Belfast Telegraph

Dwayne Johnson's mum upset he ran away from a fight

The Rock thanks high school football teacher for turning his troubled life around.

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's mother made sure her son never ran away from trouble after he left his shoes at the scene of a fight.

The wrestler-turned-movie star was bullied in high school and turned on one tormentor when the taunting became too much, but after slugging the thug Dwayne was so worried he was in big trouble he literally ran out of his shoes.

"He was in high school and I jacked him in his face," the Furious 7 star tells WENN. "I was 11-years-old and ran all the way home, ran out of my shoes!

"My mother was like, 'What's going on? Where's your shoes...?' I was like, 'I ran and I left them'. She was like, 'You ran?' So it wasn't even about the shoes...

"She got me back in the car, drove me back to summer camp and made me go find him and made me basically work it out with him.

"The moral of her story was you're gonna get into a situation but don't you ever run from anybody. Stand up for yourself."

That wasn't The Rock's only tussle with trouble as a kid - as a teen, he went through an "identity crisis" and had a hard time figuring out where he belonged. His high school experience was made all the more difficult because his family was always moving around.

"We moved from Hawaii to Nashville, Tennessee... I had no friends, no play from the ladies, nothing," he recently told U.S. TV show Live With Kelly. "I was already 6'4 (tall), 220 (pounds) and I had this crazy porn moustache."

The 44-year-old moved again, to Pennsylvania, when he was 16-years-old, and continued to have issues fitting in until a run-in with a tough teacher in a school restroom.

"I was also getting in trouble a lot," he said. "Multiple arrests by the time I was 16... I got expelled from school, got arrested... I'm washing my hands (in the teachers' bathroom), a guy walks in and he goes, 'Hey, you can't be in here...' I looked at him like, 'Yeah, alright, in a second'. He screams, 'Hey, you get the f**k outta here!' He was bright red, veins everywhere. I kind of walked by him, brushed my shoulder by him."

The Rock felt bad about the exchange and tracked down the teacher the next day to apologise: "I said, 'Hey, I just want to apologise to you, I'm sorry for being so rude', and I stuck my hand out to him. He grabbed my hand, he shook it, he held onto it, he said, 'I appreciate your apology, I want you to play football for me,' and I went, 'OK'.

"It changed my life. I am here, I believe, in large part due to that man... He has since passed away."

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