The Rock is cooking breakfast

I woke up every day for a week with The Rock’s alarm clock app and made a video game about it

Elena Scotti/FUSION

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson makes an alarm clock app, so what would it be like to wake up with The Rock?

The app—Rock Clock, the official alarm clock app of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—includes a feature that claims to allow users to get up every morning at the same time as The Rock. It warns anyone who activates this feature that The Rock is an early riser, sometimes getting up as early as 3:50 a.m.

This appealed to me as someone who’s longtime morning person (also: my editor assigned this piece to me). I love getting an early start to the day, but morning to me means 6 a.m. But how many WWE Championships have I won? Less than The Rock, certainly.

I’m also a bit of a connoisseur of alarm clock apps. My previous set-up involved an app that plays a custom song on a loop (I change it every few weeks) and then requires me to solve basic math problems to disable it. So I was interested in what The Rock, and his new Rock Clock app, would bring to this space.

A big part of the Rock Clock, the official alarm clock app of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, is setting a goal you will work toward. Something like “lose weight” or “be cast in a remake of Baywatch.” I’ve been meaning to expand on my computer programming ability, so I set a seven-day goal in the app of “make a video game.” If there was anyone who could inspire me to do this, it’s The Rock, and his official alarm clock app, Rock Clock.

I expected great things from this week.

Day 1: Wakeup time 4:15 a.m.

It begins with a siren, a dull droning sound I’ve only ever heard before when I lived in Iowa and the county tested the tornado alert system.

A familiar, deep voice proclaims, “Let’s do this!” Some generic hip-hop music plays. Then it loops back to the siren, repeating until I’m awake enough to drag myself out of bed.

This is what greeted me my first day using The Rock Clock, the official alarm clock app of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

That first morning went pretty well. I woke up. I made a nice breakfast. I caught up on the day’s news. I went to the gym. I had a story written for my editor earlier than usual. [Ed. note: 😎] Turned out to be an above-average Tuesday.

Day 2: Wakeup time 4:45 a.m. 5:15 a.m.

There’s a song I learned in Catholic school as a young child.

Stay Awake (clap clap)
Be Ready (clap clap)
You do not know the hour that the Lord is coming.
Stay Awake (clap clap)
Be Ready (clap clap)
The Lord is coming soon.

I kept hearing it in my head as I tossed and turned that night. I knew that The Rock—in the form of his app, The Rock Clock, his official alarm clock app—was coming to wake me up, but not knowing when, I kept fitfully slipping out of sleep to check my phone and bedside clock.

My paranoia turned out to be justified as I realized during one of my lapses in sleep that it was 5:15 a.m. and my phone had yet to make a sound.

That woke me up faster than any alarm could have. Why hadn’t The Rock and his official alarm clock app, Rock Clock, woken me up? Had I been Left Behind?

Not knowing where to aim my Rock abandonment issues, I took to Twitter.

A friend from grad school chimed in to point out my mistake. I had probably locked my phone before going to bed rather than leaving it on with The Rock Clock app, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s official alarm clock app, open.

The Rock had come like a thief in the night and I had not been prepared. I resolved myself to properly set up my phone and be ready for his Thursday arrival.

Day 3: Wakeup time 4:45 a.m.

Unlike Wednesday’s technical difficulties, Thursday’s wake-up from Rock Clock, the Rock’s official alarm clock app, went off without a hitch. Much like Day 1, I got a head start on my morning routine, this time minus the gym, as I usually only go on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Without that on my schedule, I soon found myself running out of stuff to do. There was only so much work I could get done while all my colleagues were sleeping, and I ran out of entertaining social media content fast.

I wondered what The Rock was doing right now. Was he feeling isolated and lonely too? Or was he busy filling the hours with his insane fitness and diet regimen?

I mentioned this at work, and that’s when my co-worker Charles burst the illusion I had constructed. It was impossible for me to be waking up with The Rock—even with his official alarm clock app, Rock Clock, installed on my phone. He’s three hours behind me in Los Angeles. Unless he’s rising and shining at 1:45 a.m., Rock Time is an artificial construct rather than an actual channel into a celebrity’s sleeping habits.

The magic was gone.

Day 4: Wakeup time 4;45 a.m.

Fatigue began to catch up with me on Friday. Maybe it was my disappointment at knowing I was never synchronized-sleeping with The Rock. Maybe it wasn’t getting to bed early enough and only getting 5–6 hours of sleep every night. Either way, I was tired and slow all day Friday, and don’t recall doing much of note that day.

Day 5: Wakeup time 4:15 a.m.

Who wakes up at 4:15 a.m. on a Saturday? Short of having a job that requires you to be up at that time, what human being voluntarily starts their weekend like this?

Maybe anticipating my rage over this, The Rock chose this day to grace Rock Clock (the official alarm clock app of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) users with a video. Seen in the video driving in an undisclosed location, The Rock delivered a motivational monologue about a minute long to his chosen early risers.

I was too groggy to remember to capture the footage, but I did save the audio and transcribed his message below:

Alright, good morning, morning. You know the drill, you gotta get after it. Get after those goals. I’ve been seeing your goals, I’ve been looking at them and they’re good. Very impressive. They’re good. Some of them are highly inappropriate. They’re very funny. Alright let’s roll. Very early in the morning, just got done training. Get your morning routine going. I’m on my way to work. You’re probably thinking “Damn, Rock, why are you always in your pickup truck.” Because I love my pickup truck. I make sure my personal pickup truck is everywhere I go. Any movie location. If not my personal truck, then a pickup truck. Everybody in Hollywood … they need a driver, a chauffeur, and all that horseshit. Just ain’t my style. So, I’m always trying to drive myself and that’s why I’m always in my pickup truck to send you guys these videos. Plus the moment I get out of this pickup truck, it’s on. It’s the only chance I get time by myself. It’s like … Uh … ants to a spilled snowcone and I’m the snowcone by the way, just a big bowl of brown peanut butter-looking snowcone (laughing) alright you’re like, “Damn Rock, now you’re wasting my fucking time.” Alright get out, get after it, go chase those goals. Rock Clock. Project Rock. Let’s go.

This is perhaps the most scintillating passage you will ever hear or read about The Rock and his pickup truck that also serves as a reminder to wake up and work toward your goals, which I will admit, I had forgotten to do. It’s almost as if that’s an awkward, shoe-horned in component to an app you use to wake up in the morning.

The app—Rock Clock, the official alarm clock app of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson—told me my goal had been to make a video game, so I spend a good portion of my Saturday reading online programming tutorials. The day flew by and before I knew it, it was 8:30 p.m. Bedtime.

Day 6: Wakeup time 5:00 a.m.

When I went to sleep, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s official alarm clock app Rock Clock said Rock Time for Sunday was going to be 4:15 a.m. again. I don’t know when it changed, but the app roused me at 5 a.m. Bless those extra 45 minutes, I think they were the only thing that kept me awake through Mother’s Day brunch with my family.

I don’t remember a whole lot from that other than I ate a lot of quiche and spent a lot of time staring blankly at the wall above my aunt’s head.

Only one day more.

Day 7: Wakeup time 4:45 a.m.

On this, the final day, The Rock chose to grace us once again with a video. This time I was ready and recorded it.

Alright good morning, Rock Clock. Project Rock. Very early morning here in the Iron Paradise where it all begins and where it all ends. The House of Steel. The House of Iron. Where we bless by steel, where we are blessed by the iron. We are in the business of kicking ass and taking names and right now business is good. I could come up with many other nicknames for this place, but I don’t want to waste your time. Good morning, get after your goals. Chase your greatness. It’s that time. I have my extra large cup of unleaded and I don’t know why the fuck I chose this ugly lime-ass green neon color, but don’t judge me. Goals ain’t getting after themselves. Greatness ain’t chasing itself. You’ve got to chase that son of a bitch. Let’s roll.

Chase your greatness

ugly lime-ass green neon color

don’t judge me

let’s roll

I took these indelible images and internalized them. I didn’t bless any steel and was not blessed by any iron on Monday, but despite my skepticism and sarcasm, I had indeed reached my goal. It’s pretty basic, but I was in fact able to program a video game, something I’ve never done before, inspired by my experience using The Rock Clock, the official alarm clock app of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, which you can play below or at this link.

How much of this accomplishment is due to The Rock’s special brand of enthusiasm and how much due to my own inclination to move heaven and earth to meet a deadline? I may never know the answer to that question, as I’ve since uninstalled The Rock Clock from my phone. Sorry Dwayne, but I think I can set my own schedule from here on out.

And if you ever want to Wake Up With Hogan (no, not that Hogan), I’ll see you at 6 a.m. (3 a.m. PST).