacDowell A REPETITIVE LESSON
their prescribed rehab routines. Much like the star of “Groundhog Day,” you may feel trapped or depressed by your situation. But what’s true in the film is true for you: Repetition is the key to becoming better. For Murray, the key to freedom is becoming a better person. Where he starts out as a selfish, snarky weatherman, reliving Groundhog Day enough times eventually affords him the chance to grow as a person and rehabilitate his relationships with others. Patients meanwhile have physical challenges. They may start out with weakened muscles, reduced mobility, pain, or impaired balance. Adjusting to the repetitive exercises of their rehabilitation can be very tough, but it’s that repetition that helps them grow strong again. I’m not
performances. At the time, teenage Mike’s reaction could be summed up as “Meh, whatever,” so I never took up the casting call. To be fair, no one at that school assembly knew who the stars in the movie were, nor how popular it would go on to be. Come to think of it, “Groundhog Day”
saying sticking to your routine will help you find true love, as Murray did. But this February, you do have the opportunity to literally walk in the star’s footsteps.
Every year, the town of Woodstock puts on a “Groundhog
is perhaps the greatest picture any extra could have been involved in, at least in terms of screen time — the same scenes repeating over and over again would give you plenty of moments to say, “Look, that’s me!” This is all to say that, ironically enough, I wish I could relive that day they put the casting call out. Still, I’m grateful for the movie. While “Groundhog Day” didn’t make me a star, it’s still given me a great way of helping my patients. The film bears some striking parallels to rehab — things to keep in mind when you are struggling through such a difficult process. Rehabilitation can certainly feel like a repetitive loop. It can be painful, boring, and seemingly unending — which is why many people are tempted to give up on
Day Festival” to celebrate the film with tons of events for all ages, from a chili cookoff to the groundhog prognostication itself! If you’ve never had the chance to visit this local landmark, visit WoodstockGroundhog.org and make this year the one! However, if pain and/or immobility are holding you back, don’t worry. We can work with you to make sure you’re ready for when Groundhog Day rolls around all over again.
Here’s to tomorrow,
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