Dwayne Johnson recalls the handshake that changed his life

MEGAN STONE
·2 min read

Dwayne Johnson said he believes he would not be where he is today had it not been for one "life-changing" handshake.

On Thursday, the "Jumanji" star shared a clip from his television show "Young Rock," which honors his late football coach who taught him the importance of second chances.

"The handshake that changed my life," wrote Johnson, 48. "I was 15yrs old and just moved to Bethlehem, PA and just started attending Freedom High School."

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The former WWE star revealed that his life took a dark turn after moving into the area, admitting, "Within a month I’d already been arrested as well as suspended for fighting. I had an incident with a teacher/football coach named Jodi Cwik in the teachers lounge where we almost came to blows."

"I acted like a real [jerk] to him," reflected the actor. "The next day I found him so I could apologize eye to eye and face to face."

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Cwik accepted the young Johnson's apology with a firm handshake, with the former footballer laughing in the caption, "When he wouldn’t let my hand go, I thought he was gonna deck the [heck] outta of me... but instead he said something to me that would ... change the course of life."

In the "Young Rock" clip, Coach Cwik -- played by Andrew Buchanan -- expresses to Johnson that "we all deserve a second chance" when offering him a spot on the football team.

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When Johnson began to decline the offer, the coach said, "You live out on the East Side, right? I grew up around there, too."

While expressing that football can open the doors of opportunity "for guys like us," Cwik urges, "Give yourself a chance ... If you got the talent, sky's the limit."

In his post, Johnson revealed that his coach has since died, writing, "Rest In Peace, coach Cwik and thank you for believing in that 15yr old punk kid 🙏🏾"

Dwayne Johnson recalls the handshake that changed his life originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com