We LIVE for stories of perseverance, grittiness, and determination. We hear them all the time from racers in our community, but we also love to report on inspirational, badass stories from OUTSIDE the Spartan Universe — stories that we can learn from, that can help us become even more unbreakable. In Tough News, we share what we're hearing, why it's important, and why Spartans need to pay attention.
At Spartan, we're all about tough people doing tough s***. And there are few people tougher and more badass than Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock. The 48-year-old wrestling icon, former football player, and current mega movie star has his own show, Young Rock, currently airing on NBC. The series is based on Johnson's life as a child and teenager, and stars Uli Latukefu as his 18-to-20-year-old self.
In a clip shared by The Rock on his Instagram page, Young Rock flashed back to when Johnson first met Ray Lewis, his former teammate on the University of Miami football team, in the weight room. In the scene, Johnson arrives for his usual workout at 5 a.m., thinking he'll be the first and only person there. He's stunned to learn that Lewis, a true freshman that he hasn't yet met, has beat him to it.
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"I though I'd be the first person here at 5 a.m.," an amazed Johnson says.
"The assistant coach I had to call to open up the weight room? He thought the same thing," Lewis, portrayed by Gavin Rocker, responds.
We all know what happened next. The true freshman who blew Johnson away with his work ethic went on to become an icon. Arguably the greatest linebacker in NFL history — Johnson calls him the GOAT in his Instagram post — during his illustrious career he was a two-time All-American in college, a 13-time Pro Bowler in the NFL, a two-time Super Bowl champion, and a Super Bowl MVP. In 2018, he was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
"I was always THE hardest worker in the room... until @raylewis 💪🏾," the Ballers star writes. "...Thru blood, sweat and iron - we bonded like brothers immediately and we LOVED pushing the hell outta each other in the weight room. Push each other beyond our pain thresholds to chase greatness."
It has been proven time and time again that sheer talent will only take you so far. You need to put the time and the effort in. You need to wake up early, get there before everybody else, and work even harder than you think you need to.
Johnson and Lewis, on their ability alone, likely would have been successful on the field (or the ring, in The Rock's case) and in life. But without those daily 5 a.m. workouts, would they have cemented themselves as true legends? Doubtful.
Even the best have to work hard. That's the lesson.
Young Rock airs on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, and you can stream it here.