Preloading

Master Class:

How a Bout of Depression Led to Dwayne Johnson's Career-Defining Moment

After playing football for four years at the University of Miami, Dwayne Johnson was passed over by the NFL. While he played for the Canadian Football League for a short time, he was ultimately cut from his team, the Calgary Stampeders, and sent packing. At 23, Dwayne found himself living in his parents' small apartment, battling depression.

"I found that with depression one of the most important things you could realize is that you're not alone. You're not the first to go through it," he says. "I wish I had someone at that time who could just pull me aside and [say], 'Hey, it's going to be okay.'"

About a month and a half later, Dwayne says he got a call from the head coach of the team that cut him and was asked to return to the field. "I hung up the phone, and my dad said, 'You're going to do it, right?'" he says. "I said, 'No, I don't think so. I think I'm done with that. ... My gut tells me I'm done.'"

Dwayne then told his father, a former professional wrestler, that he would like to follow in his footsteps and go into the wrestling business. "He said, 'You are throwing it all away. It is the worst mistake you will ever make,'" Dwayne recalls. "I said, 'Maybe I'll be no good, but I feel like, in my heart, I have to do this.'"

Watch as Dwayne shares how his father's response helped launch one of the greatest chapters in his life.

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