John Cena Says He Was Bullied as a Teenager, Which Made Him Want to Workout

John Cena can definitely break you in half with one hand, but he won’t, because he’s a softie on the inside! Recently, the pro wrestler showed his vulnerable side to CBS, explaining that he was deeply bullied growing up.

“I wanted to showcase not only my childhood past and what got me into the realm of physical fitness, which eventually led me to define myself, but also the current state of affairs,” he said. The actor and wrestler is currently part of the Come As You Are campaign, encouraging people to be themselves and “celebrate what makes them different,” CBS reports.

“The WWE calls me a ‘polarizing figure,’ which is a very nice way of saying half the people like me and half the people despise me,” John explains. “I deal with it every single day, and I’m in an industry where it’s heavily criticized so you have to deal with a lot of adversity. I think to the innocent bystander, they’ll look at where I’m at and go, ‘Everything’s great!’ But there’s a lot of struggle involved, and I’m just making a conscious effort every day to be a better me.”

As far as the Come As You Are campaign, John said the message “embodies what I’ve tried to do with my entire existence. I couldn’t think of a brand or a company that runs parallel to the polarization — which I guess is the word that they use in WWE — that I deal with on a daily basis. And although they’ve done something extremely innovative and successful in the realm of footwear, they get a lot of backlash for it. It’s been kind of the same for me.”

He continued: “… To a 12-year-old kid who’s being cyber-bullied or a 20-year-old individual who’s really trying to find their way in life, it’s not as easy. I’m in a different place now than I was 20 years ago, 30 years ago, so I guess from a level of experience I can reassure people that it’s not the end of the world, and first and foremost be proud to be yourself, because that will set you up for the next 20 years.”

Read more of the interview at CBS.

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