Life lessons

Why ‘This is Us’ is Bad For Your Health

I swore up and down I wouldn’t start watching the show, ‘This is Us’. After all, I felt as if our own lives had enough drama without watching someone else’s family go through their own difficult life situations. And really, did I want to watch a show that was just going to make me cry? Nope, not me. No matter how many people loved it, I was stubbornly against the idea of opening the door to that show. 

But, winters in Michigan are long and workouts can feel even longer if you don’t have something good to watch while you pound out miles on a treadmill. So, by about February I had already managed to rewatch all my favorite old movies for what felt like the hundredth time. I know many of us can really never get enough of ‘The Wedding Planner’ though, am I right? But, I still had a lot of cold weather to get through and I’ll admit, I must have been feeling a bit weak. So, one day I quietly gave in and started ‘This is Us’, all the while telling myself that the first time I cried through an episode, I would stop watching immediately. Ha! As any of you who have watched the show know, that goal was never going to happen. 

The Pearson family is a hot mess, it’s true. But they are also so real. It’s as if I’m watching the family down the street (or many times, watching my own family). How could anyone not become completely invested in them? They love fiercely and mess up constantly, but all the while manage to grow on you until you feel as if you know each of them personally. In one episode, Kate tells her mom, Rebecca, “you aren’t in my way mom, you ARE my way”. This was perhaps the moment that sealed the love of this show for me. I mean really, how could a line like that not just seep into your soul and rip out your heart?! And the creativity of the writers is phenomenal. I have no idea how they manage to keep all the complex back and forth timelines of the show straight. 

So, after all my unwillingness to watch the show, I’ve managed to continue watching all the way to the 4th season (yes, it is still too cold to exercise outside, and yes, it is almost the end of April..ugh.). Wait, I should clarify. I’ve managed to bawl my way through the first three seasons. Now, this wouldn’t be much of as problem except for the issue of watching it while I’m working out. Have you ever become a bit emotional while running, riding a bike, or doing any cardio whatsoever? If not, let me tell you this…it doesn’t end well. There have been numerous times I’ve had to completely stop the treadmill or bike while watching ‘This is Us’, not because I’m just to distraught to continue (yeah, we’ll go with that). But for the mere fact that I simply couldn’t even breathe! It’s impossible to do cardio when bawling your eyes out because your throat closes up and you just can’t catch your breath. See what I mean about this show being bad for your health? I could quite literally pass out while watching it.

So, now I’ve learned to have tissues strategically placed near both the treadmill and bike.

I also make sure if the episode coming up looks like it may be pretty emotional, that I’m prepared to stop and just cry it out instead of trying to continue my workout, blurry-eyed and gasping for breath.  I’ve also implemented a, “mom needs to workout without any interruptions rule” so no one will happen upon me as I’m an emotional wreck blubbering my way through a particularly touching scene. Thinking about it now, perhaps I should have opted for something a bit easier to watch, like, ‘The Tiger King’ or ‘Superstore’. Nah, I guess I’m just a glutton for punishment. 

Consider this your PSA for the day. I feel it’s my civic duty to warn you about the potential risks you may be facing if you choose to watch this show. You are now in the know that ‘This is Us’, is a fantastic show but could also be potentially bad for your health if, like me you choose to foolishly watch it in order to entertain you during your workouts.

Since I’m almost caught up with the show, I might need to start considering a new one to watch. I’m thinking maybe, ‘Call the Midwife’ since I now consider myself fully prepared for whatever that show might throw at me thanks to the training I’ve been getting with ‘This is Us’. 😉