My dad raised me to be a winner. When I was a child, he would say fatherly things like, “I refuse to be the father of a loser,” and, “No son of mine will ever be a beta male.” I’ve spent years of my life overcoming the manliest feats and coming out on top. Being first in a Tough Mudder race? Not a problem. Being first pick in the northeastern division of Minor League Baseball? Been there, done that. I always finish first—just how my dad taught me.

But I’m not going to just list my limitless physical triumphs; I’m also here to boast about my emotional accomplishments. Folks, I am a five-time therapy champion.

Oh, you consistently go to therapy once a week and have a strong relationship with your therapist? Try going to five different therapists and having all of them tell you, “Wow, this is the shortest time I’ve ever interacted with a patient.” You hear that? Shortest time ever. Dad would be proud of that.

This takes a lot of practice and dedication, so don’t be disappointed if you fail on your first try. First and foremost: make a good first impression with your therapist. Dad always told me that if I make a bad first impression, everyone will remember that, make fun of me, and call me a little bitch boy. Walk in there with confidence and a smile, and don’t forget a firm handshake. Then, talk about your life without exposing emotion. Dad taught me that only the two ‘W’s’ are allowed to express emotion: weenies and women. Lastly, terminate the discussion and allow the therapist to tell you about what they think about your life, which should only be good things if you properly followed steps one and two. When you get really good at this like me, this will only take you one half-hour session.

Now, I must give a shout out to the man, himself. When I told him a year ago that I was going to start training to go to therapy, he told me, “What are you, a wimp? You are a man, not a Frenchwoman.” I wasn’t going to let my dad down by being the wimpish son he despises. So I emotionally trained for months until I finally got my first championship in therapy. Without his impactful words, I wouldn’t be able to call myself a five-time therapy champion. And who knows, maybe with more training and motivating words from my dad, I might just claim my sixth title soon. 

—J. Wypasek