In early August, I got a call from a guy named Martin Rooney who had just moved to Charlotte, N.C., from New Jersey. Turns out we had a mutual friend who insisted that Martin and I meet.

I agreed to meet Martin. He’s a new guy in town, and he’s a friend of a good friend. We’d have a short meeting and be done. So I scheduled a 30-minute breakfast.

At breakfast, Martin and I began to talk. Three hours later, we were still talking.

We talked sales, martial arts, fitness, health, speaking, writing and 100 other things. We exchanged books and agreed to carry the conversation deeper. Martin agreed to help me get “in better physical shape” at his training facility.

Rooney bills himself as a fitness philosopher. But he is at the top of his profession as both a trainer and a speaker on fitness. He has been a trainer and consultant to athletes from the NFL, MLB and NBA, and has trained numerous Olympic medalists. One hundred of the athletes Martin has trained have been drafted to the NFL, and the contracts signed were in excess of a billion dollars. Not bad.

My training is taking place at one of the facilities he licenses in his “Training for Warriors” program. He now has more than 70 locations worldwide, and more than 1,000 trainers have become certified in his training system. Not bad.

So, what’s the attraction? Adonis wants to train an overweight old man. Doesn’t seem like a fit, until you discover our mutual passions: thinking, writing and speaking. We also both have four daughters, and we’re both from New Jersey. We are helpers at heart, and we exchanged amazing ideas in the first three hours. So many ideas that I believe I have found a new lifelong friend. Not bad.

He gave me a copy of his book, “Rooney’s Rules.” He creates a new health, fitness, sales or philosophical rule every day.

Here are a few examples of his philosophy, his thinking and his writing:
  • Want to be REMEMBERED tomorrow? Then don’t FORGET to do something great today.
  • You don’t become the thing you THINK about all the time. You become the thing you DO all the time.
  • The real garbage holding you back is all the time you throw away.
  • Try new things. Biting into the unknown may be the best way to cut your wisdom teeth.
  • Success may have less to do with the depth of your background than it does with the strength of your backbone.
  • When fighting this battle called life, taking yourself lightly may be your heaviest artillery.
  • Hindsight is worthless until you are able to use it to gain insight that can be used to positively affect your foresight.
  • Just like a well-prepared meal, a well-prepared day often ends with a clean plate.
  • If you aspire to retire after building an empire, the best way is to inspire as many people before you expire.
  • Most people often develop a weak set of knees when it comes time to take a stand for themselves.
  • Perhaps the most important thing you can be when you grow up is yourself.
  • The key to confidence has less to do with inborn talent than it does with ingrained practice.
  • Just like the tide, you will rise or fall as a result of the most influential bodies around you.
  • The Road to Success does not intersect with the Path of Least Resistance.
  • Joy follows success. Success follows experience. Experience follows failure. Don’t fear failure. Without it, there is no joy. 

Pretty cool, huh? Martin Rooney is a deep thinker and doer who is able to express himself in a very intelligent and thought-provoking way.

SO FAR: I have been to Martin’s workout facility six times. I love it. I am building strength and friendship at the same time.