Dwayne Johnson Convinces His Cousin to Fight for his Dream

Source: www.smh.com.au

Junior Vaivai has undergone his third knee reconstruction, and lately, his life has been difficult, so he asked his cousin, Dwayne Johnson, for advice about his rugby career. Years have passed since Vaivai’s appearance in the NRL, and he is unlikely to come back. The message he received from The Rock was to find the passion for the game once again.

This is probably the advice some other people would have given Vaivai, but since it comes from one of the most successful people in Hollywood, it is hard to ignore. Also, let’s not forget that The Rock was “the most electrifying man in sports entertainment.”

Vaivai said: “We started chatting in the kitchen and I said I didn’t know if I wanted to play, with so much politics in the game and things out of your control like injuries, that I wasn’t enjoying my football.

Source: www.smh.com.au

“He goes ‘Why don’t you start again and try to find your passion because if you’re passionate about something, things seem to work out.’ He said to go back and restart. Do it because you want to do it, not because everyone else is doing it,” continued Vaivai.

If someone knows how to get back on his feet, it is Dwayne Johnson. This guy wanted to be a professional footballer before he became the WWE star and since he struggled with injuries, he wasn’t good enough for the NFL, whereas he got cut by his Calgary Stampeders. However, Johnson decided to stick to sports, and he managed to overcome depression and become one of the most inspiring people.

Unlike the rest of us, Dwayne Johnson is just a cousin to Vaivai, and he doesn’t look at him as being a huge movie star. Vaivai said: “It’s crazy. To me it was getting advice from an older cousin. After our conversation, it clicked that he’s an international Hollywood star. At the time, it was just family time, just talking with his mum as well. When I left my auntie’s house, he’s all over billboards over Los Angeles. He’s doing very well for himself.”

Source: www.smh.com.au

He also added: “He’s an international star doing what he’s doing. I’m just grateful to have that time with him and get that advice. I’m proud of what he’s done and that he inspires people around the world.”

Vaivai will get a chance to show his talent since he has been chosen by the US in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup. To represent his country was just a dream a few years back. Back in 2009, Vaivai was a member of National Youth Competition team of the year, which included Daly Cherry-Evans, Gareth Widdop, and Kieran Foran. However, just four years after that, his ACL buckled for the third time. He was even sleeping in his car.

“There was a time when you just want to be alone,” Vaivai remembers, “When I was at the Dragons I found myself sleeping outside of WIN Stadium, getting ready for training the next day. It was a case of sacrificing a lot. At the time I was only on training wage, there was no contract or anything. I stayed in the car because I was traveling from Bondi every day and found myself sleeping there until the next day instead of going all the way to Bondi and back.”

Source: www.smh.com.au

At least Vaivai knows what it is like to sleep in a cramped space. He is one of nine siblings, and he said: “We grew up sharing the same blanket. We didn’t have the things kids have nowadays. My kid has his own room and own bed. I didn’t have that. I used to live in a two-bedroom apartment with eight kids. We used to sleep on the lounge and share a blanket. My childhood is something I won’t forget, but I’m grateful because it makes me appreciate the things I have and not be angry about the things I don’t have.”

Even though he was without the NRL contract, he was persistent. He joined Western Suburbs Red Devils in the Illawarra league, and once again he became passionate about his game. Vaivai recalls: “I had a goal when I first went to Wests to play in the World Cup and hopefully secure a future deal.”

He is aware of his situation, but he keeps grinding: “To be honest, my chances may be slim. But you’ve got guys like Cody Walker who debuted at the Rabbitohs at 26. I’m 27. It may be far-fetched, but my form will determine if I can open doors or if they close. I’m grateful for the opportunity to play in the World Cup and if something comes of it, I’m happy. If something doesn’t, I’m happy.”

“For a long time it was hard for me to let go of the fact I may never play NRL again. I’ve come to terms that there is life outside of football and there are other ways you can inspire people. I’m passionate about helping people and in the course of my ups and downs in life, I’ve come to realise that,” concluded Vaivai.