Looking at Dwayne Johnson’s life from only one angle where he sits at the top of a hill alongside luminaries like Jackie Chan, Tom Cruise, and Robert Downey falls short of the whole story. It is similar to a finishing move in wrestling that excites the fans, not the time taken to perfect it. His journey from a teenager to a football player, to a wrestler and finally a Hollywood star has been one that’s hard to fathom. There were a number of instances that would have led him to a path of incarceration and limited him to the lifestyle of wrestling that has claimed countless lives, but they did not.
Dwayne Johnson is the son of the legendary pro wrestler, Rocky Johnson. Being the son of a pro wrestler, most people would think that that meant that he had a comfortable childhood, but that was not the case. His family was always in financial despair to the point that they were evicted from their home. This turned the Rock to stealing so as to fend for himself which often got him in police custody.
At this time of despair, the only positive thing Dwayne did with his life was body building. In an interview with Esquire, Johnson talked about how his dad would make him wake up every morning at 6 AM to go to the gym with him. Working out and lifting weights started at a young age. He looked up to those people he saw in the gym every morning. This was because the only successful people he knew were built. He was also lucky to continue going to school. After bouncing around several schools, Dwayne made a final stop at Freedom High School in Bethlehem. It was at this school he started playing football thanks to his massive body frame and stubbornness.
Dwayne impressed at football. His success on the pitch also reflected on his grades, and he was able to get a scholarship to play football at the University of Miami. Football changed his personality, and he quit living a carefree life opting for a goal-oriented lifestyle.
Unfortunately for him, he did not receive as much game time in the University of Miami football team due to the presence of better players. After graduating from the University, no football team expressed interest and Dwayne fell into depression. He went back to body building and after a lot of thought he decided to become a wrestler like his father.
In 1996, Dwayne made his WWF debut. His career as a wrestler went on to blossom winning some significant matches. The Rock dominated the storylines for close to a decade winning the WWE/WWF championship eight times. After a while, he felt that he needed more and in his mind, Hollywood was his dream destination.
His dreams finally came true when he made his Hollywood debut in the movie the Mummy Returns. This is back in 2001. Despite his minor role, Dwayne impressed the producers. He went on to be among the cast in movies such as Be Cool, Journey to the Center of the Earth 2 and The Tooth Fairy.
His breakthrough came in 2013 when Dwayne was accorded the title of #1 international box office star for his role in San Andréas. He got the same accolade in 2015 for his role in Fast and Furious 7. He lives by the code that no matter what one achieves in life, they should always aim for more.