How 1 Day in Prison Can Change Your Life

This past weekend we had the pleasure of hosting Martin and Amanda Rooney at the TFW Concord Dojo for Martin’s Coaching Greatness Seminar. Martin is the creator and founder of Training for Warriors, and my mentor – so it was a cool weekend.

There is a reason that one of the signature workouts in Training For Warriors is called the Hurricane, and once you spend some time around Martin you’ll understand why. His presence IS the hurricane. From the intensity of questions, to drive to make people better, he’s a force.

The funny thing about driving through the city you grew up visiting is that over time the beauty shrinks over time. I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing, when out of town guests arrive the magic of the city returns.

Add up Martin’s Hurricane force with the magic fresh eyes and we were off to Alcatraz.

Going to “The Rock” as an adult was a different experience than as a kid. The gravity of what went on and the people who spent their time, and sometimes lost their lives in the prison hit me much harder. Maybe it’s because I have a child now and the thought of not being able to see her is unthinkable.

Once off the ferry boat we started with the ranger guided tour that took us through the history of the island from first recorded discovery through present day. Being around fellow nerds, Martin, Amanda, and my wife, made the tour especially special because we were all able to take in different pieces of the tour.

Ending the tour and turning towards the main entrance the peace of the bay was a stark contrast with the gloom of the prison.

We moved on to the self guided audio tour, worming our way through C D Street, broadway, and TimeSquare. When we passed through the Library I almost missed it.

I saw Martin pause his audio guide and, thinking something was wrong, I followed suit.

“Did you get that?” he asked, “Good Time, and Bad Time. Now THAT is a philosophy”

One of the prisoners had been speaking during that part of the tour, and he had said that when you arrived on Alcatraz you had two choices, you could either do “Good Time” or “Bad Time.” You could either be the person who reads and learns and grows as a human, or the guy who sits and looks out over the rec yard wall being envious of the people who had it better than you.

When Martin first contacted me about hosting he said the only things that he and Amanda wanted to do were go to Alcatraz, and see Napa. I’m not 100% sure what Martin thought Napa would be like, but he definitely didn’t expect the reality.

All I heard from the front seat every 10-15 minutes or so was, “So where are we now?”

And the answer was always the same “Still in Napa”

We went through the vineyards and up into the mountains to one of our favorite wineries, Pride. And after a tour that ended with a “Willy Wonka” moment for Amanda we picnicked up at the top of the mountain.

Martin asked me if I noticed people doing “Bad Time” at the winery. There were people in one of the most beautiful settings who were still doing Bad Time! They complained about this or that, and that something wasn’t right, all the while ignoring the beauty and wonder of our surroundings.

What I learned was that the circumstances you are in don’t determine if you do good or bad time…

YOU do!

Your actions, your beliefs, behaviors, and philosophies are going to determine if you do good time or bad time in your life.

Do you sit and stare and envy that your neighbor bought a new car, and that your job sucks, and that your relationship with your husband isn’t what you want, and that your life SUCKS?


Do you wake up and tell yourself that you’re going to squeeze every drop out of today, that no matter what happens you are going to learn, love the people in your life, and succeed?

You see, it’s all your choice. It’s not too late to change. You can brush the dust off your books and start reading, or go outside and do something great for your body.


Are you going to do Good Time today


Bad Time?

-Coach Kian


If you want to read coach Rooney’s post on this check it out here:

The One Choice That Will Change Your Life