John Wareing’s Lessons from the School of Hard Knocks

John Wareing didn’t just face adversity. He sought out challenges. This was best illustrated in the 60’s when John Wareing would display feats of strength as a professional strongman and physical culturist. It took a display of fate itself before an audience to showcase his true spirit.

 In a small-town professional wrestling event, Wareing issued a wild challenge. He dared any six men to try and choke him with a rope. This was a ploy to captivate the crowd. What Wareing didn’t realize was that the crowd had been drinking. Before the sign to “GO” the drunken squad prematurely tightened the noose, he felt his life slipping away. It was only a collapsing set of bleachers that saved him from disaster. This wasn’t just luck. It was life’s rugged lesson, that John Wareing took with him as a teachable moment. Be ready. ALWAYS!

Wareing wasn’t just a strongman. He was a living, breathing lesson in toughness. His life was a series of brutal wake-up calls, proving time and again that nobody gives a damn. Do you want respect? Earn it the hard way.

Wareing’s feats extended beyond the mat. He stopped speeding cars on national TV, demonstrating not just raw power but a spectacle of unbreakable will. His legacy was forged through relentless challenges, each one building his antifragile confidence, where every blow didn’t just bounce off him. It made him stronger.

On shows like “You Asked for It” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” Wareing would halt a speeding car with nothing but his back against a bulkhead and his feet planted firmly. The crowd went wild as the tires screamed and smoked against the unyielding force of his body.

Inspired by his father, a trainer of the stars, Wareing knew greatness was a cocktail of sweat, grit, and the occasional blood. There were no shortcuts. He was hardened by military service where he earned distinctions like the Distinguished Flying Cross. After his stint in the Navy he began teaching everything from boxing to what would now be called MMA. National publications would entice him to test his strengths.

 In another example, he held back a motorcycle with his teeth. Unfamiliar with this particular stunt he drew it up but the outcome didn’t come out the way he expected. He tied one end of a rope to the motorcycle and the other end to a mouthpiece. When the motorcycle took off, faster than expected, it jerked the mouthpiece out, along with his bottom teeth. Showing his resilience, he took another swing at the challenge and held the speeding motorcycle back, loose teeth and all. 

 He demonstrated the same fearlessness throughout his life. Whether it was yanking his teeth out via motorcycle for a magazine gig or a heroic rescue of a downed pilot deep in enemy territory during Korea. Wareing exemplified how to thrive in chaos. He embodied the ethos: “Nobody cares, work harder.”

Here’s how you channel your inner Wareing:

  • Welcome the Unknown: Life throws curveballs. They come hard, fast, and unexpected. Take each surprise head on, and turn chaos into your playground.
  • Master Your Response: When the rope tightens, do you choke, or do you find a way to breathe? Your power lies in your reaction. Train yourself to act, not be acted upon.
  •  Win or Learn: Every beatdown has its lesson. Wareing’s teeth might have hit the dirt, but he picked them up, lined them back in his jaw, and got ready for round two. That’s the spirit of a true fighter.
  •  Be Resourceful: Wareing didn’t rely on brute strength alone.  His arsenal was diversified through skills in boxing, discipline through military service and commitment taught by skydiving. Equip yourself for any battle with a wide array of tactics.
  •  Fall Seven, Rise Eight: Embrace each setback as another round in the ring. Wareing’s resilience wasn’t just about bouncing back. It was about coming back stronger, tougher, and more determined.

In the grand wrestling match of life, Wareing teaches us that the world is unforgiving, indifferent to our struggles. So what do you do? You square your shoulders, set your jaw, and work harder. Because in the end, nobody cares……SO MAKE THEM